Are you curious about potato bugs, also known as Jerusalem crickets? Native to Mexico and part of the Stenopelmatoidea family, these insects are fascinating yet often misunderstood.
Contrary to some beliefs, potato bugs are not poisonous, but they do emit an unpleasant odor and can deliver a painful bite.
Interestingly, potato bugs resort to biting only when provoked. They spend much of their time hidden, feasting on small insects. A unique aspect of their behavior is that the female often consumes the male after mating.
These insects have earned the nickname ‘potato farmer’ due to their habit of burrowing under potato plants. As for their appearance, potato bugs are striped with distinct orange and black patterns, adding to their intriguing nature.
Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the world of potato bugs, including a closer look at potato bug bite pictures, and uncover more fascinating facts.
Understanding the Potato Bug’s Name and Appearance
Ever wondered why it’s called a potato bug, especially when it doesn’t eat potatoes? This naming confusion is common. Potato bugs, while not potato consumers, bear a resemblance to ants with their elongated antennas, blending features of an ant and a wasp. These insects are also wingless, making them unable to fly.
Growing up to 6 cm in length, potato bugs have a somewhat daunting appearance, earning them the nickname ‘monster.’ Beyond the ‘potato bug’ and ‘Jerusalem cricket,’ they are known as stone crickets due to their habit of dwelling under stones. Other names include shiny bug, earth insect, and skunk bugs.
Now, let’s delve into more detailed knowledge about these intriguing creatures, keeping an eye out for potato bug bite pictures.
Potato Bug Bite
As earlier mentioned, potato bug is not lethal insect but the structure of their body which consist of hard jaw causes immense pain when they bite someone.
As suggested by the name potato, it does not mean they eat potato, but yes, here comes a reference to digging into the earth, so it has been clear that their bite will surely cause pain as their jaws are so strong, which makes it easy to dig beneath the surface.
The potato bug is most found under the flower beds of the houses then they are also found in plant leaves and where the plants leaves are decaying are fallen.
So, when do they bite the most? Here comes the answer to this question: they bite you when you least expect such a situation. The most probable time when they bite is during gardening, or we can also say during farming.
These are insects that are too timid for human creatures, and here also comes the fact that the frightening outlook of such creatures puts human beings in such a situation that they want to get rid of them. The most suitable way to stay protected from these potato bugs is by following safety measures during gardening.
There are various ways by which you can protect yourself. It can be wearing boots, wearing hand gloves, wearing a shield over your face, and many more.
The most possible harm a potato bug will do to you is the pain after it bites, and this pain is not for a long period of time. The only way that can be suggested in this situation is to pay attention while you are working, and if you are attentive enough, you will be able to hear a hissing sort of noise before they are prepared to bite and, moreover, lift their back legs.
Even if after all this, the insect bites, you do not panic and stay calm, things will get sorted in some time.
As we all it is the case with every insect if you do not disturb them or come in their way, they will never harm you same the case with potato bug if you leave them alone, they will not bite you or harm you in any way.
There are even some situations when you are not able to identify if you are bitten by a potato bug. In such a situation, you can see symptoms within yourself by which you can clearly identify the fact that you have been bitten by the potato bug.
Some of those symptoms are sores on your skin, there may be rashes on your skin, you will feel a lot of irritation on the part of the body where you have been bitten, and finally, in some cases, there are also chances of having flu-like symptoms.
Next Comes What After Getting Bitten by Potato Bug
So, as we have mentioned earlier, do not panic after being bitten by a potato bug because it is not fatal to health. You just must clean the area with fresh water to clean all the blood and dirt coming out.
You can also use soap with water to clean the area. After this, you can use an antiseptic cream to prevent yourself from the pain, irritation, and inching from the bite.
Even after this, you are not able to cover the pain and irritation from the bite, then you can simply contact your family doctor or your nearby hospital for further medical treatment. With proper medication, all your problems will be solved, and you will also be stress-free.
What the Potato Bugs Eat to Survive
The potato bug mainly relies on the decade leaves, roots of the plants, and all other kinds of organic material.
It is very important to keep these potato bugs out of your grader because their presence is enough to destroy the entire beauty of the garden as they love to suck the juice from the leaves of the plants, and this hamper the overall growth of the plant.
Other than the negative side of potato bugs being in the garden, there are some positive aspects too one of these is they dig the soil, which makes the soil fertile, and they are also good for the masticating of the dead roots and decade plants.
Origin of Potato Bug
As we have mentioned in the beginning, they are found in Mexico, but let us get into the detailed study of their origin. They are inhabitants of n=Mexico and the West United States and are not seen during the entire day but are found roaming in the garden at night because, during the day, they stay underneath.
They basically hide during the daytime under leaves, decay of roots, and stones. They can be mainly seen when beds of the garden are getting ready for the new plants.
They are very harmful to the garden as they can eat the plants. Gardeners try to get rid of these potato bugs to the most possible extent.
Next Comes the Method or Processes in Which We Can Get Rid of The Potato Bugs
The first method that you can use is the food grade known as diatomaceous earth, which can be sprinkled all around the garden to get rid of the potato bugs. By using this method, we can dry them, and they finally die.
It is the most convenient, safest, and easiest method because it’s budget-friendly and does not harm you in any way or your plants. If the potato bug is not removed in the first instance, do not hurry. Repeat this process for a few days every week until it is totally eradicated from your garden.
The other natural ingredient or way you can use to remove these potato bugs are neem oil …yes you have heard it correct!! Wondering how?
Coming to this point because of the least amount of toxicity, it is a kind of pest control. Neem stops, to some extent, the fertility of female potato bugs to reproduce, and ultimately, we can eradicate all the potato bugs by just sprinkling diatomaceous earth.
The other process can be trapping the potato bug. You can keep small nets in your garden that will have leaves inside it, just like a trap. The potato bug will get attracted to it, and as soon as it gets inside the net, it will close. This way, you can make your own trap and get rid of it.
One of the last ways we can suggest is to keep your garden free from any kind of waste or, we can say, detritus. Keep your garden clean. Make it a habit to clean your garden daily, if not on a daily basis, at least twice a week.
Remove all kinds of decayed leaves, dirt, and grasses from your garden so that you do not let the potato bug house in your garden.
Most people consider potato bugs to be fatal to health, but it is not true. The possible harm they cause is to our plants and pain to us when they bite.
So, it is better to keep these potato bugs away from our gardens, and the best possible way is to clean the garden.
Cleanliness is the best medicine for these potato bugs.