What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Huge creepy alien like bug
Sat, May 9, 2009 at 10:15 PM
This is the second time we found this bug in our yard. Last year the one we saw was more opague/and albino like than this one. We live in the hills of Los Angelels. Our zip code is 90065. We think that whatever it is it must be the queen of it’s species, if not, we would hate to see the dominant version. We hope that it is not poisonous (we have kids and dogs) and that it does not travel in large numbers and/or breed often. Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Heebie Jeebie Having Goring Family
on our patio in Los Angeles, CA

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear HJH Goring Family,
The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is one of our top 10 identification requests, and it may be number 1 in Southern California.  This subterranean dweller usually comes to the surface after a heavy rain, so its appearance right now is a tad bit uncharacteristic.  The Potato Bug is not poisonous, nor does it travel in packs.  It does have strong jaws and it is possible that a bite might draw blood in a thin skinned individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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2 Responses to Potato Bug

  1. gail corondoni says:

    We live in mountains outside of Sacramento, CA., near Placerville. Yesterday the pesticide man came and sprayed around the house. It’s my daughter’s home and they choose to do this. Today I found a large potato bug with a black striped abdomen struggling and almost paralyzed on patio. Obviously poisoned. It was having a very slow, excruciating death. I’ve seen the same with a praying mantis, also. Sometimes they live 2-3 days and try so hard to move. But they are still very aware of when I come and put my hand near them. They try to defend themselves.

    It is a pitiful sight and it breaks my heart. I don’t like to see anything suffer a slow, debilitating death. Finally, after watching the potato bug too long, and the mantis, too, I stepped on them quickly and strongly to take them out of their pain.

    The small bugs die more quickly, thank goodness. But I guess the strength of the pesticide isn’t enough to kill the large ones very fast.

    My daughter says that they have to have this done because otherwise there are so many earwigs and even scorpions that come in the house. Perhaps…but I think I’d rather deal with them without the poison. It’s heartbreaking.

    What else can be done?

    • bugman says:

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment. We think letting your daughter know how you feel is probably the best means for eliciting a change. Let her know that the pesticides harm the entire ecosystem. You cannot target individual pests.

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