Subject: Plagued by bugs!!
Location: Newcastle nsw
January 24, 2015 7:57 am
Hi there,
I live in Newcastle nsw Australia and have been plagued by bugs for the past 6 months. They are irritating my skin and my partners. We get itchy and have open sores all over our bodies, mainly just behind our ears and on the neck, legs, arms, face, back, hands and feet, well everywhere! We had pest control come and exterminate what he believed to be bird mites several types he said, funnily enough he wouldn’t come back again because he was tired and won’t take our calls now . Initially the problem died down but now 2 months later is back full force, it’s not scabies, it’s possibly a million other things but we can’t seem to find any help with this. Tonight I was in the bathroom and this long spindly legged thing appeared from nowhere, I know I have seen it several times around the house but have no idea what it is and if it could be a factor in the skin dilemma.
Signature: Rachel

Unknown Hymenopteran

Possibly Red Spider Ant Alate

Dear Rachel,
We are relatively certain that the pictured insect is not responsible for your skin irritation, and we believe that Mites are most likely the problem.  The pictured insect is a member of the order Hymenoptera which includes wasps and ants.  We are leaning toward it being the alate of an Ant, a winged reproductive individual, though the legs are quite long for a typical ant.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide us with a more definitive identification.  Again, we do not believe this Hymenopteran is related to your skin condition.  This individual does resemble the Red Spider Ants pictured on the Brisbane Insect website.

Unknown Hymenopteran

Possibly Red Spider Ant Alate

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Subject: Darth Vader Cockroach
Location: Southern Pacific Mid-level forest, Costa Rica
January 25, 2015 11:49 am
Hi! This is a follow-up submission with another couple of photos. The roach is not B.dubia. It doesn’t have the same markings, shape of pronotum is different, and it climbs glass. So WHAT is it? It is from Central America. Not an indoor pest. Very uncommon.
Signature: Mary B. Thorman

Cockroach

Cockroach

Hi Mary,
Thanks so much for providing additional excellent images of this mysterious Cockroach as a followup to your nine year old original submission.  We hope this new posting will generate a positive identification for you.

Cockroach

Cockroach

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Subject: please identify the caterpiller
Location: guwahati, Assam
January 25, 2015 11:15 am
one of m friend found this caterpillar in he garden…by looking at the photo, i van assume that it is a fifth instar larva..which is a mature one..ready to form coccon…but i couldnot identify it…so please help me in knowing its common name and also its scientific name if possible.
Signature: Trishna sarma

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Trishna,
We are speculating that your friend has an oleander plant growing near where this caterpillar was found.  The caterpillar is an Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar, a species that is listed under two different scientific names: 
Deilephila nerii or Daphnis nerii.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please don’t be bed bugs…
Location: Seattle
January 25, 2015 3:57 am
As I was cleaning the house this morning, I removed the blankets from the couch in the living room to be washed. When I pulled one of the blankets up, I noticed about 5 tan colored insects sitting on the couch underneath where the blanket had been. I don’t deal well with bugs, so I immediately grabbed my vacuum and sucked each of them up. Then I decided I may as well vacuum the whole house. I moved to the other side of the room and started vacuuming up the pine needles on the carpet from my live Christmas tree… then I noticed the same bugs! Soon I discovered the tree was infested with them. I decided to throw the tree outside to the curb, decorations and all. When I threw the tree down, a swarm of bugs flew out of the tree and away. I finished vacuuming the entire house right after and haven’t been able to find anymore. I managed to take a blurry pic of one. The bugs were around the size of a lady bug with a tan coloration and six legs. The ones I sucked up with th e vacuum didn’t look or act as though they had wings, but the same looking bugs on the tree almost all had wings. In the pic, the bug is crawling across a stereo speaker. The tree was a Norwegian Spruce, if that matters. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Squeam Queen

Bed Bug or Giant Conifer Aphid???

Bed Bug or Giant Conifer Aphid???

Dear Squeam Queen,
Many folks feel squeamish around insects.  Unfortunately, there is not enough detail in your image to make a conclusive identification.  The location where you found this critter would be indicative that they might have been Bed Bugs, but if you are certain the insects on the Christmas Tree are identical, then we can rule out Bed Bugs.  Live Christmas Trees often carry living creatures, and one of the most common insects found on live trees is the Giant Conifer Aphid.  Giant Conifer Aphids often are not noticed until the tree begins to dry out and the Aphids begin to die.  Aphids are found in both winged forms and those that lack wings.  The most puzzling aspect of this for us is how Giant Conifer Aphids would have gotten from the tree to under the blanket on the couch.  Perhaps a pet?

Eeeeeeeek! Pleeeeease not bed bugs…
Yes, I have 2 cats. I was actually cleaning the apartment as part of my routine for dealing with fleas when I noticed the other creepy crawlers.
Never saw them before and haven’t seen them after. I guess if I see another one I’ll just jar it to learn what I’m dealing with. I’m pretty sure what I saw on the tree was the same as what I sucked up on the couch. I can’t be 100% certain though as it’s kind of a blur now… I was pretty terrified.
I was doing some research on my own before contacting you when I learned about Giant Conifer Aphids. The body looks remarkably like what I saw but the color wasn’t quite right and I haven’t been able to find an image of a light tan colored Giant Conifer Aphid… so I’m really unsure and quite honestly a bit panicked. I don’t really know what to do unless I know what I’m dealing with, you know? Hopefully I’ll catch one so I can know for sure. Thank you for helping me, I really appreciate it.

Hi again Squeam Queen,
We are speculating that the cats were interested in your Christmas Tree and that they also sleep on the couch, which explains how the Aphids could have migrated from tree to couch.

Subject: Keep getting these in the house
Location: Ma
January 25, 2015 6:29 am
I live in MA and they have been coming since we moved in in June.
Signature: Lisa

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear Lisa,
This is an invasive, exotic species, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, and it was accidentally introduced to North America from China.  It has since spread across the continent and it is a nuisance to residents when it enters homes to hibernate.  It is also a significant agricultural pest.

Subject: I think this is a moth
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
January 23, 2015 9:37 am
This photo was taken summer of 2012 Allentown, Pa. The bug flew onto the deck, stayed long enough for a quick photo op, and flew away. The red color is the wings. We have searched for years for it’s identification. Hope you can help.
Signature: Nancy B.

Wood Nymph Moth

Wood Nymph Moth

Hi Nancy,
This moth is an Owlet Moth in the genus
Eudryas, and members of the genus are commonly called Wood Nymph Moths, though the are also called Bird Poop Moths as they are such effective mimics which helps them to avoid being eaten by birds or other predators.

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