Subject:  Weird Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Woodland WA
Date: 10/01/2021
Time: 10:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve lived in WA all of my life and never seen one of these before.  What the heck is this??
Thx
How you want your letter signed:  Steve

Shieldbacked Katydid

Dear Steve,
This is some species of Shieldbacked Katydid, but we are uncertain which.  What appears to be a stinger is actually an ovipositor, an organ used by the female in laying eggs.

Subject:  Is this a kissing bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Northfield, Minnesota
Date: 10/01/2021
Time: 04:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This particular one has been infesting and appearing all across my campus – I wanted to confirm any possibility that it is a kissing bug or some invasive species.
How you want your letter signed:  To: Alexander

Eastern Boxelder Bug

Dear Alexander,
This is not a Kissing Bug or Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug, the insect that spreads Chagas Disease.  This is an Eastern Boxelder Bug which you can verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  Kissing Bugs and Boxelder Bugs share some physical features which is why they are classified together in the insect order Hymenoptera.  Eastern Boxelder Bugs do not suck blood and they are not dangerous, but they are sometimes considered a nuisance when they form large aggregations on homes and in yards.

Subject:  Flying jnsect
Geographic location of the bug:  San Diego, CA
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 09:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these bugs ALL OVER the kitchen today. What are they and how do I get rid of them??
How you want your letter signed:  Lene Covert

Termite Alates

Dear Lene,
You have Termite alates, swarming kings and queens that will mate and begin new colonies.  We believe they are Pacific Dampwood Termites.  We do not give extermination advice.

Subject:  Wheel Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Cut N Shoot Texas
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 03:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This wheel bug mating was found on my back porch. Did not know what they were until I found your site. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you

Mating Wheel Bugs

We must thank you for cheering us up with your kind letter, and also because though we do not believe your image documents typical Wheel Bug mating, we are nonetheless thrilled to post it.  Probably the greatest reason your letter cheered us is that we just made a Wheel Bug posting Bug of the Month for October, but there is no reason we cannot add a second Bug of the Month posting for October, but with a more positive outcome for the Wheel Bugs.

Thank you, that was a strange bug!! And its not typical? I don’t know much about bugs, lol. However i did see one more picture of that bug with two of them on its back and it was called something like a mating frenzy haha.

Subject:  Evil Black Hellbug
Geographic location of the bug:  Baltimore Maryland
Date: 09/30/2021
Time: 08:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This hateful thing crawled into my steering wheel causing me to crash my car. In the interest of traumatizing myself again please tell me what it is so I can avoid it. Very long with a circular body part that had spiky pieces. Had to have have a mechanic take the wheel off just to get it out.
How you want your letter signed:  Terrified

The most awesome image of a Wheel Bug

Dear Terrified,
Franklin D. Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  This Wheel Bug is a predatory Assassin Bug and it might bite if provoked, and the bite would likely be painful if it occurred, but it is our opinion that Wheel Bugs are relatively docile as Assassin Bugs go and they are far less likely to bite than other blood-sucking members of the family and also some less threatening relatives that are much more likely to bite, like members of the genus
Zelus.  We have chosen to feature your submission as the Bug of the Month for October because of your awesome subject line and your dramatic letter, and because Halloween is this month and also because we got to mention blood-sucking.  However, we find your image a tad morose and though we will include the poor dead Wheel Bug in a Plastic Bag on Friday image, we suspect it was alive when you encountered it and we consider that Unnecessary Carnage.  We are taking the opportunity to post once again, originally posted in 2007, our favorite image of a live Wheel Bug which many folks write to us calling a Dinosaur Bug or Stegosaurus Bug.

Wheel Bug in a Bag

The mechanics kept it alive and only temporarily put it in the bag as proof they got it out.
Thank you for informing me of its stinging bite, I stayed up all night researching it and closed mouth crying.
Best,

Hello again Terrified.
Thanks for letting us know.  We will remove the Unnecessary Carnage tag.  You have some pretty thorough mechanics for them to have gathered the evidence of the extenuating circumstances that led to your unfortunate accident.

Subject:  Unidentified Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Pope County, Arkansas
Date: 09/25/2021
Time: 12:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw these bugs on my doorjamb at about 8PM 9/25/21. The temperature was about 65 F/18.3 C degrees. For reference, my thumb in one picture is 3/4 inch/18mm wide. I’m in a small neighborhood built on a reclaimed swamp. Some remaining wetlands, open fields, and a small patch of woods are also nearby.
How you want your letter signed:  Miah

Muskmare and her diminutive mate

Dear Miah,
These are Striped Walkingsticks in the genus
Anisomorpha, a group that are commonly called Muskmares because mated pairs, with the considerably larger female carrying her diminutive mate, resemble a horse and its rider.  Approach with caution.  Striped Walkingsticks are able to shoot a noxious substance into a predator’s eyes with amazing accuracy.