Another question came in today:
“Metallic green beetles keep invading my garden–about 1″ long. Green wings with brown edges. Friend or foe?”
Well – I know my Permaculture friends would say that there’s no such thing as a bad insect, but to answer your question in a word: foe.
I’ve watched these little buggers make lunch out of my neighbor’s roses. They sure love ’em. They are known as Figeater Beetles with a Latin name of Cotinis Mutabilis. Here is a blog entry I found about them:
The bugs themselves are harmless, meaning they won’t bit you or sting in any way, but they feed on sap and nectar, so they’re drawn to your flowers. They also like to hang around fermenting or rotting things – like tomatoes that have been on the vine too long. Keep a clean garden and mulch around your plants, and you will deter the larvae from settling in around your veggies. Thanks for writing in – and keep those questions coming!