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How to Manage Pests:

Pest Management and Identification

Damsel bugs

Scientific name: Nabis spp.

Life stages of damsel bug Adult(top), nymph(bottom) Adult

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Nabidae

Common prey: Predaceous on a wide variety of small insects

Commercially available: No


Adult damsel bugs are slender insects that are mostly yellowish, gray, or dull brown, measure about 10 mm (2/5 inch) in length, and have elongated heads and long antennae. Damsel bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis with nymphs that look similar to adults. Both adults and nymphs move rapidly when disturbed. Females insert their eggs into plant tissues where they are difficult to detect. Damsel bugs are generalist predators appearing later in the season than some other predators. Damsel bugs are common on many plants including row and tree crops where they prey upon thrips, mites, aphids, other bugs, small caterpillars, and leafhoppers.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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