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.
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Green (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.
See our special report on bed bugs
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 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)
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.
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.
The products you need against wood bugs
Go directly to the detailed product sheets for wood bugs.
Frequently asked questions about wood bugs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.