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Wierd bug , dont know what it is
Tue, May 12, 2009 at 2:18 PM
Hi, I found a weird bug by the back wall of my vacation house in Florida and i was hoping you could tell me what it is. I didn’t know if i should have killed it or kept it, so i decided to let it go. Please write back.
Thanks, Ryan
back wall of my vacation house in florida

Potato Bug, In Florida???

Potato Bug, In Florida???

Hi Ryan,
The identification of your Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, genus Stenopelmatus is easy enough, but the rest of your letter is quite perplexing. Potato Bugs range, to the best of our knowledge, in the western U.S. primarily in the arid Southwest, though there are reports from as far north as Canada according to BugGuide. If your letter is not a hoax, then this sighting must surely be an accidental introduction. We also wonder if this is an isolated event, or if by some odd chance Potato Bugs have been introduced to Florida and are breeding. Time will tell.

Comment: Wed, 13 May 2009 00:16:25 -0700
Daniel:
I would reach the same conclusion you have: an accidental introduction if the location is correct. They are known as far east as western Nebraska, last I heard, so I suppose it is not a huge stretch….
Keep up the great work!
Eric Eaton

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

14 Responses to Potato Bug … In Florida?????????

  1. cjvector says:

    this is a bug I know from my childhood in Miami, Florida. I swear to you! I just searched for it as a chinch bug, because that’s what I used to call them. I would see them in my yard and used to hear my father say we had chinch bugs if we had brown spots in the yard. I assumed that’s what a chinch bug was. Thank you for the site. I just saw a photo of a dog that looked JUST LIKE ONE! had to find a photo of this bug to show the owner of the dog.

  2. Denise F. Achuko says:

    This is closest photo that I’ve seen of the creature that landed on my windshield last spring(2013). No, I did’nt take a pic because I was too busy getting my windows up so it would’nt get in my car with me! The underside was white &it was HUGE(2-3) in length & maybe 2 inches wide.I (currently) live Jacksonville, Florida.

  3. Karen says:

    Living in the Tampa area, the potato bug is indeed here. I see them all the time. I lived in California for many years and I can attest that it is the same bug.

  4. Susan says:

    I see these guys in my yard from time to time and I also live in Miami, Florida. My dad also blames them for the dead brown spots in the grass. Have found a few floating in my pool dead in the morning from time to time.

  5. Frances Scott says:

    I found one in north eastern Florida (Jacksonville). Never seen one before.

    • bugman says:

      In Florida? We suspect it was introduced either accidentally or purposefully.

      • Özlem says:

        I grew up in south Florida and these things have been there since mid 1980s, that I am aware of. They used to be more numerous than I have seen in the past decade. Learning now that they bite…I will say that the decline I’ve seen is a good thing!

  6. Rachel says:

    Just killed one Pensacola fl

  7. M. Rzeszewski says:

    Just fished one out of pool, my 12 year old daughter knew exactly what it was. Marco Island Florida.

  8. Michelle Harris says:

    I wonder if people are confusing Jerusalem cricket sightings with mole cricket sightings, which are found in Florida. I studied Jerusalem crickets and Florida is not their range as others have stated.

  9. Chantelle says:

    Just found one in my pool in Venice FL. I had no idea what it was but my husband knew. He had seen them a lot in CA.

  10. Cathy Armbruster says:

    My husband has killed one a day for the last 3 days, in our garage. We live in Kissimmee, Florida. We also have new, brown areas in our front yard.

  11. Heidi says:

    I’ve found a few near our barn in Brevard County, Central Florida. Definitely not mole crickets as they don’t have the front feet for digging. I’m certain these were Jerusalem crickets.

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