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Damsel Bug


Common name: Damsel Bug

Scientific name: Order Heteroptera, family Nabidae, Nabis alternatus

Size: Adult--1/4" to 1/2"

Identification: Adult bugs are tan, brown, or black; they use their distinctively jointed rostrums (snout or beak) to suck troublesome insects dry. Fast-moving and can fly. Similar in appearance to assassin bugs.

Biology and life cycle: Adults overwinter in protected spots. Female adults lay eggs on stems. Nymphs hatch and immediately start feeding on pest insects. Two or more generations a year.

Habitat: On the ground and in vegetation of all kinds.

Feeding habits: They hide in flowers to attack and eat aphids, caterpillars, and many other troublesome insects such as thrips, plant bugs, leafhoppers, and tree hoppers.

Economic importance: Very beneficial predator. Control plant-eating insects.

Natural control: Biodiversity. Any plant in the aster family will attract damsel bugs.

Organic control: None needed.

Insight: Can bite, so handle with care. Attract damsel bugs by planting alfalfa.

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