Are Soldier Beetles Good Or Bad For The Garden? Truth Revealed

Soldier beetles look like they are scary wasps, but are soldier beetles good or bad for the garden? We explain below why these bugs are nothing but good news for you.

You are noticing insects flying around your garden that look like wasps and bees, and you want to rid of them quickly. That’s understandable

Before driving them away, you must make sure they are really troublesome pests. The soldier beetles can look quite similar to these pests, but it isn’t harmful in any way.

Is it worth keeping a wasp lookalike in your valuable garden? Let us find out in this article.

Are Soldier Beetles Good Or Bad For The Garden
Soldier Beetle Larva

What do Soldier Beetles Look Like?

Soldier beetles are tiny insects that show an average growth of 0.5 inches in length.

These insects are related to fireflies, but they do not glow. You can find them all over North America.

The adult beetles have black spots on their bodies and wing cover. Also, if you look closely, you will notice that the wing covers only partially cover the body.

The beetle larvae are entirely black and have an alligator-like appearance. In the larval stage, they can grow up to 0.75 inches in length.

These beetles love to fly around gardens collecting nectar from flower to flower.

Why do Some People Think They Are Bad?

Many people think that these insects are similar to garden pests and are also harmful.

The main reason behind this is that they look similar to wasps and bees when they fly from flower to flower.

At first glance, people assume them to be bees and try to shoo them away.

Also, the sight of a bunch of these insects flying around your house may not be a pretty one, especially during winter, when they try to get inside homes to survive the cold.

But their reality is entirely different. Let us take a look at the sections below to understand the truth of the soldier beetles.

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

Are They Harmful?

Although they might look similar to wasps and bees, they do not cause any harm to humans.

These insects don’t have a stinger and can’t sting or bite. Adding to that, they are not poisonous as well.

Another good thing about these insects is that while feeding on pollen and nectar, they do not cause any harm to the plants.

You should know that adult soldier beetles secrete a chemical substance when they sense danger to appear unappealing to predators.

How They Are Good

Adult beetles are active fliers, and you can spot them flying swiftly across different flowers in search of pollen and nectar.

Since they effectively move pollen from one flower to another, it makes them excellent pollinators.

They are also counted in the category of beneficial insects as they actively feed on aphids and other small soft-bodied insect species that can be a significant threat to your vegetable garden.

The soldier beetle larvae are also great predators with voracious appetites who actively consume newly hatched grasshoppers, caterpillars, slugs, grasshopper eggs, insect eggs, and other small garden pests.

Since they are this beneficial, people try creating a suitable-enough environment in their garden to attract them. But how is it done? Let us find out in the next section.

How To Attract Them To Your Garden?

Plant more bright-colored flowers

These insects highly rely on nectar and pollen to complete their diets, and having a garden full of brightly colored flowers is a perfect invitation for these insects to come to your yard.

Also, having late-blooming plants like Boltonia and Joe Pye weed is a great bonus as they bloom during the breeding months of these bugs.

Leave the leaf litter

Instead of cleaning the entire garden and getting rid of the fallen leaves, let them be throughout the winter. This will help the larvae of beetles survive the cold weather.

Avoid using chemical pesticides

The usage of chemical pesticides is a big no if you want soldier beetles in your garden. These pesticides will cause harm to the insects, which will prevent them from coming back to your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which beetles are bad for the garden?

Some beetles can be highly harmful to your garden as they can destroy plants by damaging tissues, eating roots, carrying harmful bacteria, and more.

Here are a few names that you should be careful from:

  • Cucumber beetles
  • Japanese beetles
  • Potato beetles
  • Flea beetles
  • Bean leaf beetles

Are red soldier beetles good for the garden?

Yes, red soldier beetles are good for your garden as they help to transfer pollens from one flower to the other.

They are also excellent for natural pest control as they are great at hunting down aphids that can cause large-scale damage to your valuable plants.

How do I get rid of soldier beetles?

You can get rid of soldier beetles by making sure that there are no cracks and gaps in your house, as they might use such openings as entry points to get inside your home.

To keep them away from your garden, make sure that there is a good population of predators that hunt these insects, like birds, lizards, bugs, and more.

Soapy water is also a good deterrent to them.

What are the worst garden pests?

Aphids are one of the most dangerous pests for your gardens. These small insects are capable of completely destroying healthy and valuable plants.

They do so by sucking out the essential juices from the plants, which cause leaf curling, discoloration, and other problems.

Soldier Beetle

Wrap Up

Some insects might look scary and intimidating, but they can be highly beneficial. The soldier beetle is a perfect example of this.

These tiny beetles are highly beneficial for your garden as they eliminate aphids and are excellent pollinators.

But, since they look similar to wasps and bees, people often try to get rid of them.

This article has, hopefully, helped you understand the importance of these insects. Thank you for reading it.

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