Seen this Prehistoric looking Bug in your Yard?

Assassin Bugs - Wheel Bug

Arilus Cristatus, commonly known as the wheel bug, due to their unique gear like structure. These assassin bugs, like the Wheel Bug, are part of the Hemiptera order, Reduviidae family and are found throughout the Northeast and the South in the U.S. Fun fact: stink bugs and bed bugs are a part of the same family.

Wheel Bugs are diurnal but are commonly attracted to lights, which is why they will try to get indoors at night. The wheel bug eggs are brown, cylindrical and are laid in groups during the fall. In the spring, the eggs hatch and continue developing until reaching the adult stage in summer /fall. Immature wheel bugs are initially red and black before transitioning to a red and gray color pattern then finally, a gray and black color pattern. Though older nymphs will have visible wing pads, they are not able to fly like the adults.

Wheel bugs are beneficial insects due to their predatory nature and are not known to transmit any disease. If you see them in your yard or garden, you may have an issue with plant eating pests. If you have identified a problem with wheel bugs try to locate and seal the entry point, if inside. If outside, you will need to eliminate their food source. You may have beetles, caterpillars, or other lawn or plant damaging pests that they feed on.

Wheel bugs will bite if picked up and handled carelessly. The bite of the wheel bug is immediate and painful. If bitten, wash and apply antiseptic to the site of the bite. They are good guys that feed on plant damaging pests. If found, relocate them after eliminating their food source(s).