In Nevada, there is an insect referred to as stink bugs. They are everywhere.
I’ve always known stink bugs as a serious garden pest, which worried me as I started getting our garden started this year. How would I ever keep things alive?!
A little research revealed these clumsy beetles are in fact Darkling Beetles, not the stinky, shield shaped insect I had feared. (sigh of relief)
But what is a Darkling Beetle?
As larvae they are meal worms. As adults, they are large clumsy beetles. These guys do release a stinky odor when threatened (hence the nickname), but they are virtually harmless.
Are they bad for the garden?
Darklings enjoy noshing on small plants; in the garden this means seedlings. After a plant becomes more than a few inches tall it is strong enough to survive a feasting Darkling. Overall, they are not a significant garden pest.
How do you keep them away from your newly planted garden?
Keep the space around your garden clear. Darklings love to live in the naturally occurring ground cover. Keeping the ground space bare around your beds prevents these beetles from getting too close. We’ve managed to keep 3 feet space clear and will soon be laying gravel, which keeps most of these little guys from getting in.
Have you seen these in your garden?