The long-awaited summer season filled our gardens with bright colors and wonderful aromas. How pleasant and cloudless would be the suburban life in the native weave, if not for the huge army of insects, which also rushed into the garden to “admire” the dacha beauty. But do not rush to grab the sprayer, and more closely look at the insects, flying and crawling around the cultivated plants. Perhaps their main part is made by our faithful helpers - garden technicians, who will help to overcome other pests without the use of insecticides.
Ground beetles - reliable assistants to the gardener
Each of us knows this red-sided bug in the “face”: everyone in childhood sent a ladybug to the sky for bread with the help of a cheerful song. But if today you notice such an insect in your area, you should not accompany him on a long journey. This garden assistant will easily save you from having to fight with aphids.
The more ladybugs in the garden, the less aphids
In our climate zone, more than 70 species of such an insect live - red and golden cows with black specks, dark individuals with bright specks, monochromatic specimens, etc. The favorite delicacy of most of them is deciduous aphids, others prefer aphids and spider mites. In just one day, a seven-point beetle is able to “devour” about 150 aphids, other species devour up to 60 copies of the pest every day. Moreover, such a good appetite is inherent not only in imago (adult insect), but also in its larvae.
Ladybird larva actively eats aphids
This tiny mobile attendant of the garden, also known as the tick-borne cow, will become your lifesaver in the fight against the spider mite. Both the imago and the larvae of this beetle actively devour mites, exterminating up to 2000 individuals in their lives.
Stetorus. Photo from wikimedia.org
Since the stetorus has a rather small size (1-1.5 mm), gardeners often simply do not notice it. But if you take a closer look at the places where the spider mite settled, you can find there these black shiny bugs. Wait with the treatment of plants with chemicals, tick-borne ladybugs in a few days will save planting from pests.
Most of the representatives of this family are familiar to gardeners by their harmfulness. But among them there is one useful species - the gall midge of Aphidimiza (Aphidoletes aphidimyza), the larvae of which will stand on your side and help you to deal with the omnipresent aphids.
Adult individual gall midge afidimiza. Photo from sciencesource.com
The imago of this garden medic resembles tiny flies, and the hatched transparent larvae are even more invisible. Later, the larvae are painted in yellow, orange or red shades (the color is determined by the kind of eaten aphids) and upon closer inspection, the places where the pests accumulate signal us with their bright color - everything is under control!
The larvae of the gall midge of Aphidimism are very fond of aphids.
This fairly large black beetle (up to 4 cm) can rightly be called one of the main assistants to the gardener. His diet includes a wide variety of pests from caterpillars of the moth and sawfly to fleas and harmful gall midges.
During the day, ground beetles are rare, they go hunting only after dark: we sleep, and they steadfastly fight a large army of garden and garden enemies. Their larvae, which have an unprecedented appetite for unwanted insects, deserve no less honor.
The hoverfly larvae actively devour the aphids, settled on the shoots of cultivated plantations. By this, they bring substantial benefits to summer residents, who often confuse adult hoopholes with wasps. But to distinguish them among themselves is not so difficult: this bright striped fly flies much more rapidly than the wasp, and often hangs in the air, making a “murmuring” sound.
Among the representatives of this family, our gardens most often turn out to be attractive for green gold-eyed. The larvae of this insect (and sometimes “mothers” themselves) settle in places where aphids accumulate and actively eat it.
An adult golden-eyed individual resembles a miniature moth, has a pale green color, transparent wings with a span of up to 3 cm and yellow eyes. Each larva of this gentle creature exterminates about 500 aphids in its short developmental cycle and, due to its extraordinary gluttony, is called the "lion tlyov".
Earwig - one of the most famous representatives of the fraternity garden nurses. This brown insect, up to 2.5 cm long, is distinguished by very powerful claws located at the end of the calf. With the help of them, the pincer, as the earwig is also called, captures and holds its prey — dahlia lice, aphids, other small pests and their offspring.
Earwig is very gluttonous with respect to insects, but its omnivorousness sometimes brings a man not good, but harm: massively reproduced insects spoil the fruits and root system of cultivated plants.
Females of flashy fire beetles, also called red-legged soft-bodied animals, die together with males immediately after mating and laying. But soon numerous dark larvae pubescent with rigid hairs and resembling miniature beads hatch from eggs. They immediately begin to eat a variety of small insects - aphids, flies, larvae and caterpillars of garden pests. Do not destroy these nimble bugs, their larvae will stand you in good stead!
How to attract beneficial insects to the garden
In order to attract such useful predators to the site, plant more dill, cumin, daisies and sunflowers in the spring, and in the garden leave odorous weeds in the garden, for example, tansy and yarrow. The more fragrant and flowering plants in the garden, the better - they attract such helpers.
Small piles of sawdust, shavings or shredded bark will be an excellent haven for garden orderlies. Many of them love to relax near decorative garden ponds, hiding in the crevices of small stony exposures.
Garden nurses attract yarrow growing on the site
If after pruning trees at your disposal remained thick branches or hemp, select the time and drill into them numerous holes, and then lay out such "houses" in different parts of the suburban area. By the autumn, it is not worth so carefully to scrape from the ground fallen leaves and plant debris - our faithful friends settle down under them to spend the winter. Do not be lazy after harvesting the corn, tie them into “bouquets” of cleaning from the cobs and hang them in the garden or spread them out on the beds - such “houses” turn out to be the favorite shelters of ladybirds and stetoruses during the cold months.
Build for useful insects homemade houses
Cardboard tubes, corked on one side and connected in several pieces, will be an excellent option for wintering garden assistants - such shelters need to be laid out horizontally in secluded areas of the garden, protected from moisture. Replace the tubules can be bundles of cut cane stalks, reeds or other plants with hollow shoots. Also for this purpose, perfect ordinary flower pots, filled with straw or shavings.
The world of insects is so diverse and amazing! And not all representatives of these living beings are a threat to our garden. Therefore, before exterminating all the insects at one's own dacha, cleaned with the help of lethal chemicals, consider how justified this method of pest control is. Maybe it's time to review your tactics and listen to the wisdom of nature?
Wasp-riders lay eggs in the body of caterpillars. Photos from nat-geo.ru
By creating favorable conditions for gardeners at the summer cottage, it is possible to protect cultivated plants in a natural way and completely abandon the use of insecticides that cause damage not only to insects, but also to our health. It is hardly possible to list all the beneficial insects in one article, so if you are familiar with any other garden nurses, tell us about them in the comments. And you will certainly share with us your experience and secrets of attracting beneficial insects to the dacha.
Grain ground beetle - a pest of cereal crops. It dwells mostly in the steppe and forest-steppe territories, up to the southern borders of Polesye.
According to the number and degree of damage to the crop, experts identify two types of zones: permanent and cyclic pest damage.
Insect activity is more pronounced at night. During the day it can hide under stones or in burrows. However, if the grain ground beetle is in the apartment, then the darkened parts of the room become a refuge for her, more often under the furniture.
In nature, the beetle lives near the fields, in the dumps of old straw, as well as in the places where the grain was scattered.
Favorite delicacy ground beetle are crops of wheat, rye or barley. In the absence of such, they can eat corn, oats and leeks.
Reason of appearance
Independently, the insect will probably not crawl into a private house, where it will enjoy the living conditions. This happens very rarely, since in nature the ground beetle feels much more comfortable.
But to exclude the possibility of the neighborhood with a bug is not worth it. Like most insects, it is very attracted to the bright light. If the windows are not installed mosquito nets, then ground beetle may well penetrate the apartment. She is also attracted by old wood: perennial furniture, window frames, window sills, doors.
Grain ground beetle will not mind to eat cereal pet food living in the apartment. Therefore, the conditions of storage of food for the animal should be given special attention.
The insect may be in the apartment by accident - most often it is brought into the house as larvae along with street dirt or old furniture.
Food for him are crumbs, cereals, food, forgotten on the table.
The presence of insects delivers a lot of trouble - they wake up at night and start looking for food, rustling, falling from the ceiling to the floor or, even worse, onto the bed. If they managed to find food for themselves, then the insects will soon begin to multiply. It is necessary to get rid of them quickly.
Ground beetle common beetle - beetle whose length is 10-15 mm.
This species has characteristic external features:
- The body is oval.
- Saturated black color with a metallic sheen.
- Powerful jaws with blunt ends. It is with their help that the insect is able to gnaw through a hard layer in plants, making its way to the pulp, and also eat stubborn bread crumbs.
- Long antennae with a large number of setae.
- Long legs, thanks to which the ground beetle is able to move quickly. On the front limbs there are characteristic notches that help her to clean her mustache.
- Elytra cover almost all abdomen.
The size of the beetle's wings can determine the degree of hospitality of your house: if they are short, then the insect is comfortable and there is no need to migrate.
Grain ground beetles mate in late August-early September. The beginning of the process depends on weather conditions. It is at the end of the summer and the first weeks of autumn that it is most comfortable.
If the summer was excessively hot and there was a drought, then the female lays less eggs. The future offspring of the insect hides in the soil, to a depth of 7-10 cm. There are eggs for about 2-3 weeks. They look oval, milky-white, up to 2.5 mm in length.
Larvae go through several stages of development. Initially, they are greyish-white. Such they are throughout the cold time.
When frosts stop, the larvae move closer to the soil surface, where they begin to take in nutrients. This stage continues from 3 to 5 weeks.
Eating grass, the larvae gradually change color to a dirty green and even black. By mid-spring, they turn into pupae.
What to do if a ground beetle appeared in the apartment? How to get rid of her? It is much easier to prevent reproduction.
It is necessary to monitor the cleanliness in the living room. Regular cleaning is important, during which attention should be paid not only to visible surfaces, but also to corners and areas under furniture.
If the apartment is installed, albeit a good, but still old wooden furniture, it is important to treat it with special means. Otherwise, the desired beauty will result in many problems. A more economical option for furniture disinfection is baking soda or vinegar.
It is not recommended to store flour, potatoes or cereals in the form in which it was purchased. There can hide the ground beetles. Potatoes and cereals should be sorted out, and flour should be carefully sifted and poured into a hermetically sealed container.
To prevent insects from entering the house through the windows, you should install a mosquito net on them.
Fighting uninvited guests
As a rule, everyone begins to take precautions only after they have learned about the consequences of their failure. If you were able to determine that this pest started up in the apartment, then it is worth finding out what the measures to combat the ground beetle will be.
It is necessary to act consistently:
- Carefully inspect the apartment and find the habitat of the insect. To do this, it is necessary to carry out general cleaning of all rooms. It is important to find and eliminate all crumbs and leftover food in order to deprive the pest of food.
- All surfaces are treated with insecticides. They are sold in all hardware stores (dichlorvos, karbofos). If these tools do not suit you, you can use baking soda or vinegar diluted in water.
- All food that remains on the tables should be sealed so as not to attract new pests.
Insects in the house create discomfort and can also cause various diseases. However, in a clean, well-groomed apartments they do not find shelter, so you should never forget about cleaning and order.
Harmfulness and causes of the appearance of individuals
The ground beetle grain most often harms the fields with grain crops: the imago eats up the ears of corn, and the larvae - the stems. However, under certain circumstances, the beetle can live in a person’s dwelling. The reasons why this may occur are as follows:
- Independent penetration into the premises. This happens quite rarely, but ground beetles can consciously choose to live human habitation, if the conditions from outside are not sufficiently favorable,
- Accidental hit with street dirt or household items. This option is more common: the owners bring home the beetle, unaware of it.
These individuals can attract and light in the windows of the building, which is present in the evenings: if the mosquito net on the windows is missing, it is likely that the pests can look into the guests. Wood, especially old, and objects from it, for example, frames, furniture or window sills, are not less attractive to individuals.
If there are pets in the house, the diet of which includes cereals and other crops, it also increases the risk of resettlement in the house of beetles. Experts advise to keep pet food in a tightly closed container and regularly remove the remnants of food from the public access. Incidentally, the rare indoor cleaning and cluttering are also a risk factor for the appearance of uninvited guests.
As for the harm done to people, then basically, many simply get scared of this relatively large beetle. The ground beetle prefers to conduct nighttime activity, therefore, often rustling sounds at night, and the individuals themselves can suddenly fall straight into the bed to the sleeper, which can be terribly frightening. In addition, the beetle larvae are quite voracious and do not disdain food supplies in the apartment, so they crawl into containers with cereals, pasta and other supplies.
How to deal with parasites?
Ground beetles are infrequent guests in apartments and usually do not stay there for a long time because they do not find enough food for themselves, but they are able to infect the rooms with larvae. Before using special tools, you should not forget about preventive measures: regular cleaning of all rooms and frequent inspection of all rooms for the presence of parasites in them.
In no case should food be available to ground beetles: cereals, flour and especially potatoes must be inspected every time after purchase. It is best to immediately wash the potatoes and cereals, sift the flour, and then place them in an airtight container.
