Picky assistant to gardeners – beetle firefighter
In the hot season, many insects appear in kitchen gardens and orchards, which disinterestedly “work” for the benefit of man. One of these “helpers” is the firefighter beetle. Biologists call it “Red-legged Puffy” for its cute burgundy-colored paws. Each of them has sharp claws. The upper part of the insect is glossy black wings. The underside is a red belly, consisting of seven rings.
The head is originally decorated with filamentous antennae, which are constantly in motion. And at the top, it is crowned with a dark spot, which is a characteristic feature of the beetle. The insect grows up to 1.5 cm in length. It has a flattened soft rectangular body with a head retracted inward. The provided photo of a firefighter beetle shows all the advantages of a garden handsome.
Since such insects live very shortly, already a month after birth, they become the successors of the genus.
Like any insect, the firefighter beetle is born from eggs, which the female hides inside rotten stumps or loose soil. Although after a while she dies, cute larvae emerge from the clutch. From the side, “babies” look like miniature black beads strung on a thin thread.
Being in such a shelter, the larvae are constantly moving, which has a beneficial effect on their development. Here they feed and live until they turn into a pupa. After 14 days, a magnificent creation crawls out of it – a firefighter beetle.
The original menu of the silent employee
If you take a closer look at this cute creature, you will notice that he has strong jaws, which are given to him for special nutrition. And, of course, these are not flower petals. Biologists classify the insect as a predator for its formidable disposition. What does a firefighter beetle eat when traveling through the garden? The predator menu includes:
- small caterpillars;
- insect larvae;
- small May beetles that feed on leaves;
- sleepy flies.
The firefighter tracks his prey from the height of his flight, after which he lands directly on it or very close to the victim. Then he bites her, releasing a portion of the poison. As a result, the insect dies.
Digestion of food occurs due to the injection of a special substance into the victim’s body. It softens tough tissues, and the beetle simply sucks in prepared food..
It is worth noting that the beetle’s menu includes insects that are much smaller than this garden predator. They also often have a soft body surface.. He cannot bite through the hard cover of glossy wings, so in front of them he “takes off his hat” and removes.
Firefighter beetle larvae feed on small worms and centipedes that live in rotten trees. Therefore, there is no need to rush to remove old trees and stumps from the garden..
A pleasant fellowship in the fight against a common enemy
Everything that is created around us has a special place in the Creator’s plan. Each insect and beetle plays an important role in the existence of wildlife. What is the use of a firefighter beetle and is there any harm of this insect to humans?
Based on what he eats, it becomes clear – without such a predator, the garden will disappear. Infestations of small caterpillars and aphids can quickly destroy hard-grown crops. But for an amazing creation in red and black attire, it’s just delicious and nutritious food. Therefore, some gardeners attract beetles to their property. To do this, they try to adhere to the following rules:
- do not dig up the soil on certain plots of land;
- do not burn fallen leaves;
- leave it under wintering shrubs and trees;
- do not use harmful chemicals.
Unfortunately, sometimes such a helpful fellowship is harmful. If entire colonies of insects appear in the garden, they add plant foods to their diet..
Insects can damage flowering garden plants and some fruit garden crops. In this case, you need to take action.
Humane methods of struggle
Of course, it is not very pleasant to destroy an insect that helps to get rid of the pests of your favorite garden. But, sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your own good. How to deal with a firefighter beetle so that your heart does not hurt and your conscience does not torment? There are several humane ways:
- Share insects with gardener friends who are “at war” with the invasion of aphids. Zhukov is carefully collected in a small container and passed from hand to hand as a “precious trophy”.
- The use of a special mixture of tobacco, ash, red pepper, aromatic herbs. The powder is abundantly sprinkled on damaged crops to scare off annoying insects.
- The use of chemicals. Some gardeners use chalk to control cockroaches. They grind it into powder, then sprinkle the damaged area.
Instead of tobacco, you can take the cheapest cigarettes, for example, “Prima” and prepare a deterrent.
Habits and habitat
A detailed description and photo of the firefighter beetle arouses genuine interest in this insect. It can be seen in the warm season on raspberry and currant bushes. He majestically “walks” among the petals of flowering plants. But as soon as a person approaches him, he spreads his wings and flies away.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Agile gardeners manage to catch a predatory beetle in their hands. To protect itself, it releases a fragrant red liquid, and if it is held for a long time, it bites. Feeling pain, the person opens his hand, and the insect instantly disappears..
Some are interested to know: why is the fireman beetle so called? Interestingly, the insect has nothing to do with extinguishing the fire. Is that its appearance. The body and legs are colored red. And the surface of the wings is black. Truly a unique outfit for the protectors of garden plants of a country house.
To get rid of annoying cockroaches, it is enough to launch several firefighter beetles into the room and the Prussians will leave the residential abode forever..