Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found in my Daughter’s Room
Location: New York (Long Island)
April 11, 2016 6:49 am
My daughter (4 years old) has always been both fascinated and scared of bugs, so finding the attached bug in her room at bedtime was an adventure.
We captured the bug carefully, and while I was taking it outside, realized that we had never seen this sort of bug before. So we carefully put it on the ground and put a plastic cup over it. My daughter ran and grabbed her magnifying glass immediately and started to examine it. With the cup between her and it, she felt brave enough to look at it and ask questions, like “what does it eat?” and “how did it get inside?” Once she was done, we took it outside and put it in the flower bed.
It was found on Long Island (New York) in April, just relaxing on a wall in my daughter’s room. I think the picture is pretty good, and you can zoom in for more.
I’d love to talk to her again about what sort of bug it is, and provide more info; she’s naturally very curious and the more she learns the more she wants to know!
Signature: –David

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear David,
We applaud you trying to educate your daughter regarding insects, but we wish you had encountered a better species for this lesson.  This is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug,
Halyomorpha halys, and while it is not dangerous to humans, this is an invasive species accidentally introduced to North America from Asia.  Because the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is able to feed on such a wide variety of plants, it has quickly spread across the entire continent of North America, and it is expected to become a significant agricultural pest.  Additionally, it is a species that seeks shelter indoors when weather begins to cool, making itself known in the spring when it tries to find egress.  It is the bane of thousands of homemakers who find they are sharing their warm homes with countless Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs.  Again, they pose no direct threat to people or homes, but they are a nuisance.

Thank you very much for the very prompt reply!
I guess we’ll just replace one lesson with another.  From friendly and useful insects to the invasion of areas by non-indigenous species and the impact it can have.
Seeing as I found one already – should I expect to find me?  And what’s the best course of action when they are found?

Finding one means you will more than likely find more.  Though we typically encourage tolerance of the lower beasts, we don’t have much tolerance when it comes to invasive species, like the Argentine Ants.  We do not have any reservations to manually squashing Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs when we find them in our home office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Boxelder Relative?
Location: Snohomish, WA
March 30, 2016 4:18 pm
We have numerous of these on our south facing exterior walls. The closest images I have found that look like these are the Boxelder, although ours do not have the reddish-orange coloring. I always attempt to let nature police itself the best I can. (Paper wasps in outdoor light fixture annually, which my wife hates.) We have many jumping spiders that patrol the same south facing walls, but I haven’t seen any of these little beetles fall prey to them yet. Hopefully, these are not an infestation that needs to be addressed. Thank you for your time!
Signature: CEROE

Mediterranean Seed Bug

Mediterranean Seed Bug

Dear CEROE,
We believe this is a Mediterranean Seed Bug,
Xanthochilus saturnius, a species that according to BugGuide is:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant.”  According to the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook:  ” There is very little known about these bugs, possibly because they are not major economic pests. They do cause anxiety among homeowners, and costly eradication expenses.”  The PNIM Handbook also states:  “Even though they do no damage to house, humans, or pets, these seed bugs become a huge annoyance and costly to exterminate when they migrate into households.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: mystery bug
Location: unknown
February 15, 2016 5:26 pm
I work at a grocery store. This bug was found on a door near where we were unpacking plants for the floral department today. We get flowers from Florida, Mexico, Costa Rica, locally (Alabama), and some boxes aren’t labeled. We aren’t sure where he came from or what box he got out of. Sorry we couldnt be more help.
Signature: Rachel from Winn-Dixie

Green Weevil

Golden Headed Weevil, perhaps

Dear Rachel,
This is some species of Weevil in the superfamily Curculionoidea and we believe it is a Broad Nosed Weevil in the subfamily Entiminae which is well represented on BugGuide, a site that is devoted to North American sightings.  We do not believe this is a native species, but we are not certain.  We will contact Eric Eaton for a second opinion, but since flowers may come from many parts of the world, including Columbia and Australia, it may be difficult to get a conclusive ID.  We are going to tag this posting as an Invasive Exotic until we learn otherwise.

Eric Eaton Concurs
Daniel:
I would agree that this is probably a foreign species, maybe in the genus Compsus, but I can’t be positive.  As a result, I don’t have any links to provide, either.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what’s that bug?
Location: Northern IL
February 2, 2016 3:53 pm
This is from Northern IL and usually appears in the Winter indoors
Signature: Thanks, Ted

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Dear Ted,
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is non-native species introduced from Asia that has spread across North America in a very short time.  They seek shelter indoors when the weather cools.  According to the USDA site, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug:  “Feeds on a variety of plants, including fruit trees, ornamentals, and some crops.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasps or Hornets in winter
Location: Connecticut
January 28, 2016 7:58 am
A couple days ago, I was walking in my front yard and I saw a wasp/hornet/yellow jacket walking on top of the snow…
I live in central Connecticut, so it seemed a bit odd because I’ve never seen that before in my 44 years here.
Is this normal?
Thanks,
Signature: Michael

Paper Wasp in the Snow

European Paper Wasp in the Snow

Dear Michael,
We suspect this unusual sighting of a Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes in the snow is related to the unseasonably warm weather experienced by much of the eastern U.S. through the end of 2015.  We are relatively certain this is an introduced European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula, which is described on BugGuide as:  “No other species of Vespidae has mostly orange antennae.”  Because of the snow, your images were underexposed, but if the images are lightened, the antennae do appear to be orange.  BugGuide also notes:  “Only females are able to overwinter. Some ‘workers’ of previous season are able to survive and act as auxiliary females for the foundresses, provided the quiescent phase has been short enough. ”  You did not indicate what the temperatures were like on the day you took the images, but we are suspecting it was a warmer day, with temperatures above freezing, despite snow still being on the ground.  If the late start to winter allowed the nest to remain active considerably later in the season, and this individual survived a short “quiescent phase”, then it is possible she set out from the nest on a warm winter day.  BugGuide also notes:  “An introduced species from Eurasia, often mistaken for a yellow jacket. First reported in North America by G.C. Eickwort in 1978 near Boston, Massachusetts.  There are reports of it replacing native species of wasps in some areas,” which is prompting us to tag this as an Invasive Exotic, especially since the BugGuide range in quite extensive in North America considering the species has been reported here for less than 40 years.

Paper Wasp in the Snow

European Paper Wasp in the Snow

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swarming on beach morning glory
Location: Wellington, Florida
December 24, 2015 2:50 pm
Dear Bugman,
There is a crowd of these bugs swarming on our only beach morning glory plant (Ipomoea imperati) here in western Palm Beach County, Florida. The plant looks peaked and is starting to turn yellow. What are these bugs, and are the bugs to blame? Will they move on to other plants after they are done with the morning glory?
Thank you!
Signature: Helen

Giant Sweet Potato Bug Nymphs

Giant Sweet Potato Bug Nymphs

Dear Helen,
We are sorry about the delay, but you wrote during the time we were out of the office for two weeks and we are still catching up on old mail.  These appear to be Giant Sweet Potato Bug nymphs,
Spartocera batatas, based on this BugGuide image.  The individual in that image were also on morning glory in Florida.  Though BugGuide notes:  “native to the Neotropics (West Indies to so. Brazil), adventive in our area (FL)” and “first reported in the continental US: FL 1995,” there is no mention of food plants, so we cannot say if they will move to other plants.  Featured Creatures has much more information including:  “A large colony of Spartocera batatas (Fabricius) was found in late June 1995 on an Asian cultivar of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) in Homestead, Florida, by Lynn D. Howerton, environmental specialist, Division of Plant Industry (DPI). The plants were badly damaged by the insects. That collection represented the first report of S. batatas in the continental U.S. Subsequent surveys of commercial fields of sweet potatoes in the area failed to turn up any more S. batatas. However, an additional single specimen was found in Miami in early October 1995 by DPI Inspector Ramon A. Dones. Many bugs were found in suburban Miami by Julieta Brambila (University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) in late September 1996.”  The following food plants are also mentioned:  “The most important host of S. batatas appears to be sweet potato, after which it was named. Other hosts listed in the literature include Solanaceae [tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum), potato (Solanum tuberosum), and Solanum nigrum], Lauraceae [avocado (Persea americana)] and Rutaceae (Citrus spp.) (Ravelo 1988, Martorell 1976, Alayo 1967, Barber 1939, Wolcott 1923). Observations in Florida indicate that S. batatas adults sometimes disperse in high numbers. Thus, transient adults could be collected on a wide variety of plants. It is not known which of the above host records represent breeding populations.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you – this information is very helpful. I have been picking them off because the morning glory is at the edge of our vegetable garden and we found more of the nymphs on the other side of the garden. We also have an avocado tree nearby so we don’t want to take any chances that they might spread further.
I appreciate your response.
Helen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination