Stump the Grump! Insect Gross-Out

May 11, 2009 | By | Comments (3)


Question — I have never seen spiders like these, who seem to really like my Japanese Maple.  Are they harmful to tree or humans? Diane

Answer — Those “spiders” in the other photo aren’t spiders. They’re predatory insects called assassin bugs that have recently hatched out. They get their name from spearing other bugs with their sharp beaks and sucking out their insides — kinda like the giant brain-sucking bug in “Starship Troopers.”  If you mess with them, they’ll spear you too and their bites can be painful. However, they ‘re considered beneficial because they eat pests like aphids, soft scales, and caterpillars.


  1. Jean

    Ewwww! I would be the assassin…ready..aim..spray!
    Dead bugs.

    May 11, 2009 at 8:59 am
  2. Grumpy Gardener

    I’m going to report you to PETI (People for the Ethical Treatment of Insects).

    May 13, 2009 at 10:30 am
  3. Snuffy

    Jean, didn’t you read the article? They are beneficial! That means they are good for your garden. If you gotta spray, spray your hair and leave the good guys alone!

    June 12, 2009 at 3:48 pm