The good, the bad, the ugly – Garden Beetles!
Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center grounds have garden beetles. Your park is just like most residences with gardens –beetles abound around garden plants, flowers and trees.
Garden beetles can be grouped into good for the garden beetles and bad for the garden beetles. And then there are the plain ugly garden beetles.
What are good garden beetles? They are the beetles that help your garden grow by eating other garden pests, such as aphids, that hurt your plants. Good garden beetles include lady beetles ( better know as lady bugs). Good garden beetles include some colorful beetles that children love to find. The six-spotted Tiger Beetle (bright green with six white spots) and the Fiery Hunter Beetle are a couple of fun beetles to find in the garden.
What are bad garden beetles? As the “bad” implies — these beetles are the ones that hurt your garden plants by eating the plants or otherwise damaging the plants. The spotted Aspargus Beetle, Corn Rootworm Beetle and Squash Beetle are a few of the bad garden beetles. Many bad garden beetles are named for the plants that they eat.
Finally, the ugly garden beetles. The Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle and the Skeletonizing Leaf Beetle both have names and appearances that just seem to put them in the ugly garden beetle grouping. The Swamp Milkweed Bbetle looks mean and nasty with its back a reddish color having a black splash in the middle. Ugh – ugly! The Skeletonizing Leaf Beetle looks kind of like a bug version of a Skelton. Creepy!
Want to know more? Stop by and visit our friendly staff and volunteers at Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center. They will be happy to answer any questions.
A number of Pocket Naturalist Guides are available. One handy one for the garden is Waterford Press, Beetles an introduction to familiar North American Species ( photo below)