Gendarme: why and how do you welcome this insect in your garden or vegetable garden?

No, the gendarme is not a parasite, but rather a useful tool in the garden. As the name suggests, this red-black insect watches over our plants, and not only. So, instead of throwing it away blindly, let’s welcome it with open arms.

What is a Constable?

Pyrrhocoris Apterus, Swiss, soldier or noon seeker, here are the names given to this strange red and black insect, among others. The gendarme is a harmless beetle that is no larger than a centimeter. It can be recognized by its shell decorated with a black triangle, followed by two large dark spots and two smaller ones. It has wings that are too short to fly.

Very often the policeman with a bad eye is seen by gardeners who suspect him of destroying crops, especially since he is not often alone (he lives in large colonies). But rest assured, it’s rarely the culprit. So stop receiving ideas, the Pyrrhocoris Apterus is indeed indispensable in the garden. [1]

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The Police Officer and the Parasites

True, the gendarme can feed on plants (such as the leaves of hydrangeas or linden), but he rarely does much damage in plantations. On the contrary, it is rather a valuable tool to control unwanted insects in the garden, especially aphids, mealybugs or larvae. Like the ladybug, a great ally of gardeners, the policeman sucks liquid from insects, whether they are alive or not. [2]

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The Police Officer and the Ecosystem

Constable is also helpful in plant breakdown. This little insect helps dead leaves and insects in life to decompose faster. By participating in the decomposition of organic material, the gendarmerie thus contributes to balancing and maintaining the ecosystem. [3]

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How to welcome him to his garden?

The gendarmes are visible from March to April and from October to November. Now is the time to turn your garden into an oasis of calm for these precious helpers. To welcome them, don’t hesitate to plant plants that attract them, such as malvaceae and lime trees (but be careful, they can nibble on the leaves).

From the first frost, install natural shelters so that they can take refuge there. To do this, leave a pile of dead leaves at the base of the bushes. This also makes hedgehogs happy. And of course chemicals that are harmful to the environment and biodiversity are banned at all costs. [4]

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As you will have understood, for a healthy garden, let’s welcome the police with our eyes closed. And to go further, here are 6 tips to attract ladybugs to your garden and control aphids

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