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

I have no idea what has invaded my shower. I am a very clean housekeeper so this little bug has nothing to do with an unclean environment. I live on a lake and maybe that has something to do with it. Well, here goes the description. It is a very, very small black wormlike bug not even a 1/2″ long and about as big around as mechanical pencil lead. It gets into the edge of the shower and digs into the grout. I can pour clorox in the shower and they come out and die. If you do not kill all of them you will see a fat black knat like fly with big wings a few weeks later. I had the shower taken down and the shower pan liner replaced. Nothing was in that area. I am constantly pouring clorox and killing thesethings but will still see the knat and worm like bugs. I also have to replace the caulking in the shower frequently because they dig into it and using the clorox also eats it away.
Do you have any idea what I have and how to get rid of it?

Dear Virginia,
You have bathroom flies, Clogmia albipunctata, which belong to the family of Moth Flies, Psychodidae. You have it exactly right. The larval form lives in the organic muck which forms inside the drains, and the fact that you live so closely to a lake probably compounds your situation since they will also enter the home from the outside where they live in shallow pools and tree holes. Thoroughly cleaning your plumbing might help, but as long as you continue to kill the individuals you are finding, you will help to control the population.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I was cleaning my washroom today, and come to think of it I have seen one of these in my living room previously (crawling on my couch). These bugs are brown about the size of a grain of rice (but thinner), they look like they have 6 legs, and perhaps wings ( I have never seen them fly before). They are flat, and it looks like they have a shell, but they squish quite easily. Here’s the part that scared me, when I was cleaning the washroom, I sprayed some cleaner in the tub, got a drink and when I cam back, the bug was laying in the bottom of the tub, upon closer looking it had little claws or pinchers (kind of like a lobster). After doing some research I thought it was a pantry beetle, but I have never seen pictures of pantry beetles with pinchers.
I have attached a couple of pictures, hopefully they help.
Many thanks in advance,

Dear Ben,
You have killed a harmless Pseudoscorpion which belongs to the order Chelonethida or Pseudoscorpionida. They are also called Book Scorpions. They are small arachnids. They eat small insects hence are beneficial.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

hi, wondering if you can help … i live in the hollywood hills, of los angeles. i saw a bug in my house yesterday that looked like a double A duracell battery with what seemed like claws. it was probably 3 inches in length and a half inch in width excluding it’s appendages. i am not a bug person and thought about stepping on it – but it was so big, i didn’t want to make the mess. instead, i flicked it across the room with some cardboard. it landed on its back and seemed to have a hard time turning over, right side up. while on it’s back, i was able to open the door and fling it outside. it was creepy as can be. i’m wondering if you know the type of bug it may have been? any pictures of it? it was gross to me … any help would be great,
brad in los angeles

Hi Brad,
Possibly a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We usually have lots of neat spiders here in South Texas, but this beautiful visitor amazed us. Never before seen on our house. Note that the trim boards are 1 by 2 inches so she is quite sizable but not as large as the Golden Orb spiders we have in abundance. We are thinking she is a “fishing spider” of some sort but the house is a half mile from the cattle ponds. What do you think she is?

White Banded Fishing Spider

Wow, JD,
That is one handsome spider. I think you are correct that it is a type of fishing spider, probably Dolomedes albineus or tenebrosus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

(11/3/2003)Unidentified spider
I found this spider wandering yesterday in the leaf litter in Great Falls, Maryland, about 10 miles north of Washington, DC.  It’s “dome” was about the diameter of a dime or a penny.  I’ve never seen anything like it before and my Internet search came up empty.  I’d really like to know what it is.  Thanks!
Jerry Singer

Update to orange spider question
Upon further Net research, I found a picture of the spider I sent to you at the bottom of this page. It was identified as Araneus sp.  I also found a very similar spider identified as araneus quadratus at this site. Neither site provides much info, so I would appreciate any more that you could provide.  Thanks!

Marbled Orbweaver

Dear Jerry,
Your photo is beautiful, much nicer than the Araneus sp. image on the website you cited. Here is what I can tell you about the genus. It is a large one with approximately fifty species identified. They are orb web weavers and most species exhibit considerable variability regarding coloration and markings. If I were to venture a guess as to your species, I would say Aranea gigas conspicellata. There is an image on this site: which looks just like yours. It is an extremely variable species in size, color and markings. The full-grown female, which you photographed, measures about 3/4 inch excempting the legs. The web is a complete orb and is often a foot or more in diameter. It is nearly vertical and is usually built in shrubs or among the low branches of trees. The retreat is usually above the orb and is frequently made in a curled leaf or in a bunch of leaves. In the Northern States the spiders reach maturity in August. The egg sacs are made early in the autumn.

Ed. Note: We now believe this to be a Marbled Orb Weaver, Araneus marmoreus. It is a shy spider which hides in a retreat, only emerging when prey has been snagged in its web.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

mr bug man
i found this bug in a park near where i live and i have no idea what it is i live in bahrain in the middle east and i have never seen this bug beforeps it lives in the ground

Your beetle appears to be a member of the genus Ceruchus. Adults are predators and they breed in rotten wood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination