Currently viewing the tag: "Household Pests"

Subject:  type of insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Lebanon
Date: 01/31/2019
Time: 08:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi, I was literally surprised by itching for a period of time(1 month) so I started taking pills of allergy and nothing happened . one day, i was itching my leg, and i found a small insect like a spider it looks like it attached on the hair and skin. In that day i found 2 3 of them on my skin and i become more allergy but  there’s no patch of red skin or something bubble.
How you want your letter signed:  .

Crab Louse

Dear .,
This sure looks like a Crab Louse,
Phthiris pubis, to us, an ectoparasite often found living in human pubic hair.  Since you found this Crab Louse on yourself and not on a significant other, we can be totally frank and provide this information found on the Penn State Department of Entomology site:  “Crab lice usually are transmitted from person to person by sexual contact, however, they can be found on toilet seats and in beds, and from there, spread to people.”  You may or may not find amusing this Wired article questioning if the modern obsession with depilation of luxuriant growths of pubic hair due to changing standards of aesthetics might affect populations of Crab Lice in the future.  

Crab Louse

Subject:  ID help please
Geographic location of the bug:  Melbourne, Australia
Date: 01/30/2019
Time: 07:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
We’ve had a heatwave here in Australia lately and a big increase in the suburban biting/sucking bug population. I found the one in the first image on my 2 year old daughter’s arm at breakfast, and subsequently found head lice on her scalp. It seems large (3mm) and very dark for a head louse, and I’m hoping to distinguish it from body lice (generalised itching in the household may well be psychosomatic of course!) I don’t think it’s a bed bug but would appreciate any input.
The second image is of a tiny (2mm x 2mm), round, shiny beetle I think, found on outdoor sofa. Could this be a type of ladybug as it seems very round?
The third was found on cot mattress while changing linen during lice treatment, it’s the most worrying given its location and I’ve no idea what it is. Measures 3mm long by 1mm wide.
My apologies for the image quality, all collected in tape before I found your site.
Many thanks in anticipation of some peace of mind,
How you want your letter signed:  Amanda


Dear Amanda,
The critter in your first image is definitely a Louse.  Though it is a North American site, BugGuide differentiates Head Lice from Body Lice by designating different subspecies of the Human Louse,
Pediculus humanusPenn State has a nice fact sheet on Lice.  We cannot make out enough details in image three and we will address 2 in a different response.

Subject:  Big bit me!
Geographic location of the bug:  York, Ne
Date: 01/23/2019
Time: 10:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This booger bit me!
How you want your letter signed:  Itchy & Scratchy

Bed Bug

Dear Itchy & Scratchy,
You were bitten by a Bed Bug.  Chances are if there is one, there are most likely more.

Well darn.  2019 OFF TO A GREAT START.  Gotta go, time to burn my house down. Just kidding. But I’m sad and overwhelmed. Oh goodness.

We are sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  Bed Bugs are very adept at hiding during the day, under the mattress, behind pictures on the wall and between the wall and baseboards.  You might need professional assistance.


Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Pennsylvania
Date: 01/15/2019
Time: 11:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What type of bug is this found it in a wall of a house
How you want your letter signed:  Quinnell


Dear Quinnell,
You have Silverfish, a common household pest.  According to BugGuide:  “often found indoors in warm, damp environments; the Common Silverfish (
Lepisma saccharina) is frequently seen in bathrooms and kitchens, whereas the Firebrat (Thermobia domestica) is usually found in basements around furnaces and in insulation around hot water and heating pipes; these and other species also occur outdoors under bark, in leaf litter, caves, ant nests, deserts, etc” and preferred foods include “omnivorous: starchy foods, cereals, moist wheat flour, glue on book bindings and wallpaper, starch in clothing made of cotton or rayon fabric; outdoor individuals eat lichens.”

Subject:  Uninvited classmate
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeast Pennsylvania
Date: 01/14/2019
Time: 11:46 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this bug in our Kindergraten classroom and would like to know what it is and if there’s a chance that we could find more. It was 10 degrees this morning, we doubt it came from outside. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Ruthie

Bed Bug

Dear Ruthie,
This sure looks like a Bed Bug to us.  Is there a place where your kindergarten students take a nap?  You might want to closely inspect any upholstered furniture or bedding in that area.  Hopefully, this was a newly introduced individual that has not had a chance to become established in your classroom, but it is best to err on the side of caution and inspect the location in question and possibly have a professional in to make an assessment.  Bed Bugs will bite and suck the blood of sleeping individuals, and Bed Bugs have evolved to help them avoid detection, making infestations more and more common in recent years.

Dear Mr. Marlos,
Thank you for your quick response. I will let our principal know so the proper measures can take place to protect our students.
I found What’s that Bug  website to be very informative. I have been reading it for few years now, it’s a great resource.
Thanks again,

Subject:  Doesn’t look like a carpet bug, but that’s where they were found!
Geographic location of the bug:  Manchester, UK
Date: 12/18/2018
Your letter to the bugman:  Can anyone I identify this little fella, found many of them in the carpet but they don’t appear to look like any imaged of carpet bugs I found on:  Anthony

Giant Conifer Aphid

Dear Anthony,
While we suspect the answer is “yes” we would like to confirm that you had a live Christmas tree in the house.  This is a Giant Conifer Aphid, and folks with live trees are often quite surprised to learn their tree was infested with Aphids that begin leaving the tree when it begins to dry out.  These Giant Conifer Aphids are a nuisance inside the home, but they will not damage your home or its furnishings, unless you have other live coniferous houseplants.