The Q&A Archives: Good Bug Or Bad Bug?

Question: I have a beetle in my garden. Haven't found it on anything in particular, just around flowers & veggies. It's about the size of a lady bug. Tan in color with wiggly, dark stripes down the sides of his back with a double dark stripe in the middle. Is it a good bug or a bad bug? Oh, what to do?

Answer: A healthy garden will support all manner of insects, all going about their business, oblivious of the gardeners who might detect their presence. The only two insects that might fit your description, and that are considered harmful are the Colorado Potato Beetle (orange head with black spots, round yellowish body with black stripes), and a leaf beetle called Cryptocephalus (mostly tan, one stripe down each side, and a double stripe down its back). If you find these guys actually feeding on your plants, pick them off and destroy them. Otherwise, just consider the beetles beneficial and let them have free reign of the garden.

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