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I love this shield bugs too. And so do the kids. They are easy to catch without damaging them (!) and they crawl up jumpers slowly enough not to worry them.
I read the item about sedum mats for bird tables but wonder where I can purchase some without having to take out a loan to do it! I live in Eire and so far the quotes I've seen are in the £60 region because of the high cost of postage/packing and that's for the smallest size (250 x 500mm)! I haven't been able to source a local supply.
Richard, I laughed when I read your comments about the shield bugs - in South Africa I know them as Stink bugs...and try to avoid them at all costs!!! Maybe here in UK they have a milder smell, or we have differing nasal sensitivity!! I have a horrible memory from early childhood, when climbing the mulberry tree in our Pretoria garden and stuffing my mouth with fruit, I bit into a stinkbug.... believe me, I can recall that taste to this day.... some 50 years later!!
What do these Shieldbugs do? Are they a benefit to my garden? What do they eat? Thanks. Does anyone know what a Vine weevil - the adult that lays the eggs look like? Thanks Ann.


Thankyou for answering a question that I've been meaning to ask for years.The creature in your photo, I have them in my new garden and I had them in my old one.I didn't know whether they were friend or foe, but now I know they're a shieldbug. What do they eat? Slugs I hope!! But I suspect not or I would have heard about them before I suppose
Reply to Prompter: OK OK. No time no time no time. Here are some answers.

Reply to Compost Queen and Anne I got into trouble with a reader of a certain gardening magazine a few years ago. I blithely wrote that green shieldbugs were harmless in the garden, because even though they sucked plant sap, they mainly chose wild plants and never really caused a problem. I got a stinging letter from someone telling me that the bugs had destroyed her bean crop. I still maintain they are not pests...unless of course, they reach pest proportions. They are lovely things and certainly not worth persecuting.

Reply to Ros Green shieldbugs smell too. I think it's a nice smell, sort of rancid marzepan. But take care not to put it into your mouth because a marzepan or almond smell means Prussic acid, cyanide in other words. It really is a bitter taste and a good defence against birds trying to eat them.

Every year I run a bug hunt at Nunhead Cemetery in south-east London (17 May this year plug plug) and the children regularly bring a smaller relative, the bronze shieldbug. I put them into the palm of my hand and tap they to make them eject their scent then hold my cupped hand out for the kids to sniff. Some like the smell others don't. But by the end of the day my hand is stained brown.

And that reminds me of another the rainforests of Costa Rica a huge brown shieldbug came buzzing out of the sky and I caught it in my bare hands. It promptly ejected its cyanide defense. The smell didn't bother me, but the brown stain on my fingers took a fortnight to wear off. Powerful stuff.

I have a wood burning fire and would like to know the best use for the resulting ash in the garden.
I also have wood ash from a wood burning stove and other than garlic I'm not sure which plants would benefit from it. Does anyone know? Thanks Marjorie

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