Currently viewing the tag: "Household Pests"
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Whats My Bug?
Hello!
I hope these photos will suffice – afraid I cant seem to get a closer one. These little guys show up every time we put the sprinkler on or when it rains.They are in our house – as well as being all over outside. These little guys look grey, but have a very pretty gold to them in the sunlight. They are about 1/2 inch long. They are soft bodied and don’t seem to have a “shell”. They like to jump – about 2-3 inches – when you disturb them. They seem to like darkness and move a lot during the night. The top right photo is a scan of the underside of the bug. The rest are digital pictures taken with a webcam. I live in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada, and I appreciate any insight you might have as to identifying and controlling (read: keeping out of basement!) these little guys. Thanks alot!
Christina

Hi Christina,
You have Jumping Bristletails, Family Machilidae, relatives of Silverfish. They usually live under stones and leaf rubble.

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Please identify these bugs!
Hello Again,
I am very anxious to ask you what are the bugs that I’ve attached. For me, but I am almost too upset to go into the full story of how and how many of these bugs I’ve found in my NYC apartment. I fear that they may be bad for my health. Can you please help me identify, or tell me what they are not. No one’s been able to help me.
Sincerely,
Russell Cowans

Hi Russell,
You have Spider Beetles, Mezium species. According to the Audubon Guide: “These minute, pear-shaped beetles superficially resemble spiders because of their long, thin legs and long threadlike antennae. Most are brownish and less than 1/4 inch long. … Both adults and their C-shaped larvae are scavengers, feeding on dried organic matter, including wook, museum specimens, desiccated animals,l dung, plants, stored seeds, and dried fruits. … Continuous generations as long as food remains available.” So, you had better find the food source. They will not harm you except for your sanity. Good luck.

Hello, It was sure good to hear back from you. I have one question though; do you really think the larvae in the picture is that of the beatle. Dare I say it; after moving into my brothers room, a room which was not clean out for some time-in the bottom corners of a very warm closet, in a dust collection I found scores of shed skin and living larvae. I would come to find this scene in various spots of my house. One area turned up the larvae always in a much smaller state-the bathroom, in particular; by the cat litter. I decided to examine the cat food box (newly bought from the local store) remembering what I read about meal worms etc. I turned over an entire box into my bath tub so that the white background would allow for easy detection of critters, I wasn’t completely surprised to see that out (along with the food) came baby larvae, fast movers, but poor on slick surfaces like a tub. Also, this would be the first time I came across black beatle like bugs. I wondered was the larvae that of the beatles and began wondering if they were spread by my cat! Online, the closet pictures to the black beatles I found and their larvae was a name of Tenebrio beatle and grain beatles? I wondered if I was dealing with two different bugs because, the red little guys I found long after the larvae. Around the time I found the attached picture, this is taken beneath my window sill, the red dots are too small for me to discern any recognizable features, only that I never found them moving always dead or still and they’ve shown up twice. I don’t know what they are/were. Funny, I moved into the living room onto a beach chair to get some sanity, I’m pretty sure they’re back by now.
Russell C

Expert Update: (05/22/2008) spider beetle errors
Dear Bugman,
I believe I had written earlier when looking at many of the spider beetle pictures. Almost all of the shiny brown, globular body, images are of Gibbium aequinoctiale and not Mezium species. There is a combined 2 image photo (finger and beetle & 2 beetles) of Mezium : the answer was posted by Eric Eaton, I believe. Gibbium species do not have a velvety covering on the thorax, Mezium species do. You should correct your website postings so people will have a better idea of what they have been finding. Best regards,
Lou
Louis N. Sorkin, B.C.E.
Entomology Section
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
New York

Dear Lou,
Thanks so much for resending this vital correction to our website. We really appreciate your expertise on this. We sincerely hope that addressing you with such familiarity doesn’t detract from your professional status.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please identify these bugs!
Hello Again,
I am very anxious to ask you what are the bugs that I’ve attached. For me, but I am almost too upset to go into the full story of how and how many of these bugs I’ve found in my NYC apartment. I fear that they may be bad for my health. Can you please help me identify, or tell me what they are not. No one’s been able to help me.
Sincerely,
Russell Cowans

Hi Russell,
You have Spider Beetles, Mezium species. According to the Audubon Guide: “These minute, pear-shaped beetles superficially resemble spiders because of their long, thin legs and long threadlike antennae. Most are brownish and less than 1/4 inch long. … Both adults and their C-shaped larvae are scavengers, feeding on dried organic matter, including wook, museum specimens, desiccated animals,l dung, plants, stored seeds, and dried fruits. … Continuous generations as long as food remains available.” So, you had better find the food source. They will not harm you except for your sanity. The larva is a Dermestid, possibly a Carpet Beetle. Good luck.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mystery bug
I live in Guernsey Island, just off coast of Cherbourg peninsula. I have just seen a bug which looked a bit like a tiny hermit crab. It was a little larger than a grain of rice, and it’s shell or cocoon looked to be composed of tiny grains of grit and sand. A head and legs were just visible as it crawled along the top of a granite wall. Other cocoons, stationery, appeared to be fixed in crevices in the wall. Looking in books, I found it resembled a caddis fly larva – except it was not in water. I took a picture, but it is almost impossible to see the bug, as it matches its background so well. So here is my drawing. I’m intrigued as to what it might be.
Mike

Hi Mike,
You have Casebearing Moth Larva, Phereoeca fallax. They are harmless, and often feed on fallen pet hair. Your drawing is pretty great. You can see photos and get more information by visiting our clothesmoth page.

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Tiny Black Bug pics on a dime…
Great website, wonderfull resource! We just moved into a house this week I have no idea what these are, but I found about 10 of them around my window this morning lying around barely moving.
Hope you can help,
jesse

Hi Jesse,
This appears to be some species of Grain Weevil, a type of Pantry Beetle. They infest stored grain products. It is possible they were somehow left behind when the previous tenant vacated. Without a food source, they are trying to get outside and are dying.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is this? Can you tell us about our adopted caterpillar, Pretty Legs? What is she? What does she eat? We found her in our house. Her front legs hurt when she crawls on you. My homeschooled 6 year old daughter is very curious about her. How soon should we release her? Thanks for you help!
Julie

Hi Julie,
We knew this was not a caterpillar, and most probably some type of beetle larva, but we checked in with Eric Eaton for more clarification. Here is his opinion: “The larva here looks like a giant mealworm, Zophobas spp, but I could be wrong. Most likely something in the Tenebrionidae.” So, chances are some stored grain product has some of your visitors siblings munching away. Here is a site on Raising Your Own Insects that will provide additional information.

Update (07/02/2007) Correcting an entry for Giant Mealworm
I wanted to let you know that it is not a Giant Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) but actually a Superworm (Zophobas morio). I feed them to my bearded dragon every day! You can tell because they have a dark tail and head whereas Mealworms (regular and giant) are fairly uniform in color. This also explains why the woman said it hurt when the worm crawled on her! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Superworm
http://www.superwormfarm.com /page3.htm
Naomi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination