Good bug guide

   
Assassin Bug
Assassin Bug
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Latin Name: Family Reduvidae
Benefits: Assassin bugs are voracious predators of many garden pests including flies, mosquitoes, beetles and large caterpillars.
How To Recognize: This aptly-named, vicious-looking bug is about 1/4 to one inch long, with a cone-shaped head and wide curving beak. They may cause a painful bite to a human if captured. Some species squeak if caught. Females lay single eggs in cracks, under rocks or in other sheltered spots in summer, and new adults emerge around the following June. There is only one generation per year.

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Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.)

Benefits: Selective to caterpillars. Relatively non-toxic to humans, pets, birds, and beneficial insects (except caterpillars).

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Bald-faced Hornet
Bald-faced Hornet
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Latin Name: Family Vespidae
Benefits: They eat many pests including crane flies and other flies. They also eat yellow jackets. They may also act as pollinators of some plants.
How To Recognize: These insects resemble a yellow jacket but are larger, up to 3/4 inch in length. They are mostly black, with a white face and white markings on the tip of the abdomen. They build large paper nests that can measure up to 14 inches in diameter and 24 inches long!

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Beneficial Nematode

Benefits: Non-chemical control is not toxic to humans, pets, or beneficial insects. Effective against a number of serious pests that live in the soil.

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Bumble Bee
Bumble Bee
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Latin Name: Bombuss sp.
Benefits: Emerging workers are able to fly in very cool weather, making them a very valuable pollinator of a variety of plants.
How To Recognize: Large and lumbering, black and yellow bumble bees measure up to one inch in length. These fuzzy insects make a loud droning buzz as they fly somewhat awkwardly from flower to flower. Bumble bees nest in soil or leaf litter where a single queen lays 8 to 12 eggs in spring and continues to lay eggs through the summer.

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Centipede
Centipede
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Latin Name: Class Chilopoda
Benefits: Centipedes prey on pests and insects in the soil including slugs, worms and fly pupae. Centipedes kill their prey with venom, and their bite is moderately painful (although not dangerous) to humans.
How To Recognize: This long (1/2 to three inches) many-legged creature is light brown to black in color and moves quickly. Centipedes have only one pair of legs per segment. Millipedes, which are important in compost decay, have two pairs per segment. Both prefer moist areas in the garden and compost piles.

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Dragonfly
Dragonfly
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Latin Name: Damselfly, Order Odonata
Benefits: They eat mosquitoes, aphids and other pest bugs.
How To Recognize: There are more than 80 species in Washington. They can be identified by their long narrow body, their large compound eyes and the four transparent wings. There is variation in color. Sizes range from one to two inches. The larvae are found in water.

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Green Lacewing
Green Lacewing
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Latin Name:  Chrysopa spp.
Benefits: Lacewing larvae and adults feed voraciously upon aphids and other small insects, insect eggs, and spider mites. They also eat leafhopper nymphs, whiteflies and small caterpillars.
How To Recognize: Adult green lacewings have delicate, light green bodies; large clear wings; and bright golden or copper colored eyes. They are 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. The larvae are small, grayish brown, and narrow and they have pincerlike mandibles. Eggs are found on plant stems and foliage; they are laid singly or in small groups on top of fine, silken stalks.

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Hover Fly/Syrphid Fly
Hover Fly/Syrphid Fly
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Latin Name: Family Syrphidae
Benefits: Although not all are directly beneficial, many hover fly larvae prey on aphids, mealybugs and other small insects. Adults must feed on nectar before they reproduce, so are good pollinators.
How To Recognize: The adults have bodies with black and yellow stripes. While they look like bees or wasps, they don't sting. They range in size from less than ¼ inch to ½ inch.

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Lady Beetle
Lady Beetle
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Latin Name: Family Coccinelidae
Benefits: Both larvae and adults feed on soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mealybugs, scale insects and spider mites as well as insect eggs.
How To Recognize: Most people know an adult lady beetle (lady bug), but the larvae are most valuable. The larva is soft-bodied and alligator-shaped with black and orange markings. Each species has a distinct pattern.

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Mason Bee
Mason Bee
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Latin Name: Hoplitis producta
Benefits: Mason bees pollinate apples, cherries and other tree fruit. They are active between apple blossom and cherry blossom season, then die out by summer.
How To Recognize: Slightly smaller than a honeybee, these gentle, non-aggressive insects resemble house flies more than honey bees. They are deep blue-black in color and have no stripes.

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Parasitic Wasp
Parasitic Wasp
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Latin Name: Order Hymenoptera many spp.
Benefits: Different species may attack aphids, whiteflies, and butterflies or moths, such as cabbage loopers and hornworms
How To Recognize: Too small to be noticeable, these miniwasps don't sting people or pets. They range in size from the smallest insect known (about 1/50 inch) to about one inch, although most are on the small side. These parasites reproduce by laying their eggs in a pest host (adult or egg). The immature wasp feeds inside and kills its host. A round hole can be often seen where the adult parasite has chewed its way out.

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Predatory Mite
Predatory Mite
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Latin Name: Order Acarina
Benefits: Predatory mites are valuable predators of pest mites such as spider mites.
How To Recognize: Adult mites are tiny, about half a millimeter in length, and are beige to reddish tan. They resemble pest mites but are faster moving and have fewer hairs.

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Rove Beetle
Rove Beetle
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Latin Name: Family Staphylinidae
Benefits: Depending upon species, rove beetles prey upon aphids, springtails, mites, nematodes, slugs, snails, fly eggs and maggots. They also eat and help break down decaying organic material.
How To Recognize: These fascinating insects may resemble a tiny scorpion when they hold the tip of their abdomen up in the air. They are fast moving and measure 1/10 to one inch long.

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Soldier Beetle
Soldier Beetle
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Latin Name: Family Cantharidae
Benefits: Soldier beetles prey upon aphids, caterpillars, grasshopper eggs and beetle larvae, among other insects around the garden.
How To Recognize: Approximately 1/2 inch in length, the adult soldier beetle has a narrow, black abdomen and bright red head or thorax. The soldier beetle larva is various shades of orange with black markings.

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Spider
Spider
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Latin Name: Order Aranaea
Benefits: Spiders are the most important predators on insects, killing more than all other predators combined. They feed on a broad variety of pest insects year-round.
How To Recognize: Spiders aren't insects at all. They can be identified by their eight legs and two-part body. Although there are hundreds of species of spider in Washington, they all share this trait. Spiders are far more beneficial than they are dangerous. Most spiders are shy and harmless to humans.

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Tachinid Fly
Tachinid Fly
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Latin Name: Family Tachinidae
Benefits: There are many species of tachinid flies; many are parasites of pest caterpillars including cutworms, codling moths, tent caterpillars, cabbage loopers and gypsy moth larvae.
How To Recognize: Resembling house flies, tachinid flies are 1/3 to 1/2 inch in length and may be brown, gray or black in color. Some species are very hairy.

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Yellow Jacket
Yellow Jacket
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Latin Name: Family Vespidae
Benefits: Yellow jackets and other wasps are predators of caterpillars, flies and beetle grubs.
How To Recognize: Adult wasps are 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, with characteristic yellow and black stripes and transparent wings.

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