Currently viewing the tag: "fanmail"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A word of appreciation
May 30, 2011 2:48 pm
I just wanted to tell you that I love your site.  I often spend hours on here, just randomly clicking on whatever catches my eye. I tell myself it’s not wasting time as it is educational!  Last weekend I went to the Victoria Bug Zoo in Victoria, BC, Canada.  In one of the tanks they had a Velvet Ant.  I (apparantly out loud) exlaimed that they had a cow killer.  The girl leading the tour was quite impressed, so thank you for making me look smart!
Signature: Lydia B Green

Thanks for your kind email Lydia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

no response needed
May 14, 2011 3:57 pm
I only recently found this site and i makes me feel alot better about being a bug person. there aren’t many people who appreciate those smaller creatures and often fear them. i was helping out at Outdoor School (a local outdoors education camp) in the water ecology section and half the kids had never even seen a mayfly before. But seeing their eyes light up when they learned to idenify a dragonfly nymph or what a stonefly was made up for it. Thank you for having this amazing website and thankyou to all you fellow bug lovers for helping educate those who don’t uderstand insects.
Signature: Bugbite

Dear Bugbite,
Thanks for your kind email.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Absence of additional photos
April 28, 2011 11:37 pm
Heh. Having been succinCt, descriptive, and specific in the subject, what’s left?
Oh yes, details. 🙂
I note that many posts state that there are additional photos (the Polyphemus moth is the one I saw, where it has a newly-emerged moth and states that they have one four hours on–but there’s only the one photo)…but when you go to the post itself, there’s no additional photos.
I know you’re short on time and space–we all are–but puh-leeze, can we please have a few more eentsy little photos? 🙂
You guys ROCK!!! bigtime at this; I keep telling teachers and kids and parents to come on over, it’s fun.  And even the grossed-out and/or phobic ones wind up here eventually, and LOVE it! 🙂
Repeat: You ROCK. 🙂  Totally. 🙂
Now…what bugs in Butte County, CA, do you want/need photos of? 🙂  I’ve not the money to donate but I can sure get pictures and do some ID work..!!
Signature: Pam Alley

Polyphemus Moth

Hi Pam,
Thanks for your kind email.  When photos are submitted, we generally choose the most representative or our favorite to post.  When there are several images, we often post two or rarely three.  We did a search for Polyphemus Moth using our search engine, and we believe we found the posting that you are referring to and there are two images.  Additionally, similar postings are available by clicking the small thumbnails under the posting.  We would love to post some of your photos, and we especially like seasonal sightings and species that are not well represented on our site.  Right now we hope to get a variety of different Blister Beetles from the southwest.  We are posting the image you were unable to locate as an accompaniment to this posting

Ah ha…must click on first photo to see all photos!  Silly me. 🙂
Comment on chickens–hit the BackyardChickens website for best husbandry/health/housing information.  You aren’t the only one who has lost feathered friends unexpectedly, nor had trouble getting started.
Consider yourself hugged…that’s not fun. 🙁  But that website will help you get restarted…
I do have a couple of bugs you might be intrigued by; one was a ‘wingless bee’ found under my rabbit cages…which amazingly, by the end of its photo session, had wings (laughing)–think it was a bee mimic of some kind.  The other was a seemingly voracious black and white striped bug that was encouraged to go forth and eat LOTS of earwigs.
BTW…I got into chickens as earwig control, and now I have more than I know what to do with…LOL…so watch out!  They’re addictive (or at least additive!
There are a number of show breeders of various kinds of chickens in your part of the world–highly recommend the Belgian d’Anvers breed–sociable, personality plus, and hardy as heck.  A bantam breed. You might consider getting some adults to start with–they lay very well and brood excellently too.
Recommend you put a nice chain-link kennel around your chicken coop area to keep skunks/raccoons out–raccoons especially, as they can carry nasty parasites and are incredibly strong given the smallest opening.  Try Craigslist for one that’s affordable.
Anyway, you’re welcome to my photo collection, should you want it…here are two exemplars and enjoy! 🙂
If there’s anything I can do to help you folks, I have no life, so let me know. 🙂

Dear PA,

There is no way all these can be posted.  This will probably take an hour to format.  We can post your letter and one species.  In the future, please use the identification form which helps the formatting of our website.  It is found here:  ask-whats-that-bug/
Thanks for your enthusiasm.
P.S.  Just yesterday, over 50 identification requests arrived

