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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Stilt Bugs in the Garden

This article was published originally on 7/26/2013

I love watching insects in my garden.  I grow plants just to feed the bugs and I have a new favorite plant this year!  I had no idea what the plant was, but my colleague Richard Jauron is great at plant identification and he has informed me that it is an evening primrose, which seems a strange name for a plant that does well in full fun.  But I digress, the reason I like this plant (aside from the fact that it seems to thrive despite drought and my gardening skills) is because it has attracted huge numbers of stilt bugs.
 
Stilt bugs are in the Family Berytidae and earned their common name from their very long legs.  They also have long antennae with a small club at the end.  They are harmless and will not bite people or hurt plants.  The stilt bugs are probably on the plant feeding on the pollen and nectar and maybe the plant a bit, but they are not causing it much harm. 
 
I have no idea why stilt bugs love my evening primrose so much or if everyone has a lot on their evening primrose, but I think I shall plant some more.  Sadly, I have also learned that evening primrose are a biennial plant and will not be back next year.  I am glad though that I did not pull them up last year when they were a rather boring rosette.
 
 
Stilt bugs on evening primrose
Stilt bugs on evening primrose.
Closer look as stilt bugs on evening primrose.Closer look at stilt bugs on evening primrose.