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What is this pest?
 Submit photos of any pest you would like identified.  Hopefully one of our visitors will be able to identify them.  
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The pictures below have been submitted by visitors.  If you can identify them you are invited to send us your answers. Your description  is also welcome.  
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#800  I found this outside of my work. I live in Allentown PA. It looked wounded and it eventually died later on in the night but it has me baffled. I usually leave work around 11PM and it is already 1:30AM, still wondering what the heck this is. If any one knows please let me know. Thank You.  JD
This a male dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus; Neuroptera: Corydalidae), in spite of their appearance, they are entirely harmless. Females are similar in appearance, but have much shorter mandibles, and are capable of inflicting a painful bite if mishandled. Dobsonfly larvae often are called hellgrammites, and can be found under stones, etc. in freshwater streams.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#799  I am remodeling my lakehouse in East Texas due to extensive termite damage.  I tore out some old panels and trim and noticed these pupae on the wood studs.  They look similar to the pupae in #228 and #385.  Could they be dermestid pupae?  I appreciate any help.  Rich
These appear to be the egg cases (oothecae) of cockroaches. The pupae of carpet beetles are quite pale, and appendages such as their legs are readily visible.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#798  Hi,  I just found this in my bathroom this evening.  I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The bug is about ½ an inch long, and was quite dusty.  I’ve never seen a beetle like this and certainly not in December.  I’d love to know what it is, and if it actually is a pest.  I am keeping it in a plastic container until I know what to do with it. Thanks, Sidney

This is a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), possibly the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus). Nymphs of this introduced cosmopolitan species often cover themselves with dust and other debris to camouflage (mask) their appearance. See no. 775 for another example. Assassin bugs for the most part are general predators on other small arthropods, but larger specimens can deliver a painful ‘bite’ if mishandled.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #797  This bug was found walking on the inside of the bedsheet.  My daughter also found one on the dogs bed however, it was already dead.  It is approx. 1/2 " in size and has a hard shell.  The shell brownish gray and the bottom is triangle part is almost black.  The underneath of the bug was creamy white color.   We live in Wilmington, DE  USA. 

This is a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Most members of this family are plant feeders and some can be serious pests. This particular specimen superficially resembles a species recently introduced in the eastern United States, the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), see . You may wish to take your specimen to the nearest office of the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Service to see whether this is the case. See for links to county-specific information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #796  Hello, I had a bbq in my backyard with friends coming in and out
of the yard and apt all day. The next day I noticed bites on one of my legs and continued to wake up with a new bite or 2. 10 or so bites later (small bites, but very itchy and still healing 3 weeks later! with a single hole in the center) - flea bites I thought? - I set off a bug bomb and thoroughly cleaned the apt.
I haven’t gotten new bites since, but these little bugs have shown up dead in the bedroom near the bed. Could they be the bugs were biting me? What are they? Much thanks!!

These appear to be garden fleahoppers (Halticus bractatus); Hemiptera: Miridae); see no. 765 for another example of these insects being implicated as ‘biting’ humans. However, I still am unaware of any confirmed instances of them being proven to bite humans. I would suspect some other cause for your bites, depending on where you live, that could include pests such as fleas or chiggers.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #795    I found this bug in my garden in Ocala, Florida. It's 1.75
inches long, a beetle of some sort maybe? Thanks!  Sue
This is a click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae), specifically the Eyed Elater or Eyed Click Beetle, Alaus oculatus. It is the largest species in this family in North America. Their larvae occur under the bark of dead deciduous trees where they appear to feed on other insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
This guy is an eyed elater (Alnus oculatus), or click beetle.  I you roll him over on his back, he will right himself by arching his back, and with a very audible click, flip himself into the air in an attempt to get rightside up.  They are also experts at "playing possum".   Dave. 
#794  Please help to find out about this pests. They look like a small dry leaf,  9 mm, from one side appears a long neck 1/3 length of leaf body, larva type extension, they move. We found them inside of the house,  in TEXAS on the walls, on the carpet and etc. Please help to identify.  Thanks in advance,  G>S.
  These appear to be household casebearers, sometimes called ‘plaster bagworms’ (Phereoeca uterella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae). They usually cause little if any damage, feeding primarily on old spider webs. See nos. 653, 745, and 755 for other examples. Unlike their relative the case-making clothes moth (see no. 793), their silken ‘case’ is open at both ends.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#793 I have a billiard table that was covered by a blanket then a ping pong table on top of that. It was covered for about a year. Recently we took the table off the top to find hundreds of these critters I have never seen. They did eat some holes into the pool table cloth so I assumed they were moths. Quick research tells me that moths are brown. If anyone can help me identify these so I can find a way to rid them that would be great. Doug C.
These appear to be larvae of the case-making clothes moth (Tinea pellionella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae). See no. 770 for another example, and for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#792  I have been trying to find someone to tell me what this little buggers are.  They were underneath our deck this spring.  They just seemed to congregate under there.  The number were alarming, there were hundreds of these guys.  I took the pictures to the local greenhouse and they had no idea of what they were.  I live in Sioux Falls, SD.  Thanks so much.  Amy S.
 These appear to be psocids (Order Psocoptera) of a type commonly called ‘barklice.’ Most barklice species occur outdoors where they sometimes appear in mass aggregations, but some also will occur indoors. None are known to be of any economic importance; they feed primarily on various types of organic debris as well as molds, pollen, etc. See for additional information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 
  #791  After seeing the cicada in #19, I thought I would share with you my pictures from this summer at the Lewis and Clark campground over July 4th.  Does this wonderful green coloring go away as they age?  I found a shell nearby on the tree, so I figured it had just come out and was drying, but that was just a guess.  We found another one the next day as we were tearing down the tents, it was just relaxing on a tent.  They are the neatest!  Amy S.
This is a teneral (newly emerged) cicada. It will gradually darken in color for several hours thereafter. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#790  Hi , my name is guy and I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I find these bugs in the bsmnt and on ground level rooms. Mostly in the bathroom, I also have a sub floor in the bsmnt. I find them again outside in the dirt. In the winter I catch maybe one a week, and at the worst in the summer I catch one a day on avg. I would like to know what they are , if they are dangerous to our health, and what to do to get rid of them. Thanking you in advance.
 The photo is a little fuzzy but these look like sow or pill bugs.  They are not dangerous to your health or harmful for your home. However their presence is an indication that you may have a moisture problem.  These crustaceans can not survive in dry conditions.  Read more about sow bugs and pill bugs.

 #789  Help, I'm so afraid that I got bugs that I can't get rid of any other way than remove all carpet from my house, I hope there is another solution!  I have found this larvae's almost every where in the carpet of the house, when I move away furniture's, behind drawers, my sofa & bed and a few in the carpet in the hall. Places where you don't clean frequently. So far I haven't seen any in my kitchen, there I spend a lot of time and always keep it clean. So there isn't any bugs in any food or food cabinet. I haven't seen any in our bathrooms either but a lot in the laundry room in the dust around the washing machine, I had some cloth there too, (cotton I guess) at the floor which I found several larvae's on and one in the ceiling. Please, help me out with this and tell me how to get rid of this disgusting creeps.  Thanks,  Tova
  This definitely appears to be an infestation of carpet beetles (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). The larvae of these beetles will feed on a very wide variety of organic materials, so elimination of all potential food sources can be quite difficult.
See  for a fact sheet that includes control measures; severe infestations may require the services of a professional pest management service. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #788  My husband is guessing this is either a young Rat or a Mouse. I'm pretty sure it's a Vole. Can you help?  Digital Specimen: caught this afternoon, Dec. 10, 2005 near where it/they have been burrowing for months, under a cement stoop at the back door of residential bungalow, Winnipeg (inside city limits), MB; second of two successful captures. Cheers!  K. Jones.
 This is a young Norway Rat.  Somewhere nearby there are probably 8 or 10 brothers and sisters plus a fat mother ready to give birth to another batch.  Young rats are easier to catch than their older and wiser parents.  More about rats..

 We are seeing these more and more frequently, do we need to be alarmed ? Could you send some general  info. Thank you in advance.

 This is another house centipede. See the answer to the next question.

 #787  I live in the Toronto area.  I saw one of these bugs this summer in my basement (it was dead and dehydrated), one in my kitchen in October (alive) and one yesterday (December) again in my kitchen.  It came crawling out from under my stove.  This was the first time I was able catch it and get a picture.  They move extremely fast.  It is about 1 1/4 inches in length with another inch antennae.  Please help me with an id of this insect and how to get rid of it.  Could this pest be dangerous to my cats?  Thanks, Becky

This is house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), a general predator on other small arthropods. They generally are considered harmless, but a large specimen could give a painful nip if mishandled. See for more information and no. 679 for another example.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
 More house centipede information in this web site

  #786  Hello;  Wondering if you could help me identify the attached pest. It was found in Mount Forest Ontario, in the shipping and receiving department. Thanks

My best guess is that this is a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae). With a few exceptions, these are plant pests, with some of economic importance (squash bug, western conifer seed bug, etc.).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

  #785  Just curious if anyone is familiar with this spider.  It's white with purple markings and the head and legs are sort of translucent greenish grey.  The photo was taken just north of Toronto, ON.  The spider is on the trunk of a willow, in my back yard.  This was the first and only time I've ever seen this spider.  Robert
This appears to be a type of long-jawed orb weaver spider (family Tetragnathidae) I'm not entirely certain of which species, but it appears to be either an Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta ) or the Silver Orbweaver (L. dromedaria).  More info - &  J.D. Roberts, entomologist

 #784  Hello , I live in Bridgewater Nova Scotia and while outside today I found this beautiful spider on my smoke tree. I am hoping you can identify it for me. I love your site it is very interesting. Thanks for your help. Sincerely Kathy Welch
This looks to be a crab spider (Araneae: Thomisidae), most likely the Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia), also called the Flower Spider.  There is some variation where the red lines may be absent or the yellow will be very faded to near white.  These are very interesting to watch, as they are quite skilled at ambushing their prey.  More info -
J.D. Roberts, entomologist

This is a crab spider (family Thomisidae); specifically, the goldenrod crab spider. These spiders are ambush hunters, laying in wait in flowers or other cover for prey to come within their reach. (
Misumena vatia; see Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 

  #783  I am finding these little things on my kitchen floor. As you can see, there are quite a few I have collected. They start off smooth and turn hairy as the mature. We live in England.  Julia
 These are larvae/pupae of true flies (order Diptera); possibly of two different families. The smooth ones may be soldier flies (Stratiomyidae) and the 'thorny' ones could be Anthomyiidae, a family that includes the 'little house fly' and 'latrine fly.' All appear to be scavengers in decaying organic matter. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 

 #782   I found this bug in Vancouver. It's about 1 inch long, and it makes a noise when you approach it.  Thanks,  Nancy
This appears to be a 10-lined June beetle, Polyphylla decemlineata (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).
 For more information
see: .

