From the monthly archives: "January 2005"

I have these bugs that are invading my home! My husband and I find at LEAST 5 every morning. Eww! They are the “pincher bugs”;. Something else we’ve discovered in our house are these dark brown spiders that love to just hang out on the top of our ceiling. Our newly purchased home in Southern California is crawling with creatures who’ve roamed free in the unattended soil for 50 years. What is the best way to get rid of insects? We have some yellow jackets that fly around along with mosquitoes. In our ground though we have pincher bugs by the thousands and also pill bugs. We are in the process of ripping out plants, trees and shrubbery to replant the entire yard. How do we kill off all the insects!?  Any suggestions would be MOST appreciated!
Thank you!

Dear Rebecca,
Nothing short of a nuclear bomb will rid your property of all your dreaded insects, but considering the current political climate, you just might get your wish. In the event that that doesn’t happen, you just might have to learn to live together. We at What’s that Bug? do not advocate getting rid of all insects since we would be out of business.

A Reader Comments
(08/27/2005) Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne!
I just had to write you two, your site is the best bug site I have ever seen! Your main page helped me identify a bug that was posted at our forum, and I must admit that some of the pictures submitted to your site are so absolutely beautiful that I had to capture them for my screen saver! In exchange I wish to offer some photos of my own, taken in my yard in Santa Ana California. I have included 10 photos that I took with my digital camera, you may use them as you see fit I would also like to reply to Rebecca from Southern California who wishes to know how to get rid of all of her bugs, if a reply is allowed.
Hi Rebecca!
I live in Southern California too, and I have all the things you described in my yard as well. If they are getting into your house, then you probably have openings around windows and doors that should be attended to. You do not want to kill the bugs in your yard, they provide very necessary functions to keep your yard healthy. Ants are your cleaning crew, they dispose of dead things. Earthworms are what make the earth that your garden grows in, and their castings contain an enzyme that repels white flies. Wasps are your predators, they eat the caterpillars that eat your plants. Caterpillars are your butterflies and moths, and they pollinate your flowers so they bloom again next year. Robber flies are your wasp controllers, they keep wasp populations down. Potato bugs, pill bugs, earwigs and click beetles are your compost engineers, they recycle leaf litter and break
it down so the earthworms can turn it into healthy soil. Possums are your snail controllers. Garden snails are not native and have no other predator than possums here in California. Spiders are your general insect controllers, you should capture and take outside any that wander into your house. There are many other insects that you
will find in your yard as well, but they are all pretty harmless and will avoid you if you just give them time to move out of your way.
Your yard is its own ecosystem, with its own checks and balances. Learn to love your bugs, explore them, research them, discover the benefits they give to you and the beauty of your yard. If you get stung by a wasp or bee, or bitten by a mosquito, simply dissolve a real aspirin in your hand with a few drops of water and apply directly to the site, the pain and itch will be gone within a matter of seconds. If you want to help control your mosquitoes, simply place a container of water under a bush which is easily accessible to
you and leave it there, check it every day, when you see the larvae swimming around just dump the entire container of water on the ground. The larvae will die. Refill the container. Insure that there is no other standing water on your property. Keep an eye out for Black Widows, they are the only bugs in your yard that can actually harm you. Hope this helps 🙂
Sincerely, Cathy 🙂
Thank you Daniel and Lisa, for such a wonderful site! I have it bookmarked and will be back here often!

Awesome site glad I found it. Here is a but that I found on the couch when he woke me up from a mid day nap. He stung me on the knee and it is itching 2 days later an a little red . I am tough and can take it, but the problem is one of my Girls got stung this AM by the same type of bug. Can you help identify it and let me know if we should be concerned. Thanks again,
Mike S.
Hawley TX

Hi Mike,
We wanted more than just a general Assassin Bug identification so we wrote to Eric Eaton who responded: “It is an assassin bug in the genus Zelus. They are great to have in the garden as they prey on lots of pest insects. Just don’t pick them up!” The bite is painful and causes irritation, as you know, but there is no lasting harm.

Bug on the beach in Bali
Hi there,
My son found this insect on the beach in Bali, Indonesia last week. Please see the attached picture. He would like to know what it is as he had grown attached to it.
Meily Meyers

Hi Meily,
We wrote to Eric Eaton again for this one and he quickly responded: “It is another Hemipteran, maybe even an adult of the nymph that you send an image of earlier. Reminds me of something in the Scutellaridae, as the scutellum (the normally large, triangular segment between the wings) is greatly enlarged and rounded, covering the entire abdomen and giving it a beetle-like appearance.”

Help with bugWe have been over run with these little bugs and don’t know what they are, can you help? We are in Tampa , Florida and the bugs seem to be mainly in the wood chips or tree base.

Hi Mike,
And judging by the mating pair, you will soon have even more Eastern Boxelder Bugs, Leptocoris trivittatus.

Fly Photo
Hi Daniel,
Here’s a photo of a fly I’d like to share with you. It’s a macro shot of a fly’s face. I thought you might like to see it.
Keep up the good work.
Bill DuPree
Atlanta, Georgia

Hi Bill,
Thank you so much for sending your excellent photo in. We don’t really discriminate between good and poor quality images when we post on our site since even the poorest quality images can be used for identification, but we always enjoy getting excellent images. Since the invention of the modern microscope, the fly has often been a subject deemed worthy of magnification.

What is this bug
I found this bug climbing out of the ground in my yard during the summer. It’s head was hard but the back portion was leathery. It’s front claws were like a cicada’s. I took some pictures and let it go but was curious.

Hi Darrell,
You released a Mole Cricket from the Family Gryllotalpidae. They use their spadelike front legs for digging. They are common in moist soils.