Suicidal Potato Bugs
October 4, 2009
I’ve recently added a pond to my backyard garden. I’ve seen the Potato Bugs before, but usually leave them alone. Lately, I’ve been finding them at the bottom of the pond. The first week, there were 2 of them, this past week, 2 more and today, 6 we’re drowned at the bottom of the pond. I wonderd if I had disturbed their pathway and they are just falling and and drowning, or if these Potato Bugs are Suicidal?
Bizzare questionaire
Santa Maria, California

Dear Bizzare questiionaire,
Potato Bugs that have been parasitized by Horsehair Worms or Gordian Worms often exhibit this suicidal behavior.  When the parasitic worm is ready to leave its hosts, its next stage of life is in water, hence the Potato Bugs “desire” to drown itself.

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