Leaf Footed Bugs

Subject: Wierd Inset ID
Location: California
August 12, 2012 8:30 pm
Any idea what these flying fast-breeding black insects are? We are in the valley in CA. Many thanks. Allan
Signature: Allan

Leaf Footed Bugs

Hi Allan,
California has many valleys.  Are you in the San Fernando Valley?  These are Leaf Footed Bugs,
Leptoglossus zonatus.  According to BugGuide:  “Feeds on flowers and fruits of many plants, including citrus, tomatoes, various members of the squash family, and many other plants.”  Close to downtown Los Angeles, we often find them feeding on the fruit of pomegranate trees.

Thanks so much for your response.
We are in Reseda, CA 91335.
The red container is a hummingbird feeder, and there are tomato plants nearby.
Perhaps they are attracted to the sugary liquid in the h.b. feeder, although they don’t seem to be on the feeder itself, just close by.  Maybe they steal the juice at night time.
This is the first year (in the 4 years we have lived here) that I’ve seen them.
I’m  wondering if they are harmful to humans at all?
Again, great service and thank you.
Best regards,

Hi Allan,
When we posted your photo, we cropped out most of the hummingbird feeder, and in our opinion, it is not relevant, however, we may be wrong.  Leaf Footed Bugs, like other Hemipterans, have mouths designed for piercing and sucking, in this case, sucking the fluids from plants.  Though they are not directly harmful to humans, they may spread viruses or other pathogens to plants, which BugGuide mentions:  “Considered a pest not only for the feeding damage on various crops but also as a transmitter of plant pathogens.”

2 thoughts on “Leaf Footed Bugs”

  1. I, too have these little devils in my yard. I thought they were helpful assassin bugs, so I left them alone. Well, they have increased in number and went from destroying my apricot crop to destroying most of my tomatoes. I’m not a fan of pesticides, I’ve never used any, but I’d like to know how to control these pests so that I can somewhat end the frustration before the next crop of food is destroyed. I think they’re on my persimmons as well, I’m experiencing early fruit drop there.

    • We don’t provide extermination advice, so we would advise you to check federal agricultural websites for information on control.


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