Stilt Bugs

 In Blog, Homeowner Tips, Pest Identification
Berytidae: Berytinus minor

Berytidae: Berytinus minor (Photo credit: Mick E. Talbot)

Stilt bugs are long-legged, slender insects that live in lush vegetation, and damage a variety of crops. They are especially common in the Eastern United States, but fortunately,despite their pervasiveness and ability to reproduce quickly, stilt bugs can be easily managed. Also luckily, they do not carry any diseases.


Stilt Bugs – What You Need to Know

Do you love growing flowers, but always find one or two specific bugs invading your garden space? Stilt bugs, with their long and slim bodies and swollen joints, are frequent inhabiters of garden beds, often finding their way onto geraniums, pelargoniums, and other plants with sticky hairs. These bugs especially love to feed on corn, tomatoes, peaches, and okra, and can damage such plants in a relatively short amount of time. This is often the case in organic gardens in which gardeners do not take any preventative measures such as increasing soil nutrients, introducing beneficial insect diversity, and introducing insect traps.

Stilt bugs feed on plant sap, draining the nutrients from plants. If left uncontrolled, stilt bug damage can negate all of the hard work, time, and money you put into creating a beautiful garden. Fortunately, they can be controlled through very simple and conventional methods.


Managing Stilt Bugs

Simple and low-toxic chemical pesticides can be used against the stilt bugs. Most pesticide control organizations can direct you regarding the best pesticide for your stilt bug problem. More often than not however, prevention is key. Practice crop rotation to help prevent insects from building up in one particular location. Increase the level of beneficial insects in your garden bed to also lower the number of stilt bugs and other harmful insects in your space. Be sure to avoid over-watering, as many insects will thrive in moist conditions and continue to propagate.

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