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#781  A friend took this photo in Singapore. Could you help me? It looks like a species of Cerambycidae to me.  Thank you, Michelle
This is indeed a cerambycid beetle; it belongs to the genus Batocera (possibly B. rubus), subfamily Lamiinae. This genus is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific region.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #780   Hi!  The website is fascinating !  I saw one of these under the cap on my tiki torches, then again tonight after the rain !  It kind of grosses me out, but it's really neat at the same time.  I recently got bit by something and being 5 month pregnant- the redness around the bit got worse and had to have an IV of an antibotic.  Not sure if it was a spider- but can you identify for me?  Jennifer in Holly, Michigan (about 60 miles north of Detroit).  (We also live on an inland lake (Tipsico Lake)
This spider appears to belong in the family Araenidae. Collectively known as ‘orb weavers,’ none are known to be of any medical importance. See nos. 710, 676, 670, and 609 for other examples.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#779   Hi there,  I'd like some help identifying this fellow.
I live near Toronto Ontario. I noticed sawdust accumulating on the steps of my back porch. Above the pile I found a 1/2 inch diameter hole bored into the handrail. A blast of insecticide forced this huge fly out. It is about 3/4 inch long. Any idea what this is? Will the larva continue to chomp on the wood or will the insecticide deal with that problem?  - Regards, Peter
This appears to be a carpenter bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae, subfamily Xylocopinae). The holes are made by the adult females to construct rearing chambers for their larvae. The larvae do not bore, but feed on pollen and nectar brought in by the adult female. Male bees often exhibit ‘guarding behavior’ near the nest opening, but cannot sting.  See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#778  Greetings, a woman in Nova Scotia has several of these in her basement.  What type of beetle is it?  Keith.
This is a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae). With a very few exceptions (and this is not one of them), they are voracious predators on other small arthropods and generally are considered beneficial.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist;
Sinks Grove, WV
#777   I found this guy on the bathroom wall of a room underneath my house currently being used as storage.  I live in Los Angeles, CA.  It is 1/8" long and has about 7-8 little legs on each side and weird fin like things on each side of its hind end.  Thanks, Nina.
Another fuzzy photo, but this appears to be a larva of a dermestid beetle, a family that includes the various carpet beetles as well as other pantry pests. See for a fact sheet that includes control measures. See nos. 751 and 719 for other examples.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#776    Hi, can you please identify the beetle shown in the attached photo's. They like to fly around my living room lights at night and I would like to know how to get rid of them.  Thanks, John M. S. 
The photo is too fuzzy to be certain, but this could be a beetle in the family Scolytidae (bark/engraver beetles). They will not attack any timber in the house, but tunnel under the bark of trees. They might be coming in on firewood. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#775  Dear Pest Control,  Although it probably doesn’t fall under your definition of ‘PESTS’, I would really appreciate your help to identify the insect in the attached photograph. It is about 1.5mm in length and was found walking on my desk.  It’s ugliness is out of proportion with its size - but nature is often like that.  Best regards,  Alexander.  France.
This is a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), possibly the masked hunter (Reduvius personatus), a cosmopolitan species native to Europe and introduced into North America; For an image of a nymph see   and for an adult:  They feed primarily on other insects, but can deliver a painful bite to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#774   Hi.. love the site and really appreciate your service.  For the last 2-3 weeks we have been inundated with small 1/4-1/2 inch moth and, what we assume, are their larvae.  Their appearance is limited to our dining room.  The larvae crawl up the back wall to the ceiling and then fall off if we don't kill them first. The moths are dark grey to black with a band of pale grey about a third of the way down their bodies.  The larvae are white/cream color with distinctive brown heads and are about an inch long.  We can find no infestation anywhere.  What are these, how do we get rid of them... we have a baby due anyday and certainly don't want these in the house.  Many thanks for your help and expertise! Prebble in Herndon, VA
You may have an infestation of Indian meal moths (Plodia interpunctella). They can infest an extremely wide range of foodstuffs (including dry pet food) made of or containing grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, etc.  Mature larvae often will travel some distance from their food source before pupating. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#773  Hey,  I was wondering what type of spider this was. It was found outside and I also saw two or three of them in my room and on my bed once. Let me know what they are. Thanks!  Mohammad 
  Looks like a Black Widow Spider. Quite poisonous. Human deaths have been reported to have occured from bites by this species. At the very least seek immediate medical attention should you be bitten by this spider. Seek professional help with removal from your home and surroundings.  Cheers! Caroline
Those spiders you're seeing are the notorious Black Widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans).  They have potent venom and a bite will send you to the emergency room.  If you have found more than one in your room, that indicates that you had a female nesting somewhere in your house.  When the young hatch, they will spread out to find their own nook or cranny, and often will remain in the immediate vicinty where they hatched.  We had a widow problem on one side of our basement, but they never traversed to the other (finished) side.  There are many spider sprays, bombs, and dusts that you can use to kill these dangerous pests.  I've never seen the need for professional treatment, but depending on the infestation you have, you may want to do so.  Black widows however, are not particularly agressive, and only tend to bite when molested (which happens if you roll over onto one), and will usually flee when disturbed.  Don't mess with them and select a treatment immediately to rid your house of them.  There is more info on the spider page of this very website -
J.D. Roberts, entomologist.

This is a widow spider, most likely the black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans), probably the most venomous spider in North America. The genus Latrodectus is very widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Serious envenomations by these spiders may require administration of antivenom/antivenin; several companies (including Merck in the USA) manufacture an effective product. In spite of its reputation, this spider usually is not aggressive; I have on one occasion, accidentally stuck my finger into a web occupied by a female black widow, and it made no attempt to bite. See for a fact sheet.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#772   Hi!  I live in North Eastern Ohio, and I found this insect on July 18th in my flower garden.  It was about two inches long and had semitransparent red wings, long fuzzy antennae, and a big bulky body.  I've seen something like it a few years back, and I've been miffed ever since.  Please help!  Emily
This is one of the clearwing moths in the family of sphingid moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae).  Based on your photo, it is most likely the Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe ), although H. gracilis is very similar and without seeing the wings not in motion, I can't be absolutely certain.  But H. thysbe is much more common than H. gracilis and so it's most probable that it's the Hummingbird Clearwing that you're seeing.  More info -  J.D. Roberts, entomologist
This is a clear-winged sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) in the genus Hemaris. Some members of this family often are called ‘hummingbird moths’ or ‘hawk moths.’ See for a clearer image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #771  I found this critter- several of them in a package that was sent from Greenville, SC. This occurred in November of 2005. The package contained plastic parts in a plastic overwrap. The package was received in Michigan.
  This is a parasitic wasp, either in the family Braconidae or Ichneumonidae. They are harmless to humans.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#770  Dear Bug Master!!  We found one of these on our door and one on the wall. Both were roughly a quarter of an inch long and had some kind of casing that they crawled out of to move. The casing looks like it was made of fuzz? paper? We assumed it was a larvae of some sort. The head was a dark brown color and the body was segmented and cream/ translucent. It never came out of its casing. Do you have any idea what this little guy could be? Should we be concerned about some sort of infestation even though we've only seen 2 or 3? THANK YOU!!  Sincerely,  Jannelle and Dana from Seattle
This appears to be a case-making clothes moth (Tinea pellionella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae). See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#769  Hello, I live in Castro Valley, California, which is around the SF East Bay/Northern California. We recently cut down our palm tree, and the hole were the stomp used to be has since filled with rainwater. It has become murky, and I've noticed odd larva in the water. I have included several pictures of them. I'd say they are about 12 mm in length, plus their tails. Their tails are wormlike, and project to the top of the water, while their fat bodies remain hidden in the sediment. I don't know what on earth they are, but I am very curious, can anyone help me?  Thanks,  Carol
    These appear to be rat-tailed maggots, the larvae of a hover fly (Diptera: Syrphidae) in the genus Eristalis. They feed on
decaying organic matter and sediment at the bottom of pools of stagnant water, obtaining air through spiracles at the end of their ‘tail.’ The adults superficially resemble bees, and often are found on flowers – see for an image. They all are harmless.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #768  Love this excellent site! I moved into a new (to me) house in Northeast Tennessee in December.  I have been seeing these guys nearly every day in my basement, I used to freak out. Then I'd shuttle them outside, only to find another one the next day. If it's the same one...he's got a great sense of direction. Now I'm used to them, and the cats have started ignoring them also. After looking through all your photos here, in my extremely un-arachnesque opinion...I would say it is another variety of Wolf Spider. I did not see any here that looked exactly like here it is!

    This indeed appears to be a wolf spider (family Lycosidae). They commonly enter homes in their search for prey, as well as for shelter with the onset of cooler weather in the autumn. Although some large specimens can give a painful bite if mishandled, none that I know of pose any real threat to humans.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #767  Hello! I need help. I found some pests in my room. They are black tiny ones. When I found them, they always move slowly or nearly dead. But it was keeping showing in my carpet, no matter how much pesticide I sprayed and how many time I clean my room. I am living at Toledo, Ohio. Please see the photo I got. Hope you can give some suggestions for me. Thanks a lot! Y.W.

    This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), but the photo is too unclear to make any further identification. You may wish to submit specimens to your county office of the Ohio State University Extension service for assistance in identification and any control recommendations – see for contact information. 

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV


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#766  Hello,  Found this little fellow out in my back yard under my deck. I live in the Muskoka district in Ontario Canada. Identification appreciated. Cheers.  James

    This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Perhaps someone familiar with this family can provide a specific identification.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  This is Monochamus notatus, Northeastern Pine Sawyer, judging by the fact the head appears to be widest below the eyes . For more examples see:   Jim McClarin

 #765  I live in Dallas, Texas. This pest, with many of his odious friends, live in an area of my garden filled mostly with ornamental sweet potato vines. We discovered these pests when many of them leapt (of flew) from under the vines onto my wife's ankles and immediately started biting. She received over 20 bites in a few seconds. The bites were painful, and have left large festering welts (2+ cm in diameter). As you can see, they are very tiny - barely visible - approximately 1/2 mm long. Thanks for your help. Robert.

