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Wood, green, striped or field bugs !

Wood bugs, also known as green bugs, are harmless to humans. However, they can cause damage in vegetable gardens and yards. One of their major drawbacks is that they often get inside houses and, above all, smell very bad if you accidentally squash one.

So while it's easy to put a bedbug back outside by simply picking it up on a piece of paper and taking care not to crush it, it becomes more difficult if a colony has invaded a window frame or the front of a house exposed to the sun. You can't crush them and risk their smell lingering for a long time. In this dossier, you'll find a range of answers and natural products to help you combat this insect as effectively as possible.

I would like to

Find out more about wood bugs

(identity, feeding habits, reproduction, etc.)

 

Combat wood bugs

(method of action, natural insecticides, etc.)

 

The most common bedbugs

the green wood bug - Palomena prasinaGreen (Palomena prasina), brown or grey chinch bugs are found all over the world. Their group includes several thousand species of all sizes: from a few millimetres to 4 centimetres. Whether they are bedbugs, wood bugs, American bugs, striped bugs or dull bugs, they are all bugs with biting and sucking mouthparts. However, their sizes, colours, feeding habits and shapes are very different.

 

  • Wood bugs
    - 12 mm in size, curved shape, camouflage-like colour.
    - It feeds on apples, cabbage, pumpkins and cereals.
    - They live in woods.
 
  • American (or pine) bug
    - 15 to 20 mm in size, elongated shape, predominantly reddish-brown in colour.
    - Exclusively phytophagous, this heteropteran feeds on conifer cones or ornamental species.
    - It spreads wherever there are conifers, including parks and gardens.

  • Chinch fields
    The chinch bug is more of a field bug than a wood bug. It feeds on plants of the Labiatae family.

  • Striped chinch bug
    - 8 to 12 mm in size, flat body, red and black striped back.
    - Feeds on cherry juice and the flowers of umbelliferous plants.
    - Lives in fields.

  • Bedbug
    See our special report on bed bugs

 

wood bugs - Palomena prasina

Life and reproduction of the wood bugs

The life cycle of this insect generally lasts from 4 to 9 weeks, but can extend to 1 year.

The larva resembles the adult and must feed after each of its five moults, which takes 14 to 30 days.

Bugs are oviparous. The female lays 200 eggs at a rate of a few eggs per day for 2 months. The eggs hatch after 3 weeks. On average, only one of every 30 larvae survives.   

Habits of wood bugs

wood bugs - Palomena prasina

Wood bugs prefer to live outdoors, but some species prefer to overwinter in houses where the temperature is milder than outside.

As soon as the temperature starts to drop (autumn), they seek shelter (glass wool in the attic of a house is ideal), sleep through the winter, wake up in spring, reproduce, and as soon as the temperature is mild enough, move back outside.

Even if these insects get into houses, they are not house bugs. Only bedbugs actually live in houses. 

Close-up on the American bedbug (or pine bug)

 

American bedbug - Leptoglossus occidentalis

Discovered at the beginning of the 20th century in the rocky mountains of California, it colonised the United States over time, reaching New York City in 1990. Trade by sea with Europe enabled it to quickly reach the main European ports in the early 21st century. For several years now, the American bedbug has been expanding exponentially across France. Autumn 2018, with its particularly favourable weather conditions, has seen a resurgence of the American stink bug.

Like wood bugs, many of them gather in autumn (and therefore as winter approaches) to seek refuge in our homes. And to do this, they use their own infallible method: they emit very specific pheromones, known as "aggregation" pheromones, and where the species is abundant ... their fellow bugs flock to them in their dozens and aggregate! The result is sometimes dozens of bedbugs grouped together. The American chinch bug attacks the cones and inflorescences of various softwood species (including ornamental trees).

It is a phytophagous insect. It is equipped with a high-performance infrared "device", enabling it to locate its lunch from a distance.

After overwintering, adult bugs reproduce. The females lay their eggs on the needles of feeder trees. The eggs incubate for around 2 to 3 weeks, and the young bugs attack the softest parts of the cones, before growing in age and strength to be able to attack the seeds themselves. Larval development comprises 5 stages, with the acquisition of wings marking the transition to the adult state, which occurs in midsummer.   

Treatment of wood bugs

wood bugs - Palomena prasina

This species gathers in autumn on walls exposed to the sun. This is the time when they seek shelter to spend the winter.

The simplest solution is to treat when they gather on the facade, before they enter the house.

Use a garden spray. Mix 10% of our 4J insecticide with water (900ml water + 100ml 4J concentrate) and spray the entire colony. To give you an idea of the surface area covered, a 500 ml bottle of 4J concentrate, once diluted 10% with water, will treat around 50 m².

