Potato Bugs live all over the Western United States and in parts of Mexico. Their scientific name is Stenopelmatus fuscus. Potato bug adults measure about 5 cm long (2 in). They belong to the same superfamily (Stenopelmatoidea) as the New Zealand and Australian wetas and king crickets.
Potato bugs are nocturnal. They get their nickname from the fact that they are often found buried in potato or other crop fields. They don’t harm crops however, and they won’t hurt the plants in your garden.
Potato bugs feed on decaying plants and roots which improves the soil. They also eat other insects- many of them farmers’ pests. Potato bugs actually do an important job for the ecosystem.
Potato bugs are also very docile, gentle guys. They are not poisonous and will only bite in self defense. They are friendly bugs and just like to live their lives.
If you find one in the house, just scoop him gently into a cup and place him outside somewhere safe. The potato bug means nobody any harm and again, plays an important role in keeping the ecosystem healthy.