Scarlet Laurel Bugs
Scarlet laurel bugs are quite attractive, with deep scarlet coatings, black central wing areas, and long antennae. These bugs feed on pods, seeds, and leaves, and gravitate toward gardens where vegetation is plentiful. They especially prefer gardens that are over-watered or over-stressed by downpours of rain, since they thrive in moist and damp conditions. Scarlet laurel bugs also feed on flower seeds, thus encouraging blossoms to drop. Unfortunately, their feeding and egg laying habits can damage gardens.
One of the top signs that your garden is over-stressed or over-watered is the presence of scarlet laurel bugs. Poor drainage, compact soil, and nutrient conditions are all factors that attract these bugs. Because the bugs’ populations vary year by year, usually due to weather conditions, some gardens or lawns may experience an onslaught of laurel bugs one year, but be completely free of the insects the second year. Fortunately, there are methods that you can take to reduce scarlet laurel bug numbers if you are currently experiencing an infestation.
Increasing soil diversity is one big step you can take to prevent and treat an infestation of scarlet laurel bugs. Try increasing the number of beneficial insects that exist in your garden bed. Your local garden center can supply the correct information to get you started in improving your soil diversity. You may also find that spraying organic plant oils in your garden may deter the insects, as this is usually an effective organic control method.
If you are experiencing a severe infestation of scarlet laurel bugs, you may find it helpful to call in a professional pest control service. Depending on which plants you grow in your garden or lawn, there are a number of different chemical applications that can exterminate, or at the very least lessen, the bugs’ impact.