Q:

Are potato bugs poisonous?

A:

Jerusalem crickets, also known as potato bugs, can bite humans, but they don't release any poisonous venom. Jerusalem crickets typically bite when they feel threatened. Fortunately, their bodies don't contain glands for producing harmful toxins.

While fairly harmless, Jerusalem crickets are imposing because of their large size, which ranges from 1 to 2.5 inches. Adults have brown or yellow wingless bodies, and they make a distinct hissing noise. People should avoid attacking or picking up Jerusalem crickets whenever possible because they have sturdy, forceful jaws that can inflict a painful bite. Whether indoors or outdoors, Jerusalem crickets try to stay away from humans by hiding underground, beneath rocks and logs, and in dark corners of homes.


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