Soldier Beetles Invade Bayside and Beyond

28 November 2012

Soldier Beetles have invaded Bayside and beyond for a second consecutive year.  According to Council’s environmental specialists, they are likely to be around for a couple of months yet.

The Beetles are approximately 14 mm long and have an elongated, flattened body with a yellow-orange band behind the head. The head and wing case are dark green-black and the body is yellow-orange.

It is understandable that the Beetles might be mistaken for bees or wasps due to the colour of their underbelly.  However, according to the experts, the community can rest assured that they are not harmful.

While it is reassuring that Soldier Beetles are harmless to humans, if residents are walking through a swarm they should be careful not to inhale a Beetle by nose or mouth.  This is particularly important advice for carers of children.

The good news for gardeners is that these Beetles can be beneficial for plants as they attack harmful insects that are attracted to nectar. They are also very effective as a biological control of aphids, grasshopper eggs and caterpillars.

The Beetle swarms usually occur in Spring and Summer and research indicates that the size of the swarms are influenced by rainfall followed by high daily temperatures.

The life expectancy of a Soldier Beetle is two to three months and they only breed once a year.

There are chemical controls available.  However, these controls are highly toxic and will only work on the Beetles present at the time of spraying.  Once the spray has eradicated one swarm, it is not unusual for more beetles to swarm in the area soon after.

Due to the fact that the Soldier Beetle is not harmful, Council will not be taking any action to control this natural phenomenon.

Page last updated: 29 Nov 2012