Assassin Bugs


General Pest Control In Gardens, Fields, Orchards and Greenhouses.

The Leafhopper Assassin Bug, Zelus renardii is a hardworking ambush predator and excellent addition to any growing area. Contrary to what their common name suggests, they are generalist predators that feed on a variety of small to medium sized plant pests including aphids, mealybugs, caterpillars, thrips and more.

Assassin Bugs begin feeding immediately after hatching and establish quickly. As they mature, they produce resin on their legs that allows them to trap prey and feed as they move. They kill prey by piercing with their rostrum (beak) and injecting a digestive enzyme. This allows Assassin Bugs to rapidly kill prey that is much larger than they are.

Life Cycle: Assassin Bugs live approximately 2 months, which allows them to provide ongoing pest control in the release area. It can take up to 10 days for eggs to hatch, so take that into account when planning your Integrated Pest Management program. Assassin Bugs begin killing prey as soon as they emerge and continue to do so as they mature into adulthood. Once hatched, they are likely to stay in the treatment area until their food sources have diminished making them a suitable alternative to ladybugs in warmer climates.

Note: Assassin Bugs molt multiple times as they grow. The shed skins may resemble dead Assassin Bugs, but are not evidence of noticeable die off. Check the release area for live assassin bugs periodically and contact us if you have questions or concerns.

Temperature Considerations: Zelus renardii is tolerant to adverse temperature/humidity levels and has shown effectiveness in hot climates. Temperature and humidity have not been shown to inhibit colony establishment or feeding.


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.

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.

If they arrive hatching, gently tap hatched Assassin Bugs onto foliage or nearby areas. Follow steps above for placing unhatched egg cases.

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.

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