This appears to be a garden fleahopper (Halticus bractatus); Hemiptera: Miridae). They are common pests on many plant species (including sweet potatoes), but seem to prefer members of the legume family (such as clover and alfalfa). See for a fact sheet that includes control measures. However, I am unaware of any reports of them biting humans, so I will be interested if anyone else is familiar with such an occurrence.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #764  I have found this pest in my storage room where I store vacuum, luggage, boxes, books, toilet paper, etc, on 2nd floor.  It is not close to any food or water.  It is very small like a sesame (about 2 -3 mm) in dark brown.  It is mostly still but will crawl (slower than an ant) if touched.  I can't see where it is from.  I clean the whole room but will find about 10-15 the next day.  It doesn't seem to bite and easy to be caught.  It likes to go where carpet and wall meet and under vacuum (?). Can someone help me to find what they are and how to get rid of them?  I live in bay area in CA. Thanks, Kathy

   The photo is too unclear for me to attempt an identification. I suggest that you submit specimens to your county office of the California Cooperative Extension service (affiliated with the University of California) for assistance. See for contact information.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #763  Need help in Houston Texas.  We just moved into a apartment and 2 weeks later these little creatures started flying or crawling in to the entryway at night (50+)and some of the more determined are getting in the apartment. I do have a fica plant in the entryway and some were in the soil but can not tell if they crawled in or are breeding there (It has been well polluted with chemicals at this point). I have checked around and do not believe these look like Larder or Carpet beetles and may be Pine Bark Beetles but I am not a bug fellow.  All I know is my lovely wife is not happy with me because of my inability to eradicate despite the numerous trips to Home Depot. Thanks in advance.  Bob.  

    These appear to be burrower bugs (Hemiptera: Cydnidae) – see images/Hemiptera web jpeg/Pentatomomorpha/Cydnidae.jpg for an image. They are plant feeders, usually feeding on the roots. As they are not common pests, it is difficult to find control recommendations tailored specifically for them. I suggest that you contact the nearest county office of the Texas Cooperative Extension service (affiliated with Texas A&M University) for advice in this matter. See for contact information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #762   I have included a couple of pictures of these bugs. If you can help identify them or post the pictures for others to identify it would be much appreciated. I need to find a way to control these darn things. The one photo of the top of the gazebo shows what appear to be shells of the young ones before they become the dark grey bugs you see crawling around. They definitely seem to be dropping from the large willow tree overhead.  Many thanks,  Hans

    These are aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae); sometimes called ‘plant lice.’ They are sap feeders, and often produce copious amounts of ‘honeydew’ as they remove excess water from the very dilute sap they ingest. See for a fact sheet that includes a number of control measures.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #761  Hello, Well i have attached some photos of a bug that we have in our house hold that we are trying to get rid of.  could you please tell me what it is. Found in our basement near hot tub and in room close to hot tub.  Saskatchewan.
    This is a sow bug, a terrestrial crustacean in the order Isopoda. They usually do no harm, but often are considered nuisances by their very presence. As they breathe by means of gills, they require moist conditions to survive. Therefore, one of the best things one can do control them is to make their home as dry as possible. See for a fact sheet that includes control measures. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#760   i fiund these in carpeting wedged down into the fibers they are 1/4 to1/2 inch.  Steven.
     These are last stage larvae (maggots) and pupae of  a species of higher Diptera. There must be a food source for the maggots fairly close by; once mature, maggots of many species (including house flies) tend to wander away from their feeding area in search of a drier area in which to pupate.  
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #759  Hello,  I found this 2 inch wide moth in Dallas, does anyone know what this species? Joe.

    Based on your photo and your region, this is most likely a Lunate Zale moth (Zale lunata) in the family Noctuidae, subfamily, Catocalinae.  Sometimes identification of moths in this particular genus can be difficult, because there are several similar looking specimens, and some variation within species.  Nice photo.  J.D. Roberts, entomologist
More info
This appears to be a moth in the family Noctuidae, related to the underwings (subfamily Catocalinae). It resembles those in the genus Zale, but I cannot be certain.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#758 North Vancouver, BC. Live in 20 Floor, High-rise concrete bldg. Found on all floors & thru-out bldg. Always found near water (sinks, bathtubs, swimming pool, sm amounts of leftover food). Look like a very tiny reddish ant. Appear to have six legs, two very large antennae, long narrow body & darkish arrowhead shaped end. Much smaller than conventional ant. Seem harmless; but ??? How is best to control them?
  This is a Pharaoh ant, one of the most difficult pests to eliminate, especially in large buildings. They are considered a serious health risk because of the pathogens they carry.  Spraying pesticides causes  colonies of up to 300,000 to split and spread to new locations.  This is not a job for the building janitor. It may take  very experienced pest professional service months to get the problem under control. The longer you wait the worse it gets.  See our Pharaoh Ant page for detailed information.
A list of qualified professionals in North Vancouver is published in our directory

 #757  Here is a spider that lives in Tappen, BC, Canada. Tappen is located in the Southern Interior of the province. The spider is 2 to 3" long, lives in the basement in complete darkness in significant numbers, has a random web which never appear to have any trapped food. The photo was taken in low incandescent light so appears a little to red/orange.  Mike

This appears to be a cellar spider (sometimes called a ‘daddy long legs’); Pholcus phalangioides – see This is a cosmopolitan species, frequently found in homes. It is harmless to humans, but somehow rumors abound of it having very potent venom.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#756 Hello, I live in Singapore (south-east Asia). Please can anyone tell me what this is? They roost and multiply in danky areas among green leafy plants. The biggest one I've found was about 4mm long.
These appear to be mealybugs (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), relatives of aphids and scale insects. They are sap feeders, and some species are of economic importance.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #755  I can't get a very good photo but I have these small brown cocoon like things all over my house. They attach themselves to the walls or like to live around the baseboards in the bedrooms mostly. Sometimes I see what looks like a small caterpillar poke out and pull the cocoon along with it as it moves. I have caught some to see what they turn into but they never seem to become anything. What are they?  Mia.  Los Angeles.
This is a household casebearer, sometimes called a ‘plaster bagworm’ (Phereoeca uterella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae). They usually cause little if any damage, feeding primarily on old spider webs. See nos. 653 and 745 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #754  Hi found this on the wall outside in the carport down low on the wall behind a flat piece of wood propped there was smaller dead spiders od other types around and a very low very thick sticky web not a pretty round web but a low thick sticky mess similar to thick dust web. this spider is about the size of a sticky note pad paper.
This might be another funnel-web spider (family Agelenidae), see no. 751.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
   It is a giant house spider. Like almost all other spiders, it is harmless to humans and non-aggressive. It is related to and often misidentified as the hobo spider which is considered dangerous though there is conflicting data. Finding it inside is a near guarantee that it was a giant house spider and not a hobo spider. It takes a microscope and a real entomologist to tell the difference for certain.
-Ashley Pond V, nature enthusiast, Seattle, WA.

