Leaf-Footed Bugs…Pomegranates with a Side of Protein!

Leaf-Foot Bugs in Boulder City, NevadaNow you KNOW how much I love a good backyard bug adventure! Plus, if this doesn’t make folks think twice about robbing the pomegranates off my tree… nothing will!

It all started with a teensy-tinsy smudge on the stucco wall next to my pomegranate tree which, upon closer examination, turned out to be a “spaghetti-sized stick-looking thing” and a dime-sized spot that first looked like a splatter of mud.

They were super small on the expanse of the wall (next to the pomegranate tree, you’ll note)…I put circles around them in the photo to the left.

Much closer examination however, revealed that the spaghetti stick was actually a row of individual pods all lined up nice and pretty.  Check them out — I put a pencil next to them so that you can see how tiny they are.  Cute, right?

Leaf-Foot Bugs in Boulder City, Nevada Yeah, until you realize that these pods have just unleashed an entire family of creepy-looking little bugs about the size of ants that are crawling all over each other and coming up with a plan for their next move.

Welcome to the world…a new brood of Leaf-Footed Plant Bug Nymphs…soon to make their way over to my pomegranate tree and start boring holes into the fruit in a feeding frenzy.

These little guys have apparently been hanging out in their egg pods for the last 5-7 days and will mature into full grown Leaf-Footed Bugs in 25-30 days – during which they’ll build up their supply of foul-smelling liquid…to be exuded if disturbed, just like a stink bug. So gross.

They’re called Leaf-Footed Bugs because when they mature, their hind legs will have a section where they flatten out into a shape that resembles a leaf, hence the name.

Leaf Footed Bugs in Boulder City, NevadaNaturally, these egg pods didn’t just appear by themselves, so I checked out my pomegranate tree and oye…many more pods are on the stems and I’ve got an extensive colony of bugs at every stage of life hangin’ out waiting for the fruit to ripen.  The below photo is an adult and what is probably a teenager…and the photo below that is a close-up that shows you the leaf legs really well.

So….who’s coming over to my house for some freshly squeezed pomegranate juice with a side of protein?  Eeeewww!!!!

Leaf Footed Bugs in Boulder City, Nevada

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