Heat Bug? Strange and Irritating Bug
Hi! I just moved to a region, where in summertime, the air is infiltrated by an extremely loud, buzzing, almost electrical sound. I’ve been told it is called the Heat Bug, as it only comes out in the summer and creates its din on very warm days. I have included photos of what the locals claim to be the insect responsible for this racket!
Hope you can identify it!
Your awesome photos are of a Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus americanus, which also goes by the colorful names Electric Light Bug and Toe-Biter. These are aquatic insects which can also fly, and they can deliver a painful bite. They are also the largest True Bugs in North America. They do not make loud noises. I have never heard the name Heat Bug, but I am guessing by your description, that they are probably cicadas. Cicadas make a noise similar to that which you describe. Additionally, this year marks the return of Brood X of the Periodical Cicada or 17 Year Locust which will be appearing in great numbers and making quite a bit of racket. Sadly, Jordan, your letter was one of the last to get through before heavy traffic shut us down, or I would direct you to our cicada page to see photos of what I am guessing are your Heat Bugs. Our site will return in June. (05/03/2004)
Thank you for such a timely and informative reply! To imagine that I got siting of one of the Biggest Bugs in N.America! Unfortunately, this letter may not reach you until later, however, I do hope to return to your e-page soon. Thanks again and good luck with Brood X Studies.