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A little background on a volunteer expert respondent:
Ed Saugstad. 
B.S. in Entomology - NDSU, 1963.  M.S. in Entomology - Purdue University, 1967
A life-long interest in natural history. Formally trained in entomology, he also has a personal interest in herpetology and has read widely in many biological fields. 21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide.

 He is a member of Entomological Society of America, Society for Vector Ecology & National Speleological Society.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.


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Click on the photos to enlarge.  They are usually much clearer.

Yellowjacket wasp1500  What is this insect? In the last 3 days I have found more than 80 dead insects in a downstairs bedroom. Every time I look in there are a few more. I found 44 the first day, am still finding a few more. They were all around the bed and on the window sill. A few were crawling. I have stripped the bed and still find a few more. What do I do???     Joan, Calgary, Ab.
These are yellowjacket wasps that have probably come into your living space from a nest established in the walls or ceiling of your home.  They must have entered through a crack around the widow frame, or some other hole or crack in the room.  If most of them are on the bed, they could be falling from a ceiling light fixture.  All of these wasps will die as cold weather approaches except queens that will seek out shelter to survive the winter.
Boxelder bug1499  Hello - I have attached a digital image just taken on the outside of our house in Georgetown, Ontario. There seem to be swarms of these insects.
Can you tell me what they are please? S. Irwin
This is an eastern boxelder bug (Boisea trivittatus; Hemiptera: Rhopalidae). They are more of a nuisance pest than an economic one (they feed primarily on the developing seeds of boxelders); they often come to attention when masses of them appear on the sides of houses or on tree trunks. See No. 1469 for another example, and  for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV.
This is a box elder bug. Quite popular in Ontario, completely harmless to humans, but quite a nuisance. Our garden and plants were overtaken with nymphs and adults...must have been millions of them.  We have a female box elder tree nearby, which they like the seeds. I've heard soap and water will rid them, but we just left them alone.  Sue Judges
This is a box elder bug.  They don't do a lot of damage, but they can be a nuisance in the house.
M Ward, elementary science teacher, Idaho
Giant water bug1498  Can someone identify this bug? It is around an inch and a half long and can fly.
This is a giant water bug (a.k.a. ‘toe biter’ or ‘electric light bug’; Hemiptera: Belostomatidae).Voracious predators on other aquatic invertebrates as well as tadpoles and small fish, they also are strong fliers often found far from water, and are capable of delivering a painful bite if mishandled. See nos. 1457 and 1378 for other examples, and for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV.
1497 Found this big ugly guy sitting in my tub.  He was very quick!  Just wondering what he is.  Shawn.
This appears to be a male spider in the family Agelenidae (funnel web/grass spiders), likely in the genus Tegenaria (see  for an image). Males in this family often wander quite some distance from their web, and then come to human attention when their wandering results in their accidental entrapment in tubs and the like. In spite of their appearance, they should pose no threat to human health. One species in this genus, the so-called ‘hobo spider’ (Tegenaria agrestis), has been implicated in cases of slow-healing ulcers (necrotic arachnidism) following a bite, but some controversy still exists on this subject. See for much more information on this group of spiders. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV.


Spider beetle1496  Hi there,  I sent you some pictures of the powder post beetles I have in the back addition of my house. (see 1488)   I found these today along the outside of the chimney shaft for my woodstove where it goes up through the ceiling while repairing the drywall around it. There is no sign of insect damage anywhere like the powderpost nastiness in the back, just these guys, actually I had put masking tape along the edges of the chimney tube to block airflow and when I removed it today these little guys were stuck all over the tape! I've never seen one alive, and after inspecting the area I still never seen a live one up there, just these ones stuck to the tape. I put the tape there last year, so who knows how long they were stuck there.  I'm just concerned because of the powder post beetles getting me all worried about infestations now, what are these little guys, are they anything to be worried about?  Thanks!  Chris. Barrington Nova Scotia
This appears to be a spider beetle (Coleoptera: Ptinidae); likely in the genus Ptinus; see for an image. They can be pantry pests, feeding on a very wide variety of dried food products. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1495  I found this rather slow moving very large spider almost the size of our toonie on the golf coarse today near Salmon Arm BC .I have not seen one like it before .Any Ideas?  Dar.
 This is another female orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae); it apparently has encountered a mishap, as mature females almost never leave their webs. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1494 Found this beauty in my backyard 9/15/07. Her orb is about 3' across, with the anchor strands adding a couple of feet on either side. She's been building this web every night for a couple of weeks. The round part of her body with the tell-tale arrowhead on it is about 1" (2.5 cm) across. She is very, very round. We live in Gilroy, California.
This is a female orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae); likely in the genus Araneus. They are all harmless to humans.. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1493  Hi there, I live in the northwest Toronto and found this insect in my house lying on my kitchen floor, although, y uncle saw him in the window the day before.  All I can say is that he looks like a fly on steroids.  Would you be able tell me what it is and if they are native here because in 35 years I have never seen anything like it.  Thank you.  Michelle
This is a dog-day cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae); so called because they usually appear in the waning days of summer. They have a much shorter life cycle than their more well-known relatives, the periodical (13- and 17-year) cicadas. See for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1492  Hi my parents found this on a leaf on one of their trees last year. They kept it for awhile but it has long since died. We were curious as to what it was, as we hadn't seen anything like it before or since.  They live in Newfoundland. Paul
This is a larva (caterpillar) of a swallowtail butterfly (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), either the eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) or the Canadian swallowtail (Papilio canadensis - also known as Papilio glaucus canadensis). The orange projection at its head end is called an osmeterium - it gives off an odour thought to deter some predators. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1491 I found this little guy while walking along the edge of a field in southern New Brunswick.  It was on a web  suspended about a foot off the ground that ran from the tips of the grass up to the lower branches of the bushes.  Its body was about as big as my thumbnail, and its colors made it worthy of taking a picture of.  Any idea what it is exactly? Thanks- Andrew. Kingston, New Brunswick)
  This is an orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae) in the genus Argiope, likely Argiope aurantia; see nos. 1187, 1185, 1114, and 1113 for other examples. They often attract attention late in summer when the adult females attain their full size. They die soon after laying their eggs in a tough sac that remains intact until the following spring. See  for more detailed information on this species. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1490  Hi there! We live in the East of England and we have been finding quite a few of these things in the bottom of the toilet! Does anybody know what they are? Thanks, Jason
This a rat-tailed maggot, the larva of a fly in the family Syrphidae (hover flies/flower flies). These maggots usually are found in water or very moist environments rich in organic matter that they feed upon; the long tube (‘tail’) is their breathing apparatus. The adult fly superficially resembles a honey bee - see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1489  This beetle showed up on my driveway near Winnipeg, Manitoba a couple of summers ago. All attempts to find it on the Internet have been unsuccessful. It is about 35 mm long. The spots on its back change colour from gold to green to yellow depending on the angle of the light. It had a hard shell, which was damaged just behind its head - perhaps by a bird? What is it?  Alan
This is a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae); likely Calosoma calidum, one of several species collectively known as fiery hunters or searchers - see They are voracious predators on other small arthropods, particularly caterpillars. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1488  From what I see on your site I think these are furniture beetles.
What do you think? They are absolutely everywhere in the back of my house, in the floor, the walls, the ceiling!  I thought they didn't bore through painted wood? There are little holes all over the painted wood surface where I assume an adult exited the hole. I stirred them up about a month ago while replacing a window, and I noticed the Swiss cheese wood in the wall, and started ripping up floorboards which were reduced to almost total powder underneath!  Then the little beetles started appearing all over the place, on walls, near the baseboards of the wood floor, on the ceiling. I bought an insect spray and sprayed it everywhere, it seemed to kill them, but new ones kept emerging, so I kept spraying. I'm not seeing any anymore, are they all dead now? Will this kill a generation of hatchlings, or will more larvae be chewing in the wood and emerge again later, or do they emerge all at once?  Should I remove EVERYTHING with a little hole in it to be safe, because that would mean the whole back addition of the house! I removed the major stuff I could find, but I've never seen a larva anywhere while ripping up all the wood and powder. Should I buy that tim-bor stuff?  Thanks. Chris ;)
These appear to be powder post beetles, likely in the family Anobiidae (see Because of the apparent wide extent of your infestation, you probably should engage the services of a professional pest control company with experience in surveillance and control of wood-damaging insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
Tim-Bor is sold only to licensed professionals in Canada. 
Because you are spending considerable money upgrading your home, the cost of professional service would be a good investment. Larry Cross.  PCS Gulf Islands.
1487  This slow flying ??? was on my tool box. We live on the Assiniboine river in Winnipeg.  I sure someone can id this ???. I have not seen any thing like it before.  Gary

This is a female pelecinid wasp (Pelecinus polyturator; Hymenoptera: Pelicinidae). They are parasitic on the larvae ("white grubs") of June beetles. Males of these wasps are quite different in appearance (see images/Hymenoptera web jpeg/Pelecinus-male.jpg  ), and are rarely seen. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
This is a parasitic wasps and it is completely harmless for you and your kids! This species is called Pelecinus and there is a wonderful webpage about these graceful wasps:   Martin Hauser, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois
1486  Found Four of these spiders by the side of my house. There was a web connected between my house and our neighbors house. They ranged in size from a nickel to bigger than a quarter but not as big as a fifty cent piece. I caught two of them in a container and the bigger one killed the smaller one. I live in Shoreview, MN.  Aaron
These are orb-weaving spiders (family Araneidae); possibly in the genus Neoscona - see  and  for images. Several species of these spiders occur in Minnesota; all are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1485  We found two of these in our home in Saratoga Springs, NY. We were wondering what they are and if they are stinging insects.  Tom 
This is a wasp, and although technically all wasps are capable of ‘stinging,’ not all are venomous and many are far too small to be able to penetrate human skin. This specimen bears a superficial resemblance to the European wheat stem sawfly (Cephus pygmaeus; Hymenoptera: Cephidae) - see, but its abdomen appears to be constricted placing it in the suborder Apocrita, whereas sawflies are in the suborder Symphyta. Perhaps a specialist can step in here. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
Cockroach nymph1484  Hi there,  I’m curious to know what kind of bug this is (see attached photo).
I live in Kleinburg, ON about 60 feet from a tributary of the Humber River. It’s very humid in the valley. Mainly cedar and evergreens stand behind the home (furthest away from the river) and deciduous trees, hard and soft woods, in front of the home, closest to the river.
I’ve been here for 12 years. I first noticed this bug inside my home last year. If I’m recalling correctly, it disappeared a month or two later. I noticed it again this year around the beginning of August. I’m also noticing that its numbers appear to be gradually diminishing as the nights get cooler. I’ve found it mainly in the bathroom and the kitchen. This may be because the floor colour in both these rooms is quite light and I just don’t notice them against the darker floors of other rooms. They appear to prefer the floor. I’ve seen them on the walls a couple of time. I have noticed them on the sink and in the bathtub a couple of times as well.  It moves on the slow side, slower than an ant, but quicker than a lady bug. However, when its feeling threatened it does move quickly, but it’s still quite easy to capture. I have not seen them fly. I see them during the day and in the evening hours. Looking forward to finding out what this bug is.
Thanks,  Karen.  Kleinburg, ON

This is another cockroach nymph (see no. 1483). However, its overall appearance does not appear consistent with that of the commoner pest species in the genera Blatella, Periplaneta, or Supella. It could be a wood cockroach (Parcoblatta spp.) - see the left specimen at
, but these generally do not breed indoors. If you consistently find these insects indoors, you may wish to consult a professional pest control service. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1483  This guy was found in my kitchen. It's less than a centimeter long. I believe he lost a leg when I captured him.  Alan L , Toronto Canada
This is a young cockroach nymph, possibly a brown-banded cockroach (Supella longipalpa); see  for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1482  I found this large spider in the woods in Quebec, Canada, it was quite aggressive. I am wondering if it is a wolf spider or a fishing spider maybe?  Oliver
This appears to be a female fishing/dock spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus; see  for an image and no. 1475 for another example. Large females have been reported to behave in an aggressive manner and are capable of a painful bite; see for detailed information on this species. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
Praying Mantis photo image1481  Hi,  Here's a macro photo of a praying mantis, I'm pretty sure M. religiosa. (While difficult to see in this photo, there is a black oblong marking, with a pale yellowish circle within it, on the medial surface of each coxa, at the proximal end.) Here, she's feeding on a cockroach we fed her in order to get photos. I found her standing in a parking lot in Toronto. This is only the second mantis I've ever found. I took her home to get revenge on the cockroaches infesting my apartment. (The roaches are, unfortunately, encouraged by circumstances beyond my control.) I just put her in a cupboard frequented by roaches, and she seems to have taken to it quite well.  She was loose for a few days, and in that time laid an ootheca, which apparently fell down before I found it. I hung it on a string, and put that into a pop bottle with the top cut off and a piece of cloth stretched over the top. I also cut a hole in the bottom and plugged it with a sponge, to allow CO2 to escape.
     I have some specific questions I'm hoping an entomologist might answer.
 Is this species of mantis parthenogenic? (I know some are, but I don't know about this one.) Also, will they lay an ootheca even if the eggs are not fertile?
Am I taking the right approach to hatching the ootheca? Will they hatch in room temperature and without extra moisture?
I understand that when the nymphs first emerge, they will hang on a thread to dry. How long will they hang there for? How big will they be? How many will come out in the case of this particular species?
I'm not exactly sure what to do with them when the nymphs emerge. I know that if they are not isolated, they will eat each other. I'm wondering if the nymphs will be able to eat small roaches.
I'd love to just let the nymphs loose in the kitchen, but I foresee three problems. The first is, I'm not sure if they will be big enough to feed on roaches. The second is, there are spiders in the kitchen, too, and I'm afraid these might eat the nymphs. The third is, it'd be impossible to keep track of them; an adult praying mantis is large enough that if I put it somewhere like a cupboard, it won't get out, but I suspect the nymphs will go wherever they please, and quite likely disappear.
I suppose my best bet would be to isolate each nymph in a separate container, and feed each fruit flies, until they are large enough to put in the kitchen. This sounds like a lot of work, though.
No need to tell me this is a rather eccentric approach to pest control, but these big green bugs are rather fascinating and make for amazing photos.Thanks for any help,  Kevin.
