Battle of The Look-Alike Bugs
Don't be fooled by the similar appearances of these insects—some of them can do serious damage
Spined soldier bugs are good guys, feeding on insects that eat up your garden, while, in addition to being malodorous, marmorated stinkbugs chow down on veggies and fruits. To tell one from the other, look for the extra-pointy shoulders the spined soldier bug sports and the brown-and-white stripes on the stinkbug's lower half and antennae.
While they both feed on flower nectar, only bees make honey. Aggression-prone wasps, including yellow jackets, will just leave you with a nasty sting. Look for fuzzy bodies on honeybees; yellow jackets have sharper stripes. Beware of nests in the ground or out in the open—they're likely wasps'. Honeybees prefer hollow spaces.
Both ants and termites go through a winged phase in their life cycle, but you can spot the ants by their narrow waists, bent antennae, and noticeably shorter wings. It's not uncommon for carpenter ants to be found out in the open, especially after sunset; most termites avoid light and are rarely seen outside their colony.
A crane fly looks like a giant mosquito, but it's not nearly as pesky. Unlike bloodthirsty adult female mosquitoes, which are only too happy to feed on you, crane flies prefer to feed on decomposing organic matter.