Predatory Assassin bug, Zelus renardii

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Predatory Assassin bug, Zelus renardii also called as a stink bug because they emit strong odor when disturbed. These predatory assassin bugs are considered as the most effective biological control agents because they can kill and feed on aphids, caterpillars, larvae and grubs of many insect pests (see below) that are responsible for causing a serious damage to many agricultural and horticultural, and ornamental plants. Adult assassin bugs are medium sized, blackish to brownish in color with about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long body. They have red eyes. Females generally lay eggs in cluster masses on the leaves and in the soil. These eggs hatch within a week into small nymphs that look like their parents but they are wingless. Adults have piercing and sucking type of mouthparts also called beaks that they use for killing and feeding on the body content of the host larvae or grubs.

Facts (show all)

- Effective against the following pests
  • Aphids
  • Armyworms
  • Cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni
  • Cabbage worm, Pieris brassicae
  • May beetles
  • Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella
  • Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda
  • Flea beetles
  • Imported cabbage worm, Pieris rapae
  • Leaf beetles
  • The Poinciana Looper
+ Key factors for Assassin bugs effectiveness
  • Predatory assassin bug, Zelus renardii has a wide host range (see above).
  • Both nymphs and adults have piercing and sucking type of mouthparts called beaks.
  • These beaks are used for paralyzing host larvae and for feeding on the body content of the hosts.
  • Predatory assassin bug, Zelus renardii can kill and feed on caterpillars, larvae and grubs of many insect pests that caused a serious damage to many agricultural and horticultural, and ornamental plants.
+ How predatory Zelus renardii works in the field
  1. Predatory assassin bugs are supplied as eggs, which are close to hatch or as nymphs.
  2. When you release nymphs in the field or greenhouse, they will actively search for their host larvae/caterpillars/grubs by walking quickly from plant to plant.
  3. Once victim is found, both nymphs and adults use their beak to paralyze their victims.
  4. Then both the nymphs and adults will use their piercing and sucking type of mouthparts (beaks) to suck the body content of host larvae or grubs and eventually kill them.
+ Which stages of insect pests are killed by Zelus renardii?
  • Larvae,caterpillars of lepidopterous (butterflies and moths) insect pests.
  • Larvae also called as grubs of coleopterous (beetles) insect pests.
+ How many Zelus renardiishould be released?
  • When there is a low infestation of target insect pests, release 500 eggs in 2000- 3000 sq.ft. area every 2-3 weeks.
  • When there is a heavy infestation of target insect pests, release 500- 1000 eggs in 2000- 3000 sq.ft. area weekly.
+ Why you need them
  • they can reduce the crop damage by feeding on the larvae and grubs crop pests
  • they can munch on the larval stages of their host insects
  • they are able to actively search for their host insects and feed on them
  • they can reproduce and continue their life cycle in the field after first application
  • they are commercially available and easy to apply in the greenhouses or fields
+ Why they are safer than traditional pesticides
  • do not cause any harm to the personnel involved in their production and application
  • food products are safe to handle and eat when they are treated with Predatory assassin bugs
  • they do not pollute the environment
+ Research Papers
  1. Coming soon---

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Predatory Assassin bug, Zelus renardii

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