Currently viewing the tag: "Household Pests"
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Subject: What type of bug is it?
Location: Sunnyvale california
February 18, 2015 12:29 am
Hi bugman,
I recently moved into an apartment in California. Over the last 5 days I have seen 5 of these bugs. 2 on my bathroom floor, 1 in my bathtub, and 2 in my bed.
I’m hoping it’s just springtails and not fleas, but I was hoping you could confirm that for me. When I get close to these bugs they jump 3-4 inches off the ground to a different location, and when I squish them it looks like blood comes out.
I don’t have any pets, no itchy red bumps, I’m a pretty clean person overall.
Let me know what you think.
Signature: Jordan

Flea

Flea

Dear Jordan,
The laterally compressed body and the jumping you describe both indicate that this is a Flea.  Perhaps the previous tenant had pets.

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Subject: Found some bugs near our dogs bed…help?!?
Location: Northern Virginia/DC
February 4, 2015 10:19 pm
Found about 10 of these guys on the floor near the dog bed. None on the dog, some were dead. Easily visible with the naked eye, medium brown color, and looked like 6 legs with a set of feelers. Teardrop shaped body. Don’t appear to be blood filled. Please help!
Signature: Bugging out in Virginia

Smooth Spider Beetle

Smooth Spider Beetle

Dear Bugging out in Virginia,
This is a Smooth Spider Beetle,
Gibbium aequinoctiale, a common household pest that infests stored foods.  According to BugGuide, they are found:  “Mainly houses, flour mills, occasionally warehouses, hospitals, stores” and they feed upon a “wide variety of dead organic materials; may be a dry stored product pest.”  Do you buy bargain bags of dog food?  Was there a bag of dog food near the dog’s bed?  You may want to check the bag for the source of the infestation.

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Subject: Bug found in kitchen
Location: Austin, TX
February 5, 2015 7:01 am
I’ve been getting some kind of bites so I’m trying to find the culprit. Doing all the normal bed bug searching but hopefully another critter is responsible. I found this guy on the kitchen counter.
Signature: Austin guy

Grain Beetle

Grain Beetle

Dear Austin guy,
This looks to us like one of the Grain Beetles in the genus
Oryzaephilus, which includes two species that infest stored foods and have cosmopolitan distributions.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae and adults feed on damaged kernels of stored grains: barley, oats, rice, sunflower seeds, and wheat, plus flour, pasta, breakfast cereals, cake mixes, and various other processed foods” so you may want to check the items in the pantry to locate the source of your infestation.  In our opinion, they have no connection to the bites you are getting.

Will do. Thanks so much for the quick reply. I really appreciate it.

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Subject: Bug in my chinese apartment
Location: Dongguan, Guangdong, China
January 27, 2015 11:25 pm
Hi Bugman,
My wife found these bugs under our couch cushion and on the wall in our new apartment in Dongguan, Guangdong, China. This located in southern china and it’s January.
I can’t seem to find any pictures or information on what these could be from my research online — can you help identify these? Should she be worried?
Signature: Ryan

Immature Cockroach

Immature Smokey Brown Cockroach

Dear Ryan,
This is an immature Smokey Brown Cockroach, a species that according to the Orkin site:  “They prefer nondwelling areas such as greenhouses, nurseries and gardens but can be an indoor pest. They can be found throughout the southern United States and are most common from Texas to Florida. They have also been found in Southern California. They are major pests in cities such as Houston and New Orleans.”  Many species of Cockroaches that have adapted to living with or near humans now have cosmopolitan distributions, and it can be difficult to trace their place of origin.  We are having a difficult time tracking down information on the distribution of the Smokey Brown Cockroach, and though we don’t normally cite Wikipedia, that universal source of information states:  “The smokybrown cockroach is very common in Japan, as well as the southern United States and tropical climates; notably, it can be found in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and other moist Gulf coastal states, and along the southern Mississippi River.”
  The Biodiversity Heritage Library published an article entitled “The pest status of Periplaneta fuliginosa (Serville) (Dictyoptera: Blattidae) in China”.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the reply and ID. Apologies for the late response and thank
you…hard to access gmail in China.
Great to know that these were in fact cockroaches — never experienced
them in the US. When some of my Chinese friends said they were
cockroaches, I didn’t know if they were or not because I’ve only seen
pictures of mature ones.
Got an exterminator and cleaned up the hidden areas, so my wife isn’t
quite as angry anymore. I’m sure summer will bring more surprises.
Thanks again!
Ryan

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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.

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Subject: Blood-sucking roaches?
Location: Nashville TN
January 20, 2015 8:29 pm
A friend’s apt is infested with the bugs shown in photo. They attach themselves to get his blood while he sleeps. Boric acid has diminished their number but does not eliminate them. Bug repellent does not keep them at bay. When he sits at his computer, he observes them gradually, all around, creeping toward him to feed. Adults are ~1/8″, mid photo is a young one. He first thought they were roaches, but now he’s not sure. This is in Nashville, TN. Any suggestions?
Signature: Bug-Puzzled

Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

Dear Bug-Puzzled,
Your friend has Bed Bugs and re recommend that your friend seek professional assistance in this matter.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination