Spined Soldier Bugs

 In Blog, Homeowner Tips, Pest Identification
Epilachna varivestis

Epilachna varivestis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spined soldier bugs are unusual insects, with their hard exoskeletons and their efficient ability to reproduce. Since they attack and destroy a variety of common devastating agricultural pests, spined soldier bugs are beneficial insects, and many farms across North America work hard to attract these bugs in order to protect their crops from other insects.

In fact, spined soldier bugs attack over 90 species of harmful insects, many of which cause disease and economical damage.  These species include gypsy moths, Mexican bean beetles, European corn borers, and Colorado potato beetles, all of which can take a hefty toll on crops. Introducing spined soldier bugs into fields and gardens may actually help protect crops and keep them from being destroyed by various harmful insects.

Common garden vegetables such as corn, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes are all susceptible to insect damage. Spined soldier bugs, can protect these plants and help promote soil diversity. Introducing other beneficial insects into the garden, such as bees and pollinating insects, can also help protect your garden and help it grow to its full potential. 

How to Attract Spined Soldier Bugs

Some garden stores and specialty shops supply spined soldier bugs. After purchase, simply release the bugs into the soil. Alternatively, you may wish to consider purchasing commercial pheromones that attract spined soldier beetles.

Spined soldier beetles are susceptible to some pesticides, so it is wise to only use these chemical compounds in extreme circumstances. Contact your local insect control service to learn more about which pesticides you should use for your particular needs. If you do decide to use pesticides, try to choose ones are low in toxicity and that will protect the beneficial insects you currently have.

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