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 #400  My friend and I were sitting on his deck around 5:00 pm in Little Rock, Arkansas when I noticed that his schleffera plant seemed to be dripping water. On closer examination it was this insect that is sucking sap and passing it on through to the tune of a drop per 1-2/sec. You can clearly see a drop that is ready to be passed. The insect is roughly the size of a lightning bug (1/2 - 3/4 inch). Behind him appears to be 2 holes that he previously bored into and in front appears to be another. I've looked at hundreds of photos but I cannot find out what this insect is. Any ideas?  Thanks in advance. Carl

    This is a leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae); some species are called ‘sharpshooters.’ They can injure plants not only by removing sap during their feeding, but also by causing physiological changes to the plant (such as blocking xylem and phloem vessels) and by transmitting viral diseases of plants.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#399  I live in Swansea South Carolina. I was stung or bitten by this animal and I had a whelp mark on the back of my neck. It is solid black with a lot of pointy things all over him. He is about one inch long.
The image is extremely fuzzy, but this appears to be a caterpillar in the family Arctiidae (tiger moths). The caterpillars of some species in this family possess specialized urticating hairs that can cause a rash if they penetrate sensitive skin. To the best of my knowledge this is not dangerous, although it indeed can be irritating. However, there are 'stinging caterpillars' in other families that can cause more serious envenomations - see
http://citybugs.tamu.edu/FastSheets/Ent-1033.html
   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV    
    In regards to photo #399, I live in Texas and have also had the misfortune of putting my hand on one.  Not sure about the technical name, but have always been told they are wood asps.  Hope this helps
#398  I found this spider crawling around our hallway last night and in our livingroom this afternoon. We're in Victoria BC, I've been here all my life and have never seen a spider quite like this. We find ants and spiders everyday in our basement suite, but last night and today were the first times we've seen this kind. Our landlords said they found one the other day on their kitchen window. We want to make sure we're safe because we have a 5 month old and we're finding spiders in her room, in her towel hanging up on the door, etc...    Al
   This appears to be another example (see #s 288 and 388 ) of the woodlouse spider (Dysdera crocata) that specializes in feeding on isopods (sowbugs/pillbugs/woodlice). Their powerful jaws easily penetrate the tough exoskeletons of their crustacean prey. They are harmless to humans.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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dysdera crocata   It tends to like to live in and around building walls in loose soil or under boards, logs, etc. It eats wood bugs, piercing their shells with long fangs adapted for this purpose.
http://www.butterfly-guide.co.uk/survival/spiders/spid10.htm
http://spiders.entomology.wisc.edu/Dysderidae/Dysdera/crocata.html
Ian Marsman, St. Catharines, ON, ian.marsman@gmail.google.com 
http://flickr.com/photos/imarsmanhttp://imarsman.blogspot.com
#397  Hi there,  Great site!!!  I have a bug problem; my wife is fanatical about cleaning but also a bug hater so of course she sees every little dot and assumes the worst.  This time she was right.  We have a dog and the wife if pregnant with our first child, we obviously can’t use pesticides and we don’t want to have a problem with any insects and our new child.  Please help.  Here are the pictures I’ve managed to capture.  We live in Oshawa, Ontario and for the sake of my wife’s sanity, please keep our email and names anonymous, thank you.  Thank you in advance for any help!!!  BuggedByBugs
     Could you provide another photo and a description of the circumstances where the insect was found? The image is too fuzzy to be certain, but, I suspect that this could be a dermestid beetle. The family Dermestidae (often called hide or skin beetles) includes a number of species that can be household pests, such as carpet beetles and the larder beetle. If it is a dermestid, you need to locate its food source and then apply appropriate control measures. These primarily consist of sanitation (cleaning up and/or removing the source(s) of the infestation and protection (keeping infestable products (flour, cereals, pasta, dry legumes, dried fruit, dry pet food, etc.) in sealable plastic containers or in the refrigerator. Chemical control should not be necessary except for very unusual circumstances. See  extension.usu.edu/files/factsheets/carpetbe.pdf and http://citybugs.tamu.edu/FastSheets/Ent-1045.html for fact sheets. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#396  I found this moth in our woodpile a few weeks ago (April).  We live in the south Yukon. Can you tell me what it is?  Sierra, age 7 
ED identified this type under #489 as a miller moth (cutworm).  I get a ton of these in my house every summer because of a very large alfalfa feed next to my house in NE Washington.  There are many different types of cutworms in the PNW and Western Canada http://mint.ippc.orst.edu/idinsects.htm  http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05597.html  Although #489 is not a black cutworm that I can see.  #396 is not adequately preserved to make an identification as I'm only an “enthusiast”.  Craig Baker
#395  Can you post this on your site for ID? this thing looks like a caterpillar of sorts? Thank you so much.  -N
     This appears to be a caterpillar of the white-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma – Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae; see home.earthlink.net/~h111/Media/tussokl.jpg ). They possess specialized hairs that can cause an irritating rash (somewhat like stinging nettles) on tender skin. Some species in this family also can be serious defoliators of trees. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#394  I live in Nanaimo, BC.  I keep finding these in my garden, they are below the soil and sometimes in the roots of plants.  I've been pulling them up for the last month but just recently they start to wriggle with the pointed end in my hand.  Thanks.  Nati
     This appears to be a moth pupa, possibly that of one of the so-called ‘cutworms’ (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) commonly found in garden environments. See # 342 for a similar example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#393 I live in the Chicago suburbs.  I have found many of these tiny bugs in the basement of our 5 year old home.  They are on the floor and on the window ledge (along with some spiders).  I initially thought that they were "bug droppings" since they are so small, about 2mm in overall length including the 'tail.'  I used a 10x microscope to take the picture.  Thank you. Steve.
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    Although the image is fuzzy, these might be collembolans (‘springtails’), a very primitive order of insects often found in damp situations, sometimes in great numbers. See www.discoverlife.org/ nh/tx/Insecta/Collembola/ and http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent525/soil/soilpix/images/collembola.jpg for some images of collembolans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
 #392  The bug in these photos was found in an out building in a wooded region of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The critter is approximately 45 to 50 millimeters in length and 15 to 20 millimeters in width. Any identification of this cute little critter with the big eyes is appreciated.  Thank You, Bob  / Tacoma, Washington, USA
This is giant water bug (Hemiptera: Belastomatidae), the largest true bugs in North America. Sometimes called ‘toe-biters’ or ‘electric light bugs,’ they are voracious predators on other small aquatic animals (mostly insects, but occasionally including small fish). When they capture prey with their powerful front legs, they inject enzymes that break down the prey’s tissues so that the bug can then ingest the resulting ‘soup’ through its beak. If mishandled, they can deliver a very painful ‘bite’ with that beak.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#391  I have been finding these egg clusters every spring buried just under the surface of the ground in loose soil.  What are they?? -Mike
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Place some of these objects in a closed container with some of the soil they were in to see if anything emerges - they may not be eggs at all, but could be seeds in a fecal pellet of some kind.
#390  I live in Calgary, AB… this photo was taken in the backyard, on the fence, in late August of 2004. Not being a big fan of insects in the first place, particularly wasps and yellowjackets, I got as close to this ‘strange-to-me’ event as I dared… it’s not a very clear photograph but this is basically what I saw: approximate length 1 ½” to 2”… the smaller of the (apparently) 2 insects at the bottom seemed to be squirming around as if either trying to get out of the body of the larger insect, or eating its way out?? I have no idea… perhaps it was a mating ritual… or a molting process? I’m really not that hip on the lifecycles of insects (mating, birthing, molting, feeding, etc.), but I am VERY curious to know if anyone can identify a likely solution, despite the poor quality of the photo.  Thanks in advance!  Lisa
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My best guess is that this is a mating pair of wasps. Although I have never personally witnessed this, it makes more sense than the other possible explanations. Also, mating in these insects usually takes place in late summer/early autumn, with the males dying shortly thereafter. Only inseminated queens survive the winter to carry on the species' survival. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
#389  I LIVE IN TOBERMORY, ONTARIO....THIS INSECT LANDED ON MY ARM LAST SEPTEMBER AND I NEED HELP IDENTIFYING IT, CAN YOU HELP ME?   IT IS ABOUT 1 1/2" LONG.  THANK YOU....LENORE
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This is a cone-headed grasshopper (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae, subfamily Copiphorinae). They usually are found in areas with tall grass and weedy growth, and although herbivores, they can give a very painful nip if handled carelessly. Yours is a female, as you can see the tip of its very long ovipositor extending just past its wing tips. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#388  This spider had crawled into my boyfriend's shoe and bit him. We are in Northwest Oregon, and I was worried this was a hobo spider or something venomous. I see these occasionally in the garden, but we have never had a problem before w/them. I can't really make out any discernable markings; this guy is redish in color, with a large swollen looking grayish bottom section. Any info would be great! Do I need to watch out for these guys?  Noel
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This appears to be Dysdera crocata, a spider that specializes in feeding on isopods (sowbugs/pillbugs/woodlice). Their powerful jaws easily penetrate the tough exoskeletons of their prey. See #  288 for another example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
                                         
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
These spiders are entirely harmless, venom wise. This spider, known as the Wood Louse Spider, has fangs that are disproportionately large to the rest of it's body. The reason for the large fangs is because this spider feeds on isopods which have hard shells that need to be cracked open. So you don't need to really worry about that spider except for a little pinch... actually I'd say a pretty big pinch. Jacob Duarte, aspiring arachenologist.
#387 Hi.  Attached are a few pics of some creepy crawlies that have been showing up every so often in my basement for the last several months.  I'll go weeks without seeing any, then for a few days I'll spot 2 or three of them.  Also attached is a picture of a beetle that showed up and I can't figure out where it came from.  I live in Edmonton, Alberta .  S.B.
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The top photo is a sow bug.  It can be distinguished from pill bugs by the 2 appendages at the rear end which prevent it from rolling into a ball like pill bugs.  Read more about sow bugs and pill bugs. Mr. Saugstad may be able to tell us about your beetle photo.
                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae), a very large family most of whose members (including your specimen) are general predators on other small arthropods. A very few (such as the seed corn beetle) are ‘rogues’ that can be pests. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#386  My wife woke me up at about 4:30 am complaining that something was crawling on her.  I noticed the spider on top of the sheets.  We live in a historical house approx. 300 yrs old.  We have 2 acres of land that has a brook that runs 100 yards from the house.  We are also surrounded by farm land. Thank you for your help. Chad 
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This appears to be a male wolf spider (family Lycosidae). They are active hunters, and sometimes will wander into buildings during their search for prey. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV  
                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The information that you gave in the e-mail was helpful except for one
thing: You didn't say what province/state/country you live in. Anyway I assumed that you were from North America. I am almost positively sure that this spider is the Northern Wolf Spider. They usually live riversides in a silken burrow and it is active both day and night. An interesting fact, if this spider is covered with rising water it will remain in it's burrow and breathe using air bubbles. Jacob Duarte, aspiring arachenologist
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This
reminds me of a dock spider.  See link below for picture.  Jean-Louis
http://www.fishontario.com/articles/bugs/dockspider.html
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My wife and I found a couple spiders exactly the same as the one in the picture - we even caught ours in Tupperware too. We are in Ottawa, Ontario and ours was about the same size - 3 inches across or so. I also have holes about the size of a broom stick handle around my yard - a few site say that Wolf Spiders do that. Is this a type of poisonous spider? This week, we have found 2 in the house near the patio doors that I BBQ from and a few more on that deck. I've never seen a spider as "scary" as it before and am wondering if this spider should be a concern. Especially if all the holes around the garden are from them.
Thank you,  David Grant
 #385  I have twenty or more of these brownish cocoons mostly around the edge of my carpet.  The majority of them are now hollow, but I managed to find one which still contained a yellowish puss like substance.  I am presuming that is the creature? If anybody knows what this animal is and how to get rid of them it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!  Andrea
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This appears to be a puparium of a higher muscoid fly (Diptera; suborder Cyclorrhapha), a very large group that includes the common house fly. As the larvae (maggots) feed on decaying organic matter, there likely was a food source for them fairly nearby. When the maggots are mature, they usually wriggle away from the food source in search of a drier place in which to pupate, and a carpet would seem quite satisfactory for their purposes. I once had to remove several hundred maggots from the carpeting in my station wagon when they escaped from their container during transport! Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#384  Hi, My dad took a picture of a spider in Seattle, Washington. It's body was approximately 1 inch long with a hairy rump and hairy "beard". Any idea what it might be? Thanks! Holly
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A dorsal view of this specimen would be helpful as well.  Although it bears a superficial resemblance to a jumping spider (family Salticidae), there are some aspects of it that are not consistent with that conclusion. By the way, the hairy ‘beard’ is the base of its chelicerae (‘fangs’). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#383   I found this large beetle on my fence in NJ. can anyone tell me what it is?  Dan
                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This might be a Cerambycid, but I would like to see a photo of this beetle taken from directly above (as opposed to from the side) of this specimen before attempting an identification.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

2nd photo submission.
(follow-up) – Unfortunately, the second photo is quite fuzzy, but I still am inclined to think that it might be a Cerambicid as it was described as ‘large.’ There are beetles in other families that resemble this specimen, but they are on the small side (less than an inch long).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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   Blister beetle, Family Meloidae, genus Lytra:  http://bugguide.net/node/view/13503/bgimage
Jim McClarin, insect photographer.

#382  We live in a 2-story home in Pickering, Ontario and approx. the 2nd week of April we started noticing several larvae (see attached photo) appearing on the floor and vanity top of our master ensuite as well as the 2nd bathroom on the upper floor.  We have removed about 30 over the last week and a half and always find more every morning and every night.  I'm not certain where they are coming from but am guessing the baseboard area.  Please help me to identify what this larva is as soon as possible!!  Thanks, David.            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This could be a larva of a dermestid beetle, a family that includes several cosmopolitan pests that attack a wide variety of organic materials, from hides and furs to woolen fabrics and dry stored food products. If the room where they are appearing has a carpet that contains wool, you may try lifting the edges a bit to see if you find any of the larvae or evidence of feeding damage there. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#381  I found this bug in Victoria B.C. April 27, 2005. It seems to be the same as photo # 91. The description is the same. What is this insect ?  Tammy
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This indeed appears to be the same insect as # 91, namely an elm sawfly (Cimbex americana; Hymenoptera: Cimbicidae). They usually do not occur in numbers large enough to require control.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV


Click on the photos  to enlarge

#380  Hello,  I have found a few of these little brownish bugs in my bathroom. I live in Brooklyn NY. I have a feeling that they are probably harmless, but need to know if I need to warn other tenants about it. I looked through several websites and just can't seem to find anything similar. It has four legs and is reddish brown in color. I hope you can help. Thank You, M
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Photo is out of focus, but this could be a spider beetle (Coleoptera: Ptinidae), an occasional pest of stored products. See #375.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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I'm not an entomologist, but I did bring samples of bugs that looked like this to my doctor who sent them to a lab and they came back as nymph bed bugs. While the photos aren't the clearest, given the size and location of these bugs, I urge you to post a response that mentions the potential for bed bugs. Especially for the one that thought it might be a deer tick. The bed bug has 3 legs and 2 antenae on each side. The antenae might be mistaken for legs, esp. with the nymph leading one to think it has 8 legs.
Please please please suggest that these people take the bugs to a lab to confirm because while bed bugs might not carry disease, they are certainly a MAJOR nuisance and the bites can be terribly painful and plentiful in even an mild infestation.  Christina.
#379  The creature in this picture is still sitting on my windowsill in complete anonymity. Can you tell me what it is? I live in Scotland so it may not be a species native to Canada.  Many thanks,  Sam Gibson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This appears to be a bee – perhaps someone familiar with the species of this region can provide a specific identification. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#378 I live in New Hampshire US and I noticed this bugs crawling all over my porch and siding on the house. They are about 2-3 mm long. I was trying to locate the source, started to look around the yard and found lots of them stick to the branches of my tamarack tree (it is the evergreen that sheds for the winter) I don’t know what are they, can’t find any info as to if it’s some kind of insect that would damaged the tree. I don’t feel comfortable on my porch or yard because they are everywhere, even on the sidewalk. I don’t know how to get rid of them. Please help to identify that bug. Thank you. 
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These appear to be aphids, but not of a species with which I am familiar. They should be susceptible to most ‘garden variety’ pesticides approved for use around the home and yard. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#377  I live in Philadelphia, PA in an apartment building that is over 100 years old and has not been renovated since the 1970's. This bug was found last fall in our bathroom in the bathtub. He was less than 1 cm long. We found many bugs like him in and around our bathtub some much smaller and others a little bigger. When it got cold the bugs disappeared. It is getting warmer now and there are some smaller bugs that seem to have appeared again who look like mini 1 mm versions of this bug. They crawl in and out of the bathroom tiles and get washed down the drain. Can you tell me what he is, if I can get rid of them and if they are harmful? Thanks so much! Erin
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This is a sow bug.  They love warm moist environments. The small ones you are seeing will go through a number of molting stages as they grow larger.  See:  sow bugs, pill bugs and centipedes for more information. 
  #376  I'm in North Carolina and I have these guys all over my mulch and top layer  of dirt in the garden next to the house.  They remind me of termites, but they are not seen on my house, which is wood. They seem to be near ants and look like they live with them, but I've never seen a winged ant. Rebecca
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Unfortunately, these are termites, specifically, winged reproductives that leave a parent colony to found new ones. Mulch beds that abut a house usually are a bad idea, as this gives the termites ready access to the structure without having to expose themselves to the outside environment. See http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1994/3-30-1994/antterm.html for images of winged ants vs. winged termites. You may wish to contact the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service for control advice - see http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/counties/ for links to county offices. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #375  I saw this insect (about 4 mm) crawling up the wall in my Toronto condo at around midnight, beside my computer screen - was moving very slowly (enough to get my camera out).  I'm sure I've seen one like this before in my old apartment.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.  TMH
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This appears to be a spider beetle (Coleoptera: Ptinidae). They are cosmopolitan in distribution, and often infest stored food products. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2117.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #374  I'm sorry to have to ask for help from so far away, but, I'm in North Carolina and I have these little red spider-like guys are all over my irises.  I don't know whether they are good or bad, so I don't know whether I should try and kill them.  Rebecca.
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 These are aphids ('plant lice'), and you definitely want to get rid of them! Fortunately, they are very soft-bodied, and just a vigorous stream of water from a garden hose should remove and even kill most of them. Also, there are a wide variety of commercial aphid control products, such as insecticidal soaps, that are safe to use around the home.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV   
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  Rebecca, those little guys on your irises are called aphids. They do not harm people at all, but they can do a good number on your garden plants. Generally, you do not have to do a thing because they will only be apparent during certain parts of the year and then they're gone. However, they reproduce quickly and when they get to be in large numbers, your irises will suffer. If your irises start looking sorrowful, you can use a 50:50 mix of water and plain old rubbing alcohol and spraying the critters directly (spraying the leaves of your irises with this won't hurt your irises, but it won't "repel" the insects either... you have to hit the insects with the alcohol to kill them.) Cheers, KAJ              
  #373 These little guys were found in Houston, Texas. They were in various places around the apartment. Some on the bed. A couple on some clothes. A couple on the couch. And, one was found on the dog. Not really sure what they are. They move pretty slowly and don't seem to bite. They look beetle like. We just can't figure out what they are and where they are coming from. Also, what to do to get rid of them. Thanks, Eric. Please help, it freaks my girlfriend out. She now has a hard time sleeping in the bed.
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This is an engorged tick, likely from your dog. I suggest that you consult your veterinarian for appropriate control measures. From the apparent small size (assuming that the match in the photo is a standard paper match), the tick may be in the genus Ixodes, that includes the deer tick. For confirmation, you also could take specimens to the nearest county office of the Texas Cooperative Extension Service office.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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It looks like a tick but check out http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2073.html  just to be sure. I'm no expert, but I have pulled a few ticks off me after a hike. -Rebecca, North Carolina
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These are ticks. Your girlfriend is right not to want to sleep in the bed. They do bite, and many species do transmit diseases (e.g. lyme disease). Chances are good that they came in on your clothing or your dog while you were out walking. They can live for months without a blood meal, and will remain in your clothes drawers or bed, etc. Check your clothing, blankets, etc. and at the very least, get a good tick collar for your dog! Goodluck, KAJ.
  #372  We live in Raleigh NC and we find these bugs on the floor next to a sliding door.
Can you identify them . real skinny abdomen, like a thread.  Thanks,  Dennis
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This appears to be a thread-waisted wasp (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae; subfamily Sphecinae). All are predaceous on other arthropods, from caterpillars and crickets to spiders. They are not aggressive, and are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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In reference to picture # 372, I am no expert, but it looks like a potter wasp.  Check out http://everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/.../wasps/potter_wasp  to be sure.  RS
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These are commonly called mud dauber wasps.  They build nests out of mud in sheltered areas, often in attics or under shed roofs.

372 is a Mud dauber. It’s a type of wasp that is harmless unless threatened, but it can and will sting, especially if squashed. The sting of a mud dauber is usually less serious than that of a paper wasp. Mud daubers make an approx. 5 cm (1/2 in.) diameter tunnel from soft mud in which they deposit a single egg, then add a dead or anesthetized bug, usually a spider, then close up that chamber with mud and lay another egg against the new wall with another bug for this larva to eat, continuing until the tunnel gets to be 5-10 chambers long. Chamber tunnels can be single or with have another tunnel built onto the side of the first one. The mud dauber’s sting is used to anesthetize the prey for their young to eat. The tunnels are usually on protected sides of old buildings or walls. If a tunnel is broken open before the young emerge, often live spiders will fall out. The young eat holes in the top of the tunnel to emerge without disturbing their siblings.  Edith.

  #371  I live in Victoria British Columbia Canada.  This bug started showing up a couple months ago.  It could be found on the wall in a bathroom on a bedspread or in the hallway.  We have found about 15 of them, to date. To gauge the size I have placed this bug on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.  It is black and with what looks like gold or yellow markings.  It reminds me of a ladybug.  I dumped it out of the jar, a pair of wings came out as you can note in the picture.  When it was crawling across the picture, the wings were hidden.  At no point did it ever fly.  They are very fragile as picking them up to roughly crushes them.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.  Michael.
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This photo also is too fuzzy for me to be certain, but it might be a carpet beetle (family Dermestidae). Look at the photos for numbers 341 and 335 and see whether you have a close match. If your specimens are carpet beetles, you need to locate their food source and apply appropriate control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV    
  
I too am from Victoria BC and have this exact bug.  I took  it to a pest control guy and it is a carpet beetle.  Can you some how put me in touch with this fellow from Victoria, so we can converse about what he has done to take care of this problem.  Like his wife, I too am a bit freaked out with these things. Regards, Pat
          
Sorry Pat, in the interest of privacy and security we do not store e-mail addresses or other personal information once a question has been published.   Larry.  Webmanager


Click on the photos  to enlarge

  #370  I found this guy on my bathroom floor in Missouri. I've had brown recluses in the apartment before so I'm very jumpy when it comes to spiders. I don't know what this one is, and I remembered your page from when I was looking for identification of the recluses a while back. It's a just smaller than a penny, and is wet in this picture due to the spurt of RAID that I used to kill it. It looks like it has six eyes, possibly eight, arranged in a circle on it's head. There's also some kind of design on it's abdomen which was easier to see when it was alive, but looked more like a white streak.  Thanks, Tom, St. Louis, Missouri.
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Because of the somewhat distorted condition of this specimen, I hesitate to make a definitive statement other than it does not appear to be a species of any medical importance. Perhaps Jacob Duarte can provide a more specific identification. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
                                   
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Thanks for the compliment Ed. The can of raid did mangle that spider, but thanks to your comment on the white streak I can make a pretty good guess. It looks like a Mouse Spider, a nocturnal hunting spider which favours buildings, and loose tree bark. The white streak is the defining feature though.
Jacob Duarte, aspiring arachenologist
#369 Live In South-Eastern Ontario (just outside Toronto).  Found this attatched to a shubert chokecherry. Backyard. Mid April.  Tent Caterpiller?? I have no idea but am wondering If I should remove it before it hatches. Maybe 4 - 6 inches long.   -Chris,  Ontario, Canada
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This the cocoon of a giant silkworm moth (Saturniidae), a family that includes the largest moths native to North America. This particular cocoon most likely is that of the cecropia moth, Hyalophora cecropia - see http://www.ivyhall.district96.k12.il.us/4th/kkhp/1insects/cecropia.html If it hasn't been parasitised, the moth should emerge from the cocoon later this spring. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 
  #368  Hello,  We moved into our newley built house in September 2004 (Burlington, Ontario) I remember seeing a couple of these things, but didnt think much of it, due to it being a new house, and having the interior exposed during construction, figured there would be the odd bug about.  In the last 2 weeks (first few weeks of April) I have found 10 of these things. They are all of the same size.  Most recentley 2 upstairs by the window, and 3 milling around by the cold cellar in the basement. I am freaked out.  What are these bugs???  I think the bug is on its back in this picture, and he is dead.  They dont move fast, and I think they may fly, my cats seem to notice them before I do!  Thanks!
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Although the photo is not clear enough for me to be confident of a family identification ( it might be a very small ground beetle), I believe that whatever this beetle is, it is not a threat to either you or your house, or its contents. Its appearance is not consistent with any wood-borer or pantry pest that I am familiar with.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #367  I have found quite a few of these guys in my bathroom and sometimes other places of my apartment. I live in Ottawa, Ontario. My digital camera does not take close up pictures of small objects in detail so this drawing is my best interpretation of the pest. It is a light brownish grayish colour, but I have seen lighter green ones (maybe younger versions of the pest). My roommate and I think it is a type of cockroach. Any advice of what it is and how to be rid of it? I Thanks Greg
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I sent this picture yesterday under the assumption it was a type of cockroach, I now believe it is a type of silverfish or firebrat possibly still in developmental stage (notice hind legs are not as long as most silverfish) Found in an Ottawa apartment. Usually seen at night. Thanks for any help. Greg
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This indeed appears to be a silverfish or firebrat (order Thysanura). See no. 296 for a reasonably clear photo, and http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2108.html  for a fact sheet on these insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #366 Please tell me what these are and how to get rid of them.  They are covering the limbs of my Bald Cypress trees.  There are literally thousands of them covering six trees.  I noticed them right as the needles began budding out.  They do not have heads or legs.  They are black with wide reddish-orange stripes.  When removed from the limb, they have no bottom and would be hollow except for a clear gooey substance and tiny flat spore-like things that fall out.  The shell is fairly tough.  Damage to the limb is evident after removing.  I've used Isotox on all of the trees, but read that anything with a hard covering may not be effected by pesticides and also, the systematic treatments can be diluted by the tree's sap making them less effective.   I am really concerned that this could permanently damage the trees and maybe spread to other trees.  Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide.  Thanks, Kristie
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Although these bear a resemblance to scale insects in the family Kermidae, I cannot be certain, and I am unaware of any members of this family that attack bald cypress. I suggest that you take one of the infested branches to your county cooperative extension service office for assistance in identification and any recommended control measures. Go to http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/netlinks/ces.html, select your state, and you should be able to find the office nearest to you.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #365  This is a very strange creature that I found in my pool last summer (dead). He is about 1/3 the size of the Tarantulas I've seen, and doesn't have the hairy body or legs that they have. The two front "legs" are actually some kind of stingers (look a bit like a Scorpion's tail), and he has pretty nasty fangs underneath. I have looked everywhere, but still can't positively identify it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!  Roberta,  New River, Arizona
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This appears to be a male mygalomorph spider (suborder Orthognatha), possibly one of the trap-door spiders or a close relative (see http://www.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/life/arachnoida/araneida/antrodiaetidae/antrodiaetus/sp-1.jpg for an image). Tarantulas also belong to this group of spiders, characterized by chelicerae (‘fangs’) that move in a vertical (as opposed to a lateral) plane. What you interpret as the front ‘legs’ are in actuality the pedipalps, which are greatly enlarged in the males, and used in sperm transfer during mating.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #364  We've been finding several of these jewel toned beauties in our log home; I remember encountering many of them in my childhood as well... I suspect they might be mischief makers agriculturally, but they're so gorgeous! We grew up referring to them as "June Bugs", but an internet search of that name has proven fairly fruitless.  Thanks for any help. The beetle in the picture is not dead but played dead several times. He and his compatriots were set free after the photo shoot!  Cindie & Mike, west of Parksville, Vancouver Island British Columbia
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Golden Buprestid
: One of the most damaging wood borers in western North America because larvae can survive up to 50 years in green timber, logs or poles. In buildings, egg to adult development may be prolonged to 30, 40, even 50 years. This beetle is commonly referred to as the Douglas-fir wood borer.  The adult beetle lays her fertilized eggs in bark crevices of injured or fallen trees. The larvae bore into the center of the tree trunk, feeding and growing in 10 years in their natural environment and in up to 50 years when they live in a milled piece of lumber.  The Golden Buprestid Beetle is considered to be one of the longest-lived insects in the world.  Though these beetles do not destroy trees and wood, they are considered a nuisance by timber harvesters because the decrease the value of wood due to the small holes they leave behind after burrowing. The adult beetles feed on the needles of Douglas fir-trees.  These beetles serve as an important food source for insectivorous birds like woodpeckers.  For details see this web site:  http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/fetch21/FRST308/lab7/buprestis_aurulenta/golden.html

Directory of Pest Professionals on Vancouver Island

  #363  Hi I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia and we are finding these bugs and grubs in our house just about everywhere especially in the kitchen. They just seem to appear from no where! They are freaking my wife out. They appear in April through July. I think they might be carpet beetles or larder beetles.  There are a lot of dead flies in the attic, but I could not see any of these critters. Could they be falling from the ceiling?  If they are these beetles how to we rid the house of them?  HELP!  Jim 
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This is the larder beetle, Dermestes lardarius (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). They will feed on a very wide variety of proteinaceous materials, including dead insects. See http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/larder_beetle.htm for a fact sheet that includes control measures.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #362  For the last couple of weeks we seem to have some sort of invasion of these bugs. I am assuming they are some sort of millipede, but have no idea where they come from and what harm they might do. How can we get rid of them? They get into everything, and I don't want them indoors.  I am located in Kelowna, BC and these "critters" seem to be all over the neighbourhood we live in. They only come out at night, and any that are remaining in the morning seem to dry up. They also seem to be most abundant on the concrete driveways and curbs. This is the first year in the 10 years we have been living here that we have noticed them. They seem to number in the hundreds if not thousands every night. Thanks for any and all help!  Duff
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These are indeed millipedes, which for the most part are general detritus feeders on a wide variety of decomposing organic material. A very few can damage very tender plants, such as under greenhouse conditions. They require a moist environment for survival, and with the exception of damp basements, the relative humidity in most modern homes is too low for their liking, and they will not survive for long. Although their presence certainly can be annoying, control measures usually are not necessary. See http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/millipedes.htm for a fact sheet. 

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #361  My daughter found this just sitting still on a leaf of a bush (I’m not sure what kind of bush). It seems to be stuck pretty well to the leaf on one end, but will raise the end that isn’t stuck if he is prodded on the back. Any help in identifying will be appreciated. Thanks. Vince
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I cannot be certain, but this could be a pupa of a beetle, such as a lady beetle (see http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/beetles/lady/pupa.jpg for an image). These pupae usually are fastened to some substrate (such as a leaf) at their tail end, leaving the rest capable of some movement if disturbed.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #360  This was found in my house in Altadena, California (southern CA). It was moving up the living room wall. It's measures about 1/4" diameter, but that is mostly all the "stuff" it is carrying around on its back. The "stuff" is body parts of termites or ants. The termites had swarmed a few days earlier on the back porch that has a rotten wood fence (April 3rd) It has big front pinchers and moves along pretty well. any ideas?
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Although the photo is a bit fuzzy, this appears to be a nymph of a neuropteran (family uncertain, possibly Ascalaphidae). The nymphs of some species are known to attach the empty skins of their prey to their backs as a disguise. The “big front pinchers” are its mandibles, which essentially are hollow tubes through which it injects digestive enzymes and then sucks out the liquefied contents of its prey.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #359  What is this worm and what do they do? Thank you. Dan
  
This appears to be a terrestrial planarian.  It is a flatworm (similar to those sliced in half by many high school biology classes), but lives on land.  They primarily eat earthworms, and can be voracious predators.  I'm not sure where this photo was taken, but terrestrial planarians require incredibly high humidity, as well as warm temperatures to survive.  They have been moving up the Atlantic seaboard, but are generally restricted to the south and east United States (in North America anyhow).  They sometimes show up in greenhouses elsewhere after being transported in potted plants. Mike JenkinsCity of Edmonton
  #358  This bee type insect was found walking around in Oahu, Hawaii.  "He" was slow moving, non-hostile, photogenic little thing.  It was actually about 1 inch long and pretty darn fat.  It was about the same size as a carpenter bee. Rebecca.
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Although I cannot be certain, this bee does resemble the male of Xylocopa brasilianorum, a carpenter bee that exhibits sexual dimorphism - the females are quite dark, almost black, whereas the males are golden in color.
 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
 #357  I first noticed these huge grubs in the late summer of 2004 at the bottom of my pool in large numbers. The ones I found in the pool were about the size of my middle finger (it was the first year in the 4 years of the pool that we have ever seen them) Today while doing some yard work I lifted up a flat rock in the garden (which is near a grape vine which i suspect they are eating the roots of) and fond dozens of the large grubs quickly escaping into there burrows (these grubs were not as large as the ones from last year but undoubtedly the same kind) I have included pictures of the garden that they are in and one of the grubs (it was dusk and they had all gone underground so i dug one up) What are these grubs and are they a beetle larva? And if so why do they all migrate to the pool and die in late summer? Thank you sincerely, D.A.N.
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This is the larva (grub) of a scarab beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). For the most part, the grubs feed on roots and other underground plant parts. A few are found in very punky wood. Some, such as the infamous Japanese beetles, can be very serious turf pests. I have no explanation as to why they would be found in your swimming pool. As far as I know, they are not in the habit of wandering about in the larval stage. Perhaps something happened to the soil that precipitated their movement from it.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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 Could be Pelidnota punctata, the Grapevine Beetle, due to size and location. Plus, some scarab larvae do have a wandering phase before pupation:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/3139/bgimage    Jim MacClarin, insect photographer
 
#356 We have this thing (see attached picture) which is sticking to our wooden signs and brick buildings. It looks like a tiny bunch of firewood, and doesn't appear to be making any holes in the wooden sign. It's about 1/4" long, and we're thinking it's some kind of insect because of the sticky stuff it has on one end. You really have to pull to get it off.   It doesn't appear to have wings, and looking under a magnifying glass didn't show us any legs, eyes, etc.  Could be some type of cocoon?  It might not even be an insect, but we're just stumped as to what it could be.  They started showing up last summer, and we have them again in April.   We live on the southern shore of Lake Superior in Marquette Michigan, USA. Thanks for looking, hopefully you can tell us what it is. Linda. 
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This could be a case-making or case-bearing caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae; see http://boxhead7.tripod.com/other/pics/scrib/jjregcasemoth01.html for an image). There are many species in this family in the U.S., but only a few (such as the larch casebearer and the pistol casebearer) are numerous enough to be of any economic importance. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
 #355  This is the third of these bugs we've seen; two in the kitchen, one in the bathroom. The first two were about a centimetre in length, but this one is only about 3mm. Only three of six legs are clear in this picture. At first we thought we had German cockroaches, but this one as well as the last were quite unafraid of the light. Now we're not sure. We live in a Toronto high-rise apartment. Despite extensive search, we haven't been able to find more of these insects.  Any thoughts are appreciated.  Tim.  U of Toronto
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This is a cockroach nymph. Although the photo is fuzzy, it appears more like a German cockroach (Blatella germanica; see http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/german_cockroach.htm for a fact sheet) than a brown-banded cockroach (Supella longipalpa; see http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/brown_banded_cockroach.htm for a fact sheet). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

Directory of Toronto Pest Management Professionals

 #354 I cant find anything on this guy.  Thanks,  Shawn, Schaumburg, Il. Any idea what this is??
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This appears to be a 'cobweb spider' in the genus Steatoda, such as Steatoda triangulosa. See http://entomology.unl.edu/images/spiders/steatoda_triang.jpg for an image. They belong to the same family as the widow spiders, but for the most part are considered harmless to humans. As a young child, I was bitten by one that I picked up from a window sill, and I remember it as being quite painful.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
 
This spider definitely resembles something from the Steatoda genus. My best guess would be a Cellar Spider which is mildly poisonous. That would probably explain the bite you got Ed. Jacob Duarte, aspiring arachenologist
#353  I found this very large spider on my overhead garage door.  Michael.  Edmonton, Alberta
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This is a female orb-weaving spider, (Araneida: Araneidae), a large family of spiders that includes many large and often colorful species. To the best of my knowledge, none of them are considered dangerous to humans, and most have ‘fangs’ that are too small to pierce human skin. See nos. 293 and 266 for other examples. Yours might be a cat-face spider (Araneus gemmoides). Perhaps Jacob Duarte can provide a more specific identification.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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This is a strange one. I'd like to tell you that it's an Angular Orb-Weaver because of the humps but two things prevent me from doing that: 1) It's colour which would be grey if it was an Angular, and 2) this spider only lives in Europe. The closest thing we have to that in Canada is the Cross Spider. So in short I don't know but I hope the above information helps. Jacob Duarte, aspiring arachenologist

Directory of Pest Management Professionals in Alberta

#352 Can you identify this insect? I was thinking a humpbacked (Phorid) fly, but the wing spots are puzzling. We kill about 10 per day in our home, and I usually find 5 or 6 in the shower in the morning. They are mostly in the bathroom, but will fly anywhere in the house. If it is a Phorid fly, they probably live in the drain in my walk-in shower. I live in Eugene, Oregon and first noticed these flies about 3 months ago. Thanks.  Jonathon.
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This definitely is not a Phorid, but I am uncertain as to its specific identity. It could belong to one of the families collectively known as fungus gnats, in which case I would look for accumulations of damp/decaying organic matter such as large potted plants. You might try taking some specimens to the OSU/Lane County Extension Service office in Eugene to see if anyone there can be of assistance in identifying your flies. See http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/index.php for contact information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#351  A few months ago I asked about bugs that were found in our basement and garage. We were concerned about them because of our taxidermy business and the potential damage they might cause to the hides. The pictures I had sent were too blurry, so I've finally been able to get some clearer ones. Could you please  identify them? Thanks!  Jan
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This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae); see 340 and 337 for other examples. Yours does not appear to be a species of any concern in so far as damage to either your house or your business is concerned. Only one or two species out of this very large family are known to actively infest wooden structures, and none to my knowledge will feed on any materials of animal origin. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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I am the person who submitted these photos. The person who identified them as long-horned wood boring beetles said I should check #337 and #340 for other examples. Those photos are completely different than the ones I sent, and when I researched long horned wood boring beetles, I found nothing in any of the results that look anything like the photos I sent. Could the identification be wrong, or are there so many species of this beetle that mine are just that much more different than the rest? I am in Edmonton Alberta, these bugs were found in the winter, but were not dead yet, and they are green with a fuzzy midsection. They don't compare to the description of long-horned wood boring beetles in any way. Jan
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Dear Jan - I appreciate your concern in finding differences between your specimens and other photos of Cerambycids submitted to this forum as well as on the web. There are well over 1,200 species known from this family in North America, and they vary widely in appearance. Some even lack the long antennae that give the family its common name. Also, there are members of other families that superficially resemble Cerambycids, such as those in the subfamily Donaciinae (Chrysomelidae; leaf beetles). All this aside, although I am still reasonably confident that yours is a Cerambycid, there are some aspects (such as the exuberant pubescence) that are not typical, and I will not fall on my sword over it. I will be more than happy to defer to anyone who is a specialist in this group for a more positive identification. If there is one thing that I have learned in more than 50 years of studying and observing insects, it is be very, very, careful about being absolutely certain about anything!  Sincerely,  Ed Saugstad
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   This is Lepturobosca chrysocoma or a close relative. It's a longhorned beetle that feeds on nectar as an adult:  http://bugguide.net/node/view/19893/bgimage   Jim McClarin. Insect photographer.
#350  I live in Southern California and we have a pool in our backyard. The other day as I was cleaning I came across this black bug in our pool (floating in the water). I fished it out and captured it and showed my ever curious children. Well, we released it into our front lawn far away from the pool. Two days later there is a second one (or the first found it way back???)sitting on our filter line. Anyway. Please let me know.  Thanks.  Kimberly
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This is ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae), likely in the genus Calosoma
(see
http://www.torreypine.org/Insects/CaterpillarHunter.htm 
and
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/redmite.htm - you'll have to scroll down quite a ways on the second one). Beetles in this genus collectively are known as "caterpillar hunters" and actively hunt down their prey. Your specimen probably accidentally fell into your pool while wandering about at night as they are not naturally aquatic.
 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#349  Please help me identify this insect.  I found this insect while at the beach (on the shore of Lake Huron - Kincardine) last August.  From what I recall, its 1.5 - 2 inches long.  Is this what they call an Ant Lion? There are a few “wells” (in finer sand) in the area where it was found.  I did touch the insect; it didn’t sting or bite, but grabbed hold of my finger arching backwards.  It seemed almost instinctive and grabbed my finger in the same manner numerous times. Thanks, Lysander.
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This is the larva of a tiger beetle (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). They are voracious predators on other arthropods. It is, however, unusual to find one wandering about on the surface as your specimen appeared to be doing. Their normal habit is to lay in wait at the top of a burrow (most often in sandy soil) with only the top of their head exposed. They lunge out and grasp with their mandibles any small creature unlucky enough to wander too close to the burrow. Because of their rather specific habitat requirements, many species of these beautiful and fascinating beetles are threatened or endangered, and some have been extirpated from much of their former range.
 (see
http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/endspec/nbtbfs.html for an example).
    BTW, ant lions belong to the order Neuroptera, are much smaller, and quite different in appearance;
see
http://www.archbold-station.org/discoveringflscrub/unit2/unit2antlion.html
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #348  We recently found these tiny bugs at opposite ends of the house.  The one thing the two rooms have in common is that these are the two rooms where we store our outside plants during the winter.  The two rooms are the kitchen and the sunroom.  The kitchen bugs stay near the plants on a shelf in the sun or crawl over to the sink.  We have never spotted them in the pantry or around food.  The sunroom bugs stay on the shelf with the plants. They look like tiny ants.  They are so small I had to zoom and use a magnifying glass to get a picture of them.  We live in Florence, SC.  It will soon be warm enough to leave the plants outside.  That may take care of the problem.  Do you have any suggestions until then?  Cliff.
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Great idea Cliff...taking a photo through your magnifying glass.  Unfortunately your bug is still to small to properly identify but it is definitely one of the many species of small ants. You may be able to determine the species by looking at the identification information on our Ant web page. Many ants this size can be controlled with a good quality ant bait.
   #347 Please help us ID this ant.  It is nesting next to brick and concrete steps under foliage outside our house.  Measures 1/4" long, Color reddish body and dark brown/blackish head and rear. Thank you. Amanda and Sage
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 I cannot be certain of this identification as I am not an ant specialist, but the ant in the photo bears a resemblance to some species in the genus Formica, that includes several mound-building species. Some of these can make quite spectacular thatch/straw-pile nest mounds. See http://www.myrmecos.net/formicinae/ForExs4.JPG for an image. If such is the case, control measures should not be necessary. However, as carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) occasionally may have black and red forms (see http://lancaster.unl.edu/enviro/Images/Insects/Ants/redcarpenter-ant-queen3.jpg), you may wish to locate a local source (university, etc.) for assistance in identification.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #346  Hello,  I found this little critter in my bedroom crawling on the edge of the carpet next to the wall. I'm thinking that the immediate answer is "carpet beetle", but I haven't been able to find any photos on the net which fit its hindquarters. It's very nearly precisely 1/4 of an inch long except for those two unusual large "tails" which extend past the 1/4 inch mark. The blurriness comes primarily from it's utter unwillingness to hold still for even a moment - and the difficulty of making it hold still enough for this photo was nothing compared to what it took to get it to smile!  I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, western United States.  Thanks,  Jeff
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This appears to a dermestid larva, possibly in the genus Anthrenus - see http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/diaglab/04images/504anthrenus-carpet-beetle.jpg for an image and #333 for another example. Please be aware that like humans, insects have a good deal of individual variation, so that it is not surprising that you might not find an exact match when searching for images. You may wish to take specimens to your county office of the Utah Cooperative Extension Service for further assistance in identification and control measures (if necessary).
See
http://extension.usu.edu/cooperative/index.cfm/cid.256/ for contact information. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
#345 I'm from High Level, Alberta. These bugs have been crawling in my apartment for about two weeks now. The first ones I found were in my washroom. There was this hole that I sprayed with lysol. The next day there were about 15 on the rug in my hallway and some in my pantry. I sealed up the baseboards in my washroom with silicone and sprayed raid along the baseboards of my pantry, hallway and washroom. They have still been coming back. They can climb walls too. I have no idea where they are from. I checked my pantry for food but all my flour, sugar, etc. is in sealed plastic containers and there has been no trace of these bugs in them. Another thing, my apartment was newly renovated before I moved in. There is now hard-wood laminate and I believe there used to be tile or carpet in there before. I really want to know what these are so I can get rid of them soon. I put a bug in a zip-loc bag. It ha s been in there for 5 days now and is still alive. Thanks .  Connie
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Although the photo is fuzzy, the overall appearance of this specimen is consistent with that of larvae of beetles in the genus Attagenus (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). This includes the black carpet beetle, a cosmopolitan pest. See http://www.uku.fi/~holopain/stt/apellio2.jpg for an image (please note - this is meant to demonstrate a generic example - this particular species may not occur in Canada). The adult beetles are small, blackish and relatively non-descript - see http://www.usda.gov/gipsa/tech-servsup/images/insects/IN19.jpg for an image and http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/fabric/black_carpet_beetle.htm for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Perhaps the apartment had woolen-based carpeting before it was renovated. If such was the case, that could have been the source of the infestation.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
#344  Hello pest experts,  We have found ants crawling across our kitchen floor and on cabinet doors. We cant figure out where they are coming from, but there was a big thaw this week, spring has just arrived. Please tell me they ARE NOT carpenter ants. this ant is approximately 8-11mm in length, including antennas. His little antennas have 'elbows' right in the middle and are usually at 90 degree angles. I had to squish him a little bit so I could get a good picture of him. Thanks for your help, Jaytee in Montreal
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Your description and the characteristics visible in the photo indicate this is likely a carpenter ant. The smoothly rounded thorax, reddish tinge in the legs and large mandibles are typical of the Modoc species found in the west. There are similar species in eastern and central Canada. A local pest professional can give you a positive identification and an estimate to eliminate them from your home.   Directory of pest professionals in Montreal 
  #343  Hi. I live in Southern New Jersey and have encountered these bugs in my mudroom and kitchen. They are about 1/2" long, mostly black with reddish-orange stripes on there back. They mostly seem to appear in my mudroom which sits overtop of a crawlspace that has no concrete slab. I'm curious to know what they are and if the can be damaging to my 80 year old farmhouse. Any ideas? Thanks, Mike Daub.
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Although the photo is quite dark, the description matches fairly well with that of boxelder bugs ( Boisea trivittatus, Hemiptera: Rhopalidae; see #219). These often invade houses and other structures for shelter when cold weather sets in. They are basically harmless, and will not cause any damage to the house. See http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74114.html for a fact sheet on these insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
  #342  Found this rather ugly beastie in our flower beds today (March 25). Actually there were a lot of them ... arrrgh! I think! Tried to get a clear image of the blunt end but my photo skills are lacking. Although it is very lethargic, does not like to be handled and the tail end thrashes about. That's about all info I can give.  Anyway, any assistance on identifying would be greatly appreciated. Love your site. Isobel Langley, B.C.
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This is a moth pupa, but I cannot be certain of its identity. I suspect that it could belong to the family Noctuidae, a very large family of moths that includes many that are yard and garden pest species in the caterpillar stage. As adult moths, many are rather non-descript brownish/grayish 'moth millers' that fly to lights at night, while some others have very attractive colourations on their hind wings. You might try placing one or more of these pupae in a large jar containing a couple of inches of the soil from your flower bed, making sure that the lid of the jar has some air holes punched in it. Then place the jar in an unheated environment (such as a garage or garden shed) and see what emerges once warm weather returns.  
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #341  I need help?!?! Can you tell me what kind of bug this is? It is always in my bedroom near my window. No where else in the entire house. The bug is about 1-2mm in size. I've sprayed our bedroom cleaned our carpets and put powder down and they wont go away. Thanks.  Ken
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This appears to be a dermestid beetle in the genus Anthrenus - see # 335 for another example. This genus includes the carpet beetle and the furniture carpet beetle among others. The larvae will attack just about any material that has an animal protein content, such as wool (including that found in carpeting, upholstery, etc.) and some dried pet foods. Occasionally, they may infest dried foods of plant origin, such as cereals. They often are pests in insect collections, and some dermestid species may be used by museum specimen preparers to clean small delicate skeletons. The adult beetles primarily are pollen feeders on flowers. For full control, you should locate the larval food source and if at all possible, eliminate it. For a fact sheet on dermestids in general  
see
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2103.html    Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
  #340   This beetle was found in our house in the country near Collingwood, Ontario in mid-March; ground still heavily snow-covered. The back of the beetle is an iridescent dark blue-green (which may not reproduce well in the photos). Possibly relevant facts: (1) we recently discovered (from saw dust) that something had been eating a small table (surface tunneling 1/4” wide; 1-2” long) but no larvae were found; we were too late; (2) the 1.5-yr old house is timber-frame style built from eastern white pine cut about 2 to 3-yrs ago;(3) we have already been visited by carpenter ants and cluster flies. Is this another pest to be worried about? Or just a stray visitor? Thanks for any help your viewers can offer.  Dalton
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This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). These beetles sometimes emerge from untreated lumber in houses, but with one exception (the 'old house borer,' Hylotrupes bajulus - see http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=1231122 for an image), they will not reinfest wood in the house after they emerge, and control is not necessary. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #339  Hi:  I would really, really appreciate your help in identifying this pest.  I am currently taking care of a deer who is not well and I suddenly found about 20 of these insects on my arm after feeling an itching sensation.  They are small and I'm not sure if they tried to enter into my skin.  The deer is currently in my house while it is recuperating and I'm concerned about an infestation.    The deer came from Carignan, Quebec on the south shore of Montreal.  Please help!  Linda      (note: coin is 10 cents)
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This is a biting louse, order Mallophaga, likely in the genus Tricholipeurus, which is specific for white-tailed deer. Although they might crawl on your skin while you are in contact with the deer, they will not infest you, and they are not known to vector any diseases. Reportedly, infestations on deer tend to be heavier during the winter months.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#338  Is this a wolf spider?  Sorry for the poor picture quality.  Color was medium brown.  The larger part of the body had green and black wavy lines.
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Although the photo is quite fuzzy, a wolf spider appears to be most likely candidate. Although some species can get quite large, I am not aware of any in North America that pose any danger to humans.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#337   Please help! I am terribly phobic of bugs and found this one today while cleaning my living room in NJ (we just moved here three months ago). I found it in between two floor pillows. It didn't move fast like a roach, and I was able to capture it. It's sort of a coffee brown in color and has six legs and two really long antennae. Can you please help me identify this insect? Should I be concerned we'll get more of them?  Thank you. Michele
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Dear Michele,  do not be afraid, this is not a roach, this is a longhorn beetle and harmless for humans! It looks like Phymatodes testaceus
http://www.uochb.cas.cz/~natur/cerambyx/phymtest.htm  . This beetle lives under bark of different trees (oaks etc) and it just wanted to spend the winter under your floor pillows.  Martin Hauser,  Department of Entomology,  University of Illinois 
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This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). This specimen does not appear to be of any concern as far as any structural damage is concerned. In addition to simply 'wandering in,' these beetles sometimes will emerge from firewood brought indoors, or occasionally from untreated lumber.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #336  Hi there!  I hope that you can provide some clarification on a particular "wormy" thing we have been finding in our house.  They are only found every so often (sometimes alive, sometimes just a shell or skin left behind, I think) - usually on the carpet (but sometimes on the hardwood as well).  We have an older home (circa 1911) with at least one original plaster wall that could very well have horse hair as part of the insulation (which I have read could be the culprit) - but we do not know that for sure.  Also, we have 2 cats if that plays a factor into anything. I have gone through the photos on your website and think that based on 4 other people's accounts that the "thing" I am trying to identify is a carpet beetle larva - but I was wondering if that was in fact the case, as I have never seen any actual beetle type things around (other than sow bugs), only these little brownish-red wormy guys.  Any information on them would be greatly appreciated!  Especially if they are a cause for concern and how to control/limit them other than diligent vacuuming and/or fumigation. Thank you so much for your help!  Kris Eleniak.
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Although the overall shape of these insects is consistent with that of carpet beetles in the genus Attagenus (see  #333 below or http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/grains/pesorg/coleoptera/second/att_un43.jpg ),  they appear to lack the characteristic hairs of this species, particularly the long tufts at the end of the abdomen. Larvae of beetles in this family will eat an extremely wide variety of animal and vegetable materials, including cured meats, grain products, dead insects, and woollen fabrics. Complete control depends on locating their food source(s) and either eliminating or making it unavailable to the insects.
See
http://www.west-ext.com/carpet_beetle.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
                                
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I have the same exact worm/larva things with the same features that Ms. Eleniak describes and so far I have not been able to find anything that describes them more accurately than "carpet beetle larva."  They have no hairs (like carpet beetle larvae supposedly do), there are not very many of them at all, and they never seem to change form (I have never seen an adult).  The entomologist's response was the same "like a carpet beetle, but different" that I have found everywhere else, and I was writing to add to Ms. Eleniak's post that I have the same problem with no satisfactory answer.  For the moment I will treat the situation as though they are carpet beetle larvae and hope for an answer from your community.  Thank You,  S.E. Hartman
  #335  Can you please tell me what bug this is?  I had some on the walls by my bed as well as on the walls downstairs in my house.  It measures about 1/16" long.  Thanks. Regards,  Dwayne Bed Bug
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Sorry Dwayne, your photo is too fuzzy for a positive identification.  We don't want to cause unnecessary fear but you could have a bed bug problem.  Compare your bugs with the photo of a bed bug on the right.  If they look similar you should have a look at this web page: 
Get Rid Of Bedbugs.  In the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in bed bug problems in Canada, USA and around the world.  There is a potential for any home, accommodation facility and transportation system to have this problem.  
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Although the photo is too fuzzy for a positive i.d., the overall shape of the insect in question appears to me to be more beetle-like than bug-like. It might be a small dermestid beetle, such as a carpet beetle (see  www.yourpestcontrolsupplies.com/images/news/8.jpg  ) for an image. Just in case, Dwayne should check the margins of carpets in rooms where these insects were found for signs of larvae similar to those in photos 333 and 301.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.  
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 Do not panic Dwayne,  the picture is not the best, but I think these are not bed bugs! I think these are Dermestid beetles
(
 http://www.dermestidae.com ). Their larvae  eat dead dry organic material, especially dead insects. So if you have somewhere in your house at a window in the basement or attic (sometimes in the walls of your house) dead insects (and I'm sure you will), that is where these guys breed. They are harmless to humans. You can easily distinguish them from bed bugs, because bed bugs are very flat insects while these beetles are spherical, when you take them in your hand, they roll like a little pea. (bedbugs won't). But a better photo would help!  Martin Hauser   Department of Entomology University of Illinois
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I took a few more pictures of the little critter that I've been finding throughout various locations of my home.  Please let me know if these help you identify it better.  After capturing it I took it outside to get a better picture...and all of a sudden wings emerged and it flew away.  Do bed bugs have wings and fly? All of these bugs that I find are approximately 1/16" long.  Thanks for your help.
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    Bed bugs do not have wings that would enable them to fly.  Martin and Ed, the entomologists above probably have the right answer. In any case you do not have a bed bug problem.
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The new photograph definitely places this insect as a dermestid beetle in the genus Anthrenus, possibly Anthrenus verbasci, the varied carpet beetle; see  www.dermestidae.com/ Anthrenusverbasci.html  for an image.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Rove Beetle  #334  Hi! We just bought this old house this summer and have been seeing these little bugs on the first floor of the house - on the kitchen floor, living room carpet and stairway carpet. They do fly but spend most of the time on the floor. The middle of their long, skinny body is a copper color. If there is any connection, we also have lady bugs appearing in the kitchen. Being March in Manitoba it's not exactly their season!  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! Rachael
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This is a rove beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae - see # 305). These beetles primarily are general predators on other small arthropods, and generally are harmless to humans (a few tropical species can cause severe irritation if they get into one's eye).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
Carpet beetle larvae #333 Slow moving larva, found in bedroom, only one, shed its skin several days after capture,
distinctively striped. Southern Ohio, Can't seem to identify it. Thank you for your
very informative website.
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These are larvae of beetles in the family Dermestidae (hide/skin/carpet beetles) that includes several species that will infest dry food products and/or attack woolen fabrics (see # 301). If you have carpets that contain wool in your bedroom, inspect them closely for signs of more of these insects. If the rugs are infested, smaller area/scatter rugs may be disinfested by placing in plastic bags in a deep freezer for several days whereas installed carpeting may require insecticidal treatment. It also is a good idea to store infestible foodstuffs in air-tight sealed containers (we use Tupperware).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata).  #332    These things are super fast, very gross. just a house centipede? do they bite?
if so, it was in my bathtub, but they shouldn't come up the drain according to normal house centipedes. creepy.
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This is indeed a house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata). As they frequently run up and across walls, this one probably fell off a wall above the bathtub, and then was unable to climb the smooth surface of the tub. This occurs with other household invaders as well. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #331  Help me id this bug. some background info, it flew around the house till i smacked it and killed it w/ the flyswatter.  MIGHT be the same bug that "stung" my wife earlier in the month (squished that bug beyond recognition) I burn wood we are afraid that they come in with the wood. Sorry about the bad pics. 
Chad Cadieux
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This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), possibly in the genus Megacyllene (see # 315). Beetles in this family sometimes emerge from firewood brought into houses, but they will not cause any damage. Although some large species can give a painful nip if mishandled, they are not aggressive and basically are harmless to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV


Click on the photos  to enlarge

  #330  There seems to be one of these spiders in just about every room in my house. Today i saw two of them in my mug of cold tea. I don't see any webs; I'll see them sitting on a wall or scurrying across my computer screen. Sometimes they'll lower themselves into the middle of a room.  They're not very big - the body is about 1/4 inch long. Any help would be appreciated - I'm trying to convince the household not to kill them on sight - thanks... Erik in Ottawa.
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I cannot be certain, but this spider might be in the family Clubionidae, sometimes called sac spiders (see  www.museums.org.za/ bio/spiderweb/clubioni.htm for an image). At least one species  (that does not resemble the one in your photo) can give a painful bite that then can ulcerate. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #329  Greetings from Livermore, California,  We found several of these on our potted pansies minutes ago.  My wife sprayed them with Isotox, which we had on hand from a while back.  We'd like to know what they are, and how to get rid of them.  We've seen them before, but just found your web site.  Maybe the Isotox will do the job.  Thank you, - - Don - -
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This might be a beetle in the family Cantharidae (soldier or leather-winged beetles). They are relatively soft-bodied for a beetle; the adults primarily are pollen feeders and the larvae are carnivorous on other small arthropods. There should be no need for control.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV                      
leaf beetle
 #328  Those insects are invading my house! They are thousands and thousands and thousands! They die every day over my floors. I don't see them outside, but just inside my house! I need to know them to kill them!
Somebody told me they are coming from America, so I'm asking help to overseas friends: please help me!
 Sandra  From Italy
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This appears to be a leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), an extremely large and diverse family. This specimen bears a very close resemblance to the elm leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta (or Xanthogalerula) luteola; see http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/elm_leaf_beetle.jpg  ), a species native to Europe that accidentally was introduced into the United States early in the 19th century, and now is a very serious pest in many parts of the country. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
winter stone fy
 #327   Hi, recently during a trip to Belleville, Ontario, I had came across these insects crawling on top of snow/ice on top of the frozen water we were standing on.  There were hundreds and started creeping towards us.  Did not stay for their dinner.  I am not sure what they are and tried searching the internet.  Hopefully someone here can let me know.  Thanks.  - Sunny.        
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This is a winter stonefly (Plecoptera: Taeniopterygidae or Capniidae), so-called because of the habit of the adults emerging from January through April, often while there is snow on the ground. The immatures stages are aquatic, usually found under rocks in larger streams or rivers. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #326  Our new pets popped up suddenly about a couple of weeks ago and seem to be fairly steady in numbers since. They are only about 1mm in length and thrive in the more humid conditions of the bathroom where they’re confined to. No-flying, they seem to appear from below the flooring especially around the tub, but they venture up onto the shelves as well.  We tried the clean-like-crazy attack which did not work. It is a pretty new building (appr. 4 years), trouble is happening in the basement, Which should be dry and it is clean in general.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers,  Michael
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Sorry Michael, these insects are so small in your photo it is difficult to say what they are.  A wild guess would be a species of ants because a couple of them appear to have a three part body.  If you can't send us a larger picture, you may be able to have a local pest professional identify it.
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A better photo indeed is needed. If these insects appear to 'hop' in addition to crawl, they might be springtails (order Collembola). Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
stink bug  #325  I've attached a photo of an insect, found in my apartment in eastern Pennsylvania. It flies, though erratically and not that often. I average about one a week inside the apartment. The body is about one centimeter in length, not counting antennae. Any suggestions as to what this might be?  Thanks! Mark
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This is a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). The vast majority of these are plant feeders, some being of economic importance. A few are predaceous on other small arthropods, but none are harmful to humans. Their appearance in your house probably is the result of accidental entry, and there is no need for any control measures. I suggest  that Mark should look at the following site (http://oregonstate.edu/Dept/nurspest/Brownmarmstinkbug.htmto see if by any chance his specimen is the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive species recently reported from Pennsylvania.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
sow bug  #324  Attached are a couple of pictures of a bug we have been finding in our basement for the last several months.  They look like Sow Bugs but we do have a water or moisture problem in our basement.  The humidity is around 40%  Not aware of any leaking.  Besides in Alberta the winters are very dry and cold.  I cannot find a nest or any idea of a home area.  We spot and kill about 2-3 per day.  They are mostly in the laundry area and not in any carpeted areas. Thank you any info you can give.  Dave,  Edmonton, Alberta. 
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 This is a sow bug.  While your basement may seem dry, there may be cavities of moisture where these bugs are breeding.  Because they breath through gills, they can not survive in dry places.  Read more about sow bugs

 #323  My daughter and I found these crawling across the laminate flooring in the basement this morning (March 5/2005) in Pictou, Nova Scotia. We commonly call the black insect a "carpenter" but I know that's not the official name. The other we're calling a "centipede". We would like to get these identified. Thank you for your help.  Dan.
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The name "Carpenter bug" is wrongly applied to sow bugs by many people on the east coast.  Your right, the other one is a centipede.  There's more information on the sow bug/centipede page

#322  Hi, I found several of these in my basement. On occasion they're showing up, running quite fast across my living room. They're about 1 inch in body size with another inch long antennas. What are these and how to get rid of them?  Thank you,  Raf. - St.Catharines, ON
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This looks like a house centipede, (missing a few legs). Centipedes prefer to live in damp portions of basements, closets, bathrooms, unexcavated areas under the house and beneath the bark of firewood stored indoors. They do not come up through the drain pipes. House centipedes feed on small insects, insect larvae, and on spiders. Thus they are beneficial. Technically, the house centipede could bite, but it is considered harmless to people.
#321  These huge spiders (photographed in a pint glass) appear from time to time in one particular location in my house.  They were very frequent last September. I put them outside and eventually saw no more though I guess that could just be because it was winter.  Where they appear is in a spare room, on a brick chimney breast, often near the ceiling.  There's a gap there between wall and ceiling, poss. into the attic.  Does anyone know what these might be (haven't ever seen webs in the room) - they are the biggest spiders I've ever seen. I have a recurring ant infestation in another room (about 15-20 ft away) - could this be related?  Any suggestions on how to get rid of them would also be appreciated as I plan to turn this room into a guest bedroom.  Thanks - M.D.
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 I believe that this species of spider is of the family /Tegenaria/.
These spiders spin sheet webs with funnel retreats and often live in houses, caves, and hollow trees. Check the corners, and windows of each room of your house. Your looking for sheet webs (cobwebs) with a funnel like retreat nearby. Definitely check the attic, these spiders like to build in corners and if you have perpendicular beams well... That's a lot of corners. If you already have an insect problem, or you live in an older house (the damp wood attracts insects) that's probably why you see so many of them. They are not dangerous to humans. If you want to eject them then ask your Pest control guy to check for insects as well.  Jacob Duarte, aspiring Arachenologist
#320  Every few weeks over the past few months we've found a scattering of these creatures inside the house. They probably have entered at night. We've never seen them alive but will find twenty or thirty of them dead, sometimes in clusters. The house is located in heavily vegetated hills in Southern California. The unseasonably heavy rains may be playing a role in these critters' behavior. The greenish scale below them is in millimeters. While the bugs appear a proper color in the photo, the background is in fact white.  Carleton
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These are probably sand  or beach fleas.  They come out of the water at times to feed on decaying plant matter.  They are not harmful to humans.  This web site has more information: 
http://www.mov.vic.gov.au/crust/amphbiol.html
#319  Can you identify this bug found in Winnipeg in March.  Colleen
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This is a pseudoscorpion, a harmless (to humans) arachnid, a group that includes spiders, ticks, scorpions, etc. See no. 300 for another example.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove WV 
 
 
  #318  Hello,  We have recently found these insects in our bathroom and kitchen... particularly around the sinks. They vary in size (this one is the largest we have found) and are unbelievably fast... they usually run and hide as soon as we turn on the light to enter the room. I haven't been able to find any description on the net that exactly matches their appearance. Any help (particularly on how to get rid of them) would be greatly appreciated!  - M. White
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You appear to have an infestation of brown-banded cockroaches (Supella longipalpa). This one of the two smaller species (the other being the German cockroach) of cockroaches commonly found in homes in North America. See http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2098.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. They indeed usually are fast-moving. How did you keep your subject still long enough for a photo?  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #317   This little bug lived in and around the bathroom in Quebec Canada since fall and passed away a couple of weeks ago. There was a larger one about but I haven't seen him/her recently. Can anyone help me identify it? I've looked at zillions of bug pictures and figure its some kind of beetle, but cannot pinpoint it. Thanks for your help. This is a wonderful service and a most interesting web site. Now that I've discovered it, I'll visit frequently to see what's happening. Adrienne
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This appears to be a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae - see nos. 276 and 278 for other examples). This family includes both predaceous  and herbivorous species. A few species, including the squash bug, can be of economic importance, but none are true household pests. As for it being in your house, it most likely simply wandered in, and there is no need to apply any control measures.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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A common and erroneous name for them in our area is “pine beetle” or “stink bug” since they have a pungent odor to them when squished or threatened.  The ones in our area (Eastern Washington) are the leaf-footed pine seed bug.
http://www.bentler.us/eastern-washington/insects/leaf-footed-pine-seed-bug.aspx  Craig Baker
#316  I have found about 4 of these bugs in the past month.  They freak me out cause they move very fast.  I have looked all over the internet and haven't been able to find a bug that looks EXACTLY like it.  Some are similar!  Can you identify it for me?   Nathalie
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Although the photo is very fuzzy, I suspect that this is a silverfish or firebrat, primitive wingless insects in the order Thysanura. See no. 296 for a clearer photo, and http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2108.html for a fact sheet. If after reviewing these you feel that your specimen is something else again, please try to obtain a clearer photograph to submit.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#315  I've attached 2 pictures of bugs that I've found in my house.  I live in MD, USA.  This winter I haven't seen any bugs, but over the past 36 hours I have seen 4 of these bugs in my family room.  It seems they both have the same body, but one has antenna (possibly male and female?).  Can you identify it?  It concerns me that there may be a nest somewhere.  Thanks,  Deanna
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These are long-horned wood-boring beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). To the best of my knowledge, only one species in North America (the 'old house borer - see  www.utoronto.ca/forest/termite/pest1.htm   for an image) is considered a structural pest. I cannot identify the one in silhouette, but the black and yellow one appears to be in the genus Megacyllene (see http://cedarcreek.umn.edu/insects/newslides/024106112001apd.jpg for an image), that includes the locust borer, Megacyllene robinae. Cerambycids sometimes emerge from firewood brought into houses, and occasionally from untreated lumber as well. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#314  I found it in my bedroom. It is about 1/3 - 1/2 inch long.
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These are earwigs (order Dermaptera), my wife's least favorite household insect. Although not usually injurious except to very tender plants, most people object to sharing their living quarters with them. See
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2068.html for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #313 Found only in upstairs bathroom, are 3-4mm length.
Crawl only, mainly on floor sometimes on walls, sinks. Never see fly or jump.   Jim.
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 This beetle bears a close resemblance to the saw-toothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Coleoptera: Silvanidae), a common pest in stored food products. You may wish to examine items such as flour and dry pet food for signs of infestation. See http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/factsheets/sawtooth.html for a fact sheet.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #312 Dear sir I was up in Ithica, NY in august 2004 and found this wonderful looking spider near the falls as you can see it is next to a dime. It barely moved. thank you please let me know what type it was. Thank you.  Tim 
                          
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Although I cannot see the defining morphological  characters in this photograph, the appearance of the spider carrying something (possibly its egg sac) beneath its cephalothorax leads me to believe that it most likely is a nursery-web spider, sometimes called fishing or dock spiders (Araneida: Pisauridae). These spiders often are found near water, where they prey on a wide variety of small creatures, mostly other arthropods, but occasionally including small fish. Their closest relatives are wolf spiders which are very similar in overall appearance; differing primarily in the arrangement of their eyes and in that the female wolf spiders carry their egg sac attached to their spinnerets at the end of the abdomen. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#311  Sirs:   I just moved to a house in Las Vegas, NV. I just have found these black eggs in my back yard. I have checked, and there is no evidence of them in any other part of my lawn, just a back edge. After a recent rain storm, they have become slimy and have lightened a little bit.
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  I'm not sure what these are. They may not even be eggs - they look more like a blackberry that has fallen to pieces than anything else! I suggest that you keep an eye on them for further developments, and if you see evidence of anything hatching out of them, take some specimens to your county extension service office for assistance in identification. See http://www.unce.unr.edu/offices.htm for contact information. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
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 These are the fruiting bodies of a fungus species. I often encounter similar "slimy nodule" types in my insect pursuits. Jim McClarin


Click on the photos  to enlarge

#310  We were checking this website to see if we can identify the moths we have in our apartment, but we've been unable to get a decent picture of one of them.  Then, out of the blue, we found THIS bug on our bed!  Can you tell us what it is?  Hopefully it's not a "bed bug."
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This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae); definitely NOT a bed bug! This is an extremely large family, including thousands of species. This one does not appear to be included among the several species that can be household pests; it likely is an accidental invader. Short-snouted weevils such as this one usually are foliage or root feeders, and some can be important plant pests.    Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#309  I have found this bug flying around my house within the last month.  It kind of looks similar to bug #305.  I've been seeing at least 2-3 a day.  Usually in the kitchen or living room.  I've never seen it before and I've lived here for just about two years.  I'm located in Massachusetts.  Is this a winter bug?  Should I be concerned at all?  What can I do to get rid of them?  Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide.    Kendra
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This appears to be a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), but the photo is too fuzzy to make a positive i.d. However, it does not appear to be any of the species that can be structural pests in homes. These beetles often emerge from firewood brought into homes, or occasionally, from untreated lumber.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV  
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 is Pymatodes testaceous, which varies considerably in color from all-tan (testaceous) to nearly all black or blue-black. Often has metallic blue or green wingcovers (elytra).
http://bugguide.net/node/view/35722/bgimage   Jim McClarin.  Insect photographer.
#308  Hi, Great website - it helped identify our weevils last year but now we have another indoor visitor.
I hope these are clear enough pictures. That's Canadian dime to show some size comparison.
These flies have been showing up in my house since about mid-January (during a nice warm spell) located in southeast Alberta (Hays to be exact). They are smaller than a common house fly with red eyes and mostly black bodies. The wings and the bottom are black and amber striped. They don't bite. We did find some under the vapour barrier beneath the dry wall when we were renovating but vacuumed them up. Still would love to know what they’re called. Thank you in advance.  Keri-Anne
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This appears to be a pictured-wing fly, possibly in the family Otitidae -
see
http://cals.arizona.edu/crops/images/insectidaz/diptera/images/Otiti385.jpg for an image. This is a rather large family (sometimes split into several other families, based primarily on the structure of the male genetalia) with widely differing habits - most are plant/fruit-feeders in the larval (maggot) stages, some are parasitic on other insects, and a few others are found in decaying organic matter. However, to the best of my knowledge, none are household pests, and they likely are accidental intruders in your case. See http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05502.html for a fact sheet on household flies. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#307  HELP!!!  I don't know what kind of bug has invaded my home!!  I saw a dead one of these in my basement a few weeks ago.. We just found another one in the upstairs bathroom yesterday..  so my husband sprayed the basement with a household bug spray   and I found this one  late that night on the wall in my living room....It is approximately an inch to an inch and a half. And  it tried to hide behind my picture frame. Do I have a serious problem here???  Thanks,  Michelle
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What you have here appears to be a nearly mature nymph of one of the larger house-infesting cockroaches such as the Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis). See http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7467.html for a fact sheet on household cockroaches and their control. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#306  I am in Huntsville, AL and have these little insects scurrying on the floors of my house regardless of the carpet, tile, or laminate wood material or room. I have seen them in the bathtub as well but not on any walls or other surfaces. They are about 1/2" long and appear black/brown in color. I do not use pesticides and would like to rid my house of them. Any suggestions? And are they dangerous?
Love your site!  Thanks for your help.  Paige, Huntsville, AL
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This one needs a clearer photograph if at all possible. Although it is possible that it could be another rove beetle - see # 305 - or even an earwig (if it has forceps-like pincers at its tail end) the image is just too fuzzy for me to be certain of any identification. In the meantime, perhaps someone with better eyesight than mine may hazard a guess.  
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#305 This pest is a very poor flyer.  I have seen maybe 6 to 8 in a span of 3 months in the basement of my new house where I have a small office (I am in my new house since the end of October 2004).  It seems to heavy for the wings.  They seem to be attracted by light. When I killed them they loose there wings.  The bug is about 9 mm long.  I have seen more of another bug but its size is less than 1 mm, it flies fast, is attracted by light to and I killed many (Is the larger one the female and the little one males?)   
What are these and what can I do to get rid of those.  Pierre
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These appear to be rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) - note the very short elytra (wing covers). Rove beetles are for the most part general predators on other small arthropods, and often are found as accidental intruders indoors. They do no damage and do not need control. As for the smaller insects you noted, I cannot offer any guess without a more detailed description and/or a clear photo. However, it is extremely unlikely that they would be male specimens of the larger insects - as far as I know, rove beetles do not exhibit such extreme sexual dimorphism. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
winter caterpillar Toronto #304  Mark, My 7 year old son found this 1" caterpillar in the snow yesterday, Feb 12, in the Don Valley Toronto Ontario. I was quite surprised to see a "Snowerpiller" as I have never seen one before. Mark is most anxious that we find food "Simon" will eat, as so far he has rejected both the Pizza and beer we have offered him. Please advise before Simon gets stuck in pancake syrup or Tomato sauce. Thank you. Neil
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“Simon” is the larva of a tiger moth (most likely Pyrrharctia – formerly Isia –isabella; Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Commonly called “wooly bears,” these caterpillars usually hibernate during the winter, arousing in the spring to feed briefly on a wide variety of grasses and other vegetation before pupating. The best thing you could do for Simon would be to place him in a small container, such as a jar with holes in the lid, in your refrigerator (NOT freezer!) for a few days, then find a protected place out of doors (such as under a log or board likely not to be disturbed) and provided with a little dried grass/leaves) for additional insulation. Then, when spring actually arrives, Simon should be able to resume his normal activity routine. In many areas, folklore associated with these insects credits them with foretelling the severity of the winter to come, based on the width of the brown/orange band around their midsection. However, like many good stories, this one does not appear to have any foundation in fact. For more on these fascinating insects, see http://booksandnature.homestead.com/moth129.html,            http://www.anthro.ucdavis.edu/faculty/stewart/stpsmed.htm, and http://www.weathernotebook.org/transcripts/1999/11/23.html.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

Box Elder bug #303  I found this bug in my basement. Could you tell me what it is?   Missy.
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The picture is a little fuzzy but I'm quite sure it is a box elder bug.  They are not a health hazard for humans and they are not destructive in a home.  Read more on the BOX ELDER page.

 
Mealybug #302  I had these water bamboo for maybe 8 or 9 months, and these bugs keep appearing. Until recently I thought they were dead and just growing out as the leaves grew. They are usually hidden between the leaves and the stem but the last time I washed the bamboo in the bath tub I saw one move, albeit very slowly. The largest ones, like the one in the photo, are about 3mm long. They haven't migrated to any of the other plants, and don't seem to be doing any damage to the bamboo but are really creepy, please help!  Jennifer.
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This appears to be a mealybug (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). These insects are sap-feeders, related to scale insects and aphids. As long as they are not abundant, they should not seriously impact your plant. They may be dislodged from plants with a strong stream of water, or you could spritz your plant periodically with an organic pesticide such as an insecticidal soap, or with a weak solution of dish detergent (about ½ teaspoon per gallon of water). See this British Columbia web page http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/ipmp/Brochures/indoor_pl_pests.htm for a fact sheet on control of house plant pests in general.
Dermestide Beetle  #301  I found this critter in my Balance Bar (which was sealed as far as I know), back in November.  He was the only bug in there, but had shed his skin 4 times.  I ended up keeping him in a plastic bag with the Balance Bar wrapper to identify him later, and he is still alive as of February.  I don't think he is a larva, because he continues to shed his skin and has not changed, except for growing a bit.  The picture is not too clear, but he looks somewhat soft shelled, with many tiny legs (a little like a tiny caterpillar).  He looks segmented, but I don't think he is...more like he just has ridged skin.  He is light tan at the head of his body, but the back end is a darker brown.  He seems to be living well off of the remaining peanut butter and chocolate from my balance bar.  He is very slow moving.    Thanks!  --Sarah
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What you have here is a larva of a dermestid beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). This family includes several species that infest stored food products and woollen fabrics. The larvae have patches of specialized hairs called hastisetae on their body. Somewhat like the quills of porcupines, they are barbed and detach easily from the insect's body. Because of this, some species, such as the Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium - see http://www.the-piedpiper.co.uk/th7p.htm), are considered of potential medical importance because these hairs can cause irritation of the gastric mucosa if ingested. I suggest that you either destroy the Balance Bar along with its fauna by burning or place it in a freezer for a few days before placing it in the trash, and then also examine other similar products in your home for signs of similar infestation.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 



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