Speed like a Bullet

With a wide head and bulky body, the Broad-headed Sharpshooter does not seem to be a prospect for high speeds. However this insect shoots like a bullet when it is time to attack. Their many different bright colors are somewhat understated compared to others in it’s family, such as the Candy Striped Leaf Hopper. However having a similar appearance to a leaf can fool some predators. So they rely on speed as their main line of attack and defense.

While many insects rely on camouflage and using every method possible to blend in with their natural surroundings in order to survive, the Broad-Headed Sharpshooter has to rely on other methods to survive. Other than being one of the quickest insects, with bullet like speed and being able to jump an equivalent of 240’ in comparison to humans, they have another line of distraction. If the Broad-headed Sharpshooter feels threatened they will shoot out a stream of waste on their predators to cover, confuse and distract them as the Sharpshooter makes its speedy get away.

They a ravenous eaters and use their sponge like mouth parts to suck juices out of plants. These juices are what help them produce their yucky stream of defense juices on predators. They also eat so much that they gorge themselves to the point of literally popping out the excrement from their bodies. Yes, it actually makes a popping noise when it exits. This excrement leaves behind food for other insects to feed on, such as ants, aphids and wasps. Even though they can eat large amounts, they usually spare plants, other than leaving the telltale signs with damaged leaves and stems. The population is kept under control by a few natural enemies, like birds and spiders, only if they are fast enough to catch this fast as a bullet insect.

They can have up to three generations in a mating season and actually puncture plant stems in order to lay their eggs, which hatch in about two to three weeks. They are born looking like a small adult, although they molt multiple times in a very short time frame in order to grow to full size within two weeks. Many Sharpshooters only live for 30 days, so it takes multiple generations to continue their life cycle from year to year.

With the Broad-headed Sharpshooter not being a Nashville Pest Control issue, you can find tips online to protect your gardens. Specifically if you happen to have peaches, as they are known to carry a bacteria that can harm peach trees.  So, keep on the watch, as they are hard to observe. If they see you approaching, expect it to shoot away like a bullet. You also want to keep watch on the aphids, ants and wasps that they attract through their excrement. Gardeners in particular want to keep close watch on signs of the Sharpshooter due to the other destructive insects they attract. If you happen to notice ant trails around your house or unwanted wasps, call Certified Pest Control Nashville to honestly and effectively address your issue. For locally owned and operated family service, give us a call for the personal and detailed Pest Control you deserve.

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