Hi,
I live in Southern California… East of Riverside. I found a bug in my garage that I’ve never seen before… and have no idea what it is. It is about 1 1/2 long, yellowish-tan in color (except for the abdomen which is darker). On a larger scale it has a head like an ant. Each of its feet are like a combination of around six spikes with an extra claw appendage growing out of the middle of the spikes. It has no wings.
It almost looks like a huge relative of an ant or termite.
Any ideas.
Thanks,
Scott

Dear Scott,
It sounds like it could be a wind scorpion or solpugid. We often get photos of them from our readers especially those in drier climates. Check out the newly revamped Whats That Bug? website at www.whatsthatbug.com and simply click on wind scorpion. Let us know if that is your critter. Here is a photo recently sent in but the letter is lost.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

These little things are ratherr shiny, jump great lengths compared to their size. The one in the picture is about 1/4 inch long – I’ve seen them up to about 1/2 inch. We had the house fumigated for termites 8 weeks ago; these were among the earliest re-entrant critters. Can you identify this thing?
Thanks, … Al

Dear Al,
You have a Jumping Bristletail, Family Meinertellidae. They are related to silverfish and are found in leaf litter and in old stone walls. Some species invade houses. Most species are nocturnal, abhor light and are secretive in their habits.

Dear Bug Man,
I received the following letter and thought it might make an interesting addition to your American Homebody column, “What’s That Bug?” It’s from my cousin Kaya Adams, who is currently residing in Kigali, Rwanda, acquainting herself with the local insect population.

Dear Lisa Anne,
I feel compelled to share my own critter tale in response to your disturbing mite write of July 4th Homebody. As you know, I too was a victim of tiny visitors a little over a year ago, while travelling to and from England. About two weeks after returning from a friend’s wedding in SC, I developed itchy little bumps in the webs between my fingers. Friends advised me this was probably eczema from the hard water in Britain, but moisturizers and hand creams did nothing. The over-the-counter pharmacist at Boots prescribed Cortisone, thinking it could be an allergic reaction. Instead of clearing up, it spread. Itching was bad enough during the day — wreaking havoc on my concentration at work — but it was utterly intolerable at night, when I would peel off every chafing layer and lie in bed trying to let mind overcome matter. After two weeks, I went to the doctor, who immediately told me I had been infested with scabies!

What, you might ask (as I did), are scabies? They are little burrowing parasites which cling to fabric fibers before puncturing your skin and crawling inside. They then lay their eggs into your bloodstream, enabling them to travel all through your body. The itching is worse at night in correspondence to their most active life cycle. The original animals eventually die and get sloughed off with your dead skin, but until they do, their bodies are visible as tiny grey dots in each bump. The bump is actually your body’s reaction to this foreign inhabitant. The only way to cure scabies is to coat your body

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I recently moved to Los Angeles, and last night I found the biggest, scariest bug I’ve ever seen in my apt. It looked somewhat like an ant on steroids, but it looked a little like a beetle, too. I thought it might be one of the "wind scorpions" you mentioned elsewhere on the site, but the photos don’t seem to match up. The bug’s body and legs weren’t quite as long as the scorpions.
This bug was about 1 1/2 inches long, about 1 inch wide. It had six very thick legs (thicker than any legs I’ve ever seen on a bug, and so thick I wouldn’t find it difficult to believe it was a baby animal). The bug was mostly flesh-colored, except the abdomen was black, with rings around it. Can you help me identify it? I am so scared I’m going to see another one of these things in my place. I want to make sure that it won’t hurt me or my cat.
Thank you,
Michele

Dear Michele,
You found a potato bug or Jerusalem cricket ( Family Stenopelmatidae) and they do tend to startle people. They are burrowing relatives of true crickets, and sometimes go by the Spanish name Niños de la Tierra or Children of the Earth. They are nocturnal, and live in the soil. Though they can bite with considerable force, they are not harmful.

Dear What’s that Bug,
I live in Chicago in a two-flat. My husband and I are moving in two weeks and I’m worried because we have noticed some new bugs appearing in our bathroom. We have lived here for a year and have never seen these bugs prior to last week. Now they are showing up every other night in our bathtub, five at a time. They are little tiny black bugs (about 1/4") and they don’t move. I thought they were dead, but upon further inspection I realized that they were just still & when prodded they moved their legs a little. They didn’t look like roaches, but I can’t help but panic. The only other bugs we’ve ever seen here are silverfish. Could they be baby silverfish?? So far I’ve found about 20 of them over the past week, mostly in the bathtub, though one was in the sink, five on the floor and one made it to the kitchen floor (near the sink). Any words of advice? Anything we can do to keep them from coming with us when we move in 2 weeks?
Thanks, C&J

Dear C&J,
Sounds like pantry beetles which seem to be very plentiful everywhere right now. clean out the pantry.


Hi, y’all….I just got back from a trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas, where I saw a fox, deer, javalinas, hawks and other assorted wildlife…..including this bug in a rest stop bathroom somewhere near Ozona TX. What’s that bug, Daniel?
I also visited the Chinati Foundation…home of Donald Judd sculptures and other delights. I took a very short boat ride over to Mexico for some beer and tacos, and went to a "star party" at the McDonald Observatory too.
Now I’m back, but I’m still wondering….what’s that bug?
Peace, Jonathan

Hi Jonathan,
This appears to be an adult Antlion