From the yearly archives: "2010"

Wonderful headline in the Washington Post
December 29, 2010
What a great headline in today’s online Washington Post:
U.S. and D.C. schedule bedbug summits
In keeping with the best of government traditions, the Federal Bed Bug Work Group is hosting its second national summit Feb. 1-2 in Washington to brainstorm about solutions to the resurgence of the tiny bloodsuckers that have made such an itch-inducing comeback in recent years.
And what a name for a task force: “the Federal Bed Bug Work Group”.  The mental images it conjures up ….  THIS is a committee I’d like to be on, although my money is on the bed bugs.
Happy New Year,

Thanks for the information Lane.

This is a bit gross
Location: Malapascua, Visayas, Philippines
December 28, 2010 11:23 pm
So, I admit this is a gross way to discover a new bug, but here goes.
So I’m currently vacationing on Malapascua, a small island in the Philippines.
I was in the toilet, doing my thing, and when I finished I stood up to flush and this thing was in there wriggling around.
At first I was terrified that it was some parasite or something that had come out, as it were. But now I’m thinking that’s impossible, it’s just too big. Still, I was completely freaking out, hence the fishing and photographing.
What is this thing? The white debris on it is…err… toilet paper.
Signature: Sorry…

Fly Maggot

Dear Sorry,
This appears to be a Fly Maggot, but we have no theories as to why it was found in the toilet.  Though certain flies are parasites, Maggots are not known to be internal parasites within the human gastrointestinal tract.

Karl believes this is a Soldier Fly Larva
Hi Daniel and Sorry…
This is just a thought, but it looks a lot like a Soldier Fly (Stratiomyidae) larva, perhaps even a Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens), also known as the Window Fly. The species is native to southeastern USA but it is also widespread in the tropics, including the Philippines. There are quite a few pictures of larvae, pupae and adults on the WTB? site if you do a search. Black Soldier Fly maggots have become quite popular with people interested in composting and manure management (with some interest developing in the Philippines), and in parts of the world they are also raised as feed for fish or domestic fowl. I found this site that promotes the culture of the maggots for Swiftlet farming in Malaysia (as in harvesting bird nests for soup). It could be some other species but I think this is getting close. They apparently crawl around quite a bit when they are looking for a place to pupate so perhaps that is how this one blundered into the toilet. By the way, I believe this individual has its rear end facing the camera so the toilet paper would be appropriate. Regards. Karl

Mite identification
Location: Asheville, NC
December 28, 2010 11:41 am
My house is infested with a small bug, possibly a mite. And my boyfriend now has them at his house and I’ve carried them to my office as well.
I’ve seen something tiny on numerous occasions, but I have only been able to catch one of these bugs, in some oil. These things are tiny (like the period at the end of this sentence and are very quick to hide. They get into everything in the house and are crawling on my body as well.
Can you help me identify this bug? I have bumps and soars on my skin, which may be bites or just a reaction to the bugs.
My photos are at 40x magnification.
Signature: Dee

Mystery Bug

Dear Dee,
It appears that you have two very different creatures represented in your photographs.  One of them is a mystery to us, but it does not look like a mite.  The other, which you have labeled Dees Bug, appears to be a Carpet Beetle Larva which is a common household pest, but we do not believe it is responsible for your skin condition, nor do they move quickly.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to identify your other creature.  In addition to the two images you have sent, you may also have a problem with Mites which are frequently associated with abandoned bird’s nests in the attic areas of the home.

Carpet Beetle Larva

Worm or larve?
Subject: Worm or larve?
Location: Santa Fe, NM USA
December 28, 2010 6:37 pm
I found this near a stack of wood on our porch in Santa Fe, NM and do not know what it is. It is about 1” long and milky white color. Help
Signature: Thanks, Jonathan

Flathead Borer

Hi Jonathan,
This is a Flathead Borer, the larva of a Beetle in the family Buprestidae, commonly called the Metallic Wood Borers or Jewel Beetles.  We are unable to identify the exact species, and it appears as though this individual has been squashed.  Beetles in the family Buprestidae are often beautifully colored and patterned, and they are highly revered among collectors.  You can see some examples of Jewel Beetles in our archives.

Should I worry about my house with these or are they mostly tree/wood pile guys?

Hi JJ,
You do not need to worry about Flathead Borers infesting your home.  They are found in living and recently dead wood, however, there have been reports of them emerging many years later from milled lumber.  The record, to the best of our knowledge, is of an adult Golden Buprestid emerging from wood that had been milled fifty years earlier, and we ourselves have receive a report of an adult Golden Buprestid emerging from a wooden cutting board that was eight years old.

you are great.  Gonna throw you a donation.
Thanks for your help.

Location: Hungary, Europe
December 28, 2010 6:30 pm
I found these creatures in my bedroom.
I think they are from the same species. Their size is about about 2-5 mm. I don’t know what do they do, eat, name etc…so please help to identify them! :]
Ps.: I think they are not full grown bugs.
Signature: Joci

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Dear Joci,
You have Carpet Beetle Larvae, and it appears as though you may have more than one species.  Carpet Beetle Larvae are common household pests that feed on organic fibers like wool and feathers as well as organic debris like shed pet hair and even human hair.  They have a cosmopolitan distribution.  Normally, we frown upon composite imagery on our website, but we are intrigued with your geometric layout that reminds us of a quilt.

Broken Links Fixed
Broken links on your site
December 28, 2010 4:53 pm
You have a couple of links to Te Papa’s website on your website, thanks heaps for that! I have recently noticed in our logs that some of these are broken, so I thought I’d report them to you to enable you to fix them.
These broken links came from a data migration when we upgraded our website. We are really sorry about it.
These are the 3 pages with broken links:
The new address of the two-spine spider on our website is the following:
Thanks a lot for linking to us again!
Kind regards,
Florence Liger, webmaster at Te Papa
Signature: Florence Liger

Thanks so much Florence.  We have fixed the broken links.  We know how much havoc can occur when there is a website migration.