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What is this pest?
 Submit photos of any pest you would like identified.  Hopefully one of our visitors will be able to identify them.  
 
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The pictures below have been submitted by visitors.  If you can identify them you are invited to send us your answers. Your description  is also welcome.  
Please Include the picture number in your answers.  


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#900  Hi!  I live in the house (Etobicoke-Ontario) that I moved into a few months ago and have been finding a few of these bugs along base boards or in the drawer below  the bed.  There haven't been many, but enough to be concerned about.  I'd appreciate any help with identifying them and safe ways of getting rid of them.   Thank you.  Lubo 
I cannot be certain from the photograph, but this may be a larva of a dermestid beetle - see numbers 883 and 878. See http://sgrl.csiro.au/storage/insects/insect_image/Insects_ID/Web scans low/Attagenus_spp_larvae.jpg for an image, and http://pmo.umext.maine.edu/factsht/carpetbl.htm for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#899  Hello,  I live in Vancouver, B.C. and found this bug in my silverware drawer in my kitchen. Over the past several months I've seen 2 others that looked similar on my kitchen counter. This is the third and I'm getting concerned. I captured this one so I could get a photo. Any help to be offered on what it is and how to get rid of it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!  GINA 
This is another dermestid beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Anthrenus; see
http://212.84.179.117/i/Anthrenus.jpg for an image and numbers 892 and 886 for other examples. Although known primarily as pests of woolen fabrics (especially carpeting), they can be pantry pests as well, sometimes infesting cereals, red pepper, fishmeal, or any processed animal or plant food. See http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7436.html for a fact sheet that includes control measures.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#898   Hello – I found this spider in our home last evening. I live in New Mexico, just outside of Albuquerque.  The spider was clinging to the outside of a stereo speaker, which has black acoustic fabric.  The spider is brown and around 5-6 cm in length.  It has a interesting pattern.  Does anyone know what it is?  Thanks - Wayne

This is a wolf spider (family Lycosidae); see number 768 for another example. They are general predators on other small arthropods, using their excellent (for spiders) eyesight to detect potential prey. They are not aggressive, but a large specimen could deliver a painful bite if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#897  IS THIS A HUMMINGBIRD???   Cassie.
This is a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae); some larger species are called hummingbird moths, from their habit of hovering at flowers as the feed on the nectar. This specimen appears to be a White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata);
see
http://www.laspilitas.com/butterflies/Butterflies_and_Moths/white-lined_sphinx/white-lined_sphinx_getting_nectar_from_a_desert_bell.jpg 

#896  Please help us identify this bug. It is a half-inch in length, it has wings, is brown-black and has a pointed head with a snout. It has six legs and two feelers on the nose. The body is rounded with a fairly hard shell. It is not a fast mover. It has been found on the walls, across the floor and in the bathrooms, mainly. Any help with this one? Thanks, Teddie
London, ON
This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), but it does not appear to be a species known to be a household pest. There are several species of plant-feeding weevils that may be found indoors; see numbers 844 and 850 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#895  Hi, thanks for your great web site. I saw this spider come out of a shed near a corn field in Southern Ontario. Can anyone identify it?
Although I cannot see the pedipalps clearly, this may be a male orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae);
see
http://jorgenlissner.dk/Pictures%5CAraneus_alsine_han_942.jpg for an image. As with most true spiders, the male tends to be much smaller and with a more slender abdomen than the female; see http://www.painetworks.com/photos/fn/fn0440.JPG for a courting pair.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #894    This got caught in my window. I wasn't about to open it to get a better view. It appears to be some sort of wasp but it is extremely large (about 1 inch total length). I live in Baltimore, MD. Any ideas? Thanks. -Josh
 This appears to be a paper wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in the genus Polistes (see http://entomology.unl.edu/images/paprwasps/polistes_blk.jpg for an image). Their nests tend to be relatively small and open (see http://www.entomology.ucr.edu/ebeling/figures/fig237.jpg), rather than being enclosed in a paper shell. Although these wasps can deliver a painful sting, they do not tend to be very aggressive.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#893 This was taken Thursday, August 25, 2005, 6:31:31 PM sitting relatively still, with the odd slight movement around my balcony door in Toronto. It gave me a good scare, as it was in the around an inch and a half long. It seemed quite unconcerned with me. It was "probing" the wood with its abdomen constantly. Any Ideas? Thanks, -Joe.
 This appears to be a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata, Hymenoptera: Vespidae); see http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7436.html for an image. This species constructs large nests (see http://www.ppdl.purdue.edu/ppdl/images/hornets_nest.jpeg) from a paper-like substance they make by chewing up wood pulp - they often can be seen scraping unfinished wood such as from fence posts, etc. Be advised that they appear to have little or no sense of humour when their nests are disturbed. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a bald-faced hornet. It's a species of large wasp that will sting repeatedly if disturbed. They can build impressive nests, I would definitely call a professional to get rid of a bald-faced hornet colony, it can be quite dangerous. But you probably just encountered a "tourist" visiting your balcony.  -Oliver

#892  I live in Grand Junction, CO  I found these two this morning on a bedspread in the guest room.  I had previously (about 10 days ago) found two on the bedspread in my bedroom.  They are tiny, about the size of a pinhead or small nail head; top is black and dark rust brown, almost looks like stripes.  Underside is grayish.  I think they have 6 legs and 2 small antennae.  They have wings, but scurried when I tried to pick them up, did not fly.  I have looked and have not found more in the beds, under the sheets or under the mattress.  Bette Morgan 
This appears to be a dermestid beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Anthrenus; see http://212.84.179.117/i/Anthrenus.jpg for an image. This genus includes several species (carpet/furniture beetles) that may be household pests, as their larvae feed on a wide variety of organic material, including fabrics containing wool. If you have woolen carpeting, you may wish to examine the edges for signs of the larvae.
 (see http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/diaglab/04images/504anthrenus-carpet-beetle.jpg  for an image) and/or damage. The adult beetles do no damage themselves, feeding primarily on pollen. See
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7436.html  for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#891  Please help! I'm afraid we have termites!  Last year I found these through out the house (at peak time I found several a day) from April till october and then they were gone but now I found one again and I don't know what they are. I think I found some type of nest between the floor joists and last year I emailed you folks thinking they might be earwig larvae but I know they aren't. Please advise me what they are, if they are harmful, and what I can do to get rid of them. I have small children and these are creeping me out. Thanks for your assistance. Rosanne.  Smithers, BC
The photo is too small and blurry for a positive identification, but it could be a larva of a beetle (especially if the dark tip of the abdomen are hardened structures called urogomphi; see http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=0013011 for an example). It definitely is not a wood-boring insect, and does not appear to be anything that would pose a health threat. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#890  Hi, we live in Moose Jaw the bugs are mainly in the basement. How do we get rid of them?  Thanks,  Ashley
 This is a crustacean in the order Isopoda (sowbugs, pillbugs, woodlice, etc.) They often are found indoors in moist situations (usually basements). They primarily are scavengers on decaying organic material; although some species are capable of feeding on living vegetation, they seldom cause any real damage. The best control is to eliminate unnecessary sources of moisture and high humidity, as well as potential harborage. They breath through gills that must be kept moist, and they cannot survive for long in a dry environment. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2072.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#989   just wondering what kind of spider this is. I found it in my basement of my Toronto home. it doesn't seem to be able to climb since it's trying desperately to climb the container i have it, but can't. I'd appreciate some info, thanks.  Bryan
 I cannot be certain, but this spider might be in the family Amaurobiidae (hacklemesh weavers or night spiders). Although they do spin webs, usually under cover of some kind, these spiders will wander about as well. At any rate, this spider does not appear to be of any concern as far as human health is concerned. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#888  Please help! We live in Western Maryland USA and have been finding these creatures in our house for about the last 2 weeks (late March). We have lived in this house for 13 years and this is the first time I have seen any thing like this. We have only seen them one at a time. Each time we kill one another shows up a day or two later (maybe the same one is coming back to haunt us repeatedly). It is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and it can fly. It is black and the markings are yellowish orange with a reddish tint on the legs. It does not seem to mind the light so I don't think it is a roach. The closest thing I could find on your site was the long-horned wood boring  beetle but the markings and antennae don't seem right. And although the cats and the dog seem to think they make great toys, I just want to know what they are and if they are a problem. Thank you.  Michael
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), specifically, it appears to be a locust borer, Megacyllene robiniae; see http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles_locust_borer.htm  for images. They can harm locust trees both by the direct action of their larvae boring in the trees, as well as by fungal pathogens that gain entry to the trees through the larval burrows. The adults often are found on flowers, feeding on pollen.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#887  I found these spiders under fence posts in my backyard (each one under a different post, but less than 6 feet from one another). I'm confident they're black widow spiders, but my question is do they nest in groups? I also found a small 'baby' sized spider and multiple suspicious webs under other posts. Should I contact someone about this (a black widow infestation?), or I am just worried given their reputation as deadly spiders? I live in central Virginia, and have never seen these before in this area. Thanks, Joe
These are indeed black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans). Although considered dangerously venomous, they are not aggressive, and should pose little threat if left undisturbed. If bitten, an effective antivenom ("Antivenin (Latrodectus mactans) is available; see http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/a/antivenin/antivenin_pi.pdf .
See
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2061A.html   for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. You also may wish to contact your county office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension service for additional advice; see http://www.ext.vt.edu/offices/  for contact information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #886  I found this bug inside my house near Sacramento, Ca. Please help me identify it. Thanks, Jeff 
This appears to be a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Anthrenus. If you have carpets that contain wool, you may wish to examine the edges of these closely for signs of the larvae of these beetles (see http://insektenfotos.de/Anthrenus verbasci (Wollkraut-Bluetenkaefer), Larve_003.jpg  for an image). Also, they can be pantry pests as well, sometimes infesting cereals, red pepper, fishmeal, or any processed animal or plant food. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #885  I've noticed these hairy, waspy-looking flying insects for years here in the southern tip of Texas, always in hot weather (85 - 95 F).  I've also seen them around the Nueces River in north-central Texas during fishing trips in summer.  This picture was taken two days ago on April 2nd in my backyard in South Texas.  This one was about 2.5 cm long, which seems to be the average size of those I've seen.  I previously wondered if they were a threat to my small container garden of chiles and tomatoes, but I saw this little bugger holding onto a captured Honeybee.  Although they may not be a direct danger to herbs and vegetables, I still don't want them attacking the beneficial Honeybees that help pollinate fruit and flower blooms.  What is this insect, and does it pose any danger to humans?  If so, how can I prevent them from loitering around my garden?  Thanks so much.   --Bryan
This is a robber fly (Diptera: Asilidae). These flies are voracious predators on other insects (including bees). They usually wait on a perch for something to fly within range, than launching themselves at the intended prey. If successful at capture, they then usually return to their perch to consume their victim. They basically are harmless to humans, but a large specimen could give a painful ‘bite’ if mishandled. See http://www.hr-rna.com/RNA/Robber%20main%20page.htm for links to many photos of these fascinating insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

