A bug spotted in HV looks and sounds nasty, but is beneficial
With the summer weather so hot and humid, you’re bound to spot all kinds of bugs around your property. Some are familiar, while others may seem new and even awe-inspiring. According to the InsectIdentification.org database, there are 1,143 insect species found in New York State, and this number can vary widely. A recent Facebook post of a rather creepy insect has sparked discussions about the creature’s origins and even benefits.
What is that?
They have many names, but the bug killer is one of approximately 160 species of insects in the family Reduviidae, and is actually more of a helper to gardeners than a pest, they are a predatory insect, and their diet includes many other insects, bees, flies and caterpillars, according to City Bugs. Most are brown or black, although some are brightly colored. They are known for their elongated, narrow heads, with a distinct “neck” behind their often reddish eyes, according to Wisconsin Horticulture.
These killers stab their prey with their mouthparts and paralyze them with a toxin. Once immobilized, the prey’s bodily fluids are sucked out through the assassin’s straw-like mouth. Sounds awful, but they will certainly rid your garden of all kinds of pests, including those that attack valuable crops.
Do they harm humans?
Of course, you don’t want to pick them up. Their bites can be painful and you will need to apply an antiseptic to the bite area. Most of the time, you won’t need medical attention, although you may have inflammation that lasts for a few days.
There is the Kiss Bug however, that is another species of assassin bug. Those things you don’t want to mess with because they can bring death chagas sickness. These bugs do not agree.
HV insects and critters that are not harmless
What are they?
They have been described as poisonous, carnivorous, nasty, and even “immortal” by zoologists. They are actually known by scientific names due to the number of species, but most call them to hammers, to shovelsWhere broadband planarians.
It is a predatory species that feeds on earthworms and other species. Their appearance can vary between species, although some bear a distinctive head plate, hence the nickname hammerhead. They also come in a variety of different colors.
Hammerworms are part of a large group of flatworms that belong to the particular file of organisms,
Worms are native to hot, humid regions of Southeast Asia. But now they have invaded American soil, staying primarily in the South at first. Warmer and wetter summers in the northeast mean slime pests have now been spotted here too, including in the Hudson Valley.
Do they hurt people?
Are they harmful to humans? No, they’re just gross and can irritate skin if picked up and touched. Experts say you can kill them using vinegar and salt. Don’t cut them though, as they just regenerate and grow more worms.
Not to be confused with other invasive worms – Asian Jumping Worms
Hammerhead sharks should not be confused with “Asian jumping worms”, another invasive species of worms. Climate change and increased global travel have facilitated the spread of species not native to certain regions in a fairly short period of time across the globe, causing varying degrees of environmental destruction.
Other nasty creatures have also been spotted
There’s also the Southern Pine Beetle, the Mottled Lantern, and the aforementioned Joro Spider (which looks scary, but relatively harmless).
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