A few days ago I had a very uncomfortable experience with what I now think was an American cockroach. It seemed to me to be about two inches long and an inch wide and very shiny. And very aggressive! It boldly scurried up to me two times, both times I shooed it away. Then it actually followed me aggressively as I backed away from it. I didn’t want to step on it – too yucky. I just wanted to get away form it. I finally kicked away and it hit a wall and ended up on it’s back. I had a good look at it and it really was huge. I’d never seen a roach like this before. This all took place in a washroom in a train station. I found the experience unnerving. I’ve never known cockroaches to actually chase after people. I know it sounds laughable, but it’s true – the damn thing actually chased me! > >Is this normal for American cockroaches? Or I am now some kind of roach-magnet?
thanks ……… Terrified in Toronto

Dear Terrified in Toronto,
Roaches are not aggressive in the manner you described. I doubt that it was attacking you. More
likely, it was seeking shelter in your shadow. They do like dark places you know. Rest assured you are not a roach magnet. It does sound like an American Cockroach, which get very large and often frequent bathrooms. We have big ones in the basement bathrooms and darkroom of a college where I teach in Los Angeles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We live in Columbia, SC. The first picture is a beetle type bug I found crawling on the bottom of our entertainment center in our living room tonight. What is this bug?
The other pic is of a little tiny guy I found on our kitchen floor. It reminds me of a baby rollie pollie. It’s real tiny. It’s tan in color and looks like it has little hairs all over it’s little body and it does have some little legs underneath. It’s real weird though because, especially if it’s turned upside down or on it’s side, it bends it’s back backwards almost in half a lot. What’s this bug?
We keep our house so clean, so these little bugs I am finding are driving me crazy because I don’t know where they are coming from and why they’re in the house!
Help Bugman! I found 2 different bugs in our house in one night! I can’t stand it! Yikes!
Seriously Curious

Hi again Bugman,
This is a picture of a little tiny bug I had found in our kitchen last night on the floor that I emailed you about earlier this morning. We live in Columbia, SC.I noticed when looking at this little guy closer under a magnifying glass that he only has 3 pairs of legs (6 legs). He’s got such fuzzy little hairs all over him that we thought he had more legs than that. The bottom end of it’s body is darker than the rest of it’s body and it does not have any legs in that area. It has a segmented body and when it’s crawling it’s body moves in an accordion style.Hope this helps you more with this little guy. What’s this bug?
Thanks Bugman!
Seriously Curious

Dear Seriously Curious,
My better guess on the grub is a pantry or larder beetle, a Dermestid, which infests stored food, hence its appearance in the kitchen. I would put my money on Thylodrias contractus. You have an adult specimen as well as the larval form.

Hello I live in England and I was hoping you could help me work out what the bugs I have in my lavatory are .They are small brown ,worm like and they move by slithering along the floor they remind me of silverfish the way they move but are the wrong colour.
Angela Thompson

Hi Angela,
Firebrats are close relatives of Silverfish and are brownish in color. They prefer warm areas, and might be attracted to the heat in your bathroom. They are similar in habits to the silverfish, and are also household pests that feed on starchy substances like book bindings, starched clothing and wall paper paste.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ok this one is really gross. I live in Singapore. A couple of days ago, I looked down and saw this flattened rice krispie looking thing on my floor. I looked closer and it was moving. A tiny little brown head looking thing came out and helped it inch along. That head like thing could come out either end. The "casing" whatever it was looked like a whitich rice krispie. I think it was something the thing had excreted. I think it is a worm inside but I am not sure. Maybe it is something in its larva stage. Do you know what this sick looking thing is?
wendi in Singapore

Dear Wendy in Singapore,
There are certain moths that have a caterpillar that spins a cocoon like case that they live in. They can drag the case around. sounds like that is what you saw. The family, called Casebearers, is Coleophoridae.

thank you so much. It is difficult to find pictures but I did find one that is similar of the one that eats Larch. The one here is whiter casing but I think you are correct. I really appreciate your reply.
wendi m

ok anyone out there know how to get rid of the lady bugs in ky? we have tried everything house is tight but they are still getting in. a person could make a million dollars with a great answer. i dont have a million but bet ya people would buy the idea if it works.we have tried chemicals, herbs, etc. but there still here. anyone? thanks…….. cindy

Hi Cindy,
I can’t tell you how to keep them out, but I can tell you how to get them out. Because they release a staining substance when trying to remove them, a light touch is necessary. How about the vacuum cleaner. Just vacuum them away.

Hi, Bugman.
Is it true that a male praying mantis must have his head bitten off by the female he is mating with, in order to ejaculate? If so, that would be quite a decision to make, it seems to me! For the male, that is. And is this uncommon in the insect world? What might be the reason for this to be the case with the praying mantis?
M. Mattison
Oslo, Norway
(the praying mantis is referred to as a "kneeler" in Norway)

Hi Mark,
While it is not necessary for the male preying mantis to be beheaded in order to consumate the mating ritual, the female mantis will occasionally bite off her mate’s head. Much like a chicken with its head cut off, the male mantis will continue to perform actions, in this case, continuing the mating procedure. The male mantis doesn’t really make a decision in this matter. He is a slave to his hormones. It is fair to call this behavior uncommon in the insect world, though many female spiders, including the black widow, also devour their mate, which gets to the main reason this occurs. The female requires a considerable amount of nutrition to produce strong eggs, and to survive to protect them as well. The sacrifice of the male of the species helps to ensure that a healthy future generation gets off to a good start. It is for the good of the species, not the survival of the individual. "Kneeler" is an interesting local name. I wonder what its origin is. Here are some photos I love. They are steps 4 and 5 in the mating of the Preying Mantis shot by Catherine Chalmers for her book Food Chain: Encounters Between Mates, Predators, and Prey published by Aperture.

Thanks a lot for your explanation. And what is the correct spelling? "Preying" or "praying?" Both of them make sense. As for the reason why they’re called "kneeles" in Norwegian, I will try to find out. Thanks again.
Mark Mattison

Both spellings are correct, depending upon the author. I prefer to spotlight the hunting versus the religious connotation.

I now believe that the Norwegian name "kneeler" is from the same reason we say "praying" mantis: you kneel when you pray. At least if you accept the "praying" spelling. At least it makes sense. Why didn’t I think of that