It doesn’t matter which season of the year we are in because, as homeowners, we must be aware of the crawling creatures that appear in or around our homes.
One of those pesky creatures you can find is the leaf-footed bugs. Let’s consider:
- What is a leaf-footed bug?
- Are leaf-footed bugs dangerous?
- How can I get rid of leaf-footed bugs?
What is a Leaf-Footed Bug?
There are a variety of insects that take on the appearance of leaves. So how can you differentiate the leaf-footed bugs, scientifically known as Leptoglossus?
What They Look Like Before Adulthood
As with many living things, leaf-footed bugs change in appearance as they grow. When the female lays eggs, usually in mid-late June, they look like short chains of small and brown cylinders.
Eggs take about ten days to hatch, and then you get nymphs. These nymphs have dark heads, dark legs, and bodies that range in color from orange to reddish-brown. It takes about five weeks for the nymphs to reach adulthood.
What They Look Like in Adulthood
The name itself allows us to identify these bugs by the leaf-like protrusions on each hind leg. The protrusions have a similar appearance to dry brown leaves, so the insect isn’t easily noticed.
They have a narrow brown body in adulthood and will range from about half an inch to one inch in size. All species are also distinguished by long antennae and white markings in a zig-zag pattern on their wings.
The more common leaf-footed bugs come in three main species:
- Leptoglossus occidentalis. This species has no additional characteristics than those mentioned above. The markings on its wings are less prominent.
- Leptoglossus zonatus. This species has two yellow spots on the pronotum, located behind the head.
- Leptoglossus clypealis. This species has a clypeus, a thorn-like projection that extends forward from the tip of the head.
Are Leaf-Footed Bugs Dangerous?
The leaf-footed bug has a piercing/sucking mouthpart. That might make them seem terrifying, but they are only a threat to the different things they feed on like:
- Fruits trees. Those common in Indiana include apple trees, peach trees, and pear trees.
- Fruit bushes. These include strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.
- Vegetables. They enjoy various squash, tomatoes, and even peppers, like sweet bell peppers and hot peppers.
If you find them in your garden around your home, don’t be afraid; they don’t bite humans. Keep in mind that they have been known to fly, but they aren’t poisonous and haven’t been known to carry parasites. But how can you keep the things you plant safe?
How Can I Get Rid of Leaf-Footed Bugs?
Leaf-footed bugs will harm your fruits and vegetables, which is why you should get rid of them. Some natural ways of getting rid of these bugs are:
- Distract them from the fruits and vegetables with other plants. Sunflowers are an example of plants that attract the leaf-footed bug.
- Repel them using diatomaceous earth or neem oil.
- Attract some of their predators like birds, lizards, and frogs.
Do You Still Have Leaf-Footed Bugs?
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