Indian meal moth larva

 #884  Pest Control Experts… please help me to identify this insect so I can be sure that I don’t have a larger problem than the one I am about to describe.  I live in eastern Pennsylvania and the climate has been slowly warming to a 40-60 degree (f)   I have found 3 of these larva/worms in my home in the last week.  All three were at the exact point in a room where the wall meets the ceiling.  They’re about 1 inch long, pinkish orange in color, and have a darker spot on each end.  I removed two by digging under it with a stiff bit of paper, and they were semi-adhered to the surface of my wall/ceiling.  They’re alive, but they don’t move.  They were each in a different room, but not actually too far from each other.   So, if I have a nest/hive/infestation of something in between the walls of my house, what could they be?  If it’s just a coincidence and these guys were just visitors to my home, where did they come from and what are they going to be turning into?  I’m going on the assumption that they’re the maggot larva of some kind of fly-type insect but I don’t know of any insect whose larva doesn’t eat.  Worse, is it some kind of mutated termite thing that’s slowly eating my drywall?  (I don’t live over an Indian burial ground or near a nuclear facility of any kind, but one never knows).  Any advice/help would be appreciated. Greg
The photo is too fuzzy for a positive identification, but there is a possibility that these are mature caterpillars of Indian meal moths (Plodia interpunctella; Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) looking for a place to pupate. See
http://www.uark.edu/depts/entomolo/museum/Indlv72b.jpg for images and http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2089.html for a fact sheet that includes control measures. If after reviewing this material you believe that you have something different, you might try contacting your county office of the Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension service for assistance in identification. See http://www.extension.psu.edu/extmap.html for contact information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#883  I live in an apartment (in Winnipeg) that I moved into a few months ago and have been finding a few of these bugs along base boards or on the carpet in crevices every couple of days. There haven't been many, but enough to be concerned about. They are 4-5 mm in length, do not appear to have any hair on their bodies except for a tiny bit at their tail end (don't seem to be furry enough along the body to be carpet beetle larvae). I have a cat who has never had fleas but could this be an infestation of fleas from a previous tenant? Could these be flea larvae? I am worried my cat will now be exposed to these if they are in fact fleas. They are hard to squish but you can. When touched they curl up or try to wiggle back into the carpet. Please help. Thank you.  Stephanie
Although not your ‘typical’ carpet beetle larva in appearance, this could be a larva of a carpet beetle in the genus Attagenus (Coleoptera: Dermastidae). See number 878 for another example, http://sgrl.csiro.au/storage/insects/insect_image/Insects_ID/Web scans low/Attagenus_spp_larvae.jpg     for an image, and http://pmo.umext.maine.edu/factsht/carpetbl.htm  for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Flea larvae lack legs, and are more lightly sclerotized - see http://www.uky.edu/Ag/kpn/flea2.jpg for an image.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#882  i found a half a dozen or so of these bugs on and around our bed. they look similar to beg bugs i think, but they are much smaller in size? is that what they are?  jenny.

These do appear to be nymphs of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius. See http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef636.htm for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #881  Hello, I live in North Iowa and lately I've been finding more and more of these things, almost as much as those japanese beetles it seems. Mostly in our kitchen, sun room and bathroom. I'm thinking its because of the heating vents along the floor or the presence of the sinks, shower and the basement door in-between the two rooms. At first I only found one each night I got home from work, but tonight I must have found 14 or so all various sizes. I also have found a few in my upstairs bedroom, which also has a heat vent on the floor. I would really, really appreciate any ideas on what they are and how to prevent them from coming back. Thank you.  Jason Clemens
The two appendages at the rear indicate this is a sow bug. Pill bugs do not have these protrusions allowing them to roll up into a ball (like a pill)  More information about sow bugs and pill bugs.

 #880  Hello,    We live in London, On. These started showing up in our living room in February.  I figure from the firewood but not sure. 
 It's middle is red in colour with the same red on it's legs the rest of it is black. Thank you.   Cyndi.
 
 This a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). I am uncertain as to its precise identity, but it might be a tanbark borer, Phymatodes testaceous
(see
http://www.wbrc.org.uk/WorcRecd/Issue11/Images/PHYMATODES%20TESTACEUS.jpg and pest photo number 309 (genus misspelled as Pymatodes). It likely did come in the house with firewood, and it poses no danger to the house. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #879  The flying bugs in the attached pictures started swarming on March 13th in my son's bedroom.  They are coming out of a hole in the track lighting on the ceiling.  They swarm during the day and are attracted to light.  One exterminator says they aren't carpenter ants, another exterminator says they are carpenter ants.  We just found the point of entry and have covered the hole.  There are many sites comparing carpenter ants and termites but none comparing carpenter ants and other flying ants. Please help.  Beth.
These are reproductive male carpenter ants. If you look closely under a magnifying glass you will see a single node or spike between the abdomen and the thorax. The thorax is also smoothly rounded. The tail is pointed on males, round on females.  Seeing reproductive ants in your home indicates there is at least one satellite nest that has been established at least three to five years in your home. Let a professional take care of them for you. (not the one who could not identify them)

#878  Hello,  I live in Toronto. During a vacuuming blitz in my room I found a few of these bugs in the carpet. They like to live under cardboard boxes. This little guy is smaller than the other ones, which are usually around 8 mm long. They are light brown and squirm like crazy when you poke them. They are usually stretched out, but when I was trying to pick up this guy, I squished him by accident and he curled up. They have 6 legs on the belly really close to the head, and a bunch of hairs sticking out of the tail end. I haven't seen these bugs anywhere else in the house, just in my room in the carpet. I also have 2 bunnies living in my room. I'd appreciate any help with identifying them and rabbit-safe ways of getting rid of them. Thank you!  Helen
 

This could be a larva of a carpet beetle in the genus Attagenus (Coleoptera: Dermastidae). See http://sgrl.csiro.au/storage/insects/insect_image/Insects_ID/Web scans low/Attagenus_spp_larvae.jpg  for an image, and http://pmo.umext.maine.edu/factsht/carpetbl.htm for a fact sheet that includes control measures. They key to non-chemical control is to locate and eliminate the food sources used by the larvae. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #877 On holiday in August 2005, in Vaison (France, ½ hour north of Avignon) these creatures were regular visitors to our Gete. Conditions were extremely hot, dry and sunny – even for August. The Gete was located in stony vineyards half way up a mountain – therefore high above sea-level. They moved extremely fast and had the actions and agility of a spider but look like some kind of centipede. Amazingly, they could walk on the underside of an exterior wooden table as easily as across the top. They came in varying sizes but all pretty big – 10 -15cm. The picture below is near life size as I could make it. Unfortunately, this one met its death at the hands of my daughter trying to catch it in a glass – and as you can see lost two of its many legs in the process.  Can anyone identify it as to date this pest remains unknown. I have heard that some centipedes are poisonous – so could this have also been dangerous?  Thanks.  Stephen
This is a house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), a general predator on other small arthropods. They likely originated in the Mediterranean region, but now are common throughout Europe, Asia, and much of North America, supposedly as a consequence of inadvertent human introductions. They generally are considered harmless, but a large specimen could give a painful nip if mishandled. See http://www.uark.edu/depts/entomolo/museum/house_centipede.html  for more information and nos. 809, 787, and 679 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #876.  Could you please identify this insect.  Carol
This is a nymph of a true bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera), but I cannot be certain of the family from the photograph. If a specialist in this group were to view the image, they might be able to make a determination.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

