What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black Bug is South Dakota
Location: South Dakota
January 1, 2011 12:40 am
It is almost January, 30 minutes away to be exact. I am in Brookings South Dakota. This bug flew into my bathroom and surprised me. Reminded me a bit of a boxelder bug but without the red. Is it unusual to see bugs in the dead of winter?
Signature: -Brooke

Masked Hunter

Hi Brooke,
This is a species of Assassin Bug known as a Masked Hunter,
Reduvius personatus.  The common name Masked Hunter refers to the ability of the immature insect to camouflage itself with dust and debris because of its sticky body surface.  The debris is often accumulated in its immediate surroundings.  We have one image in our archive of an immature Masked Hunter covered in turquoise fibers because the house in which it was living had a turquoise carpet.  Masked Hunters are beneficial predators in the home and they are also known as Masked Bed Bug Hunters, a fact that should bring comfort to many who worry about the prevalence of media attention to the epidemic of Bed Bugs nationwide.  According to BugGuide, the Masked Hunter is:  “Capable of inflicting a painful bite if handled but does not feed on blood, and does not transmit disease“, so it should be handled with care.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: South Dakota

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