Subject: identification of a bug
Location: San Jose, CA
December 4, 2013 9:33 am
Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer this question. My 6 year old son woke up this morning and found a bug in our kitchen. I believe it was about an 1.5 inches long. I have never seen anything like this and not really sure how it got into the house based on its size. I have attached the picture and would appreciate if you could help me identify this bug.
Signature: Mohit

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Hi again Mohit,
We wrote back with a quick response yesterday, and we have a bit of time so we can provide you with additional information.  As we have already indicated, this is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, and it is a relatively common insect in California and other parts of the southwest.  Potato Bugs are subterranean dwellers that generally pass unnoticed until the fall rains begin, and they come to the surface.  Because of their large size and somewhat humanoid appearance, they attract attention when encountered the first time.  Though they are not venomous or dangerous, large specimens have powerful mandibles and they might deliver a painful bite, especially to tender six year old fingers, so they should be handled with caution.

Thank you Daniel. Looks like it must have come into the house from our backyard. I carefully removed it our of the house. Apparently my son has read about potato bugs and was familiar with them 🙂

Location: San Jose, California

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