Big-Eyed Bug
(Common Name)
Beneficial Predator
(General Category)
Hemiptera: Geocoridae
(Taxonomic Classification)
Geocoris spp. (several species)
(Scientific Name)


Description: These small (approximately 1/4 inch) generalist predators are common in many different rural and urban landscapes. They prey on a variety of insect eggs, mites, aphids, and other small prey if the opportunity arises. In all stages of life they are active searching predators, but will occasionally feed on plants. Once these bugs have found a meal they insert their needle sharp beak, inject digestive enzymes, then suck up the partially digested insides of their prey. They are not known for biting people though.

Identification:  Rollover pictures with mouse for tips on how to identify these predators. Adults: Small (approximately 1/4 inch); wide head that gives the big-eyed appearance; antennae arising close together in the lower middle of the "face"; lack of triangular plates ("cuneus") on the front wings (compared to plant bugs); antennae have 4 segments, compared to 5 for stink bugs. Nymphs: Smaller than adults, with the same body shape and features, but without wings, and often a lighter color.

Value in Pest Management: Geocoris predators are found in a variety of agricultural and landscape habitats where they contribute to natual control of a variety of small insects and other arthropods such as mites. They are common in turf grass where they feed on chinch bugs, sod webworms, and other pests. They are available commercially for management of aphids, caterpillars, and mites (see BIRC online Directory).

Origin and Distribution:  Native, throughout eastern North America (

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