Phillip Elden: Bugs of Oregon

Phillip ELdenOregon is a state with vast open areas and a diverse range of wildlife. According to Phillip Elden, this makes it the perfect location for a variety of creepy, crawly, insects. 

One of the most unusual critters in Oregon is the assassin bug. While not particularly large, the assassin bug features a long beak that’s not visible at first glance. It is best to approach the assassin bug with extreme caution since its bite, while not deadly, is extremely painful, something that Phillip Elden has experienced first-hand.

A bit larger but less scary is the large milkweed bug. They typically swarm in large groups and are feared by farmers who mistakenly believe they will harm vegetable crops and flower gardens. Thankfully, Phillip Elden explains that this is not true and these colorful orange and black, flat-back creatures typically feed on nectar of the milkweed plant, hence their name.

Going back to the assassin bug family, Phillip Elden cautions visitors to Oregon to approach the mask hunter with the same trepidation. Although it might look like a misplaced ball of lint, this spider-like insect often signals the presence of bedbugs. If you see a masked hunter at your hotel or cabin, it’s time to find new accommodations.

Finally a bug that won’t hurt you if it flutters onto your face. The wee harlequin bug, which is small, glossy, and black, is a member of the stinkbug family. It is found throughout the United States but in especially high populations in Oregon. You can find it in flowery meadows and throughout the many parks in the state. Phillip Elden notes that the wee harlequin bug eats raspberries, grapes, and snapdragons.

Phillip Elden stresses that all bugs can be a nuisance. However, they are crucial to their environment and make up an important food source for reptiles and amphibians. So think twice before you spray.