While your first thought is to squish or otherwise kill any bugs you see around the house, in the house or in your flower beds, you should hold that thought for a minute. Or three. Most bugs are not dangerous to humans, and many are beneficial to plants. According to Colleen Golden, a senior horticulturist at Atlanta Botanical Gardens, up to 90 percent of the bugs you find around your home are beneficial.
Good bugs are those that don't harm you and they help you out by eating the bad bugs and by pollinating flowers, fruits, berries and vegetables. However, if you do have some bad bugs and you spray to kill them, you'll also kill the good bugs. The best way to handle this issue is to watch out for bad bugs and try to eliminate them by picking them off plants before an infestation occurs.
However, when it comes to bugs in the house, that is not something most people want to see. To keep an infestation from forming, contact Clint Miller Exterminating to help you rid your home of any bugs, especially termites and ants.
The good bugs in your garden or landscaping often eat the bad bugs, so you'll want to try to keep those around. Good bugs include:
Rove beetle (Staphylinidae): Many variations of this beetle exist, but most are less than an inch long, gray or brown and are slender. Their wing covers are short. Rove beetles often raise the tip of their abdomen like a scorpion, but they are harmless. They eat flies, mites, mosquitoes, aphids, fly maggots and fleas. They live in decaying matter such as old mulch, so if they bother you, remove the matter and they'll leave.
Lady beetle (Coccinellidae): There are over 5,000 species of lady bugs throughout the world, and the United States is the native home to over 450 of them. They like vegetable gardens and eat some of the bad bugs, including scales and aphids. Lady bugs are attracted by scented geraniums or angelica.
Additional good bugs include lacewings, Spined soldier bugs, mealybug destroyer larvae, bigeyed bugs, hover flies, fireflies and several types of spiders including daddy long legs and garden spiders.
Bad bugs are bad inside or out. They tend to destroy plants, might be harmful to humans or may even eat your house.
Earwigs (Forficulidae): These flat pests are less than an inch long and feature pinchers that look like forceps on the end of their abdomen. They eat living and dead plant matter. They also like to live in decaying mulch. They also live under logs and other places where it's moist.
Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis): This is one of the biggest garden pests around, and one you definitely don't want in your house. It is of the lady beetle family, and is about a quarter of an inch long. It is copper-colored and has 16 black spots – eight on each wing. You'll find their eggs in groups of 40 to 60 on the underside of the lower leaves of plants.
Additional bad bugs include termites, squash bugs, cockroaches, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, mealy bugs, yellow jackets – mostly because their sting hurts, mosquitoes, aphids and ants – especially fire ants.
If you have a bug problem and you can't seem to get rid of them on your own, or if you find signs of termites or the actual bug and cockroaches, contact Clint Miller Exterminating as soon as possible.