Damsel Bug – Good Bug? Bad Bug?

Interview with a Damsel Bug

HOST: Thanks Damsel for joining us today on PEST WATCH!!!
AUDIENCE: ~ Applause ~
It’s been a while since we’ve had you on the show. Where have you been overwintering?
DAMSEL: I took a break among some weeds and hung out for a while, then laid some eggs in the alfalfa fields across the highway.
HOST: I’m sure you’re getting busy now with all the caterpillars hatching and aphid populations multiplying.
DAMSEL: That’s an understatement. After I popped out all those kids I was done! But the love from all the gardeners out there, now that keeps me going. I love those baby pillars and aphids, what a treat! I’m passionate this season about catching lots of flying pests, especially leafhoppers and thrips. I may look a little delicate, but I’ve been training this soft body to go after potato beetles too.Damsel Bug Images
HOST: Good for you! Nice to hear that. Now I hate to bring this up but reports are coming in that you’re eating your own.
DAMSEL: Urgggg! That’s the left-winged media taking everything out of context. We only resort to cannibalism if we’ve gone without food for more than two weeks.
HOST: I’m glad we cleared that up. I know some bugs get a bad rap for no reason.
DAMSEL: Agree, Just because I pierce prey with my needle-like mouth and suck up their guts doesn’t mean I am a bad bug.
HOST: Do you see any challenges this season?
DAMSEL: Of course, I’m always hiding from tachinid flies and parasitic wasps. It was really bad last summer in Southern California – 70% of our eggs were attacked by mymarids.
HOST: Do you have any advice for home gardeners?
DAMSEL: Most definitely. I’d love to stop by but I need incentive to stick around like cover crops and flowering plants that give me a place to hide and nibble when I’ve got the munchies. Oh, and if you’ve got aphids or other problems, try not to use pesticides because the chemicals will mess me up big time!
HOST: Let’s tell everyone where they’ll find you this season before we go to a commercial break.
DAMSEL: I’ll be hanging out in low growing grass and shrubs.
HOST: Give it up for a loyal friend – Damsel, a beneficial guest of the garden!
AUDIENCE: ~ Applause ~

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