Currently viewing the category: "Potato Bugs, Wetas and Parktown Prawns"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What IS this???
Geographic location of the bug:  Kennewick, WA, USA
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 02:14 AM EDT
This thing was making the creepiest tapping sound outside my door and is pretty large. (May need to zoom in on the picture). Never seen one before. Help! Should I worry???
How you want your letter signed:  Curious and a little creeped out

Potato Bug

Dear Curious and a little creeped out,
Commonly called a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, this fascinating creature is quite common in Southern California and other parts of the American southwest, but BugGuide data indicates a far greater range including Washington.  Potato Bugs are not considered harmful toward humans, however, they do have powerful mandibles and they might bite if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  who is THIS?
Geographic location of the bug:  solvang California
Date: 09/18/2017
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
this bug invaded our high school girlfriends weekend reunion in cali & caused lots of screaming & near-wetting-of pants
How you want your letter signed —
queenie & lulu

Potato Bug

Dear Queenie & Lulu,
Just out of curiosity, was the high school that inspired the girlfriends’ weekend reunion from elsewhere?  The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is a real Southern California icon, and most children who grow up in the southland know about them.  Based on your images, it appears that it headed to the pool.  That might be a sign it has been parasitized by a Horsehair Worm or Gordian Worm, an internal parasite that causes the Potato Bug to seek water, at which point the long, hairlike worm burst out, killing the Potato Bug.  Seeing that might have caused some actual “wetting of pants.”

thank you for your reply! yes, indeed we went to high school in des moines, iowa. two of the girls live in california (we were staying at one of their homes near santa barbara, at alisal ranch) and they have lived there for many years so i guess they are lucky not to have encountered such a creepy cali icon previously!
i knew i would find out what this bug was because my one time grand dog’s portable water dish got a cricket in it that DID spawn a horsehair worm so i’ve had that experience as well….SO ICKY (did not wet my pants tho, whew).
i forwarded the girls my email to you folks with the attached note to them:  Kate, Karla & Becky…do you remember me telling you on the way to the airport I would figure out this bug based on my experience of finding out about horsehair worms that hatched out of crickets that got into Oliver’s water when I took him to nitefall on the river? HOW.CRAZY.IS.THAT.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID
Location: California
June 23, 2017 8:52 pm
Found in California. Very unusual to see something like this in California.
Signature: Joan C.

Potato Bug

Dear Joan,
We beg to differ with you.  The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is a Southern California icon, and it is one of the most frequent identification requests we receive.  Potato Bugs are subterranean dwellers that use their front legs to quickly dig through the earth like a mole.

Potato Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Koring kriek
Location: South africa thabazimbi
December 31, 2016 2:27 pm
Hello mr bugman .
Can you please confim if this is a koring kriek
Signature: Za kriek

African Jerusalem Cricket

African Jerusalem Cricket

Dear Za kriek,
The Koringkriek and your insect are both Longhorned Orthopterans, but they are in different families.  Your individual is an African Jerusalem Cricket in the genus
Sia based on images we located on iSpot.  According to iSpot, the family is known as Sand Crickets or Sandkrieke.

Aaa great stuff thank you for the effort

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What this bug is
Location: LA
December 10, 2016 5:16 pm
Does anybody know what this giant bug is?
Signature: bug id

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is one of the most iconic southern California insects.  Most sightings occur in the fall and winter, and sightings usually coincide with rain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of bug is this?
Location: SF Bay Area
November 10, 2016 5:06 pm
Hello,
I saw this type of bug in my backyard. What kind is it? It looks real nasty.
Signature: Anonymous

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear Anonymous,
The Potato Bug is a common California sighting, with most of our reports occurring shortly after a rain because these typically subterranean dwellers come to the surface at that time.

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination