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Are Potato Bugs Poisonous? Do Potato Bugs Bite? (Answered)

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Potato bugs are typically found in the soil under piles of wood, leaves, rocks, and trash. They can be very bothersome when there’s an infestation. But how concerned should you be?

Are potato bugs poisonous? Do potato bugs bite? Let’s find out in the following article as we walk you through the various aspects associated with it.

Are potato bugs poisonous?

No, potato bugs are not poisonous. But there are still reasons for you to be concerned because their saliva contains toxin-rich ingredients which can cause severe damage to plants on the ground that has been infested. And even for humans and other animals, bites of these bugs can be quite painful.

Potato bugs are not poisonous themselves. But there are some things about these that may cause trouble for the animals and humans that they live around. The saliva of potato bugs is rich in toxins, which may cause reactions if they bite someone.

If the potato bugs bite humans, they may cause irritation and other reactions. The bites of potato bugs are likely to cause soreness for humans. In addition, there is likely to be irritation and redness in the skin after you get bitten by the potato bugs.

In the case of pets, potato bugs are likely to intrigue your pets to eat them. If your pets eat potato bugs in large quantities, it will cause stomach troubles for them as these bugs contain toxins in their bodies.

Bite of the potato bugs will also irritate the skins of your pets. If your cats or dogs get bitten by potato bugs, they will have itchy and red skin for a while. Potato bugs, especially the colorado potato beetles and Jerusalem crickets, are also damaging for plants on the grounds.


Potato bugs can be somewhat poisonous to dogs. Their saliva is rich in toxins. So if your dogs get bitten by potato bugs, they may develop some reactions. There will be some visible symptoms in such a case, so you should watch out for those.

Dogs are very curious animals and they may end up eating potato bugs on the grounds. While potato bugs are not toxic to dogs themselves, eating them in large quantities can cause some severe trouble for your dog.


Potato bugs are not poisonous to cats as well. But they can still prove to be harmful to cats in certain conditions. Cats are also very curious animals, especially when it comes to bugs. They love to hunt down bugs and eat them.

But if your cat eats too many potato bugs, it will surely prove to be harmful to them. That is because the potato bugs and colorado potato beetles, which are commonly found in the grounds in fall through spring, contain toxins in their bodies. This will cause irritation and other symptoms for cats.

Cats are likely to experience symptoms like vomiting, upset stomach, and more when they consume potato bugs. And if they get bitten by the potato bugs, they are likely to have redness and irritated skin.


Potato bugs are not poisonous to humans either. But these bugs will irritate the skins of humans if they bite. In addition, they will cause redness and may even cause swollen skin when they bite.

Do potato bugs bite?

Potato bugs do not bite unless you’re on their way or destroying their habitat. Potato bugs prefer not to bite humans. But if they do, it is going to sting because they have strong jaws and toxins in their saliva. They usually use their jaws to dig holes in the grounds, so no wonder it will hurt.

Potato bugs will not bite you unless they have to. They do not generally enjoy biting animals and humans because it takes a toll on them. But if you or your pets get in their way, or disturb their way of life, then they are likely to bite you.

If potato bugs bite you, then it is going to be quite painful for a while. You are likely to have swollen bite marks, redness, itchiness, and pain in general for several hours. These bugs have really strong jaws, which makes their bites painful. They use their jaws to create holes in the ground, so you can understand how hard they can bite when they’re messed with.

In addition, potato bugs contain toxins in their saliva, which makes their bites even more painful. If your pets get bitten, then they will most likely have red spots and pain for a while.

Colorado potato beetles:

Yes, colorado potato beetles will bite you if they feel threatened. While they do not generally bite humans and animals, but they feel that they are being threatened, they will not hesitate to bite you strongly.

While these beetles are not poisonous, their saliva contains toxins. So this is supposed to sting when they bite you or your pets. They also have very strong jaws, which are primarily used to dig holes in the ground.

Jerusalem cricket:

Jerusalem crickets do not enjoy biting unnecessarily and they will not bite you if it can be avoided. But if they feel threatened by humans or animals, then they will not hesitate to bite.

The bite of Jerusalem cricket hurts because they have very strong jaws. They typically make holes in the ground and in trees with their jaws so you can imagine how hurtful their bite may be.

Do potato bug bites hurt?

Yes, potato bug bites hurt very much. These bugs do not generally bite humans and animals, instead, they use their jaws to dig holes. But if they feel threatened by an animal or human, they will not hesitate to bite them hard. These bugs are very protective of their colony and habitat, so they will fight back.

And their jaws are very strong as they have trained themselves to bite on strong surfaces to create holes. So you can imagine how hard they can bite and how bad it’s going to hurt you.

What happens if a potato bug bites you?

Potato bugs are not likely to bite you or your pets. But they will put a strong bite if they feel threatened. Here’s what happens if a potato bug bites you:

Painful spots:

Since potato bugs have very strong jaws, their bite is supposed to hurt you. They bite pretty hard if they feel threatened, in which case the bitten spots will be very painful. In addition, you may have swollen spots as well.

Since the potato bugs have toxins in their saliva, their bites will leave a sharp pain behind. Animals will even shriek in pain sometimes if multiple potato bugs bite them.


There will also be swollen red spots where the potato bugs have bitten you or your animal. Your furry friends are also likely to have small bumps underneath their fur. So you should check under their fur if you notice them licking their bodies or certain spots unusually.

Humans will also have visible red spots in their skins, which are likely to itch and cause pain.

Are potato bugs harmful to plants?

Potato bugs are generally very peaceful bugs. They will not cause harm to you, your pets, or your yard. In fact, these bugs help decomposition because they eat lifeless plants and leaves.

But if these plants cannot find dry or lifeless leaves, they will eat young plants on the grounds. So they have a possibility of causing harm to young plants during the rainy seasons and the fall.

How do I get rid of potato bugs?

While there are several benefits of having potato bugs on the grounds, they can be quite harmful sometimes. If they begin to bother you, there are several steps that you can take to get rid of potato bugs. Here’s what you can do to get rid of potato bugs:

Neem oil:

 Neem oil is extracted from neem trees that largely grow in Asia. Potato bugs cannot tolerate the smell of needed oil and it drives them away. This is a natural way to get rid of potato bugs.

Load a sprayer with this oil, mix some water and spray it around the plants in your yard. This will help get rid of potato bugs from around young plants and bushes.

Insect dust:

If you’re not concerned about natural or organic remedies, then you can use insect dust to get rid of potato bugs. Simply throw some insect dust around the area where you have spotted clusters of potato bugs. This will help you get rid of potato bugs.

Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide Dust, 1 LB

Final thoughts

Potato bugs are not poisonous. And these bugs generally do not bite. But they will certainly bite humans and animals if they feel threatened. In addition, the potato bugs contain many types of toxins in their saliva, which may cause allergic reactions sometimes.

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