#753  Hi, we live in a condo unit in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. We often saw this pests / bugs on the floor. Please refer to the attached jpeg, that is the closest shot we can get. Any ideas on identification and effective control? Thanks!  Ching L.
This appears to be a firebrat (Thermobia domestica; Thysanura: Lepismatidae); see for an image and for a fact sheet on firebrats and their close relatives, silverfish. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#752  We live in Winnipeg Mb. Recently we had a food bug problem, and it was pretty bad, so I seem to think it was. They were starting to spread across our kitchen counter, thats when I started to look inside our cupboards, sure enough there was plenty. We washed everything down with javex and sprayed with 3 in 1 home and apartment bug spray we bought at Poulins. We did everything they recommended, now i am seeing these other creatures, coming up from behind our kitchen sink on the counter and along the whole counter behind our toaster, our drawers. We do have older cubboards that are solid wood so there is sawdust under the drawers. They do squish easy, they crawl some faster than others. But mostly dead in little piles I guess because they are still dieing from coming in contact with the spray we used. What in the world are these? I am also noticing where I also sprayed along the baseboards that there seems to be these even smaller ones, maybe eggs? its hard to tell they could be the same they are to small to tell. I am sending a photo please help thanks M.
   Sorry, the black specks in your photo are so small it is difficult to tell if they are even insects, never mind identify them.  The sawdust under the drawers may be coming from the drawer slides.  This is common misleading evidence in many homes. You obviously do have an insect problem but we can not offer any help based on the information provided. If you take a specimen into Poulins office I am sure they will be glad to identify it for you.

 #751  Thanks to your great site and all of the great entomologists lending a hand, I think I've narrowed this critter down. I think it's a carpet beetle larva *but* I could be mistaken. I only wish I could get hold of one of the adults that occasionally whiz by.  Please let me know what you think. I've dug through almost everything and can't find the source here in the apartment.  We've (my wife and I) have pulled out the fridge, stove, gone through cupboards, cereal boxes, under carpets etc. and so far no luck.  The thing I worry about is that should I need pesticides, are there any that are cat friendly that will kill these critters?  I've attached a pic of a larva.....ugh! The other image is spider I found in the basement of the building. The little guy was only about 1.5-2cm from front to back legs. I still have no idea what kind of spider it is.  All my best.  Ron
The larva indeed appears to be that of a dermestid beetle, a family that includes the various carpet beetles as well as other pantry pests. See  for a fact sheet that includes control measures. As for the spider, other than it being a male (see the enlarged pedipalps), I am uncertain as to its identity – it might be a funnel-web spider (family Agelenidae).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #750  I live in Cambridge Ontario.  We have found 4 of these tiny bugs in our upstairs bathroom over the past two weeks - and one in the kitchen..  They are about 2 mm long reddish brown in colour and seem to be quite active.  The bug has a pair of antenna similar to an ant - although it is not an ant.  The bathroom can be a moist area at times.  I would appreciate it if you could help us identify this bug and how to get rid of it - hopefully the picture is not too blurry - thanks D.
The photo is a bit blurry, but I suspect that this could be a foreign grain beetle (Ahasverus advena), see and no. 632 for another example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist;

#749  Need help identifying this bug.  We are in North Central Texas and this bug was on a Zennia.  Can you tell me what it is? It is about an inch long.  thanks, Susie
  This is a male scorpionfly (Mecoptera: Panorpidae), so called because of the fancied resemblance of the male terminalia to the telson of a scorpion. However, they are general predators on other small arthropods, and are completely harmless to humans. See for more information on these intriguing insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #748  Hi,  I live in Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island. I recently had a flood in my home and shortly afterwards I found these bugs. They have been invading my home for about 3 weeks. Also around the same time bought a bag on Black Oil Sunflower seeds. I initially thought these bugs were coming from the bird seed, however I disposed of the sunflower seeds but the bugs are still present. I also have checked all of my rice and cereals but no evidence of bugs there. Please could you identify this insect and tell me how to get rid of it.  Thanks Dianne
Although the photo is too fuzzy to be certain, the overall appearance of this insect is consistent with it being a rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae). Although primarily a pest on whole grains, they occasionally will attack pasta products and nuts. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#747  Hello,  I would like to know if you can help me identify what sort of nest this is? I only noticed it now. This nest is located in a bush in front of my house.   Thanks, Peter. Montreal.
This is a nest of a vespid wasp, possibly the bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata); see 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #746   I was stung by this little critter 2 mths ago. I had a reaction (burning, swelling and dizziness) which went away in about three hrs. My kids found another one today exactly the same as the one that stung me. My son is asthmatic and has allergies. Is this green insect a danger to him? I looks like the assassin bug #107 you have posted. But this one is green. We live in Clarence Creek Ontario. What is it??? Thanks.  Jim

This is a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae); see no. 736c for another example. Some species can deliver quite a painful bite; however, the pain is caused by the digestive enzymes in the bug’s saliva, and not by venom.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #745  I live in southern California, USA. I found this slowly moving across the floor in my house. It appears to be a larval form of something. It has a black "foot" that emerges from either end and "moves" it about. Thanks for your help!
This is a household casebearer, aka ‘plaster bagworm’ (Phereoeca uterella; Lepidoptera: Tineidae). Although related to clothes moths, they usually cause little if any damage, feeding primarily on old cobwebs. Their bag-like ‘case’ is open at both ends, allowing the larva within to move easily in either direction. See no. 653 for another example.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #744   I live in Regina Saskatchewan, and found this insect between 2 panes of glass of my window.  Could you tell me what it is?  Larry F.
I cannot be certain, but this might be a teneral (freshly emerged and not yet hardened) adult of a hymenopterous insect. Did you notice any small wasp nests in the immediate vicinity? 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #743  Hi,  I live in NJ and found this ant in our recently finished attic. It so looks like carpenter ant. Can anybody confirm?  Respectfully,  MS
  It has the characteristics of a carpenter ant: one node between the abdomen and thorax.  A smoothly rounded thorax.  Circle of hairs around the anal opening.  If it is larger than 1/4 inch it is a carpenter ant.  Sorry I don't know which species.  The colors are similar to the Vicinus species on the west coast.  Larry Cross.

  #742  What kind of ant is this? (see 2 attachments "ant top.jpg" & "ant bottom.jpg"). It is honey colored, about 1/16" long (about 1/2 size of a fire ant, and lighter in color).  In a trail they are all about the same size.  They get into the wall from the outside and disappear; except once they appeared on the kitchen counter, but were driven away by "Grant's" ant bait.  Once I sprayed diazinon where they were entering a crack in the brick at a window, and they migrated to the opposite end of the house (in this incident, I saw them moving the colony at the kitchen/garage door and put out Grant's, and they disappeared again).  I see these ants occasionally on the outer wall or on the driveway.  They do not make any visible bed in the grassy yard.  Location is SW Texas, North side of Houston. thanks,  Thomas.
   The photo of the top side is too fuzzy to give a positive identification. We need to see if there are one or two nodes (spikes) between the abdomen and thorax.  The antenna appears to have 10 segments plus a club.  The size and colors lead me to guess it is a southern fire ant, but I do not have one in my collection to compare it with.  Perhaps an  entomologist can offer a better I.D. Larry Cross.
I agree that the photo is too fuzzy for a precise identification, but the ants could be pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis; see Fire ants are notoriously aggressive, and if these were fire ants, I would have expected that someone in that household would have experienced stings from them.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #741   Hello!  I live in Calgary, Alberta and I am finding these things all over my house. Once as a large group in my basement and now little clusters or individual ones throughout the house. How do i get rid of them???  Thanks so much.  Becky
This is an earwig.  They are harmless but a nuisance.  They have moved indoors from a damp location outside.  This is common where bark mulch or another wet ground cover has been spread around the perimeter of a home.  The easy way to get rid of them:  suck them up with a vacuum.  Pesticides should not be necessary.

 #740  Hello, I live in San Mateo, California (near SF), and have suddenly started seeing these little bugs (some sort of beetle I think) in my kitchen near my pet's water dish. They are about the size of the ants common around here, quite small, and look black from a distance, but a bit brownish close up.  If I zoom in on the picture I'm attaching, there seem to be some lighter brown stripes? Any ideas?
Thanks. Emily
This is a weevil, possibly one of the grain-infesting species in the genus Sitophilus. Usually pests in granaries, they can become household pests as well, attacking whole grain products such as popcorn, birdseed, Indian corn, rice, beans, and even nuts. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.    Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #739   I am interested in finding out what type of insect this is. The photographer said he found it in South India. He said there were a whole bunch of them on a plant and were about 1/4 inch or so big.  Thanks.  Matt
This is a nymph of a preying mantis (Orthoptera: Mantidae). Many tropical species can be rather bizarre in appearance, and can be difficult to see as they blend in well with their surroundings.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

This is a mantid in the family Empusidae commonly called the Wondering Violin Mantis (Gongylus gongylodes).  It is not an aggressive mantid and is found in India, especially in southern India.  This species is often purchased and kept as a pet ( ).  The one in the picture appears to be a nymph - of what stage I'm not certain.  Very interesting submission!  More info at -
J.D. Roberts, entomologist

 #738   Hi.  This bug bit me today and it was very painful.  I was wondering what kind of bug this is.  It was inside our house.  We are from Texas.  Laura 
This is an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae); general predators on a wide range of other arthropods. See nos. 736C and 715 for other examples and information.
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#737  Could you please identify this spider, it was found in a basement in Nova Scotia. Thank you.  Gina.
The photo is a bit fuzzy, but this appears to be a wolf spider (Araneida: Lycosidae). They are commonly encountered indoors, especially with the onset of colder weather.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#736   I have four types of insects that I've been researching via web to figure out what they are. No luck yet, but fortunately, I came across your site today and would love to know the names of these. Thanks. - Sasha
      (A)                              (B)                              (C)                            (D)

