Potato bug stings are not dangerous, but they may be quite unpleasant and uncomfortable. The Jerusalem cricket, sometimes known as the child of the earth cricket, is a bug that lives in western North America and Mexico. If they feel threatened or trapped, these nocturnal huge insects might enter your residence and deliver a painful bite.
Orange and black stripes cover the potato bug (Jerusalem cricket), which you may want to get rid of if you find it in your garden or house. To avoid being bitten, handle it with care. It’s possible to get mixed up about the names “potato bug” and “Jerusalem cricket.”
These bugs aren’t from Jerusalem and don’t eat potatoes. Child of the Earth (Spanish, niño de la tierra), Skunk Bugs, Skull Insects, Earth Baby, and Glitz Bug are some other names for Jerusalem crickets. You’ll discover everything you need to know about potato bugs and how to eliminate them from your garden in this article.
The Jerusalem Cricket (Potato Bug) Bite
Potato bugs do not bite you, but their jaws are so powerful that if they bite you, you’ll scream in agony. The bite of Jerusalem crickets is excruciating because they use their powerful jaws to burrow into the ground. Potato bug stings aren’t poisonous and they’re not very common.
The little insects flee from humans because they are bashful creatures. In addition, because of their size, large insects make most people uncomfortable. As a result, they are frequently exterminated.
When you least expect it, most potato bugs bite. You may get bitten while gardening because they are frequently seen under plant leaves, in flower beds, and among rotting plants. When gardening, wearing gloves is a wise precaution to avoid acquiring a nasty bite from these enormous ant-like creatures.
As a result, the worst that a Jerusalem cricket can do is give a non-toxic excruciating bite, despite its appearance to humans. The insect sting typically causes transient discomfort, which should last no more than a few minutes.
Knowing the warning signs when Jerusalem cricket bugs are agitated can help you avoid the pain of getting bitten. A potato bug usually lifts its back legs up when it’s about to bite you, making itself appear bigger. Prior to pouncing on your skin, you may also hear hissing noises.
What Does a Potato Bug Bite Look Like?
The first symptom of a potato bug bite is likely to be a sharp stinging sensation, which may happen if you’re unlucky. The majority of individuals state that a bite sting lasts for around five minutes. What do Jerusalem crickets look like when they bite?
You shouldn’t see any substantial swelling or redness since there isn’t venom or poison in their bite. Cricket bites might cause skin sores or an itchy rash, according to certain websites. Of course, if you are allergic to the stinging potato bug bite, you should treat it appropriately.
How to treat a potato bug bite
It’s vital to cleanse the afflicted region in order to prevent an infection in the bite mark. Most germs around the bite wound can usually be eliminated with warm water and soap. You can apply diluted apple cider vinegar to the irritated bite if you experience pain and itching.
Mix equal parts of fresh apple cider vinegar and water to treat potato bug wounds. Apply the vinegar cure to the injured bite mark by dipping a cotton ball into it. Until any discomfort, itching, or redness has passed away, apply 3 or 4 times a day.
What is Jerusalem Cricket (Potato Bug)?
Jerusalem crickets (Stenopelmatus fuscus) are huge insects that resemble a big ant and a fat wasp when they’re disturbed. Because of their enormous bulging head, tiny eyes, and long antennae, they may seem ant-like to some individuals. The huge brown head with a human shape is one of the bugs’ most unsettling features.
With three enormous legs on either side, their body shines orange and black. Potatoe bugs have six spider-like legs and are wingless insects that travel about. They spend much of their time digging into the ground with their legs. Jerusalem crickets aren’t jumpers, unlike other cricket species.
The length of a Jerusalem cricket may reach 2.5 inches (6 cm). As a result, these unattractive cricket bugs might be almost as broad as your palm in length. In reality, potato bugs are referred to as the insect world’s monsters due to their looks and size. When they are threatened, Jerusalem bugs emit a foul odor as well as inflicting a nasty bite. Potato bugs are known as “skull insects,” “shiny bugs,” “red-skull bugs,” “dark Jerusalem crickets,” and “skunk bugs” because of the way they look.
Jerusalem bugs or Jerusalem beetles aren’t to be confused with Colorado beetles or Colorado potato beetles, even though they’re known as potato bugs. Moreover, no one knows for sure where this monster’s moniker originated. The beetle’s name is said to be Jerusalem cricket, according to one study, because of its resemblance to the Jerusalem Cross.
The fact that they are frequently seen in potato fields may explain the term “potato bugs.” The term “stone crickets” is occasionally employed since they may also be located under stones.
The bad news is that they are not a voracious insect, though. As a result, if you leave them alone, they are more likely to stay away from you and not bite you. Pictures of Jerusalem cricket (potato bug).
Where is the Jerusalem Cricket (Potato Bug) Found?
In the western United States and Mexico, potato bugs can be found. Because they prefer to dwell underground and emerge at night, you may not notice them very often. Jerusalem crickets may be discovered in your flower beds, beneath leaves or stones, or around compost piles if you live in locations where they grow.
When they’re preparing the ground for planting, gardeners commonly find a lot of potato bugs. Ground crickets may be disturbed by cultivating the soil. While raking up garbage, removing dead leaves, or working in the garden, potato bug bites are common. Most gardeners try to get rid of as many potato bugs before planting seeds and new plants because they can eat plants.
What Do Potato Bugs Eat?
Dead roots, rotting plant debris, and other organic matter are all sources of food for potato bugs. Potato bugs aren’t particularly fond of potatoes, despite their name. Gardeners try to get rid of Jerusalem crickets from their property for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they can be harmful to developing plants.
Fruits and veggies are lusted after by them, as they like to suck the juices from their leaves and stems. The cricket’s poisonous saliva leaves behind when it retracts, which may harm plant development. Potato bugs are not poisonous since they don’t have venom glands, but saliva only harms plants.
Potato bugs, on the other hand, are seen by many gardeners as beneficial to the soil rather than pests. They aerate the soil when cricket bugs burrow through it. In your garden, Jerusalem crickets can be used to devour dead roots and other decaying organic matter. Jerusalem crickets start chewing on your new, young plants in your garden because there isn’t enough dead plant material for them to eat.
How to Get Rid or Kill Potato Bugs
Fortunately, a potato bug infestation in your home is uncommon. The outdoors, where decaying plants are available, is preferred by garden bugs. Hissing sounds, wilted plants, stunted plants, and damaged flowerbeds are some of the indicators that will tell you that you should eliminate potato bugs from your garden. In your garden or yard, there are a few natural ways to get rid of potato bugs and other harmful insects.
How to kill potato bugs with diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a safe, non-toxic method to get rid of pests in your yard, particularly Jerusalem bugs. To limit the number of potato bugs, use food grade diatomaceous earth dust around your garden. Diatomaceous earth is a form of natural powder formed from the fossils of algae. DE inhibits the exoskeleton of the bug, according to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). As a result, they become dehydrated and die. Without concern of harming people, pets, or your plants, food grade DE is suitable for use around the garden.
Diatomaceous earth isn’t effective in rainy or damp weather, which is one of the downsides of utilizing it to exterminate Jerusalem potato bugs. All you have to do is apply diatomaceous dust to places where you see potato bug evidence. After applying the non-toxic pesticide after rain when the soil has dried out, repeat the application every few days.
Neem oil to get rid of potato bugs
Another natural remedy for eliminating Jerusalem crickets from your garden is neem oil. Neem oil is safe for humans and has little toxicity to plants, which is one of the reasons it’s used to control potato bugs. Neem oil has been proven to be effective in the fight against different insect infestations, according to research. Insects’ ability to reproduce and feed is affected by neem oil, which helps to inhibit hormone activity.
Natural neem oil insecticides have been shown to be effective against Colorado potato beetles, cockroaches, and other insects in previous research. Neem oil also kills larvae before they hatch, which helps to control pest infestations. You may prepare an insecticidal spray using this method to eliminate potato bugs at home:
- Fill a 500 ml (17 oz.) spray bottle with water to about halfway full.
- Neem oil and Castile soap are mixed together in a 2-tablespoon quantity.
- To thoroughly blend the ingredients,shake them vigorously.
- When needed, spray your plant leaves with water.
- To help with a potato bug infestation, reapply the natural insecticide every 2 days.
Make sure to spray the underside of the leaves with that potato bug larvae, as they’re often found there. Discover why neem oil is such a valuable natural pesticide and how you may use it to get rid of aphids in the article below.
How to Rid your Garden of Potato Bugs and Their Eggs
If you have no other option, what can you do to get rid of these pests from your garden? You may also eliminate these monster bugs using a variety of artificial control techniques in addition to natural ones. Jerusalem crickets can be gotten rid of using a few methods.
Put petroleum jelly on a tiny board and you can make your own homemade potato bug traps. Place the nocturnal insect traps where you suspect they may be hiding. If the potato bugs walk on top of the trap, they should stay there. Place the garden bug traps until you’ve removed all the bugs you’ve collected.
Cutting down any trees in your yard before you leave. Keeping your yard free from debris is another way to get rid of potato bugs from your garden.
Remove dead leaves, grass, and other plant waste from your lawn on a regular basis. Store firewood at least 5 cm from the ground to discourage Jerusalem crickets from establishing residence in your garden.