Thursday, November 1, 2012

Assassin on the loose ~ Rural Thursday

The first year we moved to our little piece of land we didn't know much anything about pesticide free gardening or organic gardening, so we purchased The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy Without Chemicals.
With two little boys, this was a must. Ok. Maybe not. It was really for their mom me, who ran screaming at the sight of most bugs. But no more!

Over the years, our favorite veggie defender, and we think most spectacular, became this guy; only he doesn't just defend the garden :)

This dangerous looking creature, known as a ninja Assassin Bug (aka wheel bug but his Family name sounds so much cooler) was slowly walking along the edge of our roof, right above the front steps, like a sentinel. I think he was trying to get a better look at my husband, who was climbing up the ladder at the time. Thankfully, DH was deemed a good guy!

These awesome bugs are very beneficial. Not only do they keep watch but they eat all kinds of bugs; aphids, spiders, wasps, etc. We don't kill them but use caution when we are near one because their bite hurts! 

Close up of stinger

For science nerds...

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs)
Subfamily Harpactorinae
Genus Arilus
Species cristatus (Wheel Bug)

Have you ever seen one of these?

I'm linked with Rural Thursday.


  1. Do they kill stinkbugs? If so, I need to invite them to come live here! ;-)

    1. I'm convinced nothing kills stinkbugs...

    2. I agree, Heather. We have too many of those this year to think that ninja bugs kill them :)

  2. I have seen these, Anne, but never knew what they were, or if they were beneficial. Thanks for getting me "in the know"!

  3. Great post and photos ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  4. Very interesting. My son saw the picture and he said, "Oh yuck! Bug!" :)


  5. I have never seen one of these...and honestly I don't think I want to! But, if they want to visit and eat bugs, that is totally fine with me :-)

  6. I have seen one of them actually many of them and never knew what they were. Thank you for clearing that up. It's name sure suits its scary look. B

  7. I have never seen one, but they sound like a pretty good bug to have around.

  8. That is a really interesting bug to look at! I filmed a praying mantis last year eating a bumble bee.

  9. How interesting! I've never seen one, but will keep my eye out now that I know they might be around. :)


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