All species of bedbugs are resistant to insecticides. We therefore advise you to use this 10% concentration for optimum results. This insecticide is also available in ready-to-use form, already diluted to 10%. So you don't have to worry about proportions.

The results obtained with Aries All Insects insecticide are also excellent. The paraffin combined with pyrethrum helps to destroy wood bugs very quickly. The fact that it's an aerosol means you can target the insect precisely.

You can also apply our crawling and flying insect barrier to window frames to limit their intrusion into your home. The neem oil in this product will keep these insects at bay, as they hate the smell.

Finally, when it comes to fumigation, Habitat Biovétol fogger will give good results on this type of insect. An insecticide based on active ingredients of plant origin (pyrethrum + geraniol), designed for basic treatment of the home. Highly volatile, the solution settles in the smallest nooks and crannies where parasites and insects live. Immediate and prolonged action. 

Bug pyrrhocoris

The products you need against wood bugs

Go directly to the detailed product sheets for wood bugs.

4J insecticide diluted 10% - Resistant...

(85) 
Insecticide 4J diluted to 10% ready to use. With this concentration, you will destroy very quickly all the insects some are their sizes...
€7.42
In stock

4J Insecticide concentrate with plant...

(302) 
4J insecticide concentrate to be diluted. Effective against a large number of crawling and flying insects in our homes. Available in...
€16.58
In stock

All Insects Natural Insecticide Aerosol -...

(66) 
Pistal insecticide with PBO-free plant pyrethrum extract is a fast-acting universal natural insecticide. This formula kills all...
€13.50
In stock

Fogger Habitat with plant-based active...

(37) 
This is fogger composed of plant-based assets is intended for the background treatment of the habitat in case of infestation by mites,...
€12.42
In stock

 

Frequently asked questions about wood bugs

Q: We're being invaded by wood bugs, and often the front of the house is full of them. They can also be found inside. What can I do to get rid of them ?
R: All you have to do is use a garden sprayer to spray our insecticide on all the façades where the bugs are (as the bugs are very resistant, you have to "water" them well). Treat until the bugs have completely disappeared. Allow 1 litre of diluted product per 10m². You can also treat all exits with our insect barrier to limit their entry.

Q: In autumn and spring, wood bugs get into my house, especially when it's been sunny. What can I do to keep them away from my windows ?
R: If you keep them away from the windows, they'll get into the attic (especially in autumn), so I think the best thing to do is to kill them, and you need to take advantage of the time when they gather on the facades to spray them with insecticide. Use a garden sprayer fitted with a lance and spray them with 4J insecticide diluted 10%. If they are thoroughly wet, the effect is very rapid. Allow 1 litre of diluted insecticide for every 10 m² treated.

Q: Can you give me an organic recipe for getting rid of bedbugs on tomatoes ?
R: Neem oil works well as an organic treatment. Our margosa extract can be diluted with water and sprayed on tomato plants. Similarly, sulphur-based products applied by spraying will repel them.

Bug graphosoma


Q: I've installed a set of garden furniture under a lime tree and I'm being invaded by small black bugs. I've already treated it for insects, but to no avail, what should I do ?
R: Unless you treat the lime tree, which isn't very easy, you can try treating your garden furniture with our insect barrier. However, this product is rapidly degraded by UV rays when used outdoors, so it should be renewed regularly.

Q: I have grey wood bugs with a strong almond smell that regularly return to the attic of my house in Hungary. They can sometimes be found under the attic, in an inhabited area. As they congregate on the facade at first-floor level, I can't apply your suggestion of spraying a product. The interior walls under the attic are covered with wood panelling. It seems to me that a smoke solution would be the most practical to apply to the attic.
R: From experience (we've tried a number of different products), we know that wood bugs are very resistant to insecticides. We've never tried fumigants - give them a try, but choose a strong product, not one you can buy in chemists' shops.

Q: I read your page on wood bugs and your suggestion for treatment (spray the front of the house before the colony gets in). I've recently renovated an old house (this is the first winter I've renovated it), and I have a room with a lot of wood bugs (I eliminate 10 every day). How can I treat indoors ? I think they have a "nest" in nooks and crannies in the ceiling beams (the beams have been cleared but not painted or treated for the moment); do you have an effective product ?
R: Following our tests, I think that the most effective product for wood bugs at the moment is Pistal All Insects insecticide. The paraffin helps the pyrethrum to destroy it.

Q: Last year, I ordered CH6 for green bugs. When I received the parcel, I found a post-it note attached to my invoice, telling me that this product was a bit limited for this bug. I still found it useful. With these insects already making an appearance, and given the diversity of your products, what would you recommend as the most effective ?
R: To destroy this insect, you need at least 4-day insecticide diluted at 10%. You can also use Pistal All Insects insecticide, which is effective on this type of insect.