My son shouted, “It’s a Stink bug! I am going to smash it!”
“Wait! Let mama look at it, it might be a good bug,” said my husband.
For a gardener, my husband has an unhealthy aversion to bugs. He lets me make the good bug or bad bug call. I put down my shovel to look at the bug. My son pointed to a leaf on the sunflower plant growing out of our compost bin and declared, “There it is!”
The insect had a colorful body and long antennae. It did not look like a Stink bug. Its legs were too long and graceful. It scuttled so fast around the leaves that I barely caught its image in my camera. We let it be. The next day, I sent its photo to the Home and Garden Center at the Maryland Agricultural Extension. Within a few hours, I received the bug’s identity. It is an Assassin bug nymph!
We are thrilled to have such a voracious predator in our garden plot. This bug will help rid our garden of: aphids, Colorado potato beetles, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, Mexican bean beetles, tomato hornworms and many more pests. I am glad we did not squash it!