Caution! Poison Spitting Insect: Two-striped Walking Sticks


Here at BugMaster, we had a call recently about insects that have been hurting dogs. These dogs have been sprayed in the eyes with a defensive chemical that causes a painful burning sensation. The culprit of these crimes are two-striped walking stick (Anisomorpha buprestoides), also known by threatening names like the devil’s riding horse, prairie alligator, stick bug, witch’s horse, devil’s darning needle, scorpion, and musk mare.

Two-striped walking sticks are common among Florida and the Gulf Coast region and areas on to Texas. Unlike other harmless stick bugs, two-striped walking sticks spray a defensive chemical that is strong-smelling and painful to the eyes and mucus membranes. These stick bugs are out-and-about lately because it is their mating season where the male bugs, who are much smaller, can be seen riding atop of the significantly larger female bugs.

Unlike other stick insects, two-striped walking sticks have glands at their heads that are functional at birth. These glands can be voluntarily used to shoot a chemical spray to ward off enemies like ants, birds, beetles, mice, and opossums who would (and do) eat them. Two-striped walking sticks can aim 30-40 cm with accuracy, but can shoot their spray even further in less controlled directions. While it is most common that they are instigated to spray after being poked, they do not necessarily have to be touched to spray, but can spray when they feel threatened.

Being sprayed in the eyes leads to intense immediate pain with a burning sensation, then a dull aching pain that wears away in a few hours, then the next day or two, light and pressure sensitivity, and redness in entire cornea can be expected.

If you or your pet come in contact with the spray, immediately rinse the eyes thoroughly with water. While the spray may not be severely detrimental or damaging long-term, we recommend promptly visiting a doctor or vet just to make sure that you or your pet are not having an abnormally sever reaction or have cause serious damage to your eyes.

To prevent your pets from being sprayed from two-striped walking sticks, treat your yard with Demon WP. Demon WP is not specifically made to eliminate two-striped walking sticks, but rather is created to rid hard-to-kill insects like scorpions, roaches, and spiders, and we have found it works for these insects, too. If you are having trouble with two-striped walking sticks and need help, call BugMaster to have us treat your yard.

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About BugMasterMobile

BugMaster Exterminator, Inc, located in Mobile and Baldwin County Alabama, is a locally owned and operated pest control, termite, and wildlife extraction company since 1975. And with over 40 years experience in the pest control industry we realize the importance of a company’s commitment to quality, professional personnel, proactive programs and innovative products. BugMaster complies with all relevant state required health and safety regulations. As required by the State of Alabama, we not only carry liability insurance, but we are also bonded. We offer our total satisfaction guarantee with your regularly scheduled treatments. BugMaster will make sure you the job is done right and thorough. Because we hold our company and our team to uncompromising standards of quality, we at BugMaster work collectively and personally to guarantee that your quality of service is the BEST in Mobile, Alabama and Baldwin County. BugMaster Specializes In: * Residential * AIB Facilities * Healthcare * Hospitality Industry * Food Service * Property Management * Retail * Municipal Transportation * Small Business * Schools/Universities * Manufacturing * Food & Beverage * Processing * Warehouse * Marine As the Premier pest control Provider for our area we at BugMaster can meet all your local and regional pest needs.
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3 Responses to Caution! Poison Spitting Insect: Two-striped Walking Sticks

  1. Pingback: 10 Incredible Abilities Of Stick Insects | ratermob

  2. BRENDA NUTTER says:

    Thank you so much! Our yard in
    Diana, TX is full of them. We will wear goggles when over there just in case. We don’t live there but would likt to use the property from time to time.
    We have loads of them. Knew it wasn, t a praying mantid. Just wasn’t sure what it was. Anisomorpha=never heard of it before. Thanks again.

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