Top 10 Green Insects

Green is the theme for most gardens! With spring not far away, all the world is turning green: grass, trees, plants, clovers, party decorations, and yes, even insects!

While some green colored insects are common fixtures in certain parts of the world, others are less common and even may seem exotic.

One thing is for sure – whether exotic or ordinary, green bugs are certainly a festive part of spring! Below is a list of some of the most common bugs that possess green exoskeletons in the insect kingdom.

1. Praying Mantis

praying mantis
Possibly one of the most recognizable green-colored insects on the planet, the Praying Mantis is both intriguing and terrifying.

While there are many different types of Mantises, the Praying Mantis (sometimes known as the “Preying Mantis” for its predatory habits) is familiar for having its front legs in a “praying” position. While praying mantises can be flesh colored, tan, brown, white or yellow, they are usually green.

How the Praying Mantis Eliminates Garden Pests Naturally

A praying mantis is one of a group of insects that are quite interesting. Their heads are shaped in a triangle at the end of a long neck.

They can turn their heads a complete 180 degrees when watching for prey. They actually have 5 eyes – two large and three smaller between them. This is for searching the area around them for prey.

This mantis is usually green or brown which helps them to blend into their surroundings. This allows them to wait patiently while their prey comes to them. They lounge on the leaves of trees while waiting.

The front legs are what they use to snatch the insects they have for dinner. Their legs have tiny spikes which hold its prey and keep it from getting away. The leg action they use to snatch their prey is so fast it is virtually impossible to see.

What Do The Praying Mantis Eat?

The typical diet consists of grasshoppers, flies, moths, and crickets. They also eat just about any other type of insect that may come along. They will also eat their own species.

A very interesting fact about this insect is the devouring of the male after mating. This has also been known to happen while mating.

A praying mantis is one of a group of insects that are quite interesting. Their heads are shaped in a triangle at the end of a long neck.

They can turn their heads a complete 180 degrees when watching for prey. They actually have 5 eyes – two large and three smaller between them. This is for searching the area around them for prey.

This mantis is usually green or brown which helps them to blend into their surroundings. This allows them to wait patiently while their prey comes to them. They lounge on the leaves of trees while waiting.

The front legs are what they use to snatch the insects they have for dinner. Their legs have tiny spikes which hold its prey and keep it from getting away. The leg action they use to snatch their prey is so fast it is virtually impossible to see.

This would appear to cut down on the male population somewhat but since the females lay literally hundreds of eggs the population is not in danger of becoming extinct.

Named for the front legs which are held at an angle that is quite similar to prayer, the insect is actually the genus rather than the name. The proper name is mantid.

By encouraging these beneficial insects to live in your garden the pests that typically threaten the growing plants are eliminated.

Gardeners love having these insects in their garden especially those who do not want to use pesticides. The insect is considered a “biological type of pest control.”

Their main diet consists of small insects but the larger ones have been known to eat lizards, snakes, mice, and hummingbirds. They are carnivorous insects, which simply means they eat meat.

Their ability to stay perfectly still and wait patiently for their prey to pass by is what allows them to be the perfect garden de-bugger. This is why you can purchase the eggs of this beneficial insect from garden supply stores

The Master of Disguise

Once they catch their prey, the mantis will bite the neck of the insect and paralyze it. Then right away it eats it, sometimes while it is still alive.

The eating process starts at the neck so that the struggle is eliminated. Some species of resembling flowers with their bright colors. This will allow them to snatch an unsuspecting hummingbird as it comes by looking for nectar. They also eat other birds.

The insect breeds in the summer especially in warmer climates. The female can lay between 12 to 400 eggs once fall arrives. They are in a liquid called an ootheca which turns into a hard shell.

This will protect the baby while the temperatures are cold. In the spring when they hatch they will often eat their brothers and sisters.

When young their diet will consist of aphids and small flies. The young praying mantis sheds several times before becoming full-grown. There is a generation hatched every season.

The insect grows and replaces its covering with an exoskeleton as needed. Anywhere from five to ten times, this can happen until the final molt.

This is when most of the insects develop wings, although not all. Their typical lifespan is only about 10 to 12 months and if they live in cold climates the females normally die in the winter.

Although most people think of this predator as a pest, this is not quite true. Their ability to look like their surroundings are what makes them the perfect pest control.

