There are several thousand species of assassin bugs found worldwide. They range in colour from brown, black and orange and measuring 2-4 cm long. Their bodies are usually long and thin.
Assassin bug (left), Brown Assassin bug (right)-photo Midwest Biological Control News
There are several thousand species of these bugs found worldwide. They range in colour from brown, black and orange and measuring 2-4 cm long. Their bodies are usually long and thin. They have a long stout beak, 6 legs and a pair of long thin antanae. These are all beneficial insects. These bugs also can bite you if you get too close to then and the bite can be quite irritating.
Eggs are laid in the fall usually in the soil but they have been know to lay them in cracks and crevices or leaf piles. They hatch in the spring and become larvae. Thier larvae stage last for a few weeks and then they become adults with voracious appetites. There is usually only one generation per year.
Assassin bug at work (left)
Assassin bug with an ant (right)-photo Joeseph Warfel
Eggs-No idea where I found this picture
They eat ants, beetles, larvae of insects, caterpillars, mole crickets and most other plant eating insects. Some will wait patiently for their prey to walk by while others will actively pursue them. They inject a poison into their prey and then feed on the host. The drawback of this insect is that some species will bite you as they are blood suckers. Birds love to eat these guys so keeping them in your garden is difficult.