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug/insect credo
Location: Bugs in theory
April 6, 2011 2:03 pm
Dear Bugman,
I absolutely love your site! Even most of the unnecessary carnage section. However, I’d like to share my credo. (I’m going to use the word ”bug” to describe both bugs and insects.)
1.) If I’m outside and a bug is over there and I’m over here, I don’t touch it. Live and let live. I might even watch it from afar.
2.) If a bug enters my home uninvited, I consider this home invasion and I act accordingly; the ”intruder” dies. I was raised in Idaho, the lovely potato state. Though the state’s motto should be ’shoot first, ask questions later’. I feel this way about all intruders big or small. In this instance we can say, ’Shoe first, ask questions later.’ I wouldn’t step in a badger’s hole and think it’s not going to attack me. That’s just silly, it’s protecting it’s space. I am just protecting mine.(Also, don’t tell me you don’t happily go around the house with the fly swatter in the summer because I won’t believe it! And mosquitoes…)
3.) If a bug happens to land/fly violently into my person, I consider this an assault and I’m going to defend myself against the attacking wild. I’m just an innocent by-standard (see number 1.) I’m not harming anything! If some thug came up to you with malicious intent, wouldn’t you try to defend yourself? Even if this person was only 3’4. Just because I’m bigger doesn’t make it O.K. to assault me. Period. It’s not my fault if the bug gets a boo-boo. That’s what happens when you mess with the big kids.
4.) Being a bug doesn’t mean being my enemy. Just as I allow friends into my home, I do allow known nice/beneficial bugs into my abode. I don’t kill butterflies. I don’t kill praying mantis. (And not because they are pretty either! Although maybe Zorak has something to do with it.) Fuzzy caterpillar? Come on, it’s fuzzy!! Lady bugs… Yeah, that’s all I can think of. Oh, Daddy Long Legs! Anyway, those buggies (and others!) get taken outside by my spouse. I don’t go tromping through the wilderness looking for bugs to fry with a magnifying glass, THAT is unnecessary.
P.S. It’s natural to fear the unknown, so thanks for keeping this site up and running. Thank you for continuing to education about the harmless bugs and the not so harmless ones. It is appreciated. Please, go easy on us though.
Signature: Ride a pony bug man, not a high horse!


Dear M,
Thank you for taking the time to write.  We hope Hanna-Barbera doesn’t come after us for copyright infringement.  We agree with you fully that it is natural to fear the unknown, and we hope our website helps to dispel some of that fear with regards to bugs.  For the record, we cannot tolerate Argentine Ants invading our offices, which they always seem to do after especially heavy rains and more frequently during the hot dry summer months in Los Angeles.  We routinely squish aphids and scale insects in the garden as well.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

identification help at BAMONA
February 10, 2011 7:17 pm
Hi folks,
Your site is great!  I coordinate Butterflies and Moths of North America, and I love what you do.  We have a tiny staff too (2 part-time) and it is a ton of work.  I know you must get loads of submissions here as well. If you ever want to point submitters to our site for identification help on those ones you don’t feature, feel free.  Submitters can upload a photo and other details, and a volunteer regional coordinator will ID their submission. We also would love it if you would point users to our site to share rare submissions like the Owl moth (2010/11/16/owl-moth-can-this-be-a-state-record-for-wisconsin/) because we store all these records and make them available to scientists. If you are not interested in pointing folks to our project, that’s okay too.
Signature: Kelly Lotts

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for your email.  We will post your offer and request in the hopes that our readership will visit your site and provide contributions.  We believe that the normal ranges and migration patterns of many animal species (not just butterflies and moths) are changing, and that this is a symptom of a global shift that we probably cannot truly comprehend.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fan letter, no response requested
January 31, 2011 3:50 pm
I have just spent the morning re-visiting your site, one of the very best in the world in my humble opinion. To my knowledge, no one else is doing what you do. Just one reason for your work: songbirds of all kinds are in serious decline, in no small measure due to pesticide use. Private individuals are often the worst offenders in use of widely available, broad-spectrum pesticides. We all need to learn not to unthinkingly destroy invertebrates.
Unnecessary Carnage” is important as well as entertaining (if tragic), and the entire “Nasty Readership” section has made me laugh more today than anything has in weeks. You guys are incredible. I know it’s a lot to ask of volunteers with important, time-consuming day jobs, but please never stop!
Signature: Lee White

Hi Lee,
Thanks so much for your kind letter.  It is really appreciated.

Me again, sorry — more supportive thoughts
February 1, 2011 1:36 am
I have been sitting here for some time now, re-reading your marvelous responses to irate readers. These are people who have been trained to believe that the customer, however ignorant and infantile, deserves immediate gratification and an ego stroke in the process. “Ooh, was the bug scary? Oh you poor thing! I can’t believe you waited hours for my unpaid labor!” It thrills me beyond words that you don’t play that game.
As to the smash-first response (“But I was scared!” “I feared for the safety of the chiilldrennn…”), how hard is it to brush the critter off and count some legs? Education is everything! As a California child, I feared the dreaded potato bug, but eventually learned to appreciate it as the harmless and charming Jerusalem cricket. Of course, some people don’t care; they smash because they just don’t like bugs, or because “it’s only a bug”. As I recently told my  classmate, who smirked while I took some trapped boxelder bugs outside, “they understand suffering as well as you do”. Unnecessary carnage is not okay.
Signature: Lee White

Potato Bug from our archives

Thanks for your additional insight Lee.  We have found a nice image of a Potato Bug from our archives to illustrate your passionate and supportive letter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination