Giant mesquite bugs

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What do giant mesquite bugs look like?

giant mesquite bugs in arizona

Adult giant mesquite bugs are brownish black bugs with orange to red bands on their legs and wings. They grow up to 2 inches in length. Wingless nymphs are mainly red with whitish markings and often found in clusters (aggregations) when feeding.  

Life cycle of giant mesquite bugs

Gradual metamorphosis

Brown eggs are laid by the female on stems of the mesquite tree often in rows.  These eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring.  The young will grow to the adult stage changing in coloration and into a winged adult form.  Mating occurs and eggs are lain prior to adults dying by end of the summer.

Habits of giant mesquite bugs

  • Diet: Mesquite stems and pods, plant juices.
  • Activity: Active during spring and summer season, eggs overwinter.
  • Preferred Climate: Warm and humid environments
  • Defense: Odorous secretion, coloring.
  • Cautions: Stinky secretion released if they feel in danger or are handled.
  • Home Invasion: Rare but will enter during the adult stage usually in error.

Are giant mesquite bugs dangerous?

Giant mesquite bugs in Arizona do not bite and are quite harmless. 

Where are giant mesquite bugs found?

The wingless nymphs are often found in clusters on tree trunks and will move lower as the temperatures outside go up. You may also find adults in close proximity to trees especially mesquite trees. 

Helpful hints for giant mesquite bugs

The pest control professionals at Northwest Exterminating highly recommend removing or limiting the number of mesquite trees on your property in order to avoid these bugs. 

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