Shield Bugs and Other Monsters

These seem to be coming out of hiding… all over the house… driving me nuts.

I think they’re cute :slight_smile: Do the French ones smell ?

Yes they do. I call them Stink beetles!

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They are NOT the gardener’s friend… :roll_eyes::zipper_mouth_face:

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They only smell if you squash them. Leave them alone, or gently rehouse them with a cup and piece of card, and you will be smell free.


Gardeners will not want to leave them alone… as the article says… they do a lot of damage…

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Mainly to agricultural crops…in the garden if you have a healthy environment with earwigs and crickets to eat the eggs and birds and spiders to eat the bug then it’s really not a significnat problem. A couple of holes in a few apples, and a bit of nibbling of our nutella crop but that’s it so far.

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Sadly, the Bugs do not ignore the Garden… they head for the nearest, tastiest stuff they can find… and not many gardens can withstand the onslaught of an “invasion” such as is envisaged.

Incidentally, the red and black gendarmes are much more prolific this year… they are a darn nuisance in the garden too…

I do agree that a balance is possible… but the environment is NOT balanced at the moment… I don’t think we had a low enough… long enough… cold spell … to kill off a fair proportion of the “nasties” from last year… the neighbours reckon that is the case and they (obviously) have more local experience than I do.


What do they damage in your garden? I agree that globally the environment is not balanced, but in your own patch you can create better harmony and without killing everything that moves with chemicals.

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I think I have mentioned that I have a terrace. I use nothing nasty… hand picking the bugs and bits off of my pots of herbs/flowers etc…

Neither our commune, nor the surroundings use chemicals. It is labour intensive, but the cantoniers, farmers and fruit growers work tirelessly to do things in an environmental way… as well as us ordinary folk… most of whom have their own fruit/veg plots…

Balance is important… not a sterile plot of dirt… but a plague/invasion needs to be sorted… swiftly and with style… :slight_smile:

I’ve been reading a little more on this subject: Seems the world is getting smaller every year…

INRA, tells us that in recent years, on average, in France, seven new invasive species of insects or mites are detected every year. Set this against the one to two per year in the previous century… and I think we can understand why folk are being asked to be on their guard… to report/react as may be necessary.

FYI Jane, I have never squashed one of these bugs, it’s not in my nature to kill things. In my experience just gently lifting these creatures to put them outside is enough to end up with stinky hands. Shield bugs have glands in their thoraces between the first and second pair of legs that produce a foul-smelling liquid, which is used defensively to deter potential predators and is sometimes released when the bugs are handled. Kind regards.

I always use a cup and a card, so never noticed a smell…thankfully by the sound of it!

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Totally agree with you, I too am being driven mad by the number of bugs that are in the house.
Not only the bedroom but the kitchen too, I hate any insect being in the kitchen!
As for the gendarmes I have never seen as many before, they started early this year and seem to be ‘seething’ in all parts of the garden. :nauseated_face:

It’s only the ones with a ‘mother of pearl’ (as I call it) back that pee on you, so it’s a case of very gently, gently when moving them out. I encourage them onto a fly swatter and eject them on that. The others are just a nuisance, but our poulets nain love them, once we’ve swept them out from behind any closed shutters where they’ve been hiding overnight (the bugs that is, not the chickens).

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The invaders in our garden are not like this, they are orange-red with darker markings, about 6 mm long, don’t fly like coccinelles, rather lozenge-shaped and slowish but stolidly persevering in moving over clods. They seem to be fond of walking in tandem, one steering the other hanging on behind like an articulated lorry. I haven’t squashed one, indeed they look livelier if prodded and make evasive movements, with one still clinging to the other’s rear end. As Jeremy says, quite endearing. I don’t know what they eat. My camera doesn’t do close-ups, and I trawled the entomology pages without finding a likeness. Any ideas?

Peter… these are “gendarmes”… possibly/supposedly the gardner’s friend…

Sorry I could not find an article in English… I am clouded by an Easter Alcoholic Haze (Neighbours’ fault)

Thanks, Stella, you are the sapeur-pompier who extinguishes ignorance with one well-directed squirt! :joy:

It’s the wine talking, Peter… I’m feeling quite squiffy… :hugs:

I haven’t touched a drop, I went for a brisk 6 km walk this morning at 0900 and sowed two lines of carrot seeds before noon. They are like grains of pepper as I am sure you know, and don’t make for easy sowing, though I suppose a pepper shaker with just one hole might do the trick? Perhaps I could invent one and make 1000000 euros. Now I think I’ve earned a small beer.