Whether you’re a local Georgia resident, live near the east coast, or are a bug expert – here are four local insects we bet you might not know about!
The Wheel Bug (known as an assassin bug due to how they hunt and kill their prey) lunges at their victims, holding them with their larger front legs. They then insert their hypodermic-like beak into a soft body part. The bug’s saliva contains an enzyme-laden paralytic that paralyzes its prey within 30 seconds, dissolving their insides and making it easy to drain the victim. Wheel bugs are a beneficial insect, as they reduce the numbers of some common garden pests like caterpillars and wasps. They are generally harmless to humans, but they may give you a nasty bite if mishandled. Our advice is to leave them be and let them do the pest control for you.
This invasive species, known to East Asia, can be regularly found in Southeast Georgia. They likely arrived in Georgia via container ships. They have made themselves at home in Georgia, but what should we know about these giant spiders? They are, in fact, venomous but only to those who are allergic to their bite, and typically they stay away from humans. Their leg span can be upwards of three inches, and their webs several feet wide, so their presence can be intimidating in your yard. Males are brown and considerably smaller than their female counterparts, whereas females have colorful bands of yellow and blue across their bodies and legs. Although the Joro spider is considered helpful for capturing pests like mosquitos and stink bugs, they are an invasive species, and there is little knowledge of what effect they will have on our ecosystem.
The webworm is a moth that, although turning into a beautiful snowy white creature, creates a webbing nest around trees. Their preferred hosts include mulberry, hickory, walnut, sweetgum, willow, oak, poplar, ash, pecan, apple, and other fruit trees. They are considered a pest due to their extensive netting or webbing of a tree, and although they are generally harmless, their nests are aesthetically displeasing in your garden. Unfortunately, the only surefire way to take care of them is to pull the webs down by hand. They will eventually go away and are not known to kill trees.
The female Cicada Killer Wasp flies into the tree canopy, stings a cicada, and paralyzes them. She then grabs the cicada and buries it in a pre-dug burrow, laying her eggs in the cicada’s body behind its right leg. Once the eggs hatch into larvae, they feast on the cicada, taking care to keep it alive. When the larvae have had their fill, they spin a cocoon, in which they will change into adult wasps. Luckily these wasps generally stay away from humans; they are more interested in a cicada dinner for their larvae, while adults live on flower nectar.
Have a Pest Problem and Need the Experts?
If you find any of these four local insects, you might not know about, leave the worrying to us. While these insects are typically not harmful to humans, they could cause concern if you aren’t familiar with them. We are right around the corner and always happy to help with any concerns you may have! Give us a call at 912-513-3425, or contact us here.