First off, this species is not parthenogenic, but they can lay infertile oothecae - see They newly hatched nymphs hang from a silken thread only long enough for their cuticle to harden; they then crawl up the thread to the ootheca and then disperse. Room temperature should be fine for hatching; oothecae of this species can contain 100-300 eggs. Your proposed care may be overly detailed; see for guidelines on rearing mantids, and for a book on rearing mantids. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1480  I live in Markham, Ontario, just north of Toronto. There are lots of these bugs in my backyard in late summer and they love to hang on to the siding of my house. Please help me to identify this bug, thanks!  Kevin
This is a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae). The vast majority of carabids are general predators on other small arthropods and thus considered beneficial or neutral from a human standpoint. As in most large families, there are a few rogues such as the seed corn beetles - see  for an example. Yours appears to be in the ‘good guy’ category. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1479  Attached are pictures of a bug we found on the exterior of our garage in Madison, Wisconsin.  It looks to be more brightly colored than a grasshopper, with longer antennae too.  We are also wondering what the curved brownish colored thing is at the rear of the bug’s body.  Scott
This is a female long-horned grasshopper (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) of the type often referred to as bush katydids (subfamily Phaneropterinae
). Your specimen likely is in the genus Scudderia; see for an image. The brownish abdominal appendage is its ovipositor, used to deposit its very thin eggs between the epidermal layers of leaves - see for details. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1478  These were found one evening on our back porch outside. We are located in Tahsis on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Any help identifying these would be appreciated. Bug01 was almost twice the size of Bug2.  Cammy
Despite the size difference, both specimens appear to be female dobsonflies (Corydalus spp.; Megaloptera: Corydalidae). Although basically harmless, female dobsonflies can deliver quite a painful bite if mishandled; male dobsonflies have greatly elongated mandibles that are incapable of anything more than a mild pinch. The larvae (naiads) of dobsonflies are called hellgrammites and are aquatic where they feed on other small arthropods. See for more information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1477   I live in St. Albert, Alberta and recently came across this wasp nest between our two garden sheds under the garage eaves. It was approximately 18” across and 24” long before my husband knocked the bottom off it. Since then, the “guts” fell out and we thought the wasps would leave. Not so! They are very industrious and have rebuilt – the nest is now about the size of a basketball beneath the umbrella of the old nest top (attached to the sheds). The wasps are black, about ¾” to 1” in length and have white markings. I think they are bald faced wasps, but others have said that the shape of the nest suggests they are hornets. What’s the difference? And how can we get rid of them? The nest is at the end of a 10’ long by 18” wide tunnel and no one can get into and out of it safely (without getting stung). Thanks for your help…Janet 
These are the so-called ‘bald-faced hornets’ (Dolichovespula maculata; Hymenoptera: Vespidae), which actually are not true hornets - see To see how a professional pest controller tackles their control, see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
Many professionals use a long wand for nests that are difficult to reach and to maintain a safe distance. An aerosol can is attached to the wand to dispense insecticide into the nest opening.  Some professionals prefer to use insecticide dust which is blown with compressed air into the nest opening through a long plastic tube attached to the wand. While it is best to do this at night, it may be difficult to see the nest opening, and professionals doing a number of treatments could not schedule them all after dark. So called "aerosol wasp blasters" will project insecticides a number of feet but it is important to get it into the nest opening and not pollute the surrounding area.   PCS Gulf Islands.
1476  This green bug was found in my apartment building on a hallway wall. It has a long thin green appendage on its underside from below its head to about halfway down its body.  The insect can fly pretty good and sticks to surfaces well. I live in Barrie, ON just north of Toronto. If anyone can ID it, thanks! Also, thanks to Ed Saugstad for his insight into so many of the posts! You rock!  -Adam Shortt     Barrie, ON Canada
  This is a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Most species, such as the green stink bug (Acrosternum hilare), are plant pests. The feeding punctures made by the beak that you noted (the thin appendage under its head) often results in unsightly disfiguration of the item fed upon - see for an example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1475  I found this spider on a dead cedar tree that was fallen into the water of a fair sized lake in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  The body was about 25mm long (not including legs).  Middle of August, about 18 degrees C. and very windy.  Sorry I could not remember more information about it, but hopefully someone knows what it is!! Thanks, Jason
This appears to be a dock/fishing/nursery web spider (family Pisauridae); see  for an image and for more information. They are active hunters like wolf spiders, but lack wolf spiders’ enlarged front eyes. They usually are found near water, but sometimes individuals can be found wandering quite some distance from water sources. They are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1474  HI, I found this ,what I think is a black and white springtail on a stump by the Skagit River, near Concrete, Wa. I got some good pic's of it. If you could help me with the rest of the info on it I sure would appreciate it. THANKS.  ROBERT E. W
This appears to be a banded alder borer (Rosalia funebris; Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). See for an image and no. 731 for another example. In addition to alder, the larvae also may be found boring in ash and other hardwood species. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1473  Hello. I live in Ontario Canada. This thing is wild! It appears to carry it's offspring with it while it travels. I've never seen a bug quite like this. I also can't find photos online that even remotely resemble this little creature. When it's flying it appears to be a hornet. You really need to take a good look at it to realise that it's not. At first glance this beetle appears to have a cap. But it's really a shell that parts when it expands it's hornet like wings. It has fuzzy yellow down behind it's head that is exactly identical to a bumble bee. I'm going to include another picture of the tiny reddish orange bugs that are attached to it's body. When I first caught it the tiny bugs were attached to her beetle wings. (Not the hornet wings underneath) Now they are underneath her and clinging to her chest. Her wing span is roughly an inch and a half wide. Her body is half an inch. Please try to identify this bug quickly. I'd like to let her go if she is a natural bug of this area or isn't harmful to our region. Thanks Kindly.  
This is a sexton or burying beetle (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in the genus Nicrophorus. They are becoming increasingly scarce over much of their range; see The reddish creatures you noted are mites that hitch a ride on the beetle (a phenomenon known as phoresy); they feed on the eggs of flies that are laid on the beetles’ food source (carrion), and also appear to perform a cleaning/grooming service to the beetles - see You definitely should release this beetle. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1472  Could you please help me identify this bug found in our home in New Brunswick, Canada.  It is reddish brown and approx. 4mm long.  They appear to be living around the baseboards and I found quite a few around the cat food.  I have been vacuuming them as they appear but would be happy to receive tips on how to get rid of these pests. Thank you. Pestered in NB
This appears to be either a saw-toothed or merchant grain beetle (Coleoptera: Silvanidae; Oryzaephilus sp.). See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1471  Hi we live in the south of the UK.  We have 2 'things' in our home, I'm not 100% sure if they are totally separate or the young and adult of the same 'thing', I suspect the latter.  The larvae type (thing 1) is generally found on the floor (carpet), especially at the edges and where it's dark, tiny - mm in length.  The other around the walls, especially in the kitchen, again tiny things, mm in length, find small collections of 'thing2' amongst dried flowers and the other day found some in a box of vanilla candles!  The house is 5 years old was built on a malt factory, I have read a bit about the Khapra Beetle, it might be this.  Does anyone know for sure?  Are they harmful and how can they be got rid of? Charlotte
The insect in the left photo is a larva of a carpet/furniture beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae); likely in the genus Anthrenus. The right photo is too blurry to be certain, but it is unlikely to be a khapra beetle - see for an image. See for a fact sheet on carpet beetles that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1470   I am finding these in every room of my home. They measure 3 to 5 millimeters. What are they? Thank you.  Peter
 This is a larva of a carpet/furniture beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Anthrenus. If you have carpeting/overstuffed furniture that includes wool fabric or other animal-derived material (hair, leather, etc.) of any kind, you should check it carefully, particularly around the edges, for the presence of these insects or signs of their damage. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1469   We are located in Southern Ontario and have a tree in our yard that appears to be under attack by the insect in the photo.  Over the past month the leaves have begun to wither and tree appears to be dying.  The insects gathered in great swarms on the trunk from the ground upward into the lower branches.  They gather on the side of the tree facing the sun and follow the sun around the tree trunk as the day goes by.  Those that are sprayed daily with soapy water die off but are replaced by others the next day.  Can anyone identify this critter and how do I get rid of them?  Dave.
These are eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittatus; Hemiptera: Rhopalidae). They are more of a nuisance pest than an economic one (they feed primarily on the developing seeds of boxelders), and control measures usually are not needed. See  for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1468  Hi,  I have attached a picture of a creature that was found in drinking water in the west of Ireland recently.  He measures approx 1.5-2 mm in length.  Does anybody recognize him??  Many thanks,  Dr. Brenda Lennon,  Executive Chemist, Public Analyst's Laboratory,  Galway.
This appears to be a fly (order Diptera) larva; but beyond that, I cannot say. If a specialist views this, they may be able to help further. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV. 
1467  Hi! Fantastic site, so interesting to read! I found a lot of bugs here that I have seen around, and wondered about.  This bug/fly (??) shows up in September/October, on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada (these pics were taken in Porters Lake). They float, rather than fly, and are extremely easy to catch on your hand. They have varying levels of what looks like fur, light purpley-blue in color. The wings are see-through with a rainbow iridescence. I call them "fairy flies" :) I'd love to learn more about them - does anyone have a name? What do they eat? Thanks! Ann in NS
This appears to be a winged woolly aphid (Homoptera: Eriosomatidae). Some species can be serious pests on deciduous trees; see
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
I'm the one who sent in mystery bug 1467 - please thank Ed Saugstad for me, I really appreciate finding out the answer to my mystery!  (Even if it did turn out to be a crappy little aphid, and not something more majestic). :)  Thanks, Ann
1466  This insect was found on my potted orange tree on my deck in McComb in southern Mississippi.  It was around 9am in the morning, about 85F and kind of overcast.  I have seen it only that one day, August 30, and never again.  I think it is very pretty and would like to know what it is.  Can anyone help.  I can not find it in any of my books or on the internet.  Thanks for any help I can get.     Eva
This appears to be a scarlet-bodied wasp moth, Cosmosoma myrodora (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) - see for an image. You may want to report this finding to the entomology department at Mississippi State University (, as records for this species from Mississippi may be scarce - see   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1465 Hello. I found this critter on the outside balcony wall of my 3rd floor apartment here in Toronto, Canada at 2:20pm September 1. The weather was sunny and 21 degrees Celsius. The critter has not moved in the last half hour.  Any idea what it is? Thanks. 
Alan  B.  Toronto, Canada
This is a cranefly.  They are often seen in late summer/early fall.  Females will lay eggs in lawns and grass. These will develop into larva known as Leatherjackets.  They can be quite destructive, chewing on the roots of lawn grass.   Extensive patches and sometimes entire lawns will turn brown next spring.  Pesticide use bylaws in Toronto prevent spraying for theses pests.  With no control, cranefly populations are expected to explode in coming years.  For more information see:
1464  Dear entomologists,  Please advise what kind of insect is it? Is it dangerous? I found it in one of my tennis shoes and it bit me very painfully. The shoes were left in the balcony on the 10th floor of an apartment building in Northern Toronto. There are a lot of parks nearby.  Thank you.  Serge
This is an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) called a wheel bug (Arilus cristatus); see no. 1455 for another example.. They are general predators on other small arthropods, and larger specimens can deliver quite a painful bite if mishandled. The pain is caused by the proteolytic enzymes in the bug’s saliva; these enzymes are what breaks down the tissues of the bug’s prey items.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1463  My husband found these 2 bugs while trimming the outskirts of our yard. Our property backs on the Holland River. We live in Holland Landing, Ontario just north of Newmarket I have captured 1 right side up and 1 upside down. They are about 1
1/2 cm long and 1 cm wide a red stripe on each shoulder edge and yellow stripes fanning out over back body from black center. The underside is sort of light shade green Can anyone help identify these. Are they harmful to my gardens?  Joanne P
Your specimen appears to be a nymph of the green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare) - see We currently have them feeding on our pole beans.  The majority of stink bugs are sap feeders and some can do considerable damage to plants. A few species are predaceous on other small arthropods and thus considered beneficial. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1462  Found in large numbers in a bathroom draw and also in boxes of old breakfast cereal. Very small, perhaps 1 or 2 mm in length. Location Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Would it be a booklouse?  Steve.
This beetle may belong to the same family as the saw-toothed and merchant grain beetles (Coleoptera: Silvanidae). However, it lacks the saw-like prothoracic margins characteristic of those species. You probably should check all your infestable foodstuffs such as flour, cake mixes, dry cereal, dry pet food, and the like for presence of these insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1461 Hello. While watering my garden on Sept 1, 2007 this big guy buzzed by my head and landed on the fence. I live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.  Best Regards,  Susan
This is a so-called dog-day cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae); likely in the genus Tibicen. They have a much shorter life cycle than the periodical (13- and 17-year) cicadas; sometimes as short as one year. "Dog day" refers to their usual emergence time of late summer; see for much more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1460  Hello,  The first picture is not a pest but I have always been interested in what type of caterpillar this is?  It was such a pretty blue color.  I fond it hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Would anyone know what it turns into?  The second one is a picture of a spider.  It looks like a Widow because of the hour glass on the bottom but I do not think it is.  I tried to see the other side of the spider and I thought I saw red stripes but never got a good look at it.  Thank you.  Debbie 
The caterpillar photo would not enlarge, so I hesitate to say too much. There are some caterpillars in the family Sphingidae that can appear annulated as the one in the photo. There is too much glare on the spider photo for me to see the abdominal pattern. Although it could be in the same family as the widow spiders (Theridiidae), details are lacking to be certain. See for images of widow spiders. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1459  Hi from  Canada's west coast of Newfoundland in the town of Kippens.I caught this in a jar after it slightly got caught in a spider web. I've seen this insect a couple of times in the past few years.  It makes me run in the opposite direction, lol.  It's about 1 1/2 inches long, Has transparent brown wings. There appears to be a stinger and a tail? Coming out it's rear. Yellow stripes on the legs. Yellow antenna tipped brown. Yellow patch behind the eyes. Please let me know what it is. Thanks, D. Guignard
This is a wood-boring wasp in the family Siricidae, likely the white-horned horntail, Urocerus albicornus; see for an image and no. 1426 for another example.. Collectively known as horntails (the projection at the end of its abdomen is an ovipositor, used to place its eggs into the wood in which the larvae develop); these insects attack trees that already are dead, dying or in poor health.. See for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1458  Hi, This is the second time I've found one of these bugs (I'm in Kingston, Ontario); both times were in the bedroom. This one I found on top of the dresser, hiding under some paper. The body is about 1/8" long. After looking through other photos, I am starting to wonder if this is a masked hunter nymph. Is this what it is? Should I be worried about bites and/or whether it's an indicator that even less desirable insects are hanging out in the apartment? Thanks, Natalie
This could be a nymph of a masked hunter (Reduvius personatus; see no. 1452). Although their bites reportedly are quite painful (see ), they are not venomous in the true sense of the word. They are active hunters of other small arthropods, but their presence in a home is not necessarily an indication that other pest species are present. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1457  West Island, Montreal. I was cleaning out the skimmer in my pool one day and found this bug. Never seen it before in the pool. Must of traveled to the pool and fallen in or brought by some other animal like a cat. although no noticeable injuries. Looks like a mix between a praying mantis and a water beetle.
This is a giant water bug (a.k.a. ‘toe biter’ or ‘electric light bug’; Hemiptera: Belostomatidae). They are voracious predators on other aquatic invertebrates as well as tadpoles and small fish. They are strong fliers (likely how it got to your pool), and are capable of delivering a painful bite if mishandled. See no. 1378 for another example, and for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1456  We Find these all over our house normally in our kitchen, by our recycling, and in with pots and pans, utensil drawer, under the sink by the garbage, and downstairs along the walls behind beds and dressers. What we think, is the Larva  (img 0070)which is dark brown/light brown striped and kind of bristley caterpillary-ish, and sheds their skin, cuz we do find them blowing around the floor. The beetle, is black/dark brown, with a light brown stripe across it's mid-section and has wings. We think these come in thru screenless windows, not sure.  Please help us out.  We are located in Prince George British Columbia, Canada
This is a larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius; Coleoptera: Dermestidae). These beetles are pantry pests that feed mainly on items high in protein content, including cured meats/fish, cheese, dry pet food, etc. They are not as common as they once were when refrigeration was not widely available and use of cured meats was more common. See nos. 1302 and 1343 for other examples, and for more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1455  We found this bug in Denver Pa. on our picnic table. What is it? They look like they are mating.  Karl
These bugs are indeed mating. They are assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) called wheel bugs because of the cog-like projections on their pronotum. They are general predators on other small arthropods, and thus usually considered beneficial. However, they are capable of delivering a very painful ‘bite’ if mishandled. See for much more information on these fascinating insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1454  I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I found this insect crawling along the edge of my dogs food bowl. It is about an inch long. It moved quite slowly and looked quite docile. But when I came close to it it raised that large bulbous part of its body at the back of it up in the air, in the manner of a scorpion would move its tail up. Just wondering what it was and are those wings tucked underneath its body also? Many thanks, Alan.
