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Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug, hi res edit, Eagle Lakes, 2021-06-11, JAJ_8523_edited-2.jpg
Dr. Jerry Jackson

The Giant Water Bug is an insect and a member of a family whose members are properly known as bugs – such as many species of plant bugs that may feast in your garden. Unlike plant bugs, the Giant Water Bug is a predator that feeds on other insects, crayfish, small fishes, tadpoles and other creatures. It is, indeed, a giant among insects. North American species can reach two inches or more in length. A close relative in South America can reach a length of four inches. Because these are predators, they have a potent bite (but usually not dangerous to humans) and must be handled with care. The Giant Water Bug tends to avoid humans, and they only attempt to bite humans in self-defense. Giant Water Bugs are attracted to lights at night – and that’s where you are most likely to find one.