Is firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) harmful? Certainly not to people!


You probably know the fire bug or at least you saw it once or twice… but many of you may not know what firebug actually is because it is often called by many different names. These are black and red flat bugs that live in large colonies, especially around the lower parts of linden trees. But you can find them in other places as well. Many people even step on these little bugs, which is a horrible thing to do because firebugs cause no harm to humans. On the contrary, they can actually help us. How? We shall answer this question in the following lines.

A very firebug but not very popular

It has a plenty of names, and all of them kind of relate to fire. Essentially, it is a flat bug and you can find it all over Central Europe. It is about 1 cm long and in the body is a combination of black and red colours. Most often you will find it near old walls or at the base of large trees. These bugs are very pretty and you may observe them from spring to autumn.

Firebug: Photo Pixabay

They do not harm people or plants

Firebugis are not capable of causing much damage to plants and they certainly cannot harm humans. They mainly feed on linden fruits because the seeds are covered with sweet juices and firebugs love that, but they are also good in disposing dead animals or consuming insect eggs. These bugs certainly do not eat plant leaves because they do not like leaves.

Other interesting facts

Firebugs do not need other beetles or bugs and the “other” bugs do not like them either because they produce a slightly sour smell. For that reason dogs, cats and other pets are not usually bothered by these bugs. Firebugs are excellent as a mosquito terminators. If you share your garden with firebugs you do not need to worry about mosquitoes when barbecuing. The only small problem is that they form fairly large colonies.

Firebug: Photo Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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