The disguise they don allows insects to sense no threat and provides dinner for the praying mantis. If you look very closely in your back yard, more than likely you will find it doing what they do best – lying in wait for his next victim.

2. Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are fairly harmless creatures, at least to us humans! However, they enjoy a diet of grasses, leaves and cereal crops, making them a farmer’s enemy. Grasshoppers get their name from their color and diet, and the fact that they are often seen hopping through the grass!

Grasshopper is the common insect we can see very often. They used to be seen on the edge of the field or at the pond. They like to eat the leaves of vegetables, wheat, corn, rice and so on. Grasshopper is a big pest in agriculture as they can do mass destruction to the crop.

If you want to control the number of grasshoppers in your garden, you can put some robber flies into your garden as they are good in attack grasshoppers. Other than robber files, their enemies still include frogs, birds, lizards, spiders and many more.

Grasshopper likes to eat young grass, so you can easily found them in the wilderness of the grass field. There is no feasible way for you to trap them. If you want to catch them, you can catch by hand.

It is important to note that the grasshoppers mainly use the hind legs to bounce and then take off. It is not easy to take off in a place where the grass is strong, and there is a place where you can catch them easily.

If you want to catch a lot of grasshoppers in one shot, you can use a net. The type of net that you use to catch butterfly is the more appropriate one.

3. Katydids

Katydids

Katydids, or Bush Crickets as they’re known in England, are pretty creepy – and also pretty green. Similar to a leaf in appearance, the Katydid belong to the same family as crickets and grasshoppers and are well known for their ability to camouflage – i.e. their leaf appearance.

To many gardeners, a katydid on the shrub, or under the bush, is nothing but a nuisance due not only to the noise they make but the damage they can do.

Katydids make a distinctive chirping noise. It is loud. It is continuous, often for hours at a time. And it occurs at night since they are nocturnal and do their feeding and singing when it is dark outside. Some say they sound like newborn chicks.

The male katydids are the one that sings, doing so to attract the females. He sets up his own little home (on the hearth or another location of his choosing) and Cheap Levitra makes his sound by rubbing his wings together. Katydids become louder and faster as temperatures rise. In fact, scientists can measure temperature by calculating the frequency of katydids chirps. Male katydids also emit a sharp piping note when another male katydid attempts to enter his territory.

A love-sick katydid can sing for hours at a time, making as many as 10,000 chirps in one hour. The larger the katydids, the more frequent the sound. In the Imperial Palace of ancient China, ladies kept katydids in small golden cages on their pillows, so that they might fall asleep to the song.

Katydids are a noisy garden guest, but they are relatively harmless unless there is a large infestation in a garden. Because they eat just about anything. They have an abundant supply of food in most gardens. They prefer soft plant matter, but will also eat other live or dead insects, silk, wool, synthetic fabric, paper, wood, rubber, fruit, vegetables, and other foods.

4. Aphids

Aphidsimage source: Wikipedia

Aphids can be a major problem when it comes to plants. Known as plant lice, aphids are tiny, sap-sucking insects that are known to infect plants. While they are a pretty shade of green, if you notice an infestation of aphids on your plants, you would be best off calling an exterminator.

Aphids are also commonly known as plant lice and they usually have soft, green bodies, although some types of garden pest may appear brown or black.

This garden pest generally thrives in more temperate climates, although they are known to be present in most climates around the world wherever ornamental or useful plants thrive.

Aphids are approximately the size of a grain of rice – usually, one or two millimeters long – and they tend to appear as the weather begins to warm. They are able to reproduce incredibly fast, developing colonies in the thousands in a very short time.

The aphids feed by sucking the nutrients out of plants by way of their sap. Aiming predominantly at new leaf shoots and flower buds, the insect will inject their proboscis into the soft buds and leech the sap out of the sprout.

Another sign of an infestation is the presence of ants. They feed on sap and then excrete a very sugary substance much like honeydew. This excretion attracts and feeds ants that love the sweet honeydew.

Ants also offer the colony a level of protection from other predators so they can continue to thrive. It may be possible to stop the spread of aphid colonies to other plants by controlling the ant populations.

A plant that has been infested with this garden pest will have leaves that are crimped or curled up. This is due to the nutrient levels being depleted while the leaves and buds were still in the sprout stage.

