Most people have known a bug soldier since childhood: this sympathetic insect lives in virtually all regions of the former USSR and settles in large colonies. Meanwhile, few people know that the bug red soldier is a dangerous pest of garden plants.
Looks like a bug-soldier
The cloak-soldier (Pyrrhocoris Apterus) belongs to the "semi-winged" order, the suborder "shield-shaped", the length of the body usually varies from 7 to 12 mm. The color of the bug-soldier is very remarkable, therefore it is almost impossible to confuse it with other insects. As you can see in the photo, the back of the bug is decorated with a characteristic black-red ornament:
Larvae of soldiers are smaller and not so bright chitinous cover. In the photo you can see that they are almost completely red, with a small number of black dots. Nevertheless, the species belonging to the larva of the red bug is easily guessed:
Oral organs of the bug-soldier are presented by a piercing-sucking proboscis, which is in a calm state located in the lower part of the head horizontally. With their help, the bug pierces the shell of the plant or the chitinous cover of the dead insects with which it feeds, and slowly sucks the juices left there.
Eggs of bedbugs, which can be seen in the photo below, have a pearly white color and an oval shape. Bedbugs-soldiers often lay them directly in those plants that eat. Often clutch bedbugs can be found in old dead trees, rotten stumps and leaky fences:
A cloak-soldier is a very common insect that can be seen at any time of the year, except in winter. They dwell in colonies, collectively occupy plants and all winter together. In summer red bugs are very fond of basking in the sun, being placed on open, well-heated areas.
Wintering occurs in a pre-selected warm and dry place. Often bugs are found in the fences, old tree bark, wooden buildings, boards. There is also laying eggs.
Reproduction of insects passes very quickly: for one clutch the female lays up to 20-30 eggs, of which after a week or one and a half larvae appear.
Couples bugs are quite unusual: they are connected to each other by the back part of the trunk, after which the seminal cells of the male fall into the abdomen of the female.
What a soldier bugs eating and what harm he brings
In eating, the bugs-soldiers are rather unpretentious. For a full-fledged existence, they have enough juice of plants, which they suck, piercing the stem or leaf. After such an invasion of bugs, the plant begins to slowly die and ceases to bear fruit. Seriously damaged by bedbugs, soldiers, vegetables, fruits and berries cease to be suitable for food.
In the photo you can see what the plant, ruined by soldiers, looks like:
Of course, in agriculture there are more dangerous pests, but a bug-soldier can also bring a lot of trouble. Particularly affected by its rapid reproduction of vineyards, where an insect can damage berries of elite varieties.
In the absence of fresh plant juice, red bug-soldiers can feed on carrion, gathering groups on the corpses of other insects and even vertebrates.
"At my dacha some red beetles have chosen a bench and a tree. I looked on the Internet that this insect is a bug soldier. It seems as harmless and harmless, did not begin to poison them and left them as they are. After a while he noticed that the carrots on the bed abnormally develop the tops - constantly curly and not stretched. It is this bed closest to the bench. So I think now, could the soldiers carrots harm, or is it some other pest? ".
Vasily Petrovich, Zhitomir
It is interesting
Despite the general image of a benevolent insect, bedbugs often show cannibalism tendencies. The main food of the bug is nutritious juices, which it extracts not only from plants, but also from dead insects, small animals. If in the path of the bug of a soldier his dead fellow gets caught, he will not even disdain such a meal. Usually these insects feed on the group, one can clearly see in the photo one of such cases of group cannibalism:
How to get rid of bedbugs of soldiers
Bedbugs are pretty harmless insects, but their large congestion can bring some damage to the garden or vegetable garden. Therefore, the question of how to bring out the bedbugs of soldiers is quite common.
In order to begin the destruction of parasites, it is worth making sure that the plants spoil the bugs-soldiers. There are several signs of defeat of plants with red flags:
- Sprouts of beet either die right away, or they lag far behind in growth and give a lower yield. The mature plants twist and wilt the leaves.
- Flowers and buds of plants of all cultures fall almost immediately after parasitizing bugs on them. This, of course, leads to a complete loss of harvest.
- Umbelli plants (coriander, dill) are very sensitive to bug bites and wither in a short time.
- On the cabbage you can see yellow spots - these are traces of bites, which also lead to a partial loss of harvest.
If in the field of vision of the gardener or the owner of the country plot there is a bug-soldier, it is necessary to deduce their entire population. Even if the damage they cause is not yet apparent, it will be especially noticeable in the summer, when the fruits are ripening and mass flowering of ornamental plants.
In addition, that the bug soldier simply sucks the plant juices, condemning him to death, he also lays eggs there, from which larvae will soon appear, which will pose a direct threat to the rest of the plants.
To prevent the penetration of red bugs into garden crops, it is recommended that they be planted at a considerable distance from perennial legumes and alfalfa. The reason for this recommendation is that it is on these plants that bugs are waiting for the cold season and will move to a more comfortable place of residence after the emergence of new shoots.
Lucerne and weeds are recommended to mow very low, up to several centimeters. This allows you to eliminate the eggs placed there bugs-soldiers.
If it is planned to plant wastelands, where weeds now live (quinoa, wormwood, shirits), then it is desirable to burn these wild grasses before planting new crops.
In the case of an infection that has already occurred, it is possible to treat affected plants with the Bancol preparation. It is convenient because it does not have a sharp odor, it is safe for humans, animals and even useful insects. 5-7 mg of the drug is diluted in 10 liters of water, after which the solution is poured into bottles with a sprayer and processed.
An insect infested with an insecticide is paralyzed by the nervous system, and it dies within 1-3 days. Most often, Bancol is used to fight the Colorado beetle, but against the bug-soldier the drug will work perfectly.
A good option for gardeners is to plant next to useful crops a clopogon. This perennial plant is a family of buttercup, which very effectively scares off bedbugs with its smell.
"Two years ago at the dacha there was literally an invasion of soldiers. We did not initially think of poisoning them, but later we realized that they simply destroy all flowers in the garden, drink juice from them. The neighbor told me about the klopogon, gave her outfit. We planted, this plant has perfectly taken root and even looks pretty pretty. This summer the soldiers of our garden passed the tenth road, but they still live on the fence. "
The cloak-soldier, though not recognized by science as a typical pest, can bring a lot of trouble. Therefore, it is desirable to take early action immediately after it is found on the site.
At once we will notice, that for people this kind of bedbugs is not dangerous, it is also impossible to settle in the house. Therefore, if a random bug-soldier got into the room, you can just take him out on the street - the bug will not bother anymore.