Subject: The night stalker
Geographic location of the bug: San Diego, California
Time: 01:24 PM EDT
Dear Mr. Bugman, it has been very hot here in San Diego, up to 100 degrees F. last night I encountered this little guy crawling on the bathroom wall inside my home. It is about 3/8″ long, 1/2″ if you include the antennae. My guess is that
it is either a drywood or dampwood termite swarmer. However, all of the photos I’ve seen online depict termites having wings that are much longer than their bodies. Also, supposedly the swarmers drop their wings upon landing, this little guy has his still intact. Lastly, I saw only one, not a “swarm.” Mr Bugman, is it time for me to call out an exterminator, or is this night stalker a termite imposter?
How you want your letter signed: Marc fom San Diego
There is no need to call an exterminator. This is NOT a Termite. This is a Webspinner in the insect order Embiidina, as you can verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image. According to BugGuide, they feed on: “dead plant material plus lichens and mosses found around their galleries” and they are “rapid runners, often run backwards; live in colonies (in galleries of spun silk) and exhibit limited maternal care for eggs and young; winged males of some species come to lights.” You may enjoy our Webspinner Dynasty posting.
Thank you for responding to my identification request. I am very happy to learn that it is not a termite.