The Leafhopper Assassin Bug, Zelus renardii is a hardworking ambush predator that is an excellent addition to any growing area – large or small. Contrary to what their common name suggests, Leafhopper Assassin Bugs are generalist predators that feed on a variety of small to medium sized plant pests including aphids, mealybugs, small caterpillars, thrips and more.
Assassin Bugs begin feeding immediately after hatching. After reaching the second instar phase of their life cycle, they produce a resin on their legs. This resin allows Zelus renardii to efficiently trap and kill their prey as they move around.
Assassin Bugs capture and kill prey by piercing with their rostrum and injecting a digestive enzyme. This method of predation allows Assassin Bugs to rapidly kill prey that is much larger than they are. These generalists kill and eat a wide variety of small to medium sized insect; they are voracious and very efficient in gardens, fields, orchards and greenhouses.
Their life span is approximately 2 months, which allows them to provide ongoing relief from pest infestations in the area of release. It can take a week to 10 days for eggs to hatch, so take that into account when planning your Integrated Pest Management approach. Once hatched, Assassin Bugs are likely to stay in the treatment area until their food sources have diminished making them a suitable alternative to ladybugs in warmer climates.
Assassin Bugs should not be used alone for infestations of spider mites. They are excellent when used in combination with other mite predators suitable to the growing environment.
We would love to speak with you about the optimal combinations for your growing site. Please call us at 1-800-827-2847 for a personalized program or release recommendations.
This Product Controls These Pests or Diseases: Soft-bodied pests including: leafhoppers, aphids, 1st and 2nd in-star caterpillars, mealybug, thrips, whitefly. Some control of squash bugs.
General Releases: Once Assassin Bugs begin emerging remove the eggs from the container and hang or place egg clusters within foliage in areas with high pest populations. Release preventatively or at the first sign of an infestation. Eggs usually hatch within one week of receipt.
Row Crop Releases: Once Assassin Bugs begin emerging place egg clusters on both ends of each row and one in the center of each row.
Heavy Infestations: In the presence of high pest pressure release 500-1,000 eggs weekly in no more than 2,000 square feet. Wait for Assassin Bugs to begin emerging prior to release. Release 5,000-10,000 eggs per acre every other week after initial releases to supplement the predator population through the growing season.
Cannot Be Shipped To: AK,HI,GU,PR,VI