Leaf-footed Bug

As cold weather approaches leaf-footed bugs will seek a warm, protected place to spend winter.  This is when many people will find them in their homes or other buildings.  The bugs won’t harm anything in the house, but if held too long or crushed, they will emit a foul odor (for this reason they are sometimes referred to as “stink bugs”).

leaf bug3

Leaf-footed bugs cannot reproduce inside the house because egg laying and development are restricted to host plants.

Nymphs and adults have needle-like mouth-parts which they use to pierce their host plant and suck the juices out.  Some of their preferred hosts include…

  • Ornamental trees
  • Shrubs
  • Vines
  • Garden flowers
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Melons
  • Eggplant
  • Potato
  • Peaches
  • Asparagus
  • Okra

Did you know that:

  • The leaf-footed bug gets its name from the leaf-like flare on their back legs.
  • They give off a buzzing sound, similar to a bee, when in flight.
  • Adults are about 3/4″ – 1″ long.
  • Females lay hundreds of eggs at a time, in clusters, on host plant leaves or stems.
  • Females usually lay their eggs mid-late June.
  • Eggs hatch in about 10 days and the nymphs start feeding immediately.
  • It takes approximately 5 weeks from hatching to reach adulthood.
  • They usually reach high population levels in September and October.
  • Their primary defense is to spray an offensive odor.
  • They are not harmful to people or pets.


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