An attack on a plant may result in stunted, deformed, or twisted foliage. In major infestations trees and shrubs may lose foliage and appear sparse or spindly even in prime growing seasons, buds may stop forming and some plants may not flower at all.

Getting Rid of the garden pest

There are many sprays and chemical concoctions available from garden stores or nurseries designed to kill the insect and stop the colony from re-growing.

Many of these sprays are full of chemicals, so while they may control your infestation, they may also damage your plants further and negatively affect other beneficial insect-life in your garden.

If you give in and use chemical sprays, then unfortunately many of the insect natural predators will also be affected and killed by the poisons and toxins present.

There are plenty of chemical-free ways to control aphid populations. Not only is it possible to get rid of your insect infestations, but chemical-free solutions are also better for your garden and better for the environment.

Chemical-Free Control

One of the easiest ways to get rid of this garden pest without using chemicals is to hose them off the leaves and buds. Spend a little time picking off any remaining adults and squashing them between your fingers manually.

When you squash the garden pest, they release a chemical that warns the others in the colony of danger. Many will begin to drop off the plant in self-defense.

Another excellent chemical-free control solution is soapy water. You can make your own soapy water solution by grating soap into the water, but it’s easier to simply collect any soapy water from your next laundry cycle into a bucket or pail instead of letting it run down the drain. Pour this soapy solution over infested plants until the colony disappears.

If your plant is heavily infested, then it is possible to make a chemical-free garlic spray that is very effective. Chop some garlic bulbs and soak them in 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil overnight.

Add another 2 teaspoons of liquid detergent to your garlic and oil mix along with 2 cups of water. Stir well and strain the mixture into a sealable jar.

When you’re ready to use it, dilute a teaspoon of mixture into 4 cups of water and put into a spray bottle. Spray your mix directly onto the plant incests visible on the leaves of any infested plants.

Try not to use this spray in very hot weather as it may burn the leaves and buds. This mixture is quite potent and should be refrigerated until needed. Always be sure to label your mix clearly as an insecticide.

Natural garden pest Control

The most environmentally friendly control solution is to encourage natural predators. Ladybirds and ladybird larvae will happily eat lots of plant incest. Hoverflies and lacewings will also help reduce your garden pest problem.

This insect tends to cluster on the underside of leaves and foliage away from direct sunlight. You can deter them by placing a square of aluminum foil around the base of the plant so that sunlight is reflected up to the underside of leaves.

Another excellent all-natural solution is to improve the overall health of your garden’s plants. Being sure to feed, water and mulch your garden properly will promote healthier plants that are able to more easily fend off attacks by pests.

5. Green Stink Bugs

green stink bug
We’ve all encountered a stink bug at one time or another, and well, let’s face it – they stink! While many stink bugs are black and orange, they can also be green – but that doesn’t make their stench any less rancid!

What are Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs (also known as shield bugs) are from the family of Hemiptera. They have nicknamed shield bugs because the wings on their back made them look like they are carrying a shield. Stink bugs are generally not harmful to human (except a few incidents of biting) and their stinky smell can be quite overwhelming to some people.

More Facts about Stink Bugs

Stink bugs, just the name indicates, really stink when you crush on them. These bugs have small glands that are located on their thorax and will release a foul-smelling liquid once they feel threatened or vulnerable. Their ability to release this stinking smell is basically their natural instinct to protect themselves against predators.

If you accidentally step on or mishandle a stink bug, they will definitely release a foul odor; so handle them with care. Do keep in mind that the stinky smells released by these bugs will also attract more stink bugs to that area. So, think twice before you kill the bug.

The stink bugs are most active during the spring and can be found till the late fall seasons. They can be found all over the United States but are most common in the southern parts.

These bugs are attracted to places with lights and heats and that is the main reasons why they have been found in homes around the world. For some parts of the world, it is not uncommon to see swamps of stink bugs attracted to street lights, especially after the rain.

However, these bugs tend to die in the next day after being exhausted from flying around the light but their stinking odor remains to be smelled from far.

The adult stink stings have four wings while the young ones, known as nymphs will not have any wings. However, the resemblance between the adults and the nymphs are pretty much the same with the only difference of the adults having four wings.

What Do Stink Bugs Eat?

