Enemy or friend?: Red-black invasion: How to deal with fire bugs correctly

It may be their signal color that triggers the alarm in us to declare war on fire bugs.

Enemy or friend?: Red-black invasion: How to deal with fire bugs correctly

It may be their signal color that triggers the alarm in us to declare war on fire bugs. Or it is their obvious group meetings on walls and paths that make us feel called upon to do something about it. Either way: the animals pose no danger – neither to people, animals nor to plants. The opposite is true, as fire bugs actually have a practical use. Find out what they are and how you can drive away the insects (out of fear or disgust) as follows.

When temperatures drop, firebugs hide in their shelters to overwinter. In spring, usually from March onwards, the insects crawl out of their hiding places and look for a sunny spot to recharge their batteries. They then go in search of food: their diet consists of fallen seeds (preferably from linden trees) as they have shortened wings and cannot take off. What benefits your garden: the red and black crawlers eat aphids and mites, dead insects and other insects as well as wilted plant parts - in other words, they help to keep the soil clean.

Fire bugs have a stinging proboscis that they use to pierce their food to inject a secretion that breaks down the contents. The insects then suck out their prey - but they still don't cause much damage if they are found on hollyhocks, for example, to suck out the seeds there. The health of the plants remains intact. The same applies to people: If you irritate the animals, they will spray a foul-smelling liquid. However, this only serves as a deterrent against their natural predators such as birds or hedgehogs. There is no danger to you (or your pets).

Although there is no reason to fight fire bugs, some people feel bothered by the insects - or worse, disgusted by the animals. For this reason, we give you a few tips on what you can do to drive the animals (alive) out of the garden:

Instead of resorting to chemicals that can harm beneficial insects and plants, simply relocate the fire bugs. This method works easiest if you collect the insects with a shovel and a broom or a special insect catcher (for timid people) and put them in a bucket. You then bring the animals into nature and release them there again.

Another tip: It's better to wear gloves to protect your hands from the smelly secretions.

To prevent fire bugs from making themselves at home in your garden, you can take preventative measures: for example, by depriving the insects of important food sources. However, since the seeds of lime trees in particular, but also those of mallows, hollyhocks, robinias, horse chestnuts and acacias are on their menu, this is not an easy undertaking - but you should consider planting one of the plants in question in your garden : leave it alone. However, it is easier to regularly collect the withered remains and fallen seeds and throw them in the trash. Another option would be to remove the fire bugs' winter quarters. But where can these be found? These are particularly common under piles of leaves, on compost or under tree bark. It's best to relocate the nests so that the insects can still survive the winter.

Sources: Utopia, My Beautiful Garden

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