These are gardeners’ friends. They may scavenge for dead or dying plant material, helping to tidy up the garden, or they feed on other insects and other small animals, many of which are pests on our plants.
We all know ladybirds, but others to encourage include ground beetles and rove beetles which, as their name suggests, move around on the ground looking for food. Many even eat our number one pest enemy – slugs.
The worst beetle insect pests are:
- Asparagus beetle
- Chafer grubs
- Lily beetle
- Raspberry beetle
- Rosemary beetle
- Viburnum beetle
- Vine weevil
But there are some other, more minor, beetle pests.
Flea beetles are small beetles and feed on the leaves of brassicas and related plants, including radish, rocket, swede and turnip, as well as nasturtiums and wallflowers. They create a peppering of small, rounded holes in the leaves, which look unsightly. When disturbed, the small beetles jump off the plants onto the soil.
Pollen beetles are more of a nuisance than actually causing any damage. They are small black beetles that infest the flowers where they eat the pollen. They only really become problematical on cut flowers brought into the house. You may be able to shake them off the flowers before bringing them indoors. Or place the cut flowers in a shed or garage, near to a window or open door. The beetles are attracted to the light and will leave the flowers.
Asian longhorn beetle and citrus longhorn beetle
The citrus longhorn beetle and Asian longhorn beetle are non-native wood-boring beetles, which cause serious damage to a wide range of trees and shrubs. These beetles are not yet established in the UK, and are quarantine pests in the EU. If you see either of these pests you must report them to the Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA). Email them at: [email protected]