Wheel Bug

A member of the assassin-bug family, the wheel bug is a beneficial insect.
Related To:
wheel-bug

wheel-bug

A member of the assassin-bug family, the wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) is a beneficial insect that preys on other insects, usually plant pests. Typical prey are Japanese beetles, fall webworms, cabbage worms and cucumber beetles.

Its method of killing is efficient: The wheel bug punctures victims with its powerful beak, injects a saliva that digests the "innards" of the insect prey, then sucks out the body fluids.

The adult wheel bug varies from brown to gray, measures about an inch long and derives its name from the semi-circular, cogwheel-shaped crest on its back. There is one generation per year, with the young appearing in late spring.

Caution: The wheel bug's dietary habits make it a friend to gardeners, but this beneficial insect isn't a pet. Don't handle it; if disturbed, it can inflict a very painful bite.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Assassin Bug

Despite its unfriendly name, this critter is a friend to gardeners most of the time.

Milkweed Bug

This insect is a problem only if you're trying to grow milkweed.

Kudzu Bugs

These international stowaways are causing problems in American gardens.

Stink Bugs in the Garden

Because the stink bug releases its unpleasant scent when crushed, drowning may be preferred to squashing.

Ordering Beneficial Bugs By Mail

Send insect pests packing with mail-order beneficial bugs.

Bug Off: Get the Earwigs Out of My Garden!

Learn why earwigs give Gayla the willies.

Tell Spider Mites to Bug Off

Spider mites flourish in warm, dry conditions so water plants regularly to safeguard against infestation.

Homemade Herbal Bug Repellent Spray

There are natural alternatives for bug repellent. You probably have some growing in your garden. Try making bug repellent spray from herbs you grow yourself.

Cool Weather and Indoor Insects

Find out how to prevent infestation during the off season.

Millipedes

These slow-moving critters feed on decaying plant matter and can be found in dark, cozy places.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Fixer Upper

7am | 6c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beachfront Bargain Hunt

8pm | 7c

Caribbean Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Life

10pm | 9c

Island Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Caribbean Life

12am | 11c

Caribbean Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Life

1am | 12c

Island Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.