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The masked hunter bug, not very friendly ... but very useful

The masked hunter bug is a camouflage. You may live alongside him without ever paying attention to it. it can move from home to home by flying or walking on short distances, or be carried by humans during their journeys. it feeds many insects in the houses. The hunter bug is therefore a useful insect. but park at his painful sting. If masked hunter bug isn't aggressive, he'll definitely come back if you put his hand on it. Find in this folder a set of natural responses and products that will allow you to fight this insect at best.

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Get to know the masked hunter bug

(identity, feeding mode, reproduction, ...)

Fight against the masked

(action method, natural insecticides, ...)

Who's the masked hunter bug ?

Le réduve masqué au stade larvaire - Reduvius personatus

Latin name: Reduvius personatus
Common name: Masked, mask-reduced, American chick, pin bug, killer bug.
Order: Heterogeneous
Family: Reduviidae
Adult size: 15-20 mm
Location: Mainly in homes, stores and warehouses
Period: all year

The masked hunter bug, of the Latin reduvius, meaning defile is a great earthly bug, of the heteroptera (heteroptera), very carnastic. They are hemipteras that are also known as assassins as carnassières.

The reduviidae belongs to the great family of reduviidae. the masked hunter bug has a thick rustre (style or beak) which serves to pierce its prey. Except for some hematophageal tropical species, this predator uses its previous legs to capture insects.

What you need to know about the masked hunter bug

Le réduve masqué adulte - Reduvius personatus

Masked hunter bug is therefore a carnivorous insect.

Depending on the species, the masked hunter bug are black, brown or green. some clap, immobile and camouflaged, waiting for a prey to pass nearby. others move to hunt and surprise their victims.

Masked hunter bug eliminate a large amount of harmful insects, mainly flies, aphids and cicadelles. they are themselves a great source of food especially for reptiles and birds. the life of the masked hunter bug is only a few months (from the nympha stage to the adult stage).

The females lay between 30 and 40 eggs during the breeding period, which took place in the summer. the eggs hatch after two to three weeks, and the young chicks will spend two winters in your home before becoming an adult and reproduce in their turn. nymphs are identical to adults. their wings lie down as growth grows. nymphs are also carnivorous.

Is the masked hunter bug dangerous ?

No, this bug is not dangerous. As we have seen, it remains an insectivore predator. Nevertheless, in order to feed and capture his prey, he uses a particularly powerful and acerated rose. The sting can therefore be very painful, but the risk is almost zero because it remains a non-aggressive insect. In the event of sting, the wound must be disinfected quickly and regularly. However, the masked hunter bug are very rare and you are very unlucky if you have been able to experience them.

Le réduve masqué au stade larvaire - Reduvius personatus

Why masked ?

This bug is particularly dirty. in order to design their camouflage, the larvae of the masked hunter bug secrete a fat and gluent substance (sticky secretion of its greed), which retains the dust and other debris of any kind. the larva loses this camouflage during the mue, but it restores it by covering itself with dust using these hind legs.

This camouflage can have 2 functions. the first is to protect the bug from its predators by making it difficult to see to their eyes. The second is to hide her in the eyes of her prey. the masked hunter bug is indeed a savage hunter waiting for his prey with patience, hidden in a crack of the wall of your home. Once she has spotted a prey, she is slowly approaching, touching her antennae, then grabbing her with her front legs and piercing her with her rosster.

When it mutates, the masked hunter bug leaves its old skin and must again make a camouflage.

The masked hunter bug, a little known predator

The masked hunter bug lives mainly in homes, stores and warehouses. cellars, lockers, staircase and garages are its preferred areas. the masked hunter bug colonizes the houses of the whole world, even if at the beginning it is from Europe.

Although living close to you, it is rare to see a masked larva. in addition to its effective camouflage, it is, like the bed bug, a rather nocturnal insect, living hidden in the slots and chasing only at night.

It can therefore be white (farin or plaster), beige (wood sawdust) or another color depending on the place or it has passed.

Adult, the masked hunter bug is dark brown to black. This insect is 15-20 mm long, with functional wings. the female lays 30 to 40 eggs in the breeding season. She's dropping them over here. they are oviform and do not more than a millimeter. their color is red. depending on the climatic conditions, it can run for a year between the larva outbreak and the last mue to become an adult insect. The masked hunter bug passes through 5 larval stages, and as many mues, before becoming an adult.

Le réduve masqué adulte - Reduvius personatus

A useful predator in a house

As most hunter bug, the masked hunter bug is considered useful, as predator of unwanted insects, such as flies, spiders, mites. the masked hunter bug can also attack the famous "bedroom" (cimex lectularius). It is also a natural enemy of the doryphore. All of this would almost make it look like a farm! No ?

How to eliminate the masked hunter bug ?

A bug stays in a place only if there is food. If the masked hunter bug moved into your home, then he finds something to feed himself. The best way to remove it is to eradicate other insects that could serve as a meal. small advantage, it only consumes living preys that it captures with the front legs, before piercing them from its rose. but remember, this insect can also consume bed bugs. A real stagger when you know the difficulty to fight this insect. Then think twice !

If, however, you want to destroy it, you will need to use the same tools and products as for the bed bug (unless the adult flies and the larva is permanently coated with detritus).

To learn more about the elimination of bed bugs, check out our thematic paper on this topic.

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Here's what the masked hunter bug in motion looks like (mostly its antennas!)