What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

HUGE Bug under my children’s Blanket
Location: Under a blanket, In a House in Northern California
November 15, 2010 12:56 am
HUGE does not begin to describe it, this bug is COLOSSAL, ENORMOUS, MAMMOTH, etc. I was making up a floor-bed for my children, and when I flipped back a blanket, I saw this beige underside of a bug. By the sheer size and uniform coloration I was sure it was one of my boys’ rubber bugs (they have quite a few). I called one over to come pick it up, thinking I’d ”psyche” him out and tickle the back of his neck as he picked it up. Teehee! Well, he said, ”NO!” when I told him to pick it up. THANK GOODNESS HE DID! I bent down to grab it myself, when thought, what detail, how amazing, in rubber? It was 2 inches long almost. Is that… mandibles or something??? THEN… IT TWITCHED and I nearly violated my drawers.
IT WAS A REAL BUG !!! I ran and got a glass jar and a heavy piece of paper, and me and my 2 and 4 year old boys captured the bug. We lidded him up and kept him overnight (sorry bug, I didn’t know what he would eat so he was probably very hungry) so we could photo him and release him in the morning.
When he was dumped out on the ground we got a good last look at him. He sort of burrowed happily into the loose dirt, it looked like he was comfortable in the dirt and not so much a tree-bug. I wanted to touch him, so very gently extended my index finger to stroke the back of him. What happened next is a blur, he sort of gripped onto me, I suppose with his back legs? I yelped and reflexively flung him over my shoulder, felt bad, so looked around till I spotted him on the grass, and scooted out of the way yelling GOOD BYE BUG!! OOH HE TOUCHED ME!
And the boys thought it was very funny, and asked if he would go eat now (I hope).
Anyways, he was about 2 inches long, had a striped body, a very noble face and reminded me of a gigantic ant. I thought maybe he was a cricket? A locust? I have no idea! I have never in my life seen a bug this huge.
The boys were quite fond of him and asked to keep him as Pet. But I told them we don’t know what it is for him to eat so we should let him go.
Signature: Eve

Potato Bug

Hi Eve,
Your detailed account of an encounter with a Potato Bug is highly entertaining.  Your observations that it resembled a cricket is astute.  Potato Bugs and Crickets are in the same insect order and another common name is Jerusalem Cricket.  Potato Bugs do have strong mandibles, and though they are not dangerous, they may deliver a painful bite if carelessly handled, possibly even drawing blood.

Wow!  Thank you so much for your response.  Potato Bug.  I’m very glad it did not bite me!  And even more glad I found him before my children crawled into bed with him.  What an interesting creature.  I believe I will learn a bit more about them, and write this out for my son’s schoolwork.  Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: California

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