stick bugs
We have some stick bugs as pets. we started out with four and had them a good long time. one by one they died, and we put their cage away. some time later we went to use the cage for a toad the kids found and to our surprise there were baby stick bugs in it. well we ended up with four nice size stick bugs again. we love them , they make great little pets. our question is , how will we know if they laid eggs? and what do the eggs look like? I hope when we lose the ones we have it will not be the end of our bugs.
thank you for any help you can give me.
Mary in Montana

Hi Mary,
Walkingsticks, Family Phasmidae, are much more common in the South than the North, which is probably why you have the Northern Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata. The males grow to 3 inches and females to 3 3/4 inches in length. They range north to Alberta Canada. They will eat the leaves of many deciduous trees but especially like oak and hazelnut. The female drops her eggs singly and they overwinter among ground litter, hatching in the spring. I guess someone never cleaned the cage before putting it away which is why you wound up with nymphs for a second generation of pets. I have heard that when there is a large population of Walkingsticks laying eggs in the forest, the eggs dropping sound like falling rain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bug info
We are having this bug on our carpet for a while. Apparently it’s harmless, but since I have a 6-month-old baby, I’d like to check what it is. I’ve looked at several bug pictures, but could not find it. We also find them sometimes on our bathtub. We live in Boston, MA. It is the size of a small ant, very small. To kill it, I crush it and it sounds like killing a pregnant dog’s flea, it cracks. I’ve put a couple in a completely closed jar a few days ago, and they are still alive. I’m sending some pictures I took. I’d appreciate any kind of information you could provide me.
Thanks a lot
Melina Suarez

Dear Melina
We were not sure exactly what species of beetle you had, though we suspected some type of Pantry Beetle. We contacted a true beetle expert, Eric Eaton who gave us the following reply:
“Some pretty clear images of pretty tiny beetles! They are spider beetles, Mezium americanum. It is a stored product pest, so best to inspect the pantry to find the source of the infestation. This should also include examination of pet food, taxidermy mounts, insect collections, the spice rack….Aside from adding some inadvertent protein to one’s diet, though, they are of no real consequence even if you don’t ever find them. Aside, we’d love to have these images submitted to Bugguide.net. Not even sure this family is represented yet.
Thanks.
Eric”
Ed. Note: We put Eric in contact with Melina and hopefully she will give permission to post the images on Bugguide.net.

mystery bug
Good day Bugman! I have been searching everywhere for someone who has the knowledge to help me out! I am currently living in Taiwan, and have recently moved into a new apartment. My landlord told us that this apartment had been vacant for about 10 months before we moved in. Well, I started seeing these strange spots on the walls, and realized that they moved imerceptibly! Taking a closer look at what I initially thought was cobwebs (because they like to move up and down the wall in the corners where 2 walls meet), I discovered they are in fact alive! When I squish them, they are as thin as paper, and there is no crunch or resistance of any kind. The black protrusion you see coming from the bottom can protrude from the top or the bottom, but not simultaneously. It has no big range of motion, and has a very tentative hold on the surface it is against. This one is on the outside of my toilet bowl. And you’ll notice that this one has an orange coloring, very distinct. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been all brown and mottled, resembling tree bark, without this orange splash. There never was any big population, I found maybe 10 in the whole 3 bedroom apartment when we moved in. Since then, I’ve found maybe a dozen more, and these at long intervals…since this one on the toilet bowl, I haven’t seen another for 2 weeks or so, and so it’s not a question of infestation or management, I just can’t seem to find anyone who can tell me what this is! I hope these pictures and this information reach you alright, and I am eagerly anticipating your response! Thanks again for your excellent site, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae probably Phereoeca fallax or a near relative.
The small larvae carry a noticeable case made of fine sand and debris. The case, which is about a quarter to half an inch long, is flattened on top and bottom, expanded at its center and tapered at both ends. They are often found on walls (both outside and inside) of houses and other structures. Larvae are said to feed primarily on insect remains, fur, flannel, and hair: they do not seem to be a clothes pest. We have gotten many letters from Florida regarding Case Bearing Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Longicorn ??
hi just curious what genus and species of longicorn beetle this was, ur site has been very interesting and helpful so any help would be greatly appreciated .
yours greatfully
wayno the bugman

Hi Wayne,
By the looks of things, it appears you might be beginning a collection. This beautiful specimen is one of the Ergates Pine Sawyers. The larva eat the sapwood and heartwood of pines and Douglas firs usually feeding in fallen logs, stumps and telephone poles. According to Hogue, Ergates spiculatus is the largest local beetle in Los Angeles.

What’s this bug
It’s the middle of winter here in Canada around -15C or so and I find this bug in the middle of my upstairs hall. Unfortunately my killer instincts kicked in, and I felt I had to protect my whole family from our strange house guest so I flattened it. Hopefully it’s resting peacefully in bug heaven and hopefully you can identify it.
Some things to note:
-We did have a live Christmas tree
-We have just recently completed renovations including new lumber
-After it was squished, there was a faint pine smell (could be my imagination b/c the guts were green)
Thanks for any help, and I look forward to getting your response.
John

Hi John,
I looks like you have dispatched a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, a member of the Big-Legged Bug Family Coreidae. Since they feed on pine seeds, it could have come in on your Christmas tree. They also seek shelter inside of homes to hibernate. They are harmless other than damaging pine seeds.

Good morning!
Hi there. This fellow was extricated from underwater brush in a lake nearby which is mostly frozen over though thawed in places. At first I believed he was a "Walking Stick." However, the legs seemed wrong. Scanning internet images led me to now believe he may be a Water Scorpion. (And to think I kept repositioning him, which he seemed to tolerate cheerfully enough!) I’d really like your confirmation, please! Thanks for your tremendous site!
Sincerely,
Michelle Mahood
Shingletown, California

Hi Michelle,
We always enjoy getting interesting images from you. Yours is the first photograph we have gotten of a Water Scorpion, though we have gotten several letters. Your specimen looks like a Western Water Scorpion, Ranatra brevicollis. They get to be about 1 inch long with an additional inch of breathing tubes. They are found in shallow ponds amid debris. They will bite painfully if provoked.