Vegetation and plants are the food of these stink bugs. These bugs have a piercing-sucking mouthpiece that they used to suck the juices from plants, vegetables, and fruits. That is the main reason why they can be found in various vegetation i.e. tomatoes, melons, beans, gardens, flower beds, and shrubs.

The natural colors of these bugs (in green and brown) enable them to blend easily into the surroundings of the vegetation farms and sometimes it is hard to notice they are there.

Stink bugs are not welcome to the vegetation farms as they tend to eat and destroy the crops. Their ability to reproduce rapidly can also cause much harm to the vegetation harvest. Furthermore, these bugs have been known to cause discoloration among the fruits and vegetables rending them unsellable.

6. Cucumber Beetles

cucumber beetle
Cucumber beetles are often mistaken for green ladybugs, but don’t let their spotted appearance fool you – they’re not a ladybug! Unlike ladybugs, the spotted cucumber beetle is not a beneficial insect. Cucumber beetles do harm to plants and can seriously damage crops.

Cucumber beetle is the number one enemy of cucumber. But this insect not only loves to bites cucumber, but it also bites melon, loofah, cantaloupe, pumpkin, corn, and beans. It not only eats the leaves, even flower it will take a bite as well.

The damage to cucumber is the most serious because not only the leaves are eaten which affect the growth of the cucumber, the flowers are also being eaten which is seriously affect the yield.

What even more awful is the bacterial dead leaf disease that makes the cucumber infection and the disease is rather difficult to cure.

Since it has serious damage to cucumber, this is the reason people named this insect as cucumber beetle.

Although not many people talk about whether this insect will cause damage to the winter melon, I did find a lot of dead leaves on the melon vine in my garden. So I think it is also caused damaging to winter lemon.

Other than this, the larvae of the cucumber beetle also can cause damage to crops where it can eat the cucumber roots in the soil.

How to Control the Pest?

If you are having the issues with cucumber beetles, you can use the Neem oil. It is a natural insecticide that you can use to spray in your garden. Neem oil is very effective to kill cucumber beetles once they get in contact with the oil.

7. Tomato Worms

Tomatoes Worm
Tomato worms may seem like a cute caterpillar, but beware: they can do serious damage to your garden! They are known for their bright green color, although they later turn into hawk moths.

You have spent weeks and countless hours preparing, planting, and nurturing your tomato garden, so don’t let your plants become victim to a large number of possible tomato growing problems. These common afflictions range from hungry insects to small microscopic tomato worms, to plant fungi.

Fortunately, most of the issues your tomato plants may encounter are preventable and treatable. In fact, a large percentage of troubles can be prevented by good soil cultivation practices and proper watering. Sometimes more aggressive treatments are required, but if done in a timely manner, should still be able to save your tomato crop.

The most common tomato growing problems are caused by insects and worms. The first of these you may notice, due to its large size, is the hornworm. It’s a big, green caterpillar with white stripes, and it loves to munch on your tomatoes as they hang helplessly on the vine.

The best way to deal with these characters is just to pick them off your plants and dispose of them away from your garden. It’s also said that they prefer dill to tomatoes, so if you plant some near your tomato plants, the hornworms may be more inclined to dine on the dill.

There are a couple of ways to deal with the worms, both of which are preventative measures. First of all, you should practice crop rotation, planting nematode resistant veggies alternating with your tomatoes. Squash and beets are good choices for this, but there are others as well.

The way I like to ward off tomato worms is by planting marigolds among my tomato plants. It is believed that something secreted by the marigold will repel the dreaded nematode. If they do manage to get through your defensive barriers, you should remove and destroy the affected plants, and find a new spot to plant your tomatoes next season.

Don’t taint your tomato crop by spraying industrial insecticides, there are cleaner ways to deal with these guys. Try lightly spraying down your plants with water or a light insecticidal soap, taking care to hit the undersides of the leaves.

The easiest way to fight these tomato worms is by releasing ladybugs into your garden. They are a natural predator and will deal with your tomato worms in short order.

As you can see, there are worms and pests out there that can ruin your aspirations of harvesting some red, delicious, tomatoes, but their wrath is quite preventable.

Just keep a close eye on your garden, and if you notice any of the symptoms listed above, you should investigate further and take a little effort to eliminate these, and you will have few tomato growing problems.

8. Glorious Beetles

Glorious Scarab
The Glorious Beetle(scientific name: Chrysina gloriosa) is considered to be the most beautiful beetle in North America, which is where it gets its nickname. Their striking green color allows them to camouflage with native vegetation in the southwestern U.S.

Another name that this insect carried is Glorious Scarab.

This type of insect love to rest in the humid area. It has a more pronounced head, wing sheath, and legs, but the abdomen is usually flat.

9. Green Lacewing

green lacewing

If you want to place natural pest control in your garden, greenhouse, field, or irrigated crops, the lacewings will help eliminate what is known as bad insects.

Lacewings are categorized as beneficial insects that greatly aid in pest control. They are commonly found in North America and proliferate in the parts that have high humidity like forest edges.

They can also live in fields, gardens, greenhouses and you can buy Lacewing Larvae online.

Lacewings camouflage themselves, hiding behind plant leaves and stems, to blend in with the green foliage.

What They Eat

When it comes to pest control, it is the larvae that will do the work for you. The larvae predate on many of the soft-bodied insects and mites.

They are often called ‘aphid lions’. These extremely carnivorous larvae will eat aphids, thrips, mealybugs, caterpillars, immature whiteflies and pest insect eggs.

The adult green lacewing of some species will prey on aphids on a limited extent, preferring to feed on pollen, nectar and what is known as ‘honeydew’.

What Is Honeydew?

Aphids, scale insects and other sucking insects excrete a kind of liquid that is called honeydew. The reason why this liquid is named honeydew is that it is sought after to be consumed by some insects like the beneficial one discussed here.

In places that the bad insects like aphids thrive, there will be more excretion of honeydew, and this, in turn, will attract more Lacewings.

With the adult green lacewing consuming the honeydew, and their larvae devouring the bad insects like aphids, the cycle of predator and prey is established, creating the highly effective natural pest control needed.

10. Ambush Bugs

ambush bug

image credited: Wikipedia

Have you ever heard of ambush bugs? They are often confused with assassin bugs. But they are a stockier bug than the assassin bug.

The bug has thick front legs used to snatch their prey. It has a much shorter, less narrow head than the assassination bug.

The insect is in the order Hemiptera. This order includes leaf-footed and stinks bugs. The insects in this order have a few similarities.

They have mouths that pierce and suck. The wings are thin and the ends are clear. The family of these bugs is Reduviidae.

The insect is really a kind of assassin bug but with a few different aspects. Both of these bugs have a metamorphosis they grow through.

The eggs are laid on leaves of plants and stems. When they hatch they have no wings. The will molt approximately four times before they are full grown.

The majority of the members of this family are predatory. The typical way they feed is by catching the prey with their front legs and use their beaks to remove the fluids from their victim.

The mouth of this bug as with the assassin bug is shaped like a spike that is plunged into the body of the prey it catches. The “proboscis” is used to jab the victim.

The saliva then dissolves the insides of the insect it has caught. Once it is turned to liquid, this is sucked from the insect much like we might use a straw.

The bug’s saliva is able to paralyze the food prey so the ambush bug can feed without having to hold tightly to its dinner.

The beneficial insects lie in wait for their victims, hence the name. Usually, this involves hanging out on flowers waiting for the unsuspecting victim to come along.

The ambush bug can fly but not very well. They often fall victim themselves to other predatory bugs such as praying mantis, spiders and even their own kind. They are also eaten by rodents and birds at times.

Most people consider this a beneficial insect since they kill other pests in the area. Adult ambush bugs are usually ½ inch long or less.

They can, however, capture insects larger than themselves such as bumblebees. The area they like the most is goldenrod. This allows them the advantage of being hidden.

There has been some evidence of the bugs in this particular family biting humans. However, this is a rare instance and may have happened if their natural habitat was interfered with – such as disturbing the plants they are resting on while waiting for their natural prey.

One of the defense mechanisms of these beneficial insects is due to their ‘family’ relationship with stink bugs. This allows them to have body fluids that are very nasty tasting which protects them from predators of their own.

So there you have it: ten green bugs to look out for. Be careful when you go looking through your clover patch for a four leaf clover – you never know what type of creepy-crawly might be hiding in there!

top 10 green insects

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