Potato Bug terrorizes girls in Hermosa Beach

November 17, 2009
Dear King of Bug-kind,
Yes, we are girls, but we are usually fairly cool-headed. This thing has the body of an ant, the legs of a spider, the stripes of a honey comb, and seems as if one can plug it in and make it a light! It is the lenth of my index finger (adult medium). It is the width of my thumb. It has six legs with five toes, AND the middle toe is veeerry long on the back two legs. It has feelers and is trying to feel its way into our apartment. I want answers and I want help.
Sally Case & Nikki Cramer
Hermosa Beach, CA

Potato Bug
Potato Bug

Dear Sally and Nikki,
Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Crickets are quite common in Southern California.  They are quite harmless, though they do have strong jaws and will not hesitate to bite if provoked.  Their somewhat human appearance has led to the common name Children of the Earth.  Potato Bugs are one of our most common identification requests, and we only post a fraction of the letters regarding them that we receive.  Your letter really amuses us, so we are posting it.

1 thought on “Potato Bug terrorizes girls in Hermosa Beach”

  1. I feel your pain ladies- Not typically being the squeamish type, nor am I generally afraid of bugs, but I saw this thing (now identifed as a potato bug) on my bathroom floor and nearly wet myself! Thank God the light was on and it wasnt one of those in the night trips where you feel your way to the toilet. If I would have stepped on that thing it would have freaked me the h*ll out for sure. My hubby and i captured it and released to to freedom in our yard. Ironically enough, it actually had a cute almost human quality about its face which from my recollection, seemed to be the size of a small childs LOL (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration). The video my husband took of the bug and my freaking out will remain a treasured part of our family heritage LOL.


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