Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

If larger beetles are found feeding marks in the garden, these may be bugs. But how can they be recognized and which types are harmful?

In a nutshell

  • Types of bugs can only be distinguished with difficulty based on their appearance
  • Damage to plants provides information
  • Fighting bugs is also possible with simple measures and means
  • not all bug species are pests

stink bugs

The term stink bug (Pentatomidae), like the stink bug, is a complete group of insects. The following features help distinguish:

Source: Vinayaraj, Pentatomidae nymph at Peravoor (2), Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • can be yellowish, grey, brown or black but also marbled.
  • predatory stink bugs can be used wonderfully against pests
  • difficult for laypeople to distinguish

Notice: The stink bug also defends itself with a stinking secretion.

field bugs

The field bug is also a stink bug. The Rhaphigaster nebulosa - as the insect is known in technical jargon - can also secrete a foul-smelling secretion and become uncomfortable as a result. However, this beetle, which belongs to the stink bugs, is not a pest either.

Source: Donald Hobern from Copenhagen, Denmark, Rhaphigaster nebulosa (8745418324), Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0
  • the field bug can become a nuisance as it goes into houses to hibernate
  • does no harm in human dwellings or in the garden
  • greyish to brownish

stink bugs

The stink bugs (Palomena prasina) do not usually cause any damage in the garden, but spread a very unpleasant odor when they feel threatened. The following features will help identify the brown bug:

Source: gailhampshire from Cradley, Malvern, UK, Green Sheild Bug in Winter Colours. - Flickr - gailhampshire, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0
  • if this brown bug is touched, a pungent stench must be expected
  • Odor lingers on skin and clothing for a long time
  • usually gray to brown, green is also possible

leather bug

The leather bug (Coreus marginatus) is a pest that is comparatively easy to identify. Characteristic are:

Source: Thomas Bresson This photo was taken by Thomas Bresson. Edited from Plantopedia, CC BY 3.0
  • Brown colour
  • dark brown drawing on the edge
  • slightly furrowed surface of the shell, reminiscent of leather

cone bug

As the name of the cone bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) already suggests, it “taps” plants. This can cause significant damage. It can be recognized by:

Source: Thomas Bresson This photo was taken by Thomas Bresson. Edited from Plantopedia, CC BY 3.0
  • much slimmer shape compared to other types of bugs
  • dark reddish brown colour
  • bright dots


The best way to spot bugs is to regularly check the plants in the garden. If the insects show up with the following signs, control should be carried out:

  • brown dots
  • food marks
  • discoloration
  • deformations


It is possible to use commercially available agents such as neem oil or special mixtures and traps. However, simply shaking off and collecting the bugs is also possible and very easy - but not possible in every area.

Spraying with soapy water, alcohol or other agents is possible in many ways, but in the long run it puts a strain on the plants and potentially beneficial insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make a soapy solution?

Mixing washing-up liquid or soft soap with lukewarm water and using this solution to spray the infected plants is sufficient. However, it should be used several times a day so that it is effective against the brown bug.

How is alcohol used against insects?

Spiritus can be sprayed directly onto the crop. However, it is important to proceed with caution. Otherwise, damage to the plant may occur.

How does neem work against bugs?

The oil can also be applied directly to the affected plants. The insects stop eating and reproducing. It is ideal to spray the oil well diluted and mixed onto the leaves.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!