From the yearly archives: "2006"

whats this bug?
I found hundreds of these tiny bugs on my butterfly bush (milkweed) today. Are they bad or good bugs? Do I need to kill them? Love your website!
Lecanto, Florida

Hi Carolyn,
This is an Aphid and they can be destructive when plentiful. We recommend either just hosing them away or spraying them with mildly soapy water. Dish soap diluted will work fine.

Update from Eric Eaton (01/04/2006)
“The yellow aphid is an Oleander Aphid, believe it or not. They apparently find milkweed and oleander interchangable.”

Bugs seen only in Winter snow
Hello Bugman,
My son is very interested in identifying a bug that we see each winter in the snow. I have attached two pictures – one against a ruler. The insect has 6 legs, two long antenna and two things off the back (two tails?). It’s approx. 1/2 inch in length. Please help!
Thanks – Kevin and Stephen Crowley

Dear Crowleys,
We are always very excited to get new species for our site, but even more excited to get new families. This is a type of Stonefly, Order Plecoptera, known as the Snowfly or Winter Stonefly, Family Capniidae, probably the genus Allocapnia. We located photos on Bugguide, but there wasn’t much information, so we decided to search further. Sadly our search was in vain as there seem to be photos and maps, but not much in the way of text. If you find any additional links, perhaps you can contact us with the information.

I found a website with some further information on stoneflies. I hope this helps.

Hello Bugman,
Can you help me identify this moth which I found in my garden, I live in the UK.

Hi Simon,
A little web research and we located your lovely Sphinx Moth, the Lime Hawk Moth. Lime is probably a reference to the color since the food plants are listed as “Tilia ,Prunus ,Betula ,B. verrucosa ,Alnus glutinosa ,A. incana ,Ulmus glabra” on this site with nice images. We located an additional site with much information.

Update (04/11/2006) Anita and the Sphinx!!!
lime sphinx additional note, and an image for fun! Dear Bugman
What a gift you are to us all, and to bugs and the buggable everywhere! I have a quick comment to add to your ID on Jan 03 of this year of a Lime Sphinx seen by a UK resident. Actually, the “lime” in the name IS a reference to the food plant: Tilia cordata, what we in US call Little-leaf Linden, is native to the UK, where it is a Little Leaf Lime. All the Lindens are called “Limes” on the other side of the pond, I have no idea why since no relation to the citrus fruit that I can figure out… may be an interesting story behind that! And for fun, here is me (on a bad hair day!) on my father’s front deck in Cecil County, Maryland with a sphinx moth, prob. Eumorpha pandorus, freshly emerged with nice color tho you can’t see much detail in this shot…

Thanks for the update and clarification Anita. We are running your photo on the homepage now and it will remain with the original letter you cited.

bugs in Western Australia
Please tell me what they are doing and what kind of bug.

Hi Carla,
You have captured metamorphosis on film. The pink bug is the winged adult emerging from the black exoskeleton of the final nymph stage. This is some species of Hemipteran.

I found this 2" long bug on a cool August morning in Sonora, Texas. I am thinking it is an adult antlion but have not found its scientific name. Thanks,

Hi Jo,
For some reason, an in depth Antlion taxonomy with images is not available. Perhaps because it is so difficult to distinguish individual species they are generally grouped into the family Myrmeleontidae. We researched Antlion Taxonomy and found this information. The site The Antlion Pit has some fascinating anecdotal information.

My laptop’s infested!
Hello there!
About two weeks ago, crawling down the screen of our (immaculately clean, less than a year old) laptop, was a speck barely a millimetre across. I though, How cute! There’s a living thing on our laptop! Now, I love insects and do not give in to urges of wanton annihilation. So I usually, and peacefully, show them the way out the window. However, this morning I woke up to find scores of these animated specks doing the locomotion on our monitor! Lately the screen has been giving us the occasional, brief flicker. Were these incidents manifestations of our animated friends crawling over, and shorting, the circuit boards? I want them gone! I’m attaching photos. Sorry about the fuzziness, but there’s only so much a macro lens can do. Remember these creatures are all less than 1mm across. What are they? Where do they come from? What do they feed on? Why did they get into our monitor? How do we get them out without breaking the computer apart? Your advice is anxiously awaited.

Hi K,
We suspect your computer loving critters are a species of Mite. The question, and the root of the eradication, is why are they after the computer? Sadly, we don’t have an answer. We suspect they might be in your dwelling for another reason. They could be Bird Mites or Rodent Mites, of just Predatory Mites. Sadly, the photo isn’t detailed enough for us to give you an exact identification, and we are not experts in the order Acari even if the photos were tack sharp.

Hello, thank you very much for your reply! Since then we have discovered them everywhere in my tiny 3m x 2.5m study. On books, papers, other bits of furniture or equipment… Now we live in a fairly new apartment, built entirely out of stone. The study has one ventilator leading to the outside, which is protected by a plastic grill on the outer wall. So I guess that would eliminate both rats and birds as a possible source. I’ve called over a pest control technician. He said that they’re wood mites (?) and that they need moisture to survive. Now this being a new place, and with this winter having been particularly wet (and also, with Malta being a small island in the Mediterranean), we’ve had problems with excessive humidity. The technician suggested installing a dehumidifier in the room, and he said that once we bring humidity down, the mites will die on their own. There must be some truth in what the technician said, in that I’ve discovered fairly large concentrations of mites on the covers of hardback books without dustjackets, which seem to be more prone to humidity (in fact one was going mouldy without my realising that it was… and this in the space of just three weeks since I had last used it). We have now installed a dehumidifier, which is kept on all the time, but still, the mites keep coming out…

Update from Barry M. OConnor (05/23/2006)
Computer loving mites (1/3/06). This is a species in the family Acaridae, genus Tyrophagus. One of the most common mites found in homes or other buildings, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, sometimes called the "mold mite" will feed on a wide range of organic materials. They are white, somewhat oblong in shape, and have long body setae. They can be part of the normal "house dust fauna" and may be a minor source for house dust allergy. They’re fairly desiccation tolerant as mites go.