Subject:  Found in SD home
Geographic location of the bug:  NE South Dakota
Date: 01/11/2019
Time: 01:51 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this crawling on a canvas blanket in home. Have not been able to locate any others in the home after extensive looking. No recent trips outside of home.
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned

Bed Bug

Dear Concerned,
You have cause for concern.  This is a Bed Bug, a blood-sucking insect that often feeds on sleeping humans.  There has been much publicity online in the past ten years as populations of Bed Bugs are increasing, especially in urban areas.  This individual appears to be fully grown, or nearly fully grown.  Not finding any more is not necessarily a sign that there are no more as Bed Bugs have an uncanny ability to hide during the day, only emerging at night to feed.  They are able to hide between the mattress and box spring, behind baseboards and under pictures and other items hanging on the walls.  Have you had any visitors lately?  Bed Bugs can stow away in luggage.  Another possible source of infestations is used furniture.

Bed Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  identification
Geographic location of the bug:  ottawa
Date: 01/12/2019
Time: 09:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  please identify this insect
How you want your letter signed:  citron

Masked Hunter

Dear citron,
This is an immature Assassin Bug that is commonly called a Masked Hunter because its sticky exoskeleton attracts all manner of debris that effectively “masks” the insect and protects it from predators.  Though Masked Hunters might deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled, they do not pose a threat to humans and they will feed on other undesirable creatures including Bed Bugs, Cockroaches and Spiders.

Subject:  What are these bugs?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Florida
Date: 01/12/2019
Time: 12:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I know not what you are, but if you are damaging my althea bushes, I will get rid of you.
How you want your letter signed:  Althea flower lover

Cotton Stainer

Dear Althea flower lover,
Interesting, your digital files are titled “red bug” and these are indeed Red Bugs in the family Pyrrhocoridae.  More specifically, these are Cotton Stainers, and your documentation includes an image of winged adults and an image of a wingless nymph.  According to BugGuide:  “found on many plants, incl. cotton, hibiscus, oranges, etc.” and “a pest of cotton; ‘Feeding on the cotton bolls stains them an indelible yellow as plant sap seeps out of the puncture wound, and microorganisms and fungus grows at the site. The feeding habit also damages the fibres by cutting them, and affects the growth of the cotton boll.'”  The damage to cotton occurs because of the staining that renders the cotton unusable.  We are not certain if their feeding significantly damages other plants, including your Althea or Rose of Sharon, a member of the hibiscus family.

Cotton Stainer Nymph

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what is this spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  mindanao, philippines
Date: 01/16/2019
Time: 07:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi.. my daughter found this kind of spider which becomes her pet but we cant identify what kind of spidrr is this..hope you can help us..thanks..
How you want your letter signed:  Jean


Dear Jean,
In our opinion, this is not a Spider, but rather a Harvestman, a group of Arachnids in the order Opiliones.  Harvestmen do not have venom, so they are not a threat to humans.  Alas, we have not been able to find any matching images online, so we cannot verify the species identity of your Harvestman.

Geographic location of the bug:  HOAGLAND INDIANA
Date: 01/16/2019
Time: 10:10 AM EDT
How you want your letter signed:  JODI W.

Sowbug Killer

Dear Jodi,
You are correct.  This is a Woodlouse Hunter or Sowbug Killer and it is not dangerous.

Thank you.  Since it’s winter here, and colder than a witch’s heart, I have it in a small terrarium and offered some crickets.We will see if it survives, it’s worth the effort.   It it such a cool spider.
Thank you so much!!!  I was surprised to find it, they aren’t normally found in Indiana are they?

Hi Jodi,
BugGuide does include Indiana in the range of the Sowbug Killer, and it even ranges north into Ontario.

Cool thanks so much, you are terrific!!

Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Pennsylvania
Date: 01/15/2019
Time: 11:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What type of bug is this found it in a wall of a house
How you want your letter signed:  Quinnell


Dear Quinnell,
You have Silverfish, a common household pest.  According to BugGuide:  “often found indoors in warm, damp environments; the Common Silverfish (
Lepisma saccharina) is frequently seen in bathrooms and kitchens, whereas the Firebrat (Thermobia domestica) is usually found in basements around furnaces and in insulation around hot water and heating pipes; these and other species also occur outdoors under bark, in leaf litter, caves, ant nests, deserts, etc” and preferred foods include “omnivorous: starchy foods, cereals, moist wheat flour, glue on book bindings and wallpaper, starch in clothing made of cotton or rayon fabric; outdoor individuals eat lichens.”