This a winged wasp, not an ant, and likely is capable of delivering a painful sting no matter how docile it appears. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1453 Can you help us identify this inset?  Is it a wasp? hornet? or ???  We’ve never seen anything like this before around our neck of the woods – BC.  My son got out of the shower last nite, wrapped a towel around his middle and felt a nice big sting right to the solar plexus. This guy seems to be fairly long – appears to be a slender black body ‘bout ¾” length, nasty looking stinger ‘bout ¼” length, lacy wings brownish in color, 6 bright red legs, long antennae – no knots as far as I can see and triangular shaped head.  Any ideas as to what it might be?  No seeming allergic reactions or aftereffects for my son, but you never know these days. Thx for your help. L. Hill
This appears to be an ichneumon wasp (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). It is not venomous; the ‘stinger’ is its ovipositor, but in some species (as your son experienced and as I have as well), it is capable of piercing human skin. These wasps all are parasitic on other insects. See for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1452  This insect dropped out of a halogen pot light in the kitchen and free-fell to the counter.  It left a white dusty imprint of its landing.  Its body also seems covered in a white dusty coating.  It is about 3-4 mm long, has 6 legs, no discernable face, and apparently two very fine antennae.  It scampers in quick short bursts.  It has not left any web tracings.  I thought it might be a jumping spider (there are a lot at this time of year indoors) or a mite from fruit in the kitchen.  I could not identify it as either.  Please help me identify it since, if there is one, there are bound to be more.
Thanks, in Toronto, Ontario
This likely is a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) called the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus). Introduced from Europe, it now appears well established in eastern North America and often is found indoors. According to some authorities, the adult insect has a particularly painful bite. See  for a fact sheet on this species. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1451  I  found this beetle at my church, I have a bug collection and I glued it to a case before I knew what it is. it has purple on the edge of its exoskeleton. I live in olive branch Mississippi. can you tell me what it is? James Ackerman
This is a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in the genus Pasimachus, likely the purple-margined ground beetle, Pasimachus punctulatus - see for an image. Both the larvae and adults are general predators on other small arthropods, and thus may be considered useful. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1450  I live in Northridge, California. We've been seeing a bunch of these bugs in our house recently (August, '07) since re-flooring our home with Bamboo and carpet. We get rid of 20 or 30 of these bugs per day and they keep coming back. It normally hides inside the "cocoon" you see
pictured, and will pop it's head out of either end, dragging the "cocoon" around with it. It seems to spin a little silk as well. Thank you. -Andrew
This is a household casebearer (Phereoeca uterella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae), sometimes referred to as a plaster bagworm. These insects belong to the same family as clothes moths, but appear to do little actual damage as they feed preferentially on old spider webs and the like. See  for much more information on these interesting creatures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1449  This spider was crawling on my husband in Kimberly, B.C.  He was eating a nectarine at the time that we had bought from a Costco store here in Alberta, so might have come from the fruit box?  It was very fuzzy and his legs were striped black and white. With an orange backside.  I have never seen one before.  We threw the water bottle that we trapped him in in the trash. Coleen.
This is a jumping spider (family Salticidae), apparently in the genus Phidippus. They occur nearly worldwide, with several species native to Alberta. They have excellent eyesight for spiders, and actively hunt down their prey. They are harmless to humans, but larger specimens can deliver a painful bite if mishandled. See for much more information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1448  I found this while pulling up some sod in my yard. 3/4" long, and boy can it move fast, took me 5 minutes to get it herded onto the shovel. Neither the wife nor I have ever seen anything like it. Found in Lexington, KY  George.
 Velvet ant or cow killer. Usually found or attracted to galvanized fencing. Supposedly a terrific bite.  Or perhaps I'm not correct. What do you say? Bill.  Oregon

This a velvet ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae); actually a wingless wasp. They are parasitic on other Hymenoptera, and larger specimens (sometimes called ‘cow killer’ or ‘mule killers’ can deliver a very painful sting if mishandled - see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
What appears to be a huge ant, it is actually a form of wingless wasp. Caught one back at choke canyon park in Texas when I was 14 and kept it as a pet for a good 2 years. I'm not aware of their real name but their often called cow killers cause of the tendency for cows to accidentally eat one when it stings them in the throat it swells it up suffocating the cow. anyway hope this was helpful. Leon
This appears to be a Velvet Ant, a type of wasp. It is also nicknamed a "cow killer".  - D. Ward.  New Brunswick, Canada
1447  I live in Edmonton.  I noticed this spider in July.  There are a few on the Northside of my home.  I have never seen a spider like this before, just curious about it.  Kelsey
  This is an orb-weaving spider (family Areneidae), of which some 25 species are reported from Alberta. This one possibly is in the genus Areneus; see . All of these spiders are harmless to humans; they usually attract attention when they reach full size in late summer. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1446  I live in the uk and I found this bug boring through a wooden handled screwdriver which had come with some flat pack furniture. There were two of them dead stuck in the holes but I'm not sure if there are more which have moved on to somewhere else in the house. I'm quite worried as we live in a wood clad house with oak floors. We would appreciate any information that you could provide. Many thanks, Ness
These are long-horned wood-boring beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). It appears to belong in the tribe Clytini, in which case it may be an imported species, as it does not seem to match any of the species in this tribe currently reported from Great Britain - see . It does bear a resemblance to Chlorophorus varius (see )  a species found in continental Europe. There should be no risk of it attacking any part of your house. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1445  Hello Experts. We live in Brandon, Manitoba and have suddenly started to find these beetles, under canisters, knife blocks, etc., on our kitchen counter and also in the cupboards. They are half an inch long and black. Could you please identify them?  After checking your website, I think they might be "mealworm adults"?  I really enjoy your site. Thanks for your expertise, Jack.
These do indeed appear to be the adults of mealworms (Tenebrio spp; Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). See  for more information, including control recommendations. BTW, mealworm larvae are quite edible - select healthy specimens, roast in a slow oven on a cookie sheet until crisp, then either add salt/butter and eat like popcorn, or incorporate into brownies or cookies in place of chopped nuts. See for more. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1444  This is an insect which has been a resident in our bathroom since we moved into this apartment.  It seems to live in the walls, as new ones keep popping up every night.  We are in Montreal, Qc.  They are roughly 1 to 1,5 cm long and are striped black and a pale yellowish colour.  (This is the best picture I could take, as the little brat was running away.) What is it?  What do they feed on?  Are they nasty?  How can we get rid of them? Many thanks.  Yann
This appears to be a firebrat (Thermobia domestica); see for an image. Firebrats and their close relatives silverfish belong to the order Thysanura, primitive wingless insects having gradual metamorphosis. See  for much more information, including control/preventive recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1443  I accidentally started to eat this guy when I mistook him for a popcorn kernel at the bottom of the bowl! I did not get a good bite, just enough to taste that it is a bit spicy and tangy on the tongue!  The red marking on the back looks like the letter "A". I live near Altona, South Central Manitoba near the Red River Basin.  Thanks for any help! BTW, do you happen to know if it is poisonous when eaten?
This appears to be a nymph of a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Although not poisonous, they certainly are distasteful! Even eating a berry that one of these bugs has been on can be unpleasant. Most stink bugs are sap feeders, but a few are predaceous on other small arthropods. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1442  This chap was seen in Mason City, Iowa last month.  It parked on my daisy's attacking and eating bees (seen finishing off a sweat bee), and moths.   It was not afraid of going after the moth three times it's size.   It has a long proboscus that enters the prey, and mantis like front legs which manipulated what ever it devoured.  
This is an ambush bug (Hemiptera: Phymatidae). They are general predators on other small arthropods (as you noted, they have no problem subduing prey larger than themselves), and as their name implies, do not actively hunt, but lay in wait for something to come within striking distance. BTW, some authorities place these insects within the family Reduviidae (assassin bugs). See for more information on these fascinating insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1441   I found this little guy on a daisy in my garden this morning.  I live in Calgary Alberta and I have never seen one before. Can you identify it and tell me about it?  Valerie
 What a lovely crab spider (family Thomosidae)! It likely is Misumena vatia, commonly known as the goldenrod crab spider; see They are ambush hunters, laying in wait, usually in the centre of a flower, for prey to approach within striking distance. They are capable of capturing prey much larger than themselves, but are completely harmless to humans. Also, they appear to be able to alter their colouration to some extent in order to match the background of the flower they inhabit. Ed Saugstad, retires entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1440  Hello,  I just bought a house in New Westminster (suburb of Vancouver) and this morning I found this large insect on our porch outside on a towel. It is a very large insect - the body alone is 1 inch long. When I put it into a box it makes a chirping sound.  It was located about 2 feet from our new hanging basket of flowers. Is it a cockroach? Where might it have come from? Could it have come from the hanging basket? Or might it have come from inside the house somewhere? I hope that is not the case and that it came from outside rather than inside. Is this something I should be concerned about? Thank you for any information anyone could provide.
This is a lined June beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the genus Polyphylla; likely the 10-lined June beetle, Polyphylla decimlineata. Of June beetle species considered damaging to forest nurseries in British Columbia, P. decemlineata may be the most common and destructive - see     for detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retires entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1439  I found this guy in the kitchen at night... I seem to think from my research that it's a German cockroach but I am hoping that I am wrong :P ... Toronto Ontario Canada. Thank you for helping me identify this.  Jake
Unfortunately, this is a German cockroach (Blattella germanica); females such as your specimen retain their ootheca (egg case) until the eggs begin to hatch. See  for detailed control and preventive measures for this species. Ed Saugstad, retires entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1438 Hey, I found this nice sized spider crawling around in my shed yesterday. Does anybody know what kind it is? I live in Sudbury Ontario Canada.
This appears to be a funnel web/grass spider (family Agelenidae) in the genus Tegenaria. They often can be found wandering about away from their web, and may be mistaken for wolf spiders. However, they are easily told apart by the eye pattern. Wolf spiders have greatly enlarged anterior median eyes, whereas the eyes of agelenids are all about the same size. See   for a Tegenaria face and  for a wolf spider face.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1437  Found this bug in my office near St peter, MN. What is it Betty Lou Wroge Glencoe, Minnesota
This is a female giant ichneumon wasp (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in the genus Megarhyssa; possibly Megarhyssa atrata - see for an image. They are parasitic on the larvae of wood-boring insects such as horntails (see no. 1426); the female uses her long ovipositor (the slender ‘tail’ at the end of her abdomen) to bore through wood to the tunnel where her intended prey is found. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1436  Trying to identify this very aggressive 'bee'. I live South of Spokane Valley, WA
This is not a bee, but a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata; Hymenoptera: Vespidae), an insect with little or no sense of humor when its nest is disturbed. However, they do play a useful role in being for the most part, general predators on other small arthropods. See for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
This is a bald faced hornet -   Pat.
1435  Hello, I'm from Oklahoma City, OK, and I have several of these flying around my garage and the adjoining screened-in patio.  They look to be about an inch to an inch and a half long, from what I can tell, and they seem to be attracted to the florescent lights in the garage.  I clicked on the link below for the Urocerus albicornis (White-Horned Horntail) , and it looks similar to the picture on the webpage, except it seems to be missing the large 'tail'.  Sorry the pictures aren't more clear, but this was as close as I felt I could safely get.  What would I need to do to remove them from my garage/patio?  Thank you so much!  Jaime
This could be a black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens; Diptera: Stratiomyidae); they commonly are encountered indoors. See for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1434  Hi, I'm hoping someone can identify this spider. It was in my doorway. I've had a lot of spiders that look like this around my house, mostly in my basement and the bathtub. We're in Littleton, CO. (30 min. from Denver). Should I be concerned? Abby
This appears to be a funnel web/grass spider (family Agelenidae) in the genus Tegenaria, such as the barn funnel weaver/domestic house spider, Tegenaria domestica - see for an image. They are harmless to humans.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1433  Hello,  My wife and I live in Northern California (US).  Our house is at an elevation of 3000' surrounded by Pine Trees and Oak Trees.  We just moved in, last September. About a month ago we noticed a few of these (I think they're Beetles).  There were maybe 3 or 4, and mainly hanging on the side of our house. Now I noticed that since we put a Hummingbird Feeder on the corner of the house (on our deck), I've noticed more of them.  Then we put some sweet smelling Hybrid Lilly's on our Table on the deck and there were even MORE.   I chalked it up to being seasonal and the Beetles were from the Oak Trees, but they seem to be all over the Table (by the Lilly's) ,  on the side of the house, and on the deck.  I just don't want to sit idly by, if I'm going to have an infestation. Should I spray them?  Were going to move the Hummingbird Feeder and Lilly's, thinking they like the sweet smell/taste. Roger
This appears to be a bordered plant bug (Largus succinctus; Hemiptera: Largidae); see for an image. They are seed feeders that seldom cause any real damage, but may become nuisance pests when they occur in large numbers around homes. It may appear as Euryophthalmus succinctus in some older literature. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV. 
1432  Don't know if this is a pest or not. I found it on a tree.  Can you ID it?
Thanks,  Robert Wacaser
This insect is in the order Neuroptera; possibly in the family Ascalaphidae (owlflies). I cannot be certain, as I cannot see the ends of the antennae. If the antennae are somewhat clubbed, and/or end just out of the edge of the photo, it could be in the family Myrmeliontidae (ant lions). Owlflies have filamentous antennae as long as or nearly as long as their body. Insects in both families are predators on other small arthropodsEd Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1431  Hello. My name is Jim Davis and I live in Vernon BC. I found  some bugs on my plum tree, (see Attachment) which I was hoping somebody could identify.  I do not know the type of plum but believe it is the one used to make prunes. If it helps any it was found on the tree during a month long hot spell last week. I had already sprayed the trees with Malathion to rid them of aphids but these guys seemed to survive. I did not think to put a ruler next to them but they were approximately the size of a Ladybug.  
These are the pupal ‘shells’ of ladybird beetles left behind after the adult beetles emerged. Mature larvae of these beetles attach the ends of their abdomens to some substrate (such as the underside of a leaf) prior to pupating.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1430  Taken in central Ontario, Haliburton region. The area looks like a battle zone, big reds vs smaller blacks, bodies strewn all over .  What kind of ants are these and why are they constantly killing each other ?  It's amazing to watch .. like some violent video game.  thanks, Lyn
The larger ant appears to be a major worker of Camponotus noveboracensis, a carpenter ant; see  for images. The smaller ant cannot be identified. If it is a related species, they may be fighting because their respective colonies were too close to each other. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1429  Hi. I'm from St. Catharines, Ontario. The other night I found this interesting little guy hanging around on the house at night. I tried looking it up on the internet, but I cannot find anything remotely similar. I believe it's a moth and that's all I know. It's just over ½ an inch in length and the white spots in the picture looked almost yellow-green under the light. Can you figure out what it is?  Thank you, Taimi. 
This is an ailanthus webworm moth (Atteva punctella; Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae). Moths in this family collectively are known as ermine moths; some other species can be pests on cherry and apple trees. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1428  Came into my house while the door was open. I live in Atlanta, Ga. The picture was taken while he was resting on my coffee table.  This guy is about an inch long. Chad
This is an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae); possibly in the genus Zelus. These bugs are general predators on other small arthropods, and thus often considered beneficial. However, large specimens can deliver a painful ‘bite’ if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1427  Hello!!  I live in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Its about 45 min from Toronto. A stray cat near my house just had kittens. They are about 6 weeks old and I was catching them so I could find them homes. One of the kittens had a strange growth on the back of his neck. When I took a closer look I saw it was actually an insect that had attached itself to him. I put on gloves (so it wouldn't attach to me) and pulled it off with tweezers. It was like pulling out a hair, it didn't leave a cut just a small red mark on his skin. The bug was still alive so i have put it in a container and taken some pictures.  It has a large white body with six brown legs and a small brown head. I do not know how long it was attached to the kitten but it was at least a couple days. I was wondering if you can tell me what this is? and is it harmful to the kitten?  Thank you, Sandra
This is an engorged hard female tick (family Ixodidae), but I cannot see enough detail on the scutum (the disc-shaped reddish-brown structure) or mouthparts to attempt more specific identification. These ticks may take several days to feed to repletion on the blood of their host, after which mated females seek a safe place to deposit their egg mass. See  and  for information on ticks in relation to cats. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1426   I live in Surrey, B.C. This 'wasp' like insect was crawling on the beams of my sundeck. It is just over an inch long with a proboscus type extension from his [her] rear end.....Martin
 This is a wood-boring wasp in the family Siricidae, likely the white-horned horntail, Urocerus albicornus; see for an image. Collectively known as horntails (the projection at the end of its abdomen is an ovipositor, used to place its eggs into the wood in which the larvae develop); these wood wasps are not considered structural pests. See   for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1425  Hi - I live in Prince Edward County on Lake Ontario and this "little" critter was found in the basement. It is roughly 1 1/2 inches long. I found another about 2 inches long but it was not photographable. What is it and do I need to worry about it? Thanks.  Patricia
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cereambycidae) in the subfamily Prioninae; likely in the genus Orthosoma; see  for an image. They are found in dead wood, and are not structural pests. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1424  A few weeks ago I found the nest shown in the attached image up in the eaves of a cottage near Charlottetown, PEI. The inverted flask-like shape had a base bulb about 5 cm in diameter by 6 cm long, and that remarkably long entry tunnel was itself about 14 or 15 cm in length with a 1 cm port. You can make out in the image how filamentary the tunnel wall is where it is backlit by the sky. I think it was built very quickly -- I hadn't noticed it at all before the day I took the photo. Sorry I couldn't provide a good shot of the occupant; I didn't want to get any closer, teetering as I was on a stool up on the balcony with my humble point & shoot camera.
The wasp in it may have been a French or Median Wasp, based on a description of a similar nest I found at: 17/median_or_french_wasp.htm
The nest clearly wasn't built by any of the more common Yellow Jacket type wasps as the occupant's body was much larger and had more black colour than the others around the site. I found the following image of a queen Median Wasp that resembles the beast occasionally seen exiting the nest:  Can anyone confirm the identication based on the nest image? When I showed the cottage owner he said he hadn't seen anything like it in his 80+ years on PEI, though he has often had to deal with paper wasp nests in the past. Thanks,  Ranald Gault.  Calgary
Apparently, nests made by queen bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata) can exhibit this odd structure - see  for some examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1423  Hi there,  I just found your website and was hoping that you could help to identify the attached insect.  It was spotted this July (2007) beside the Bonnechere River near Eganville, Ontario.  Thanks!  Donna
This is a nymph of a stonefly (order Plecoptera);
see  for an image of an adult. The nymphs (also called naiads) are all aquatic; most are herbivorous, but some species are predaceous on other aquatic nymphs. For the most part, adults lack functional mouthparts and are relatively short-lived. See for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1422  These bugs have been showing up all over our house and are about 4mm log. Anyone have any idea what these might be? We live in Northern California.
This is a nymph of a cockroach. Although it superficially resembles a German cockroach (Blattella germanica), the overall color is much paler than typical for that species. It could be a related species such as the Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai) or the field cockroach (Blattella vaga).
See  for a comparison of Blattella germanica and B. asahinai and for B. vagaEd Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1421  Found in Gainesville, Fla. Do you know what it is?  Kat
This is a male dung beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the genus Phanaeus; likely Phanaeus difformis - see for an image. These beetles dig deep burrows near dung (usually that of cattle), where they form a brood chamber for their young to develop. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
What you've got here is a Rainbow Scarab. The following link has more on the creature:
Apparently it's pretty rare to see one of these little gems, too. They're actually related to the ancient scarabs of Egypt that served as religious symbols. Quite a find you've got.  Bob Howard. Ware, MA
1420  I live in a small, one-bedroom apartment in central Massachusetts, and I've found three of these little beasties over the past year and a half. Each time I find them, they're already dead. My initial gut reaction was "cockroach" (always assume the worst, right?), so I did some searching through the wonderful resource that is the internet, and although I am no expert, some of its more subtle features do not indicate a cockroach species to me. Cockroaches of this shape seem to have larger legs than this insect does. Also, my friend here is split straight up the middle of the back, like a beetle or a winged insect or something--a feature I personally have not found on cockroaches.  Cockroaches also seem to have very long antennae, and this fellow's antennae are proportionately very short (only about 2 or 3mm long). Additionally, if it helps you any, the beasts were about 1.5cm in length. If you've got any insight as to what these things are, please let me know!  Three photos attached. Thank you, Bob Howard.  Ware, MA
These are ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae); with the exception of a few ‘rogue’ species that feed on germinating seeds, they are general predators on other small arthropods and thus usually considered beneficial. They often wander indoors in their search for prey. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1419  I found this bug inside my house, near a window, a couple of minutes after an exterminator told me that we have carpenter ants outside of our house, but they have not yet built a nest inside.  Could it be an ant (a queen)?  I live in southeast Michigan.  The picture was taken the day after I found and squished the bug.  It has 3 body parts, 6 legs, and the antenna are curled at the ends.  The first two body parts are black, and the back one is red.  It has wings, and a white dot on the back of the middle body segment.  It is about 1 1/2 cm long.  Thanks for any information!
This is not an ant, but a wasp. The wing venation is not clear enough to be certain, but it could be in the family Ichneumonidae - these are all parasitic on insects and other arthropods. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1418  Hi, we live in Oceanside CA (San Diego) and we found these in a very shallow ditch with running water.  They move or slink along in the shallow water somewhat like a caterpillar (not like a slug).  Thanks, E&L
These appear to be larvae of soldier flies (Diptera: Stratiomyidae); see Larvae of most species are scavengers on decaying organic matter, but a few may be predaceous on other small arthropods. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1417  This iridescent, golden brown beetle and many others attack my Populus alba (White Poplar) very year when the leaves first appear and make every leaf like these.  What is it, Is it the culprit and how can the damage be prevented?  Thank you. Peter
This appears to be a leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), but the photo is too fuzzy to be certain of an identification. It’s general appearance does not match any species that I am familiar with that commonly feed on poplar (if the photo were taken in Europe, it might be the willow flea beetle - Crepidodera aurata - which will also feed on poplar; see Nevertheless, applying an insecticide registered for use against leaf-feeding beetles before damage is noted should provide some relief. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1416  Hello everyone;  I live in a two story building in Montreal, and my upstairs’ neighbour, originally from India, who recently came back from a trip there, asked me if I could identify this bug. It appears to me that it is a drugstore beetle (coincidently the lady is a nurse…). I just want to confirm that is not a wood boring beetle...It mostly crawls out of a storing cabinet in the hallway, where they don’t seem to store any food (only spices, incense, cleaning product), onto adjacent walls ceiling and floor (carpet). I have lived here for 18 years and never seen these before. Thanks for your help, Alain
This definitely is not a wood-boring beetle, and although the photo is a bit fuzzy, it could be a drugstore beetle (family Anobiidae)
 Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1415  This guy has been hanging out on my computer monitor for a little over a day now.  He's not bothering so I don't bother him, but I was curious what he was.  It's kinda hard to see in the picture, but the white spots on his back have black lines in the middle of them and they are also surrounded by black.  Also, there are two tiny black dots between the abdomen and the head.  Uh oh, he's moving now gotta go.  :-D
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the genus Eburia, most likely the ivory-marked beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata - see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
1414  I found this little guy outside my apartment complex in Southern New Mexico. My best guess is that he's about 5-7cm in length. We see many grasshoppers throughout the year, but these ones are of a different color and seem to travel in swarms. (The one in the picture is the first I've found that wasn't part of a group) I've found them in the grass and among large rocks outside of our local shopping centers.  I've never seen them fly but I'm sure that they can. Is this a type of locust that I should be concerned about? Thanks for any help.
This is a short-horned grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in the subfamily Oedipodinae (banded-winged grasshoppers). It bears a close resemblance to the pallid-winged grasshopper, Trimerotropis pallidipennis, see for an image, and for detailed fact sheet. This species can, on occasion, occur in quite large numbers. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1413  Hi. I live in Miramichi, New Brunswick and found this 2 huge moths in my apple tree. Not really a pest, just curious as to what type of moth it may be. Wingspan was between 6-7".  Very pretty design on wings.  Bodies were orange, black and white striped, and legs were orange.  Anyone know what type of moth this is? Thanks, Ann.
