Podisus maculiventris, the Spined Soldier Bug is a generalist predator. They have a range of hosts that exceeds more than 100 pest insect species including corn earworm, armyworm, cabbage looper, Colorado potato beetle and Mexican bean beetle. These great bugs take care of larger stages of pest insects common in the summer, especially large caterpillar pests and foliar feeding beetle larvae. Spined Soldier Bugs overwinter quite nicely as adults in leaf litter. Leave some leaf litter to provide some habitat for them. They can usually be encouraged to return or remain in your garden by planting tomatoes, corn, beans, eggplant, cucurbits, asparagus and onions.
The Spined Soldier Bugs are true bugs which means that they go through several life stages. All of the nymphal stages and the adults are voracious predators. They paralyze their victims with a toxin before they suck out their insides.