It will not be superfluous to think about purchasing and installing mosquito nets, as the ground beetle penetrates the houses through the windows. This method will help protect the home from other types of insects.
To clean all surfaces in the house, use vinegar or baking soda mixed with water. If the ground beetle continues to multiply, you can purchase any of the available insecticides, for example, Malathus or Dichlorvos.
It should be remembered that the fight against parasites must begin immediately, otherwise they will have time to breed and fairly spoil the mood and comfort of the residents.
Adding an article to a new collection
Едва заметив насекомое на участке, мы тут же спешим применить все известные средства борьбы с вредителями, чтобы избавиться от непрошеного гостя. Do you need to do this in all cases? Let's see.
To begin with, if you look at things objectively, the guests here are we, not insects. The order established by nature existed long before people came and began to break up gardens and gardens, rearranging the local flora and fauna to fit their needs. Each creature plays its role in maintaining the natural balance, so it is important to stop mindlessly destroying insects on the site, and learn to distinguish between harmful and beneficial beetles.
These insects are familiar to us from early childhood. "Ladybird, fly to the sky, there your children eat candy" - surely every child at least once uttered these words, referring to a cute beetle with a bright spotted back.
Ladybug - a symbol of good luck in many cultures. The favorite delicacy of this beetle is aphid. From spring to late autumn, ladybugs are engaged in the extermination of this pest, destroying up to 150 individuals per day, and then going to wintering, hiding under stones, in the bark of trees and foliage.
Garden ground beetles and their larvae
This beetle is a real long-liver (by the standards of insects), lives for 3-5 years, hiding in the cracks of foundations and in the walls of outbuildings for the winter. The diet of garden ground beetles and their larvae includes slugs, worms, eggs of vegetable flies, as well as adult individuals of various small insects.
Consider that there is also a dangerous for harvest crop of ground beetles - ground beetle grain, or humpbacked foot. This insect is smaller in size (up to 1.5 cm in length), it has a rich black color and short red antennae.
To attract useful bugs to the site, provide them with a "shelter": heaps of sawdust and small stones, pieces of wood bark. It is worth noting that ground beetles are able to protect themselves from birds: when the danger approaches, the insect emits a repellent.
The unusual appearance of this insect is disgusting for many. And all because of the tail of the earwig are pincer appendages, which makes it look like a space alien from science fiction films. And in a protective pose, this insect becomes altogether like a scorpion, raising its tail and pulling it forward. Because of this feature, the earwig is also known as the dvuvostok.
At night, these predators go hunting, successfully helping gardeners cope with the invasion of aphids, ticks and other pests. Also earwig eats spores of disease-causing fungi. This beneficial insect has one drawback: in pursuit of prey (for example, dahlia), it can damage young shoots of the shrub.
In order to draw the earwig's attention to a tree that needs to be protected, hang a pot filled with sawdust or shavings on a branch of such a tree - a dvuvostok will like such a dwelling.
Even bedbugs can be useful, at least for some species. Thus, the predatory bug Antocoris is a “thunderstorm” of the sawfly beetle, since it destroys the egg-laying of this pest by sucking the contents of the eggs. Do not hesitate to bug and aphids, as well as small caterpillars.
Antocoris' brother - the perillus bug - is not averse to eating the Colorado potato beetle, which greatly helps in the fight against this harmful insect. A distinctive feature of most useful bugs is an elongated body, long limbs and great mobility compared to herbivorous, and therefore harmful to the garden species.
How to deal with pests in the garden?
As you already understood, the use of pesticides can destroy not only harmful, but also beneficial insects. How to be? Do not shift such a responsible business on the "shoulders" of insect helpers? There are various ways to control pests without the use of chemicals:
- collection of wintering larvae by hand,
- whitewashing tree trunks,
- plant shelter protective material
- digging the soil
- cleaning fallen leaves.
Get more information about each of these methods, as well as find out how and where to find wintering pests of the garden, by reading our material on this topic:
How to attract beneficial insects to the site?
You can increase the population of insect-helpers on your plot by planting plants in the garden and kitchen garden that will be enjoyed by useful insects. It:
Despite the fact that most beneficial insects are predators, some of them also feed on the nectar of these plants.
We offer you to familiarize yourself with the detailed dossier on harmful insects that can destroy the crop and destroy the plants in the garden, if you do not recognize the danger in time and do not take measures: