speedster7926
Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:10 pm
Location: southport FL

assassin bugs

finally concluded i do have assassin bugs now the question is do i need to control them i have over a hundred in my garden or should i leave them be?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

It is pretty hard to tell the difference between an assassin bug and the many similar species that suck plant juices. The assassin bug is a predator and will only be present in numbers that their prey can support. These beneficials are the best of friends in your garden.

The assassin bug has a hooked proboscis with a claw like tip. Many of the plant juice suckers look very similar but their proboscis is is more strawlike and missing the hooked beak on the very tip.

Assassin bug photo taken last year. Note the proboscis.
[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2441/3610827333_5d52e4a0e5_o.jpg[/img]

Assassin bug during two favorite activities: sex and a good meal.
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3636/3623460752_5d55b1308b_o.jpg[/img]

Note the thinner, less lethal proboscis on this juice sucking species. Has a very similar body structure to passion bug, but is a vegetarian that gives a fit on squash and tomato plants.
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3646/3603461331_1541651082_o.jpg[/img]

Here is a mimic to one of our most common assassin bugs, that was in photo #1. Notice the similar coloration, but also notice the thinner proboscis that is adapted for sucking plant juices.
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3087/2753691365_aac8306e8a_o.jpg[/img]

You almost never see passion bugs in more than the one's or two's and in a very wide scattering in the yard or garden. Juice sucking bugs of similar species or family however will be found in large numbers as they linger on and around their host plants of choice.

Note: A common name for the assassin bug is the passion bug. That is because they have a habit of biting a human on the lip while the person is asleep. Little vampires I think! One got in our house and bit our youngest daughter on the lip when she was very young.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

speedster7926
Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:10 pm
Location: southport FL

this is what i got and im pretty sure they are assassin bugs i just got a lot of them
[img]https://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz153/speedster7926/redbugsingardenfromnet.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i823.photobucket.com/albums/zz153/speedster7926/images.jpg[/img]
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Those are nymphs which will metamorph into adult. They look like nymphs of the critter from my third photo, though I think that several of them look similar. I generally see many of these associated with squash plants.

This photo is an immature squash bug from last year, taken on its host squash plant. Once again, note the long thin proboscis.
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3414/3603185881_676a562d53_o.jpg[/img]

This is the adult. It looks like an assassin bug, but is a juice sucker.
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3646/3603189699_e26cf829e6_o.jpg[/img]

To contrast, this is the nymph of an assassin bug. See the more lethal proboscis at work on this prey. These guys are deadly hunters even in the immature stage.
[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3622/3589735512_01383a726e_o.jpg[/img]
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Your top photo, to me, looks like a squash bug and the second is definitely an assassing bug, as it is feeding. The proboscis of the top nymph looks more thin and less like that of an assassin, though both nymphs obviously look very similar. If they are assassin bugs, they will disperse pretty soon as these lone hunters spread through your yard looking for insect prey. If they are juice suckers, then they will stay congregated on the host plants, feeding, mating, and egg laying.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

speedster7926
Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:10 pm
Location: southport FL

your first photo is tight on the money i got squash bugs and plus i saw all of them on one squash sticking their little tubes in and sucking it dry :( what do i do to kill them?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I generally squish them, but I only grow three or four clusters of squash vines at a time. The key is to watch for the critters and stay ahead of them before you get a major infestation. I spray my plants with a soft spray watering head, watering especially near the crown of the plant. The bugs will then usually move to reveal themselves, plus they will stay right in place while you squish them. Also inspect the underside of the leaves for clusters of orange/brown eggs. Squish all of those as well. In just a few days you should have culled the pests down to a manageable level.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

I have used neem to knock them back as well; but Alex is right; hand removal is invaluable...

HG
Scott Reil

speedster7926
Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:10 pm
Location: southport FL

lol im using tweezers lol but these little boogers are kinda quick lol i have killed over 30 so far but many more to go
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28242
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: assassin bugs

Bump. I think I might have killed an assassin bug. :oops: must remember to capture and examine the mouthparts. :?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.



Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”