Bzzzzzzz...Thud. That was the sound I heard yesterday evening on my deck. I looked up and saw a bug peering into my bedroom window, time to investigate. Having a 4 year old brings out the inquisitive nature-girl in me, while growing vegetables makes me want to know each and every tenant in my plants!
I grabbed my camera and my go-to insect guide, Good Bug Bad Bug. Before tearing into the book, we snapped some pictures. After reviewing the pics I decided it must be an Assasin Bug. The body shape, legs, and the unmistakeable beak. Good Bug Bad Bug gives the Assasin Bugna beneficial rating. The bugs rarely bother humans, are not commonly seen, and feast - quite veraciously - on other bugs. I'm hoping they enjoy Stink Bugs.
I did a bit more research and found a great overview by the University of Kentucky Entomology department ("UK"). According to UK, these bugs can be a nuisance in some parts of the country, but they really stick to their bread and butter, eating other bugs by injecting them with poison and sucking out their liquified body. Gross - but fewer bad bugs is fine with me!
UK stated that Assassin Bugs should not be handled by humans. The Assassin Bugs have a sharp beak that can cut pierce human skin, and may cause an allergic reaction. That said, there are few bugs I'd want to pick up! Other than ladybugs, no thanks! As long as the Assasin Bugs eat up the bad guys in my garden, they are welcome.