Every hobby gardener knows this: The plants are nurtured and cared for with a lot of love and devotion, until you suddenly find animals on the beloved plants. Do small, red to dark red beetles cause damage or are they even beneficial? We clarify which animals it could be and explain what influence they have on your plants.

The most common species of red beetles in the garden

Due to their red to dark red colouration, numerous beetles catch the eye far more quickly than is the case with less conspicuous species. Often the red is unconsciously associated with dangerous, so that one quickly fears the worst. These are a wide variety of species that are rarely real pests. The large number of these animals are even quite useful as pest exterminators.

Feuerkäfer (Pyrochroa)

The fire beetle family consists of numerous species, with only Pyrochroa coccinea – the small deep red fire beetle – being widespread in Germany.

  • Appearance: Flat, elongated body, deep crimson to scarlet in color with a black head
  • Size: up to two centimeters
  • Other characteristics: Feeding mainly on seeds, fungi and dead wood, as well as insect larvae such as bark beetles and other pests
  • Popular haunts: trees and flower beds, as well as compost heaps
  • Benefit/Damage: clear beneficial by killing pest larvae, no known damage to plants

Fire bug (Pyrrhocoris apterus)

The fire bug is the most common in the home garden .

  • Appearance: Strong red coloring with partially black markings, elongated, flat body
  • Size: up to a centimeter
  • Other characteristics: cannot fly, feed on old stocks of seeds after flowering and dead insects
  • Popular areas: dry, sunny areas from the garden path to the flower bed, very popular on the seed heads of flowers, as well as linden, acacia and mallow
  • Benefit/Damage: No known damage caused, but often perceived as annoying due to occurrence in groups; useful when staying on terraces or balconies to repel mosquitoes and other insects due to the secretion of repellents

Lily Beetle (Lilioceris Lilii)

Despite its name, the lily beetle is native to numerous plants found in many gardens. The red beetle is found correspondingly frequently, so that the small but distinctively glowing animal is one of the most common red beetle species.

  • Appearance: compact body, bright red coloring of the pronotum, black head and black legs, elongated head narrowed behind the eyes
  • Size: six to eight millimeters
  • Other features: larvae are found primarily on flower bulbs, due to the high variety of host plants they can be found almost all year round
  • Popular common areas: lilies, lilies of the valley, imperial crowns, deciduous trees and numerous hedge shrubs
  • Benefit/Damage: Clear pest by defoliating flowers and bushes, therefore urgently to be controlled with insecticides if detected
Note: In addition to the lily beetle, there are numerous other types of cockerel, but they are usually very host-specific. Other representatives are, for example, the asparagus chicken or the lily of the valley chicken.

Marienkäfer (Coccinellidae)

One of the most well-known red beetles are the representatives of the ladybug family. Due to its hemispherical shape and the typical dots, the animal has made it into children’s books and as a decoration on numerous objects for children, from cups to school bags.

  • Appearance: Strong hemispherical shape with a flat belly, depending on the species, basic coloration from white to yellow, orange and red to black with a typical dot pattern of different shape and arrangement
  • Size: five to eight millimeters
  • Other features: very easy to recognize in flight due to the strongly arched, laterally flared elytra
  • Popular areas to hang out: flower beds, trees and hedge shrubs
  • Benefit/Damage: high utility value by feeding aphids, spider mites and other pests
Tip: The great popularity of the ladybug is evidence of its long-established effectiveness as a natural pest control. Actually, it is its larvae that devour around 3000 lice and mites with great vigor until they metamorphose.

Red carpet beetle (Lycidae)

With more than 3000 species, the family of red-covered beetles is one of the largest of all. All have a red, sometimes intense dark red colour.

  • Appearance: red body colouration, sometimes going into orange or reddish brown, usually with a longitudinally corrugated structure of the wing covers, mostly flattened, rather compact body structure
  • Size: small species from three millimeters, largest representatives up to 80 millimeters
  • Other features: often concise eye areas, antennae partially reminiscent of antlers
  • Popular places to stay: Thickets, dead wood, flower beds and wall cracks as hiding places
  • Benefit/Damage: Beetle family that migrated to Germany only in the last few decades, so little research has been done on their exact behavior, but currently neither recognized as a beneficial nor a pest

Rote Samtmilbe (Trombidium Holosericeum)

In summer, these animals can often be found in large groups on terraces, on the house wall or in the garden. Strictly speaking, they are not beetles, but very few hobby gardeners make this biological distinction before considering possible damage to the plants.

  • Appearance: Red blistered body with red legs and head, dark red hair all over body, soft body shell and scissor jawed claws
  • Size: around four millimeters
  • Other characteristics: eight-legged in contrast to the beetles
  • Popular common areas: Mouse walls and walls, plant leaves, garden furniture, etc.
  • Benefit/Damage: clearly high benefit by feeding insect eggs and small pests such as aphids

Red head beetle (Anthocomus rufus)

The red haired beetle can be found in the gardens between July and October. Its resemblance to the fire bug also gave it the nickname Two-spotted Ear Bug. Nevertheless, it is a real beetle.

  • Appearance: Red wing-coverts, dark red edges of otherwise black pronotum, elongated, flat body with black, compact head and black legs
  • Size: about five millimeters
  • Other features: prominent black spot between head and body and at the end of the abdomen
  • Popular habitats: Deadwood and undergrowth around trees, pond edges and aquatic and wetland plants
  • Benefit/Damage: high utility value by feeding pollen, insect larvae and dead insects, helps to eliminate excessive pollen and to control pests such as vine weevil

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *