Wacky Pest Wednesday: Phasmids

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Happy Wednesday to all you Tri-County Pest Control fans out there, and welcome to our latest edition of Wacky Pest Wednesday!  Please join us in this week’s installment, as we give you some of great facts about phasmids!

Phasmids, or stick insects, are a type of critter that you will see quite a bit as we venture into the early days of fall.  As their name suggests, these bugs take after sticks as a means of effective camouflage. Since they are most active at night, the stick bug spends most of its days motionless, trying to avoid any detection by potential predators until it can sneak around at night and munch on some plants.

While these critters look pretty cool, their actions towards humans are about as equally chill, thanks to their overall friendly nature.  Due to the fact that they survive off of plants, their mouthparts cannot bite your hand, as it is just not developed to do so. For the most part, phasmids cannot hurt you (now, there are some species who have spikes on their legs to deter predators, but we don’t have those kinds in our region).  Since these critters are not very good at attacking things, they do have a defense mechanism in the shape of emitting a foul smelling odor when threatened to thwart off predators, so be warned if you happen to be bombastic around one of these critters!

Yet, since they can do no harm and have a modest diet, phasmids are not of huge concern for the homeowner.  If you spot one around your home, it has most likely gotten lost on its way to a grassy patch, so all you need to do is pick it up and place it outside, and it will be on its way.  Some children may wish to keep them as pets because they look so cool, but be sure to check with your local unit of government, as some states and counties have made laws that prohibit keeping these critters as pets.

Phasmids are some pretty cool bugs; they are certainly wacky, yet they aren’t that much of a pest.  Keep that in mind the next time you see one of them out and about!

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