This is a cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia; Lepidoptera: Saturniidae). They do not feed as adults, lacking functional mouthparts; they live just long enough to mate and lay eggs. See for details on their life cycle. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1412  I live in Hawaii, 2 bugs showed up in my lanai. the first showed up on the ceiling like a gang.( just a bug) I cleaned them out and sprayed. the very next day they were back ,this time they invited friends. ( skinny long alien things )I have never seen these bugs before. If you can tell me what they are .... Please.   Pauline

The upper photo is too unclear to make a determination, but the lower photo might
be a red-black false blister-beetle (Ananca bicolor; Coleoptera: Oedemeridae); see  for images. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1411  Hello, Thanks a lot for offering this opportunity to solve a rather large problem for us.  The description is…We live in Calgary, AB and have had an increasing problem with these little guys.  I live next to a park which is sprayed with pesticides every year and live in a mobile home.  About 5 years ago I started to notice these guys and since then it’s been getting worse and worse.  They appear in early May and “stay” until July.  I’ve thus far had about 100 this year that I’ve noticed and I’m sure many more in the vacuum cleaner.  They appear to enter mainly on the side of my house (and I find them lying on my deck there) that faces the park.  I believe it to be a weevil like #982 and #949 but I don’t just have a couple.  If someone could identify the specific species it would be appreciated so I can research the life cycle and determine how to save my relationship with my girlfriend who is getting freaked out.  Nathan
This is indeed a weevil, apparently another short-snouted weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae; subfamily Entiminae - formerly Otiorhynchinae); see nos. 1409 and 1410 for other examples. Although I cannot provide a specific identification from the photo (there are many species that are all but inseparable on gross observation alone), its size and general appearance are consistent with that of the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus; see  for more information. They are harmless indoors, but can be serious greenhouse/landscape pests. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1410  Hi. I live in Toronto, Ontario. In the last few weeks every time we open the lid of my son’s sandbox (in our backyard) there about 50-100 of these little bugs. I assume this means there are eggs in the sand, but of what? When I looked closer there were some unhatched in the sandbox . What are these things? Are they harmful? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Jeff
This appears to be another short-snouted weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae; subfamily Entiminae - formerly Otiorhynchinae); see no. 1409 for another example. I’m not sure what they would be doing in the sandbox other than seeking shelter, as all members of this subfamily feed on leaves or roots of plants. Members of this subfamily lay their eggs on the host plant or on the soil beneath these plants. This specimen bears a good resemblance to the strawberry root weevil, Otiorhynchus ovatus - see for an image. Also, I don’t know how much help it would be, but you also could try using the ‘search’ function on the web page for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1409  I found this in my daughters room, a mass of them on her mosquito netting. Where did it come from? I cleaned it all up and found 3 more the next day. Any ideas?
This appears to be a short-snouted weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae; subfamily Entiminae - formerly Otiorhynchinae). Several species in this subfamily can be plant pests; you may want to check plants near the house for signs of insect feeding. These weevils may come indoors when their populations peak, or when conditions outdoors become unfavorable for them. See nos. 1301 and 1283 for other examples.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1408 Hi. I live in Nova Scotia, and have noticed these beautiful insects in my yard for the last two years, around May and June. They are content to crawl around but can fly as well. Is anyone able to identify them please? Thanks, Tanya
This is a leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in the genus Calligrapha; likely the common willow calligrapha, Calligrapha multipunctata - see for an image. I first became aware of these beautiful beetles as a child growing up on our farm in North Dakota, where we had a willow sheltterbelt next to the house.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1407  Hi there!  I live in Toronto, Ontario in a condominium building that was completed in 2006.  In the past 2 weeks I have been finding these small brown beetle-looking insects all over the apartment...I mean anywhere from the bathroom to my bedroom.  They have 6 legs, what looks like a "borer" and two tiny antennae.  Most of the time they are on the floor they are quite small probably about 3mm in length.  At first I found a couple and now there are 10s of them...I found at least 40 I infested?  Where could the be coming from?  What can I do to get rid of them?  Jacqui
This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). It bears some resemblance to those in the genus Sitophilus (see for an image), a genus that includes at least three species that attack whole grains, such as corn, rice, and wheat. See for control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1406  My 12 year old son found this bug on some leaves, it was hopping around. We live in Duncan, Oklahoma, near a small creek. He believes that it may be an alien bug or a new species. If anyone can identify it, sure we sure would appreciate it. Thanks Quintin & Letty
This is a female (note the sword-like ovipositor) nymph of a katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), possibly a round-headed katydid in the genus Amblycorypha - see for an image of an adult female. If you go to, you can click on a link to listen to the ‘song’ of one of these katydids.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 I believe that bug is a kadidid.     They are very interesting ( as a bug lover ), and have a great song, nicer  than a cricket I think.   We have a plant nursery here in Seven Points Texas, and I have been watching and taking pictures of many kinds of bugs for several years. Dana
1405  Hi,  I live in Windsor, Ontario. Every once in a while, maybe once or twice a year, I end up with one of these bugs inside the house. I usually crush and flush, but I'm curious as to what it is. They fly, but they seem to not do it to often. They are an inch long or less, and don't seem to do much.  Any help would be appreciated. I have no idea what it is. 
Thanks! Andrew Foot
This is an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae); possibly the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus) - see for an image and no. 1393 for another example. Large specimens can deliver a very painful bite. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1404  Found on gravel path in front of old building, small meadow in front and surrounded by oak, cypress, poplar, hazel and many other trees and shrubs.  Streams nearby.  Peter
Our yellow and black striped friend is from a species of wood-boring insects that attack dead and dying trees.  Logs and lumber without bark are not attacked by this and other related pests but the can from emerge air-dried lumber cut from previously infested logs.  This beastie appear to be from the genus Xylothrechus or Clytus but I do not have a detailed key handy to confirm which one.  It definitely comes from the insect family Cerambycidae which are commonly called round-headed wood-borers. Jeff Fournier
Senior Pesticide Management Officer,  British Columbia Ministry of Environment.
This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the genus Clytus.  They sometimes are called ‘wasp beetles’ because of their superficial resemblance to vespids. This specimen may be Clytus marginicollis; its larvae feed in the dead branches of pine trees - see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1403   Hello from Pennsylvania!  I know this is a mouse, but was wondering if you could tell me if it was someone's pet, or a pest?  My cat brought it to me as a present the other night while i was sleeping. I woke up on top of it if it looks a little squished!  ARGH!!!!  Love the site although i probably won't be able to sleep tonight after looking at all those pictures.  Vanessa
If the underside of the tail of this mouse is white, it would be a deer mouse (Peromyscus spp.). Although they will enter houses, they usually will not become the serious problem that house mice (Mus musculus) can pose. They are, however, a reservoir/amplifying host for strains of hantavirus that can cause serious illness in humans - see  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
1402  Hi, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Found these jumping seeds, larvae, eggs,? beside a gravel pathway at work.
Did you actually see these moving? Our expert advisor Ed Saugstad believes these are likely seeds. 
1401  Every spring, when it starts to get warm out our bathroom becomes infested with these tiny reddish beetles. They mostly appear around the bathtub and aren't in any other place in the house. They are approx. 3mm long. It appears that they have wings but I never see them flying. They also appear to come out to die. Could it be a minute bark beetle or a minute tree-fungus beetle? If so, what are they doing in my bathroom? For the
last two years I have been trying to figure out what they are and how to get rid of them, any help would be hugely appreciated!  Thank you!!  Emily
Although the image is quite fuzzy, it does not appear to be any wood-boring beetle (minute bark beetles are more elongate, and have clubbed antennae). It could be a pantry pest in the family Anobiidae such as a drugstore beetle or cigarette beetle.
See  for more information and copy.preview.jpg  and  for photos of these beetles. As they will feed on such a wide variety of materials, locating the source of an infestation could be challenging. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.


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