Hello there,
I came upon your site by accident trying to identify a species of moth that’s been living with me. I just moved into a new apartment a few months ago and noticed that there were several moths in the apartment. I have no picture, but they are small, maybe 1/4 inch long, and very thin – they look a lot like a tiny segment of a stick. The head end tapers down slightly narrower than the wingtips. They are a mottled dark brown colour. They tend to sit on walls for long periods of time very still and only fly away when approached. Their style of flying is erratic and fluttery. I found a dead one in my pancake mix and the mix itself had a sour smell to it. I also found a small larva about the same size as the moth, white with an orange head, hiding under my teapot. I’m not sure if this was a larva of the moth or something else, though. These moths tend to hang out in the kitchen, so I have a sneaking suspicion that they may be after food. In some corners under or inside the cupboards I have found dead (or possibly the molted skins of) moths attached to the corner within a thin layer of silk. Any ideas on what these are, and if they are bad to have in the house?
Thanks,
Catherine

Hi Catherine,
You have pantry moths which will infest all types of grain products in the pantry, hence the appearance in the pancake mix. The larvae do the damage by devouring the foods. Mature moths will lay new eggs and the infestation perpetuates. Clean out the pantry and store drygoods that you
are not going to use immediately in a tightly sealed container (though this does not prevent eggs that have already been laid from developing) and better yet, refrigerate or freeze flour products. Do not stockpile drygoods when you have a potential problem in the pantry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

(12/12/2003)
We would like to know what kind of moth this is?? It was found in california in the San Andreas which is 1  1/2 hours SE from Sacramento.
Thank You
Jeffrey

Dear Jeffrey,
You have a species of Arctiidae (Tiger Moths) known as the Edwards’ Glassy-wing, Hemihyalea edwardsi. It is a California species. Sorry I can’t give you any additional information since I can’t locate anything online other than photos and there isn’t much written in the books I have.

Thank you for identifing my moth. That helped allot.
Jeffrey

Thank you Jeffrey, for sending the great photo of you pinning your collection.

We have Fork Tailed Bush Katydids eating our Chryslar Imperial roses at the What’s That Bug? Headquarters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We have a mulched bed outside by the patio of our classroom. When it rains very hard these very tiny flea-like bugs come out in droves. From far away they look like patches of blue-gray clay. From close the patch is moving with millions of tiny shiny little bugs. What are they? Thanks for any help you can give us.
-Ms. Urso’s Class

Dear Ms. Urso’s Class,
I’m guessing you have Springtails, a group of primitive insects that resemble fleas. According to Essig in The Insects and Mites of Western North America, "Some are very small, almost microscopic. They are found in rotten logs, wet leaf mold, and in the soil where the immature stages live mostly hidden from the light. The adults appear usually during the winter months when great numbers may be seen on the surface of standing pools of water or on the snow from whence comes the name snow fleas. So abundant are they at times as to completely cover and color the snow."

(5/12/03)This just happened recently with the oncoming of Spring I think. I recently moved into my apartment a few months ago. I have seen no sign of bugs in my house, except for fire beetles, which really don’t upset me, they are in the trees outside of my bedroom window and are natives to the area. I had some plant insect spray that took care of them, I haven’t seen any in my house since.
But just the last few weeks, there are little bugs in my bathtub, about the size of small black ants, if not smaller. This bothers me. I have been spraying them with insect spray, they will go away for a short period, but then there will be more in there. I sprayed some of the insect spray down the drain. When I spray them, they hop, they don’t fly. They don’t have the ability to seem to fly, but they can jump a fairly large distance for their size. I have a window that is in the wall of my shower/bathtub and I am wondering if they are coming from the outside. When I sprayed the cracks of the window they seemed to be gone for a few days, but just today and the day before they seem to be back. There are usually two or three of them just crawling around in the bathtub. Whatever they are, I don’t like them and I was wondering if they are baby roaches or something. I am in Salt Lake City, don’t know if they are some native mite to the area. Our building is made of brick. I am in an apartment building. The landlords are neat freaks that do inspections for cleanliness, so I don’t think that anyone would stand for roaches here. The building is older though. There is no bugs in my kitchen area or the rest of the house. I did noticed that the window is facing the same side as my bedroom window where the trees are that the fire beetles were getting in, they live on that tree out there. It also faces that tree. But in any case, I am trying to kill them or get rid of them. Do you have any tips for me?
Thank you,
Tamara Wright

Dear Tamara,
You might have springtails, order Collembola, which are minute insects, less than 1/8 inch long, that according to Hogue, "derive their name from the curious method of locomotion of many species, in which the furcula, a tail like appendage on the underside of the abdomen, is extended and snaps against the substratum, propelling the insect upward." They are usually. seen in a group, and resemble fleas when they spring into motion by sudden exposure to light. They like damp places, are common in lawns, in the soil, in grass clippings and compost piles, wherever it is damp and humid.

I need to have this identified!!
Hi! I live in Minnesota and yesterday my husband found a really strange bug inour shower wall. He saved it in a cup for me….it is really SMALL. I do not have a digital camera, so I will describe it was best as I can.
It is very small, dark brown. It resembles a tick, but not that flat. The body shape is round and oval, it has 4 small legs on each side of its body. The really wierd thing is the rest of it’s body. It has these REALLY long front legs (in addition to the 4 legs on each side) with these scorpion -like claws/pinchers. There are no antennae. I have been keeping in it a saline solution, but it will not die!!! We have never seen anything like this before and hope there are no more where it came from! HA!
This is how big it is: — That is the total length of the body.
Thank you!!! Anne Wallman
Stewartville, MN

Hi Anne,
You have a Pseudoscorpion.

Dear Bugman,
My roomate and I recently opened up a chocolate bar only to find a fat worm/maggot had eaten a hole right through the bar. The chocolate was in a box full of more chocolate bars that are maybe a year old. We were totally disgusted, and when we opened up the remaining bars, we found a few more that also had the worms. The worms had eaten holes right in the chocolate and on some, they seemed to shave the top of the bars off – there was chocolate shavings on the surface. Some of the worms looked like they had spiny tails, but it was hard to tell for the others whether they also had the spines. Do you know what kind of worms are these? And how did they get into our chocolate??
Kate

Dear Kate,
Pantry beetles are known to infest chocolate. The immature beetles are wormlike grubs, much as you describe.