Wheel Bug

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

Font
  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends

x

All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.

Refresh

Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail

Success!

A link to %this page% was e-mailed

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.

We Recommend...

Agave Meltdown

Agave Meltdown

Plants that seem the most cast iron can indeed have an Achilles heel. Just like so many mighty giants of history it is often...

Control Pests With Praying Mantis

Control Pests With Praying Mantis

Maureen Gilmer explains the advantages of the praying mantis in the garden.

Advertisement

HGTV Outdoors Newsletter

Find out how to make the most of patios, decks and all your outdoor areas, plus tips from master gardeners for beautiful flower beds and bountiful vegetable gardens.