From the monthly archives: "September 2012"

Subject: Psocid?
Location: Presque Isle, Maine
August 30, 2012 9:08 am
Hi there!
All of a sudden (about a month ago), they showed up! Went to use my Food processor and the bowl was crawling with a bunch of them. Yuck!! I checked around in the closet and found a bunch more on platters and in canning jars I keep in there as well. I am a clean person and this has me freaked out!
Being a knowledge hound and wanting to know what they are, I took a photo and proceeded to look at image after image online to find one like it.
And I think I did! So I am asking you to confirm that the TEENY-TINY critter I photographed is what I think, a psocid, and that it will not harm the people, dog and cats that all live here. I intend to freeze the dog food that is also stored in that closet to kill off any that may be in there. NOTE: No other food is stored in there typically. I had some potatoes in there but threw them away a couple weeks ago and the closet isn’t near any water sources like sink or drains.
Signature: Gratefully, Creepy-crawled


Dear Creepy-crawled,
Though your photo is quite blurry, it does appear to be a Booklouse or Psocid.  Your excellent description confirms what the photo does not reveal.  You are correct that Booklice or Psocids are harmless, though they can be a nuisance if they are plentiful, as you learned firsthand.  More information on Psocids is available on BugGuide.

Ed. Note:  The first of September caught up on us and we never selected a Bug of the Month.  We have been especially interested in posting photos of Tiger Swallowtails of late, and there have been many good submissions, so we decided to take this recent posting and upgrade it to the Bug of the Month.

Subject: Butterfly Bush Visitors
Location: Western North Carolina
August 29, 2012 5:11 pm
It’s been sunny, hot and dry here in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I’ve noticed some of the visitors to my butterfly bushes only appear when the sun is shining while others are there every day. Some are becoming ragged and torn but it doesn’t seem to slow them down. I also have a stinging kind of visitor I’ve never seen before this summer. Here are a few pics taken today.
Signature: Diz

Tiger Swallowtail

Hi Diz,
Thanks for sending all your butterfly and bee photos.  We are just posting two images of Tiger Swallowtails and we are especially pleased with the image showing two individuals, including one dark form female, though she is quite tattered.  Your photos are surely an advertisement for the butterfly bush or
Buddleia for anyone who wants to attract butterflies to the garden.

Dark and Light Tiger Swallowtails


Subject: Huge wasp-like insect
Location: Smyrna, Ga
August 31, 2012 9:17 am
Hi, I found this guy on a tree in a parking lot in Smyrna, Ga. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Howard

Cicada Killer

Hi Howard,
This is a Cicada Killer and it is late in the season for a sighting.  We suspect there is sap oozing from the tree and the Cicada Killer is feeding on the sap.