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 #875  I know this photograph isn't the highest quality, but the fact that I took the photo with a four year old digital camera through the front-end of a microscope eyepiece is pretty impressive, no?  I was hoping the small size of this bug would give away its identity. I found three of them; they were all crawling on the carpet and the wood-trim of a changeroom at my workplace.  They are tiny, to avoid killing them I had to pick them up with the ends of straight-pins.  I'd say they're about 0.2mm long. They look somewhat like ants, they're definitely from the same family (hymenoptera?) except they're lighter coloured.  Matt.
The photo (in spite of the ingenuity used) is too unclear to be certain, but the specimen looks more like a booklouse (Psocoptera: Liposcelidae) than any hymenopteran. Booklice appear commoner in relatively dusty areas having high relative humidity, such as old library stacks. They do no real harm, feeding primarily on mold spores and the like. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2080.html for a fact sheet. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #874  Hello guys, just want to say I love this site, hope you can help.  I live in Midwest City, Oklahoma.  Months back I had a really bad roach problem due to my neighbors moving out, I got that all under control,  My worst area was the kitchen and bathroom.  At the same time I noticed these little tiny bugs behind my microwave.  This is a pretty dry area but dark, they usually stay behind the microwave but almost every morning when I turn the light on there one or two out in the open on the counter.  They don't move fast at all, I don't think they have a very long life span there are alway a bunch of dead ones every time I clean behind it.  They are near my dry food pantry and don't seem to bother the food.  The boric acid I used to kill the roaches, doesn't seem to bother them at all.  Seems like there coming out of the wall through cracks.  Almost like there attracted to the glue or chaulk.  They don't bite and die really quick with a smush.  But can't get rid of them, doesn't matter how hot or cold it been.  Hope you can tell by the photo I can try to scan a better one. I haven't had any luck looking through others photos to find out what these are.  Please Help  Emy
Difficult to tell from the photo, but these could be saw-toothed grain beetles (Oryzaephilus surinamensis; Coleoptera: Silvanidae/Cucujidae) or a close relative - see no. 865 for an example. As with other potential pantry pests, infestable foodstuffs (including dry pet food) should be stored in sealable plastic/glass containers or kept under refrigeration. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#873  Thank you for you help in identifying this insect. They are in my kitchen. They crawl slowly. They seem to be attracted to dog biscuits, which I had stored in their manufacturer sealed plastic bags ( which seem to have a few tiny holes). Since seeing these insects i have thrown away the biscuits and bought new ones. I have sealed the new bag of biscuits in additional tight plastic bags. The insects are mostly are on my floor near an outside wall. My house is 100 years old. I have found several as they are crawling up the side of the refrigerator or on top trying to get into the dog biscuit bags. They squish very easily. Thank you so much for your help in getting them identified. Also any advice on how to get rid of them would be greatly appreciated.  Your web site is wonderful. I found it while trying to identify these pests. Hope
I cannot identify this beetle from the photograph. See http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/pantrypests304.shtml and http://www.entomology.ucr.edu/ebeling/ebeling7.html for guides on identifying various pantry pests. As a precaution, all infestable foodstuffs (including dry pet food) should be stored in sealable plastic/glass containers or kept under refrigeration. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#872   Hi I live in East Vancouver, Canada.  These annoying flies showed up in Dec/05 and are still permanent residents of our home... We have tried a number of different ways to figure out where they are coming from or what they are...  For the first couple of weeks there was a couple hundred a day!!! No exaggeration.  Now they are down to about 50... We had to vacuum them up there were so many.  They are not big about the size of a fruit fly, although some can be alot smaller and some slightly bigger. They are not interested in food, they stay on the ceiling and in the windows.  At first we thought they were cluster flies, but no. I saw a pic of a shore fly and they look identical, but no spots that I can see. We can't figure out how they are getting in he house.  We actually think they are already in the house...but where.  Possibly from under the floor, there is a sub-floor, and our water heater broke and flooded in Dec....  One person thinks they are fungus gnats, but the pics I've seen don't look like them...  We have a small child and pets so chemicals are out of the question.  Please help!  Thank you.  Erin
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This is a Lesser Dung Fly or Sphaeroceridae. They have a long arista on their antenna and often an enlarged hind basitarsus (first segment of hindfoot). They live in decaying organic matter like dead animals or plants...There might be something laying around in your house....Dr. Martin Hauser, Plant Pest Diagnostics, California Department of Food & Agriculture.

 #871  HI,  We live 40 km north of Toronto.  We’ve been finding these bugs (6 so far) on the kitchen counters and one at the other end of the house on the bathroom counter.  They measure 3/16 of an inch length wise, that’s why it’s so hard to get the pictures.  When they are put on their back they arch to turn back over.   Great site!  Thanks, Michael 
This appears to be another larva of a Dermestid beetle. Although commonly referred to as carpet beetles, some species can be pantry pests, attacking a wide variety of stored food products of both animal and vegetable origin. See http://extension.usu.edu/files/factsheets/carpetbe.pdf for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #870  Location: Bestwick Drive, Kamloops, BC. 
Detail: - Initially found in main dining room last fall by electrical outlet under window.
- Removed outlet cover and sprayed area as well as along baseboards for that outside wall
- Ants have returned in January(?) and are now found in many places throughout the home, but no clear direction of nest site.  - Ants range in size - Ring on 'back',  - do not seem odorous when crushed. 
Additional Info:- Home checked for termites last May, none found, but did find powder post beetle in basement sub floor which was professionally treated.
I cannot be certain from the photo, but if it is a fairly large ant, it might be a carpenter ant (Camponotus spp.) They do not eat wood, but will remove quantities of it to enlarge their nests. Also, as a rule, they do not infest sound wood, but will attack wood (including structures) that already has been damaged, such as by water leaks. See http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/ants.html for a guide to identification of common household ant species in North America.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#869  Hello ~ I live in Southern New Hampshire and found this guy climbing the wall in my carpeted living room.  I suspect it's a carpet beetle larve but would appreciate confirmation.   Also, what do you recommend to eliminate them from the house?  I have birds so am limited on pest control.  Linda
This appears to be a larva of a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). See
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2103.html for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Also, you might try contacting your county office of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension for advise in this matter - see http://extension.unh.edu/Counties/Counties.htm for contact information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#868  These have been appearing around our kitchen window in western Pennsylvania for the last week or two.  The larger ones are about ¼ inch long, from front to the end of the rear antenna.  Most are much smaller.  This is a picture of the largest one I’ve seen.  I know the picture’s not very helpful, but the things are so small that our cameras can’t focus on them.  To me, the pests look like a cross between a mayfly (with the long curved rear antenna) and an ant (with an ant body).  They look like they have wings, but I usually only see them hopping, like fleas do, though occasionally I’ll see one or two flying around the light above the sink.  I hope someone can tell me what they are so we can figure out how to take back our kitchen.  Many thanks. Mary
The image is too fuzzy to be certain, but this could be a small parasitic wasp, such as a braconid. If you cannot take a clearer photo, you might try contacting your county office of the Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension service for assistance in identification. See http://www.extension.psu.edu/extmap.html for contact information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #867  I am from Nova Scotia and in the past few weeks this bug has been appearing in our bathroom I have no idea what it is and have not been able to find any pictures of it online. Just hoping someone here can tell me what they are.  Scott
This is a bark or engraver beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae); likely in the genus Ips (see www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/fidls/ips/ipsfidl.htm). Several species can be pests on conifers, but none will infest wood in homes. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#866  I live in Florida, and found these on several milk-weed plants. I have looked everywhere for information on this bug, but have found none. As far as I can tell, it is a larva of some sort, and appears to eat only aphids. It has a 'tongue' that it sticks into the aphid, and then slowly drains it. It gains the 'white' design on it's back, after it has gotten to be about this size. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Kevin
This appears to be the larva (maggot) of a hover or flower fly (Diptera: Syrphidae). Larvae of several species are voracious predators on aphids and other soft-bodied insects; many adults bear a superficial resemblance to bees or wasps, but all are harmless to humans.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#865  I'm so impressed with this site and the experts who provide such great information for the general public. I'm hoping you can help me identify this pest, who has lately taken up residence in the pantry of my Washington, DC apartment. I've looked and looked through the postings already here and I can't seem to find this bug. I found a whole bunch of them in the food cabinet and they occasionally appear in the sink and on the counter. They are very tiny (I included a toothpick for size reference), pretty flat, dark colored, and sort of scurry around. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you for a great site, even if it will give me nightmares for a month!  Colleen
 

This appears to be a saw-toothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Coleoptera: Silvanidae/Cucujidae). They are common pantry pests, infesting a wide range of cereal-based products, including flour, dry cereals, and baking mixes. See http://entweb.clemson.edu/cuentres/eiis/pdfs/hs46.pdf for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Prevention is the best measure; such as storing all infestable products in sealed plastic/glass containers or in a refrigerator. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#864 These white larvae worms (with rings around them) measuring about 5 to 10 mm long are coming from our attic , dropping down the stove fan vent onto the stove top and also  into the sunshine ceiling light. This is in South Surrey BC. What are they and what would be causing them! Hope you can help, Thanks , Marg
The photo is too indistinct to be certain, but if ‘worms’ are legless, they may be fly larvae (maggots) that have left their food source in search of a pupation site. You might want to check the space over the ceiling in the area that they appear to be dropping from to see if you can find the source.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #863  This bug has made it's appearance a couple of weeks ago and his exact friends have been appearing ever since. We have found 6 of them so far. 4 downstairs and 2 upstairs. I put one in a glass of water overnight and it was still alive 14 hours later. The cat will not go near them which is very unusual to see her (literally) turn her nose up on some wild protein - it must stink. I live in the Vancouver region. Any help anyone can pass on would be appreciated.  Calvin
This appears to be a Box Elder Bug. They feed on the seeds of The Manitoba Maple, also Called Box Elder in certain areas. They are not harmful but more a nuisance, if you squash one on a wall it will leave a stain, also apparently it will smell badly.  Ray

 #862   Hi there, I found this beetle in my garden in Oakville, Ontario. There were about 8 to 10 of them scattered around a small bed. It measures a bit less than 1/4". So far, I haven't been able to find one like it on the web. Perhaps someone knows what it is, and if it's destructive to plants. It looks a bit like #92, but it is a bright reddish brown, and it's antennae are different. Thanks, David
This is a leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae); it bears a close resemblance to Lilioceris lilii, a species sometimes a pest on lilies. See http://gillesgonthier.com/Photos/Coleoptera/p_lilioceris04.jpg for an image. It is a European species, but is found widespread in North America. See http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/lilyleafbeetle.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#861  Hello. I have been finding these bugs for a month or so in my northern Ohio home. They have been almost exclusively where my dog sleeps so I assumed they were fleas. All the expensive flea control products have not done anything to help the problem. I've tried my best to get a close up photo, and this is the best I can get. Does anybody have any idea what these are?  Robert

These are weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae); bearing a close resemblance to pantry pest species in the genus Sitophilus (granary and rice weevils; see http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/pantrypests304.shtml). These beetles usually attack whole grain products; if you have any such products in your house, you may wish to check them for the presence of insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV. 

#860  The pictures are kind of fuzzy…here is the best description I can provide.  Body: ~3/8”,  Leg Span: ~3/4” – 1”,  Color: yellowish brown,  Front and back legs longer,  3 joints within legs,  Black tips at feet and first joint,  Fuzzy legs and body,  Two black eyes visible without magnification,  Black tipped “fangs”.
Generally found at the ceiling corners in bedrooms and bathroom on second level of house.  Generally show up in pairs, but not necessarily in the same room.  Seem to show up more frequently during consequential temperature changes.  Seem to be more active at night.  I kill about 4/week.  Any suggestions on how to get rid of them non-chemically preferably because I have a cat and dog in the house?  I am in lower Michigan, in a city neighborhood.  Thanks.  NICK

Although I suspect that this could be a sac spider (family Clubionidae), the photo is too fuzzy for a definitive identification. I suggest that you contact your county office of the Michigan State University Extension Service for assistance in identification as well as for any recommended control measures; go to http://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/ and click on "Offices/Staff" on the left side of the page. In the meantime, you could simply use a vacuum cleaner to capture any spiders wandering about, or use other non-chemical control methods (see http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/english/pdf/pnotes/spiders-e.pdf).
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

  #859  These little ones are all over the window sills and baseboards of the ground floor (the wall facing the exterior) of my home. Originally their numbers were in the hundreds, but after days of persistent spraying and vacuuming, I see about 10-20 new buggers per window per day. They're less than a millimeter in size, reddish in color, and leave a streak when you kill them. I live in central Virginia. Thanks! Joe
One of the pictures has already been 'zoomed' because these guys are so small, and the other picture has lots of dead ones just to show you where they 'hang out.'

Based on their behavior and long front legs, these could be clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa Acarina: Tetranychidae); see http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/pests/g07358.htm for a fact sheet that includes control measures. I have seen these mites congregate in enormous numbers indoors, both in homes and offices. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#858  Hi there,  These large larvae were found on alder trees, in mid-March, in the upper Fraser Valley of BC.  They appeared to be feeding, but we’re not sure if they are responsible for the extensive tunneling or if that was caused by beetle larvae.  Note the prolegs on these.  Wim vH

#857    Found this quick moving fellow as I approached the kitchen sink first thing in the morning . He scooted under the counter ledge and was sprayed with "spray nine" to kill him. He was honey brown with lighter mid section and no discernable dark lines up by his head. This is the only one so far . Date is March 7th 06 in southern Ontario Canada. It has been a mild winter this year.  Picture looks darker than real life.        Many thanks  D
 This appears to be a nymph of a brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa (Blattodea: Blattidae); see http://www.plagasonline.com.ar/images/plag-longi.gif for an image and http://pested.unl.edu/cocktoc.htm for an online cockroach control manual. Note: some authorities lump cockroaches and mantids in the order Dictyoptera; others still include them in the order Orthoptera along with grasshoppers, crickets, etc..  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks grove, WV.

 #856  Hi,  Wanted to paint our house & found some pretty serious dry rot damage in our house in Covington, WA. When we tore off the siding we found saw dust and a few of these critters hiding in some of the tunnels of the dry rotten studs. This was in late February. The dry rot was probably caused by water leaking in from the roof for many years, though the wood felt dry now. We found that previous owners (at least 7+yrs ago) had reinforced some of the rotten studs with pieces of new ones (which are undamaged), so it's hard to tell how old the damage really is! There was quite a bit of sawdust, but no live evidence of any other insects than these. I spent the last 4 hours searching the web for images and clues if these beetles actually created the tunnels / sawdust damage, or if they just happened to find a home there after the fact. After opening the wall, we glimpsed maybe a dozen, and only managed to catch one. They are @12mm long, with a flat body. I hoped the scanner would do a better job in showing the colors and pattern and I'm disappointed that it didn't. The beetle broke on the 2nd try, so I hope it'll suffice for an expert to recognize what they might be.  Many thanks,  Tina.
The image is too fuzzy to make a definitive identification. I suggest that you contact the King County office of the Washington State University Extension Service to see if anyone there can be of assistance. See http://www.metrokc.gov/WSU-CE/ for contact information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 

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#855  Please identify this bug.  They have been appearing in our living room in central NJ, USA this winter.   Usually pretty lethargic, but after holding this one captive all day for his photo session he was much more active.  Is he harmful to homes? Andrew
This is a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). They often are found indoors, but they will do no harm in the house. Several species may be important yard and garden pests (see http://www.ento.vt.edu/Fruitfiles/StinkBugs.html ). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks grove, WV.

 #854   Dear Pest Control Expert,
I found a lot of ants inside my house under the boiler. Are these termites? I live on Long Island, New York.  Samantha

These are indeed termites (see http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/suffolk/grownet/insect-pests/termites.htm ). The darker specimen is a reproductive that has lost its wings; the lighter one is a soldier. You probably will want to contact a professional pest control service (see http://www.termite.com/termite-control/new-york.html ). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks grove, WV.

#853 Hello, these little critters, have 6 legs, 2 tentacles (~1cm long) up front, 2 out back (~0.5-0.75cm long) and 1 thin tail (~1.5cm long).  The body of this one was approximately 7mm in length, but I have caught some as short as 2mm long and as long as 1cm.  The back of these have alternating brown and white stripes and their bodies seem transparent, especially when wet.  The are also very fragile in construction.  I live in a well cleaned apartment (Older, concrete structure) in Edmonton, Alberta and have found about 8 of these mostly near the washroom, since moving here 6 months ago.  These little guys move quick enough that it is a challenge to capture them.  Unfortunately this one wasn't quite as photogenic after the shot of pledge that immobilized him, which resulted in a bit of a week picture to identify.  If this picture is too bad to positively identify, please let me know and I'll take more of the next one I catch. What are they called?  Do they pose a problem?  What do they eat?  Thanks, any info greatly appreciated, Michel
  
This insect is either a silverfish or a firebrat (Thysanura: Lepismatidae). They may be pests at times, feeding on materials containing starch such as bookbindings, wallpaper, starched clothing, etc. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2108.html  for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks grove, WV.

 #852 Hi there, I live in the Central Okanagan of British Columbia, and this "Rock" nearly hit me on the head when I opened the attic hatch of a home in lake country to take a look up there. It looks like some sort of temporary "nest" of insect larvae... . It is gray and fairly solid with approx. 1/4" Channels in it where the larvae must have been and has a flat side that was probably attached to the side of a truss. You can see a little bit of brown scaling in one channel, maybe a left-over from the pupa stage...  Anyway, Hope that someone can tell me what this is...   Thanks,  Bill
Mud dauber wasps will often build nests in attics, and they occasionally fall off the underside of the roof or rafters.  I have not seen any this shape but the material looks similar. On the west coast the nests are built with the cells side by side, like a mouth organ.
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Irregular mud dauber nests are not that uncommon, particularly if they are constructed in a corner as opposed to a flat surface - see http://sphs.angeltowns.net/A_R_Wehrle/wasps/scaementarium.html for an example. We live in a house that started out as a log cabin about 150 years ago, and often find ancient mud dauber nests in the attic.   
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #851  We have been finding these in our house. They seem to drop out of nowhere. Sometimes they fly...but mostly they just drop and do nothing. We simply pick them up and throw them outside or kill them. They are simple to catch. It is a warm winter. I have not seen them outside. We probably kill or throw out 5-10 per day.
We live in Sacramento, CA. Can anyone tell me what these are? Thanks!  Bruce.
This a true bug (Hemiptera, Heteroptera), possibly in the family Lygaeidae (‘seed bugs’). Most members of this family are plant feeders, including some (such as the chinch bug) of economic importance, but a few species are predacious on other small arthropods. You might try submitting specimens to your county office of the California Cooperative Extension service (affiliated with the University of California) for assistance in specific identification. See http://ucanr.org/ce.cfm  for contact information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #850  hoping you can help.   found near grow lite fixture where plants get artificial light. also in basement bathroom .    Doug Scott
These are weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and like no. 844, do not appear to be any species considered as household pests.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #849  I live in Wakefield, Québec which is approximately 50 Km North of Ottawa, Ontario. I have been finding this bug here and there in the house. I would like to be able to identify it so that I can learn how to eliminate/control them. I have found them both during the day and night. Several have been hanging around the insulation around the unfinished windows of the basement, others ramping/crawling on the basement rug; others have been seen around the top of my walls and ceilings. I have also seen one flying to hide along the window frame. When we moved in two months ago there was no evidence of any bugs and now we have found several of these. We did bring in some firewood and I suspect they may have come from that and that they like the humidity that came with brining in our firewood in the middle of winter (which could not be helped because we bought this house in January). Please help me, I am terrified of bugs!  Louise
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae); likely Sarosesthes fulminans. They likely are coming in with firewood, as the larvae can be found under bark of dead oak trees. They will not infest timbers in the house; control (other than the physical removal of the beetles) should not be necessary. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#848  hi,  i live in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada and was hiking a local stream in mid august 2003 and took these pictures of a spider on the bank of the stream. i was hoping someone could tell me what kind of spider this is? is that some type of egg sack on it's underbelly? the overall size is comparable to a man's hand. I'd be happy to provide any other information if i can.  thank you in advance,  R Morrison
This spider is in the family Pisauridae, often called nursery-web, fishing, or dock spiders. They are active hunters closely related to wolf spiders, and often are found close to water where they have even been known to capture small fish. In spite of their size and appearance, they are harmless to humans, although a large specimen likely could deliver a painful nip if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#847  Hello, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I seem to find a couple of these bugs in my bedroom/bathroom everyday.  I have no idea how they get there or if there is an area in my house full of these that I haven't found yet.  They are green and a little less than 1/2" long.  Can you tell me what they are and if I should worry about them being in my house.  Thank you...  Jeff
This is a green lacewing (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). They generally are considered beneficial, as both the adults and larvae are predaceous on aphids and other small, soft-bodied arthropods - see http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/predators/chrysoperla.html  for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #846  Hello. I live in a basement apartment in Montreal, Quebec. I recently discovered a couple of these insects on my bed and initially thought that they could be bed bugs. However, I have since come to think that they are actually shiny spider beetles.
I discovered them right before leaving for vacation, so all I could do was lift the mattress and spray around the bed before going. Upon returning I did a thorough cleaning and accumulated approximately 20 mostly dead insects around the bed, and several others sporadically placed around the base of the wall in other parts of the room. My bed is against a wall which shares a wall with my bathroom, and I suspected that the insects had come through there. Looking carefully in a semi-closed space in the bathroom on the other side of the wall I discovered the dead body of a small mouse which my roommate suspected had died a year or two before. We then removed the body and cleaned as well as possible, removing another 20-30 of these insects.
I am writing to confirm that these are indeed spider beetles, are harmless, and do not pose a significant risk of spreading. They are approximately 2mm in length, have large, round, shiny red bodies, 6 legs, and prominent antennae on a tiny head. As they probably have gone through the walls already and been found scattered in my room, could they spread through the building to the above floors? Also, as the dead mouse was probably the initial food source and it is now long gone, is it likely that these will spread, or will they more likely die out if I keep a vigilant eye out for them? Thanks for your help. -Dave
This indeed is a spider beetle (Coleoptera: Ptinidae), specifically, the American spider beetle, Mezium affine. They will feed on a wide variety of organic material, presumably including deceased mice. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2117.html  for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#845 I was just vacuuming and moved a couch and rug and found what I suspect is a bedbug infestation. I found what I think is fecal matter and also found what you see in the attached picture. Sorry it isn't a better picture but what I have are these things that look like broken carpet fibers but are the discarded larva skins - papery and for the most part empty. A couple of them did "squish". What I'm not finding are engorged bugs - if indeed this is a bedbug problem. I live in the country north of Guelph Ontario. Hope someone can help. Lindsay
These most definitely are not bed bugs. The photo is a bit on the fuzzy side, but these might be cases of case-making clothes moths (Tinea pellionella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae). See nos. 793 and 770 for other examples, and http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/clothes_moth.htm  for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
Thanks so much for the response to my question. I'm so relieved to know that it probably isn't bedbugs.  One thing that might have been helpful would be a picture of an non-engorged adult bedbug and of bedbug larvae but all in all, I found the site to be really helpful. I quite enjoyed - if that's the correct word :) - reading other people's questions and looking at the pictures.  Thanks again for the response.  Lindsay
 
Addendum to Number 845 - See http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef636.htm for a fact sheet on bed bugs that includes images of adults and nymphs. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks grove, WV.
  #844  We live in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario and are dismayed at the sudden appearance of these bugs in our house.  They appear on the walls - we caught three in the kitchen and one each bathroom in our house.  They are about 1/2" in length.  Argh - please help! Thanks Eldon.
 
This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), but it does not appear to be a species known to be a household pest. There are several species of plant-feeding weevils that may be found indoors, including the Black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus),
see
http://www.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/black%2520vine%2520weevil%2520adult.jpg  for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
#843  This weird thing was found outdoors sitting on a picnic table in Hope BC during the summer. Any clues as to what it is?  Thanks, Colleen
This appears to be a stag beetle (Coleoptera: Lucanidae), but I am somewhat puzzled by the apparent very small size (assuming that is a ‘normal’ ball-point pen in the second photo). If the beetle were larger, it would be a good match for the rugose stag beetle (Sinodendron rugosum), a species native to British Colombia - see http://www.insectaculture.com/srugosum.htm for images. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#842  My daughter found this last year on the ground under her wagon. I thought she found an alien species. Its so weird looking.  Jill

This is the larva (caterpillar) of a tiger swallowtail. The most common is the Eastern Tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), however, two very similar species, the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail & Western Tiger Swallowtail, are nearly indistinguishable as larva, so the species you have would depend on your locale. J.D. Roberts, entomologist
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a larva of a swallowtail butterfly (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae); most likely the eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus. See nos. 688, 629, and 615 for other examples.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is the larva of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, Papilio glaucus, probably getting ready to pupate judging by the color. For more examples see:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/33089/bgimage Jim McClarin.

 

 

 

       (a)                              (b)                        (c)                    (d)                           

#841  Here is Alfred from Austria you know that Insects ?   Spider photo is taken in South Africa.  Thank You.   Alfred

a. This appears to be Synaema globosum a crab spider (family Thomisidae). The background color in this species can be quite variable, from off-white to dark orange.
b. This a carpenter bee (Xylocopa spp.). They generally are quite docile and reluctant to sting (males are stingless).
c. This appears to be a blister beetle (Coleoptera: Meloidae) in the genus Mylabris (see
http://home.tiscali.be/entomart.ins/images/Mylabrisvar.jpg )
d. This a day-flying moth in the family Zygaenidae, likely in the genus Syntomis (see http://www.arthropods.de/insecta/lepidoptera/ctenuchidae/syntomisPhegea0002.jpg )

                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A. - This appears to be a crab spider, family Thomisidae. It looks like a possible color variation or close relative of Synaema globosum .
B. - This is a carpenter bee of the Xylocopa genus. Given your locale, it's most likely the Xylocopa violacea.
C. - This looks to be one of the metallic wood borer beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). I'm not familiar with which species. Perhaps someone else more specialized in beetles may know.
D. - This is a moth from the family Arctiidae commonly called the 9 Spotted moth (Syntomis phegea). It is common throughout Europe and Asia.

#840 I live in New York state 20 minutes from the Penn. border in a small village called Monterey. Today Feb.22nd the temperature is 36 degrees out and the sun is out, there is a small swamp about 2000 yards out in the field in back of the house. I have these small bugs covering my house on the outside, under the eves and all over the siding. After I got outside to photograph them I see they do have wings but from inside they looked like a slender body with legs and feelers on both ends. And curious to what these are, could anyone let me know?/ Thanks, Cindy
This looks like another Winter Stonefly.  See #831 and 832 below.
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is indeed another small winter stonefly (Plecoptera: Capniidae). They may be separated from the other family of winter stonefly (Taeniopterygidae) by the length of their cerci (filaments at the end of the abdomen). These structures are much shorter in Taeniopterygidae.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #839  Hello.  I found your site today. I  live in France not Canada, so maybe you can't  assist me.... I don't think this creature is a pest. We found it hibernating in a drawer. It has disappeared outside now.  But I would love to know What it is??   Can you help? I have been searching everywhere on the Web for 'Rodents' or 'small mammals' etc. But no luck!!  Many Thanks,  Amanda

Since writing to you, I have at last identified the mammal thanks to another excellent website...Garden Doormouse.. 

 #838  I have been thatching/raking my yard and come across 5 of these grubs in the grass - the two pictured are typical of the rest, although some can be a bit greener. What are they? Are they harmful to my lawn? I live on Vancouver Island. Thanks for your help - Mark.
These appear to be ‘cutworms,’larvae of a group of moths in the very large family Noctuidae. Some species, such as armyworms, can be very serious agricultural and garden pests. See http://pmo.umext.maine.edu/factsht/cutwm.htm  for a fact sheet. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Concerning #831 and #832: 
Thanks to Ed Saugstad for identifying the winter stonefly.  As my house is next to a creek, I now know the source of this interesting bug.  I also found out that stoneflies are sensitive indicators of healthy streams.  The adults only live a few weeks to mate and lay their eggs in the water.  They pose no threat.  Peggy

 #836  Hi!  We live in an older house (just under 100 years) with wood floors and wood trim.  We have found several of these flying insects in our den this winter.  Can't tell if they are coming from the wood trim or from the house plants.  They are about 1cm long and seem a little waspy.  Does anyone know what it is and if they are a problem?  Thanks! - Bridget, Cambridge Ontario

This appears to be a soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) in the genus Ptecticus; see http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/phil_myers/diptera/Ptecticus_trivittatus2772.jpg/view.html 
for an image. They are not known to be pests.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 This is Ptecticus trivitattus and their larvae develop in rotting plant material... So there is no danger for your house. Dr. Martin Hauser, Plant Pest Diagnostics, California Department of Food & Agriculture

 #835  These insects are so small that my camera can't focus on them. To my eye they look black but they scanned brown, it could be that they are just too small for my eyes to tell the difference. I didn't adjust the color, but the scanner calibrated to the image to get the best detail. These bugs are occupying my bathroom, especially in the crevice between the bottom of the toilet and the floor where it is moist from condensation, and where the baseboards meet the floor in the back of the toilet. I don't really notice them during the day, but at night I can spot several. The large ones are about 2mm in length (from the back end to the tip of the antennae)The smaller ones are 1mm in length including antennae. I haven't seen any larger than 2mm and they've been living with me for 6 months now. If I disturb them, they will jump/fly 1 to 2 inches horizontally then land again. They are not very active and tend to stay in one spot - a select few will be moving around at the speed of a book louse, but never venturing further than 6 inches from the toilet or baseboard. The antennae do not curve backward along their bodies, the bugs hold them straight with a slight curve at the tips. I was given a notice that other people in my building had cockroaches, but I thought they were bigger? I'm in Vancouver, BC.  Thanks so much!  - K.
This is a primitive arthropod (you will find arguments as to whether or not they should be classified as true insects) in the order Collembola, often called ‘springtails’ from their distinctive mode of locomotion; your specimen appears to be in the family Entomobryidae. Collembolans are for the most part harmless as far as humans are concerned, although a few species in the family Sminthuridae can be agricultural or greenhouse pests. When found indoors, collembolans usually are confined to areas with plentiful moisture, as they are quite susceptible to drying out. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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 #834  Hi, I was given this insect to try and identify, he was found in a house in Gawlay in the west of Ireland in the last week (Feb 13th 2006) I’ve been unsuccessful in i.d.-ing him so far. Any help that I could get would be great. The gradations on the rule above him are 1mm apart. Many thanks,  Andrew Flanagan
This is a larva of a beetle in the family Dermestidae. Collectively called ‘skin beetles’ or ‘hide beetles,’ this family includes several important pest species such as carpet beetles, larder beetles, and the khapra beetle. As a group, they attack a very wide range of organic products, from stored grain/cereals to woolen clothing/carpeting. You may wish to thoroughly inspect your premises for signs of any more of these insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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This is a "Bristly Millipede" from the family Polyxenidae (Diplopoda, Myriapoda), probably Polyxenus lagurus which is a litter and soil animal, but can be found sometimes in houses with a high rate of humidity. This species has a large distribution in Europe and also in Eastern North America.
Christiane FASSOTTE, Consultancy Service, Biological Control and Plant Genetic Resources Department, Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W), Gembloux (BELGIUM, Europe).
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
My apologies, Andrew, for incorrectly identifying your specimen as a Dermestid larva. The superficial resemblance was so strong that I didn't examine it closely enough to notice the now obvious differences in the structure and placement of the body setae, particularly the caudal tuft. I'll require a large trowel to scrape the egg off my face for this one.
Humbly yours,   Ed Saugstad

 #833  Hi I am writing from Corbin, Ky.  I found this bug in the house this morning.  I have seen several more on my concrete porches, but usually in warm weather. Can you tell me what kind of bug it is.  Barbara
This is a cockroach nymph. If you only see them on the porches as opposed to indoors, it might be a ‘wood roach’ such as Parcoblatta spp. (see http://www.mda.state.mn.us/biocon/insectorders/images/orthoptera_i.jpg  for an image). These are very common in wooded areas, and although they occasionally will invade homes, they seldom become a problem (see http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/pa_wood_cockroach.htm ). You may wish to set up some monitoring traps (such as ‘roach motels’) indoors to see whether you have an infestation of peridomestic cockroaches. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #832  I have found several of these inside my house recently, and on milder days (above freezing) seen a couple on the house exterior. This seems unusual for February in south-eastern Ontario. It looks similar to the bug Peggy has found in Des Moines, Iowa. It's aprox.1 cm (3/8 inch) in length, and appears to small wings growing. Any ideas? Cameron, Trenton, Ontario
This is another small winter stonefly (Plecoptera: Capniidae); see no. 832. They are completely harmless.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #831    I hope you can help.  These are all over the outside of my windows on east side of my home near Des Moines, Iowa.  Not an earwig or a silverfish, but around the same size.  This has been a mild winter, in fact on the day I took these (Feb 13, 2006) picture it was 50 degrees F.  Are they bad?  I have found a few inside now.  Thanks, Peggy
This is an adult winter stonefly (Order Plecoptera). Based on the long cerci, it likely is in the family Capniidae ("small winter stoneflies"). Their immature stages (naiads) are aquatic, usually found in smaller streams. The adults usually emerge from January through March. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
 #830  This bug measures less than 1/16".  When I caught it, it was reddish and translucent, presumably engorged with my blood. (?) I took the bed apart and searched crevices in floorboards, drape seams, picture frames, etc, etc, but found no more bugs of any kind. I've been waking up with a couple of new welts a day, widely spaced. I'm desperate to find out what is biting me. Can it be this tiny pest? Is it a bedbug of some kind, or a bedbug nymph? Thank you for your help!  Naomi 
Although the photo is quite fuzzy, the overall shape of the specimen is more consistent with that of an engorged immature tick than that of a bedbug. However, unless you live in the deep south, this is, to the best of my knowledge, an unusual time of year to encounter tick species that are human pests. If you live in the USA, look in your telephone directory under County Government offices for an Extension Service listing (usually, these are affiliated with a state university), and see if someone there can be of assistance in identification.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#829  Hello there -  This little creature wandered in from the back yard through an open door.  It is less than a half-inch in size, has eight legs and a bulbous body that looks like a grey jelly belly.  Can you help us figure out what it is?  We live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Thanks.
This is an engorged tick in the family Ixodidae. At least three genera occur in California - Dermacentor, Ixodes, and Rhipicephalus; see http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/faculty/rbkimsey/caticks.html . Ticks in the genus Ixodes have been implicated in the transmission of Lyme borrelliosis (Lyme disease);  see information specific to California at  http://www.dhs.ca.gov/dcdc/disb/pdf/dhs_lyme_medbd_news_10_2001.pdf   
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a blood swollen (well fed) female tick.  Not sure of species.  Here is more info on ticks -
http://www.pestproducts.com/ticks1.htm
J.D. Roberts, entomologist.
  #828  This is a bug found in my garage by my father. Nobody seems to know what exactly this is. My father is 67 and has never seen a bug like this. We live in Cape Breton Nova Scotia.  George
This is a female Pelecinid wasp, most likely Pelecinus polyturator.  They are parasitic wasps similar to Ichneumon wasps, but Pelecinid wasp females have the very long abdomens, and Pelecinid wasps have swollen "ankles" on their hind legs which Ichneumon do not, which allows for a quick visual distinction.  More - Pelecinus polyturator info & Pelecinus photo.      J.D. Roberts, entomologist
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a female Pelecinus polyturator (Hymenoptera: Pelecinidae), the only species in that family in North America. They are parasitic on the larvae of June beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Male pelecinids have a much shorter abdomen than the females, and seldom are seen or collected.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well it seems this is a very common insect from what research I have done on my own. This is a Parasitic Wasp or Pelecinus polyturator. I saw a pic on this site of what someone was claiming to be a parasitic wasp but I don't think it is. anyway I've found out about it on my own. if anyone is curious to learn more about this bug visit http://iris.biosci.ohio-state.edu/projects/tpp/. Thanks George

#827  Hello,  I live in Australia and whilst trying to identify a wasp that was building a nest around my home i stumbled onto your site. I have not been able to identify it as yet. We have had many wasps that have built nests around our home before, all of which have been mud-nest wasps. We live across the road from the bush (woods) and are prone to insect and arachnid attack.  The pictures aren't very clear I'm sure, but the nest, and wasp i assume, is unique to me. I have never seen one like it before.  It's colourings would indicate it is a mud wasp or paper wasp.  However as you can see it's nest has been made from saps which have since became dried and crystalline.  Your help is greatly appreciated.  Raymond 
The photo is indeed too fuzzy to tell much other than that the wasp appears to belong to the family Vespidae (paper wasps). If no one viewing this site can provide a definitive identification, you might try contacting the Australian National Insect Collection, which provides an insect identification service. See http://www.ento.csiro.au/insect_id/about.html for details.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#826  Help – I have been finding these guys on a regular basis throughout my home.  I am assuming that it is a leaf-footed bug.  I am hoping that the clarity of the picture could help identify it more accurately so that I know what I am dealing with.  It definitely has the behavior of something simply wintering inside (they usually come out on mild winter days).  I am in Upstate NY.  Thanks,  DG
This also is a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coriedae), possibly the Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis); see http://web.uniud.it/entomoinfo/LEPTOGLOSSUS/leptouk.htm for an image and additional information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#825  I live 30 miles north of Toronto ON Canada. We renovated our upstairs 2 years ago & the windows in a bedroom were removed in the spring. Since that time when the temperature is above freezing outside this insect appears in the bathroom or near a window. When you squash it, it gives off a vile order. Can anyone identify it.  Thanks.  Winston
This appears to be a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coriedae). See nos. 811, 786, and 716 for other examples. They often seek shelter in buildings during cold weather, but do no harm there.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#824  Hi, I live in Toronto, Ontario, these ants are driving me crazy lately, they are very small about 2mm and kind of red-orange color. They are in the kitchen area, all over the counter and I can see more of them in warm days.   I've tried many things including pest control but it doesn't work, could you Tell me what kind of ant this is? and how to get rid of it, your website is great! Thanks,  David C.
This is a Pharaoh ant, one of the most difficult insects to control in a building, especially multiple residence buildings.  The worst thing you can do is spray them with an insecticide.  It will cause them to "BUD", or split up their nests.  Read more about Pharaoh ants.

# 823 I think this is a northeastern sawyer of some sort?  Instead of finding these beetles outside though we've been finding them in our apartment. We thought they were cockroaches at first but with a little research I've come to find its some sort of beetle.  This beetle is in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.  We have found 4 so far varying in length but not more than maybe 1 1/2 inches long.  They don't fly although it is apparent that they have wings. also, they don't scurry or move fast at all when you turn on the light. they just raised their antennae when we came near them.  Michael 
 
These are long-horned wood-boring beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) but they are not sawyers (genus Monochamus). There overall appearance is consistent with the tribe Elaphidionini, that includes the genera Romaleum and Elaphidion (oak borers and twig pruners ).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #822  I find these in my house a lot lately, it is winter here now. I find them mostly on the ceiling in the house, they are all sizes and I seem to be seeing larger ones all the time. I live in the East Kootenai area of British Columbia. Thanks for the help.  Shawn.
 

 #821 I live in Queensland, Australia and recently noticed this small bright yellow bug in my vege garden.  I wasn't a problem except now they are attacking my watermelon plant and there are hundreds of them.  They kill the leaf and are spreading quite quickly.  They are only about the size of a grain of rice.  How can I control them? What are they?  Chris
 These appear to be larvae of a leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). As I am unfamiliar with control recommendations in Australia, you will have to check locally for advice. One possible starting point might be the book by Swain: E. G., Ironside, D.A. & Yarrow, W.H.T. Insect Pests of Fruit and Vegetables, 2nd edn. (1991); Queensland Department of Primary Industries.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #820    Hi, I found this spider on our bedroom wall. It was about half the size of a dime (small). What is it? Is this spider dangerous? I recently was bit by something (I'm guessing a spider---maybe this spider?) and it left a few painful sores. Just wondering if I should be concerned or not.  Thanks! K, Victoria, B.C.
This could be a cobweb spider in the family Theridiidae. There are several species that may be found indoors, where they tend to make messy, tangled webs in quiet locations. Although they belong to the same family as the black widow spider, to the best of my knowledge, none of the other theriid species occurring in North America have been implicated as a human health hazard. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #819  Hello, I snapped this pic of what I believe to be a wolf spider in rural eastern Ontario (just outside of Ottawa)...It was in a pail in the pool shed...It was late fall and the property backs onto a forest...I would appreciate if you could verify this species...Great site!!  Thanks,  Sean
This is not a wolf spider (family Lycosidae), but a close relative in the family Pisauridae (fishing/nursery web spiders). Although I cannot be absolutely certain, your specimen bears a close resemblance to Dolomedes tenebrosus
(see http://www.marion.ohio-state.edu/spiderweb/SpiderPictures/Pisauridae/Dolomedes tenebrosus.htm Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#818  Hi,  I live in East Yorkshire, UK. The bug in the photo and another one came from the handle of a basket containing flowers. The other bug is the same except the horns at the rear are much less evident. They are about 8 to 10mm long.
The basket was woven from thin wood branches (3/8 to 1/4 diameter twigs).
I rose one morning to find a pile of gritty sawdust on the conservatory floor around the basket. I put the basket into a large bucket and took it apart. The bugs had eaten away the basket handle leaving hollow tubes. It looks like they arrived with the basket as our home unaffected and I hope it to stay that way.  Regards,  Paul
This is a wood-boring beetle in the family Bostrichidae (branch/twig borers; sometimes called ‘false powderpost beetles’). They seldom reinfest treated wood, so risk to your home should be minimal. However, if you desire to keep the basket (as opposed to burning it), you may wish to treat it either by placing it a freezer for several days, or by heating it to 500 C or so for a few hours. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am very interested by this insect because I met it also in Belgium. I want to know more about the wood where it has been found (is it Willow ?), also about the period (year and month), the place (locality in UK), how long the basket was at home. In fact the specimen shown is a male but the female has very little horns at the rear : so you have caught a couple !
Is it possible to get into contact with people who has met this insect in UK ? Do they have kept any specimen of this insect ? Waiting for an answer : fassotte@cra.wallonie.be
Christiane FASSOTTE, Consultancy Service, Biological Control and Plant Genetic Resources Department, Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W), Gembloux (BELGIUM, Europe).

 #817  i found it on a white aluminum box which i left outside in the garden, please can you email telling me if it is safe or not thanks. Ozgur

This is a Red-back widow (Latrodectus hasselti).  As a matter of fact, this photo is from the Red-back page of the Museum Victoria Australia website .  Are you sure this is what you saw?  These spiders are close relatives of the Black widow, and they have potent (and potentially deadly) venom.  You didn't specify your locale, but the Red-back is a native only to Australia, and if this spider was found outside Australia, there is a possibility that the species is an accidental introduction (from imports, etc.), however, it is likely that this isn't what you saw if you don't live in Australia.  Here is some more info on the Red-back - http://www.austmus.gov.au/factsheets/redback.htm & http://www.xs4all.nl/~ednieuw/australian/theridiidae/Theridiidae.html.  If you can get your own picture of the actual spider you've seen, that would help tremendously.  Perhaps you saw the Northern Black Widow?   J.D. Roberts, entomologist
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This appears to be a female red-backed spider (Latrodectus hasseltii; see http://venomous-spiders.nanders.dk/hassel2.jpg for an image), a close relative of the black widow spider. Like the black widow, the red-backed spider can be dangerously venomous. Native to Australia, it has become more widespread (primarily with human help) in the Pacific region. An effective antivenom made in Australia may be administered in severe cases (see http://www.toxinology.com/generic_static_files/cslavh_antivenom_redback.html
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #816  These bugs infest my room (which is in a basement of a house) in the spring through fall. Winter months they're not there. This one was a little bigger than an inch long. They don't make any noises, and they kind of jump haphazardly. I have left food out before, but they rarely seem to eat it. I have seen them eating tissues though, and they are cannibals. I think these are wetas, but not sure. I really would like to know how to get rid of them, since sometimes they will hide in my shoes or slippers and I end up crushing them.  I live in Maryland, USA.
Thanks!  Mike
This a cave or camel cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllacrididae; subfamily Rhaphidophorinae). They generally are scavengers, and seldom occur in numbers large enough to be real pests. However, many people object to their presence indoors. See http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1992/4-15-1992/crick.html  for a fact sheet. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #815  I live in Cambridge, Ontario. I found two live such bugs in my bathroom in the tub, one dead one in the same bathroom on the floor,  two live behind a bookshelf which hadn't been dusted in a while, one live in my basement near the ridge of a carpeted area and concrete floor.  Can you please help identify. I also found what a appeared to be a ladybug in the same bathroom a couple of weeks before these bugs - it was yellow spotted. Any connection between these two?  I've been researching carpet beetles and ladybugs but want to know for sure.  Thank you. Marie.
This is a larva of a beetle in the family Dermestidae, that includes many pest species such as carpet beetles (see http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/diaglab/04images/504anthrenus-carpet-beetle.jpg ) . These larvae feed on a very wide variety of organic material (including dead insects), so locating all potential food sources can be daunting. If you have any carpeting or carpet pads that include wool, you may wish to examine them for any sign of damage.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #814  I have found several of these in the master bedroom in and around a cedar furniture trying to identify what it is. Any help would be great thx Terry

