From the monthly archives: "July 2003"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We really enjoy your website. Fun & interesting letters. We have a mysterious bug sighting to report. Near dusk, we spotted what looked like a small hummingbird going from flower to flower on our porch. We looked closely at him, and he was fearless. Totally oblivious to us, less than a foot away from him. He had kind of a fuzzy dark yellow body, and wings moving so fast you coudn’t see them. His tail was black or dark brown, and was actually similar in shape to that of a crawdad! He had six legs (or so), so we know he wasn’t a bird. He was about 2 1/2 inches long. Is this a moth of some sort? He didn’t seem to be attracted to the porchlight, just the flowers. We’re in central Indiana, and we spotted him on a warm & humid evening in early July.
Thank You — J & C & D

Dear J&C&D,
Sphinx Moths are often called Hummingbird Moths. There are many species in the family Sphingidae, including the Tobacco Sphinx, Manduca sexta, or Tomato Hornworm, the dreaded green worm that eats tomato plants. The Tobacco Sphinx is yellow and greyish brown on the body with greyish wings. the wingspan can reach nearly 4 1/2 inches. There is also a group of genuses known as the hummingbird clearwings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Re: Yellow and Black

(7/13/2003)
Hi….I have for years seen a very strange looking large bug in my yard in California but have not seen it anywhere else in the US. It is roughly 1.5-22 long, yellow with black stripes, super shiny, 3 segments, and the tentacles or arms look so fat it almost looks like it has baby arms. It is by far the most disgusting bug I1ve ever seen.
What is it?
Best Regards,
Kayce

Dear Kayce,
If you hadn’t said you lived in California, I would have immediately thought of the Locust Borer, a large beetle that fits your description. I did a web search, and have noticed that the range is expanding. Here in Los Angeles, we do have Black Locust Trees, so it is conceivable that the range of the Locust Borer now includes California. Here is additional information as well as a photo. Please let us know if the range of the Locust Borer now includes California. The locust borer, Megacyllene robiniae (Forst.), is a native insect. Its original range probably coincided with that of its host tree, the black locust, which once grew only along the Allegheny Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia and in the Ozark Mountain region. Black locust grows readily on poor sites and is used extensively in land-reclamation plantings. Its widespread use to reclaim land damaged by farming and strip mining, its use as a shade tree, and its use in reforestation have dispersed the borer with its host tree over most of the United States. The borer is now found from eastern Canada south to the Gulf States and west to Washington, Colorado, and Arizona. The borer attacks only black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and its cultivars (horticulturally derived varieties in the genus Robinia); the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) is not affected.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi….I have for years seen a very strange looking large bug in my yard in California but have not seen it anywhere else in the US. It is roughly 1.5-22 long, yellow with black stripes, super shiny, 3 segments, and the tentacles or arms look so fat it almost looks like it has baby arms. It is by far the most disgusting bug I1ve ever seen.
What is it?
Best Regards,
Kayce

Dear Kayce,
If you hadn’t said you lived in California, I would have immediately thought of the Locust Borer, a large beetle that fits your description. I did a web search, and have noticed that the range is expanding. Here in Los Angeles, we do have Black Locust Trees, so it is conceivable that the range of the Locust Borer now includes California. Here is additional information as well as a photo. Please let us know if the range of the Locust Borer now includes California. The locust borer, Megacyllene r
obiniae (Forst.), is a native insect. Its original range probably coincided with that of its host tree, the black locust, which once grew only along the Allegheny Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia and in the Ozark Mountain region. Black locust grows readily on poor sites and is used extensively in land-reclamation plantings. Its widespread use to reclaim land damaged by farming and strip mining, its use as a shade tree, and its use in reforestation have dispersed the borer with its host tree over most of the United States. The borer is now found from eastern Canada south to the Gulf States and west to Washington, Colorado, and Arizona. The borer attacks only black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and its cultivars (horticulturally derived varieties in the genus Robinia); the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) is not affected.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ok ,
I need help…. Bad. I just had both of my hips replaced the last one in Feb. I was out walking in my yard, I live out in the Country in Missouri, near Kansas City. I was swarmed by what I thought at the time was Bees, flying around me. I did my best to try and run, but not good at that as of yet.I just knew I was doomed… Ok, I didn’t get stung. A guy was at my home to work on something and I asked him to go out and see what there were,….BEETLES…. LOTS of Beetles. Close in size to June bugs, not as tall or thick, but length wise close. When flying, I thought they looked like bees, yellow jackets or something. Because they have yellow showing when in flight. When captured…They are a Green Metallic,all across the back,but tipped in yellow, and at the point if you can call it that, of the bottom, they are yellow too. Alsothe under side is yellow around the base of the legs, than metallic green down the leg. (I hate Bugs)Really bad…. Now I have thousands of these beetles, Someone said Japanese Beetles, but in photos,they are shaped somewhat different and are a brownish on the back, these have no red, or brown… Please Help me…. Susan N. Photography Liberty, Missouri

Dear Susan,
I think you have been terrorized by GREEN JUNE BEETLES, Cotinus nitida. Here is some information as well as a drawing I discovered on two websites:

DESCRIPTION
Adult — The beetle is 15 to 22 mm long with dull, velvety green wings. Its head, legs, and underside are shiny green, and its sides are brownish-yellow. Joe Boggs reported that GREEN JUNE BEETLES, Cotinus nitida, are terrorizing backyard gardeners, sunbathers, small pets, etc., as they buzz lawns in southern Ohio. These big, metallic green beetles tend to emerge en masse. Their large size, coupled with an audible "buzzing" sound and low level flight plan (cruising at about 2 to 3 feet) may induce mild panic in those individuals unfamiliar with this insect. Adults feed on tree leaves as a skeletonizer. Fortunately, they rarely cause significant plant injury. Their primary goal is to locate turf with high levels of organic matter (e.g. thatch) in which to lay eggs. Lawns covered with partially composted manures have also been found to be highly attractive to the adults and they may burrow into cool compost piles, under decomposing manure and into decayed mulch. It has been speculated that this attraction to decomposing organic matter explains why adults tend to show-up in large numbers on certain lawns while ignoring surrounding turf. Unlike other Scarab beetle larvae such as Japanese beetle grubs, green June beetle grubs burrow 10 to 12 inches into the soil and they remain closely associated with these burrows. The grubs do venture out at night, especially after heavy rains, to feed on thatch and other organic matter and they occasionally find their way onto driveways, sidewalks and into swimming pools. Despite their large size, green June beetle larvae seldom cause injury to turf equal to that caused by Japanese beetles or masked chafers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ok ,
I need help…. Bad. I just had both of my hips replaced the last one in Feb. I was out walking in my yard, I live out in the Country in Missouri, near Kansas City. I was swarmed by what I thought at the time was Bees, flying around me. I did my best to try and run, but not good at that as of yet.I just knew I was doomed… Ok, I didn’t get stung. A guy was at my home to work on something and I asked him to go out and see what there were,….BEETLES…. LOTS of Beetles. Close in size to June bugs, not as tall or thick, but length wise close. When flying, I thought they looked like bees, yellow jackets or something. Because they have yellow showing when in flight. When captured…They are a Green Metallic,all across the back,but tipped in yellow, and at the point if you can call it that, of the bottom, they are yellow too. Alsothe under side is yellow around the base of the legs, than metallic green down the leg. (I hate Bugs)Really bad…. Now I have thousands of t
hese beetles, Someone said Japanese Beetles, but in photos,they are shaped somewhat different and are a brownish on the back, these have no red, or brown… Please Help me…. Susan N. Photography Liberty, Missouri

Dear Susan,
I think you have been terrorized by GREEN JUNE BEETLES, Cotinus nitida. Here is some information as well as a drawing I discovered on two websites:

DESCRIPTION
Adult — The beetle is 15 to 22 mm long with dull, velvety green wings. Its head, legs, and underside are shiny green, and its sides are brownish-yellow. Joe Boggs reported that GREEN JUNE BEETLES, Cotinus nitida, are terrorizing backyard gardeners, sunbathers, small pets, etc., as they buzz lawns in southern Ohio. These big, metallic green beetles tend to emerge en masse. Their large size, coupled with an audible "buz
zing" sound and low level flight plan (cruising at about 2 to 3 feet) may induce mild panic in those individuals unfamiliar with this insect. Adults feed on tree leaves as a skeletonizer. Fortunately, they rarely cause significant plant injury. Their primary goal is to locate turf with high levels of organic matter (e.g. thatch) in which to lay eggs. Lawns covered with partially composted manures have also been found to be highly attractive to the adults and they may burrow into cool compost piles, under decomposing manure and into decayed mulch. It has been speculated that this attraction to decomposing organic matter explains why adults tend to show-up in large numbers on certain lawns while ignoring surrounding turf. Unlike other Scarab beetle larvae such as Japanese beetle grubs, green June beetle grubs burrow 10 to 12 inches into the soil and they remain closely associated with these burrows. The grubs do venture out at night, especially after heavy rains, to feed
on thatch and other organic matter and they occasionally find their way onto driveways, sidewalks and into swimming pools. Despite their large size, green June beetle larvae seldom cause injury to turf equal to that caused by Japanese beetles or masked chafers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hi
I live in Minnesota and have had a bit of a shock when I discovered pseudoscorpions visiting my home. At first we didn’t have a clue what they were and looked up all sorts of possibilities before finally stumbling on their true identity.I know that they are harmless but my mom goes CRAAAAZY at the site of any sort of insect in the house. So, I was wondering if regular anti-bug chemicals would work such as bugbombs, sprays, etc.. the reasons that we want to go to these extremes is because I have found 3 of them in my room(2 of which were in my bed) and can’t figure out how they got there besides grabbing a ride with the laundry which is done in the basement. And from reading on them they apparently like damp places, which would explain a lot since water leaks into the basement whenever it rains. Problem is this can’t be helped or prevented at the moment. And like I said my mom is going nuts (I can’t say that I’m too enthusiastic at the thought of them being in my bed either). We were also wondering why they became so prevalent all of the sudden since we have never seen them in our house before and have now found 4 in the past month (3 in my room, 2 in my bed, 1 dead one caught in a cobweb). Any info on the extermination of these bugs would be greatly appreciated!
Th

Sorry Th,
Your best source for any erradication decision is a local exterminator, though that sounds like extreme measures to me. We promote coexistance with the lower beasts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination