What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s That Bug? served over 900,000 page views in July, 2010 to almost 250,000 unique visitors. We generate revenue to pay for hosting and bandwidth costs when visitors click on ads on our site, when they donate through the PayPal link, and when they click through the Amazon.com link and buy a book. Whats That Bug? is a labor of love, although there are definite costs to keeping it running. Please keep this in mind as you browse the site.

Daniel Marlos, aka The Bugman

Daniel Marlos, aka The Bugman (photo by Luca Loffredo)

Daniel Marlos, The Curious World of Bugs author and The Bugman on the internet sensation What’s That Bug?, cannot find any problematic pests in his vegetable garden in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Carrots and onions, seen flowering in the background, are both known to attract beneficial insects like wasps and syrphid flies.  The adult wasps and syrphid flies feed on the nectar and pollen from the flowers, and their larvae eat garden pests like caterpillars, crickets and aphids.

Manifesto

“What’s That Bug?” began in 1998 when my longtime collaborator Lisa Anne Auerbach asked me to write a column for a fledgling photocopied zine entitled “American Homebody” and I proposed insect identification as the subject matter. I justified the decision by stating matter-of-factly that “Everybody wants to know what’s that bug?” and that mantra has proven true through the years. I nostalgically dredged up an early childhood interest in insects as my source of inspiration and I assumed the persona of the Bugman.

When the column went online a few years later, I proceeded to respond to the web browsing readership’s letters and photographs, attempting to identify the curiosities encountered in the home, lurking on the tomato plants or spotted while on holiday in Costa Rica.

In 2002 “What’s That Bug?” became a unique website and through the years, I have tried to promote an appreciation of the natural world around us, especially a tolerance of insects and their relatives.

A network of faithful readers began to form, and soon those readers began to offer suggestions for unidentified and mystery specimens with links to other websites containing evidence of identification verification. The readership’s fascination with the mating habits of insects, the intricacies of the food chain and the appalling number of images depicting unnecessary carnage all resulted in a further subcategorization of letters within the archive, each producing a tagged component of the website.

The fragility of our planet and the interconnectivity of all life forms continue to be driving forces behind the ecology minded tone promoted at What’s That Bug?

Daniel Marlos, AKA The Bugman
April 14, 2010

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

18 Responses to About What’s That Bug

  1. Jeff says:

    Hello, my wife and I live in Toronto, ON in a condo and for 4-5 weeks recently we’ve seen these very small (1-2 millimeter wide, 3-4 millimeters long) fairly slow moving and fairly quick to die as for every 2 live ones we’ll find 5 dead ones, usually not together. When they are alive and we kill them, there is a hard shell/crunch to them (I have many/several pictures of them up close and dead lying in a group of 8-10). Can you please advise or let me know firstly if you can help us identify these by any chance? I am not sure if your team could be of any help, but we are hoping you can give us some information! Happy Easter as well….thank you!

    Can I possibly send you pictures for your help to ID them? I’ll look some more on your website as well to find a space to upload my pic. Sincerely – Jeff & Tara

  2. Lisa Phillips says:

    I have a type of grasshopper / katydid which I am trying to identify.
    Can I send you photos so you can id it?

  3. Karen Weaver says:

    We live in the country outside Montevallo, Alabama. We have these bugs that buzz around the ground in droves. They make small holes in the ground with small dirt mounds. The mounds look like single small ant mounds. I was able to see part of one it was small had the back body like a wasp and it was dark brown in color. I have been around wasp most of my life and so has my 83 year old Dad , he said he has never seen this before. Can you help?

  4. Otterpaw says:

    I really love your site and I’ve managed to scare myself silly when I clicked on a pic of a potato bug, aka Jeruslame cricket. I nofwhave a place to go when I need a bug/creature identified.
    Thanks a bunch :D
    Otter

  5. Sonal Mehta says:

    Dear Sir,
    Can u send me your email . So that i can send u the pic of one centipeda .which has antena on the head side, So i just want to know that is it harmfull for human beings. .. I tried to find out but no one is able to find the name .

    Thanks

    SM

  6. J Sugino says:

    Am working on a YA novel that features a number of insects and spiders, and hope to have it out via Createspace on Amazon in about a year—that or I’ll go mad. It’s like working on a term paper that never ends! Anyway, how would I advertise on your website, and what are your rates? I have submitted two WTB entries in the past (carrion beetle with mite passengers, and triops).

    • bugman says:

      The ads on our site are controlled by Google ads and we do not select the advertisers. Good luck with your book.

  7. Tori says:

    Thank you so much for all of your work with this site. I have a very curious child who brings me jars of bugs constantly. It’s really nice to have this to help him identify his specimens. He sits in complete silence and studies them with a magnifying glass while I read him the tid bits of information I find. Encouraging education and imagination are important to us, and his bug fascination has only flourished since finding your site. It’s very much appreciated.

  8. Shannon Prater says:

    Like Tori (October 14), my daughter and two boys keep me busy investigating new visitors to our yard. First rule–There will be absolutely no killing of bugs at this house ( rule includes any friends that come over too). Second rule–Look it up! WTB is our FAVORITE place to look for answers! I come from a “Squish It” family, so your zero tolerance for bug deaths makes me look a little less nutty to my children as I am moving bugs off the sidewalk etc… THANK YOU! It shows that you love what you do.

    • bugman says:

      We got a great laugh out of your comment. Anyone who would use our editorial staff as the standard by which to measure the lack of nuttiness must be something of a kook. We are so happy you find our site helpful.

  9. Janice says:

    I learned about this website from another mom, on the way to a school field trip today. Great information, great website, but I am viewing this site with one eye open, one eye closed (like I view horror movies). Scorpions, spiders, and flying cockroaches completely freak me out! Is there ANY bug that you have encountered that gives you the creeps? If so how do you continue your work and end the bug phobia?

    • bugman says:

      What an unusual question for us. Personally, we are not fond of the Argentine Ant invasions that we are frequently subjected to during the dry summer months at our Los Angeles location. Argentine Ants have a way of entering dwellings through the tiniest of openings, and if any food, including pet food, is not cleared away immediately, one can count on an army of the pesky critters discovering the feast. Many an otherwise pleasant morning has been spoiled by having to clear Argentine Ants from the kitchen sink or floor.

  10. Janice says:

    Wow, those darn sugar ants, they are plentiful here in suburban Atlanta too! Last summer when they were very active, the only thing that worked for us was calking, spray foam sealant, and gorilla tape(millitary grade duct tape). After thorough sealing of cracks and crevices, we no longer saw them in our home.

  11. Janice says:

    Oh, sorry no other suggestions then. I do have to say it is kind of conforting to know that the experts tend to suffer the same issues with sugar ants as the rest of us, so as I purchase more spray foam and tape for this summer, I won’t feel I am over reacting. I really thought your answer would have been some rare, strange and dangerous insect with a venous bite that could cause ebola like symptoms (that would truly be frightful), but hopefully nothing like that exist. I wish you cool breezes and an ant free environment this summer!

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