English name: Masked Hunter, Bed Bug Hunter
Latin name: Reduvius personatus
Table of Contents
Technical sheet: masked hunter
This insect, also called masked insect, is a large nocturnal bug. As its name suggests, this insect is a predator that loves the art of camouflage and is frequently found in homes in the summer. Be careful, because this insect has a biting proboscis (mouthpart) causing severe pain and itching. In addition, this insect in the nymphal stage (nymph) camouflages itself by sticking waste and dust on the body which can transmit bacteria into foodstuffs and therefore diseases.
- Order: Hemiptera
- Family: Reduviidae (Reduviidae)
- Scientific name: Reduvius personatus
- Species: more than 200 species worldwide belong to the genus Reduvius
- Diet: they are insectivorous and feed on soft-bodied insects such as flies, bedbugs, silverfish, psocids, aphids, moths, etc.
- Habitat: house, cellar, attic, store, warehouse, pigeon nest, forests
- Specificities: although its bites are painful, the masked hunter is quite useful in a house because it eats pests (moth, fly, and even the terrible bedbug) but also the Colorado beetle in the gardens
Way of life
- Reproduction: the female lays 30 to 270 brownish eggs and deposits them randomly as she passes
- Adult lifespan: 60 to 215 days (2 to 7 months)
- Egg hatching: 1 to 3 weeks
- Cycle: In Canada, the cycle lasts 2 years between hatching and the last molt before moving on to the adult stage
- Its predators: birds, reptiles, spiders
- Adult length: 16 to 22 mm
- Description: Narrow and elongated body. Small head with a rostrum that allows it to suck up its food. Presence of wings. Filiform antennae.
- Colour: black to shiny dark brown
- Description of the nymph: Miniature version of the adult. Absence of wings. Produces a sticky substance to use surrounding dust for camouflage. Due to its disguise, the nymph is generally greyish.
Signs of presence
- 1mm red eggs scattered around the house
- The larvae secrete a fatty and sticky substance that can be observed
- These insects are seen at night wandering on old floors in search of prey.
- Install mosquito nets on the windows
- Caulk holes and gaps
- Remove the food source, i.e. eliminate the insects that serve as meals
- Thoroughly clean the closets and vacuum every corner of the house
- Do not pick up the insect with your hand as it can sting you and this is painful.
A rather imposing bug
They are predatory insects. A fairly common species, the Masked Hunter, sometimes finds refuge in the house in summer. It may produce a sound similar to scratching. It is rather nocturnal, watch out for the sting of the rostrum (mouthpart)!
General information about this bug
It is also called masked reve. The masked hunter is a fairly large bug, measuring up to 2 cm. This hemiptera is blackish and has a narrow, elongated head. Its mouthparts are in the form of a tube which allows it to suck up its food.
Masked Hunter Nymph
The female lays around thirty or forty eggs during the breeding season. Eggs are deposited randomly. They are neither stuck to each other nor to the surface on which they are located. They are oviform and no more than a millimetre in size. Their colour is red.
Nymphs are identical to adults, except that their wings lengthen as they grow. They also eat the same way as them. They have sticky hairs all over their body. This allows them to camouflage themselves by covering themselves with dust.
These bed bugs live in homes without anyone noticing them. Indeed, they are nocturnal, although very attracted to light. They are found in homes with old floors, but also in trees.
Redworms are capable of biting humans when they feel in danger. The sting is very painful, it causes itching for a whole week.
This species is very common and colonises homes all over the world, although initially, it is native to Europe.