 
I believe that this most likely is a cedartree borer, Semanotus ligneus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). They attack trees that already are dead or dying, and although they may emerge from firewood or untreated lumber, they are not structural pests, and will not reinfest any wood in a home (see http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/YGLNews/YGLN-Apr0102.html ).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #813  I live in Calgary, Alberta. Don't know what these "flies" are. They are very very small and don't fly around like a regular fly. We only seem to notice them after supper when we are watching TV. We have lots of plants in the house but haven't had any problems until this winter. 
Thanks, Ron, Calgary

These likely are fungous gnats, true flies (order Diptera) that may be assigned to several different families. Some species will breed in the moist soil found in plant pots, and then can become nuisances indoors. See
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2114.html  for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #812  I found this bug on my kitchen counter. I'm hoping it's not something that can infest my dry grains and flours. I'm also hoping that it's not something more insidious like a bedbug or something. What is it?  I've only found this one. I killed it (sorry!) and it had a very hard shell.  Thanks,  K.,  Victoria, B.C. Canada
 
Although this could be one of the minor pantry pests in the family Anobiidae such as the drugstore beetle (see http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/stored/drugstore_beetle.htm), its overall appearance is more suggestive of a bark beetle/engraver beetle in the family Scolytidae (see http://eny3541.ifas.ufl.edu/pbb/Den_ter_1.jpg). A clearer photo would be helpful.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #811  Hello, I found a 1-inch bug traveling across the top of my computer monitor! Never saw anything like it in Montreal (or Canada!)
Its body was diamond shaped and it was filled inside with a Windex-colored light green "goo" that smelled a lot like a green plant when I killed it (see picture) It was silver grey. It was moving quite slowly although it was aware of its surroundings because it saw me and reacted when I first moved to squash it. It did not try to fly, though, which afforded me the chance to get him…L
I work for a music library and in this job, I often bring home boxes of sheet music from all over the world. I hope this was not something that was accidentally shipped in one of those boxes…
Any info you have would be greatly appreciated!  Sincerely,  Chantale
  
This appears to be a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae). With a few exceptions, these are plant pests, with some of economic importance (squash bug, western conifer seed bug, etc.). See nos. 786 and 716 for other examples.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #810  I live in Sackville, Nova Scotia and recently had been noticing tunnels in my compost bin. I put in a trap and soon afterwards had a very strange looking rat. Its light brown, bigger than the common rat, and has a rounded face. Can anyone identify this type of rat.  Charles
  The rounded face and burrowing indicate it is a Norway rat, although the colour is lighter than most I have seen on the west coast. Norway rats have a tail that is shorter than it's body. A roof rat has a tail longer than it's body.  Here is a web page that describes the differences between Norway and Roof rats. http://www.i4at.org/lib2/ratkill.htm

 #809  I don't know what this bug is.  In Sacramento CA. Found it in our garage. weird! Traecy
   This is yet another house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), a general predator on other small arthropods. They generally are considered harmless, but a large specimen could give a painful nip if mishandled. See http://www.uark.edu/depts/entomolo/museum/house_centipede.html  for more information and nos. 787 and 679 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

  #808  I've recently gotten into bug catching and have started with the creepy crawlies around the house.  I caught these 3 different bugs in my house:
I know the beetle is a June Bug, and the moth I THINK may be an army Cutworm Moth, but I'm not sure... Help please? (I want to find out for sure because I will be mounting and labeling these) And the last thing, I have NO clue... I'm thinking winged ant or a wasp... can anyone help?? Latin names would be a bonus too, but common name is good too, then i can look up the Latin myself.  Dorothy.

   The beetle in this photo is indeed one of the scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaidae) of which the June and May beetles belong to.  The moth is from the family Noctuidae, and it appears to me to be the Yellow Underwing ( Noctua pronuba) which has a lot of color/pattern variation in both sexes (http://www.marylandmoths.com/Html/Noctuidae/Noctuinae/Noctuini/Noctua_pronuba.html ).  As for the wasp, my first inclination is to say you have a parasitic Braconid wasp (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea: Braconidae).  Here's an example -   http://bugguide.net/node/view/28287/bgimage.  I'd like to see a dorsal view photo of just the wasp to better see the wing veination.
J.D. Roberts, entomologist.                   
  #807   Hi there. My daughter found a large amount of these bugs in my driveway.  Never seen them before. Large batch of them in gravel .  Live in Marietta Ohio.  Thanks for any help .. Ines
This is a nymph of the Box Elder bug (Boisea trivittatus).  These can be serious pests in large numbers.  More info - http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/natural/insects/bugsfaq/boxeld.htm.
J.D. Roberts, entomologist.
                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 It's a bit hard to tell from the photo, but this may be a Box Elder beetle. These are colourful-looking bugs in Ferriari racing colours. They often have a population explosion in the fall. They're harmless, but will get inside a house and excrete and die there, requiring cleaning up. -- John Oughton, son of expired entomologist.
  #806  This caterpillar was found in southeast Michigan. Approximately 1/2" long.  Thanks, Rick
 
Although only the head is in focus, I believe that this more likely is a larva of a 'typical sawfly' (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) than that of a lepidopteran. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 #805  I assume this is a beetle, but would like to know more for an exhibition of insect art.  This was found in a backyard near Detroit, Michigan. Approximately 1/8" long, and there were probably hundreds, if not thousands in one yard. It seems to have mouthparts similar to an assassin bug.  Thanks, -- Rick. 
Portraits of a Micro-Wilderness:  http://www.BugDreams.com 
This appears to be another garden fleahopper (Halticus bractatus; Hemiptera: Miridae); see nos. 796 and 765 for other examples. In overall appearance, they are not typical for this family, which includes species of economic importance such as the tarnished plant bug. [Note: The specific name also may be spelled "bracteatus."]  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Webmanager's Note: Rick, your web site photos are truly a work of art.  Larry Cross.

 #804  I know it is a spider, but what kind is it?  It's living between the screen and glass doors of my boyfriend's patio door. It's body is approx. 1 1/2 " long.  Ugh!! He took this picture of it last night. He lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. I've never seen one like this before. Thanks!! Mary

This is a female orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae); likely in the genus Araneus. In spite of its appearance, it is entirely harmless to humans. If you scroll down through the photos on this site, you should find several other examples of this very large family.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is an orb weaving spider (Araneidae).  Although the flash from your camera may have distorted the view a bit, it looks from the distinct pattern on the abdomen that this is most likely a Cross Spider ( Araneus diadematus) of a light color variation.  Nice photo.   J.D. Roberts, entomologist

 #803 Hi, Glad I found this web site!  I found these recently in a dog grooming shop.  They are about a half inch long, dark brown on top and lighter on the bottom.  They seem to have a large eye on one end but I could be not seeing this correctly.  Thanks for all and any help.  Kip Fyke Scottsville, NY
 
The image submitted is just too fuzzy for my  eyes to be sure of an i.d.  At this point, I could only guess that they might be somewhat dessicated larvae/prepupae of a fly or beetle.
Can you send a better photo?  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #802  Great website! Here's a photo we hope you can ID for us. These little bugs accumulate under one of our kitchen cabinets. We have checked for a food infestation in the pantry and have come up empty. These insects are fairly small and do fly but usually they just go for a wander... Grainary type bug? No evident food source. Thanks for any help. Steve and Sandy,  Camas, Wa
  

This is an adult carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae).  It looks like the common Furniture Carpet Beetle (Athrenus flavipes).  These can be quite the stubborn pests, and eliminating their food source is a key factor in controlling them.  Those of us with insect collections are well aware of the problems the larvae of dermestid beetles can cause.  Here is some more info on these little pests - http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7436.html J.D. Roberts, entomologist.
             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This appears to be a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Anthrenus; see no. 422 for another example. This family includes the larder beetle as well as several other species that can attack stored food products or woolen fabrics. They also will feed on dead insects. The adult beetles are pollen feeders and do no damage; they often are found indoors on window sills; the larvae are the ones that do the actual damage. If you have any carpets/carpet pads that contain wool, you may wish to examine them closely for larvae and/or signs of their feeding. See www.fsd-vss.ch/schadlinge/ anthrenuslarve.htm    and http://www.kendall-bioresearch.co.uk/BEETLE94.gif  for images of larvae.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #801  We found these bugs (well, they found us) for the first time this year. We live in Philadelphia, PA. They only seem to appear in the evening on our front porch  - they seem attracted to the light from inside the house (they will line up on the windowsill or fly into the citronella candles). They fly, they do not seem to bite, they are just extremely annoying (they will fly and bump into you or land on you...). This year is the first time we have seen them. They are ~ 1/4 - 1/2 of an inch long, rather slow moving, and they do not seem to make any appreciable noise. They are not around in the mornings or afternoon, just in the evening, we have not seen any in the house. please help!! Merilee.
This is a scarab beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), a very large family that includes many pests of lawns, gardens, and ornamental plants, such as the Japanese beetle, rose chafer, northern masked chafer, etc. Several larger species often are called ‘May beetles’ or ‘June bugs.’ Larvae of many species collectively are called ‘white grubs.’  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV


 

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