A) – These appear to be spotted cucumber beetles (also known as southern corn rootworms), Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardii (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). See  for a fact sheet.
B) – This is a carrion beetle (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in the genus Silpha. See for images. The great majority of these beetles lay their eggs on the bodies of small dead animals or birds, where they and their larvae then feed on the larvae of flies attracted to the decomposing flesh. One exception is the spinach carrion beetle (Silpha bituberosa), that feeds on the leaves of several vegetable species.
C) – This is a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). These insects are general predators on a wide range of other arthropods, and are for the most part generally considered beneficial. However, larger specimens can give a painful ‘bite’ if mishandled. Also, from the extreme southern United States on south through much of South America, there are several species (collectively known as ‘kissing bugs’) in this family that feed on blood and that can be disease vector (see
D) – This is a robber fly (Diptera: Asilidae). They are voracious predators on other arthropods, usually employing ambush tactics – they rest quietly on a perch (such as a twig or leaf) until a potential prey wanders/flies into their vicinity. The fly then rushes out and grasps its victim with its spiny legs, injects digestive enzymes with its mouthparts, and returns to its perch to dine in leisure. This is a large family whose species vary greatly in appearance and prey selection. See for more detailed information.
                 Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#735  Just wondering what spider this is. It is about the size of a thumb nail or a centimeter squared. it was crawling on ice on outside our door today.  Tisha

This is an orb weaving spider (Araneida: Araneidae) that somehow has gotten out of its web. In this weather, it will not live much longer. They all are harmless to humans; see nos. 721, 710, and 700 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
#734  Hi, I live in Craiova, Romania. I suddenly discover in the garret a noise. The roof  is made inside with wood girder (maybe oak) and is under attack of some terribly noisy bugs. They start with 5mm or 1/4 inch holes in the beams further making long gallery inside the wood. The roof is 30 years old. I suppose the wood was never treated to be protected against bugs or termites. I found this dead bugs on the exit of the gallery made in wood. I'm not sure if they had some intermediate  stage of larval. I notice et the end of one of this dead bugs something look's like an egg. The "bugs" vary from 2-3cm. 1 inch to 2  inch (approx) at maturity.  Any ideas on identification and effective control?   Thanks, Aurelian     

    These are long-horned wood-boring beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). However, I do not recognize the particular species. Only a very few cerambycids require control, as most species will not reinfest timbers that they have emerged from. Exceptions to this include the old house borer and the European house borer. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations for the old house borer; these also would apply to the European house borer.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

#733  I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have found many of these on the floor of my screen porch. They are about one inch long with a white area at one end. Any idea what is leaving these?  Paul
    This appears to be a case constructed by an insect, but I cannot make a determination. If no one else on this forum can provide a specific i.d., I suggest that you contact your county office of the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service for assistance – For contact information
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
I came across your web site today and love it. I just happen to look at # 733 and this is a easy one here in Georgia. This is the droppings of a small lizard possibly a Skink, Anole  or other small lizard.  Eric Shaw.  A&E Pest Control.

#732  Hi. I live in Vancouver, Canada. I have been noticing these brownish bugs around by basement in the past couple months.  The are about 1/8 inch in length. For the most part, I find them on a small table were I have my dinner. Occasionally I find them on the wall, but very rarely.  I see about one very two days or so.  These bugs are winged, although I have only seen one fly before.  They are extremely easy to catch.  Hopefully someone can help be identify what it is .  Jason

 #731 HI.  We live outside of Seattle, WA and found this bug near our wood pile a few weeks ago.  The underside appears to be the same grayish color.  I am afraid that the picture does not clearly convey the colors - which are nearly pure white and black.  Thanks in advance for your help.   …Kerry
  This appears to be a banded alder borer (Rosalia funebris; Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). See for an image. In addition to alder, the larvae also may be found boring in ash and other hardwood species. Adults have been reported to be attracted to freshly painted houses. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 #730.  These bugs come up in the bathroom of a cottage in Georgian Bay.  The cottage is on an island surrounded by coniferous trees.  Your id would be appreciated.  Thanks!  Sandra
Although I cannot be certain from the photo, these might be darkling beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). This family includes some species (such as mealworms) that can be pests of stored food products –
see   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

#729  These insects are taking over my flower beds, porch, under shutters, etc. Some are more red than others. Please tell me how to get rid of these insects. Thank you kindly, Nancie O'Sullivan. South Carolina
   These appear to be nymphs and an adult of  boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittatus; Hemiptera: Rhopalidae). The black areas on the nymphs are the developing wing pads.  Very young nymphs lack these and may appear nearly entirely red. They often congregate in great numbers on or around houses in later autumn. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
 #728 Hello, we live in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and we've observed a rather large spider near the front door of our house.  It was discovered in early summer and has grown quite large (body about 4 cm in length excluding the legs).  Around the end of September it moved its nest to a more sheltered area on a cornered wall behind some decorative bushes.  In October, a teardrop shaped sac was placed on a wall about 100 cm away from the main web.  We generally try to leave it alone, though we enjoy seeing it catch small insects including gnats and slow flying bugs, to larger bugs such as moths and even what we thought was a large grasshopper or possibly a Praying Mantis.  We brought a photograph of it to the local museum but they never responded.  We would love to know the species of this arachnid.  The two enclosed photos  show the top and bottom views of the spider in question.  Both photographs were taken September 3, 2005.  Thank you,  The Brittons
     Beautiful photos of a female Argiope aurantia (Araneida: Araneidae), commonly known as the garden spider, golden garden spider, or the black and yellow argiope, among others; see nos. 673, 600, and 532 for other examples. In spite of their impressive size, they have relatively small chelicerae ('fangs'), and are harmless to humans. Females usually reach their maximum size in late summer/early autumn, when they then mate, lay their eggs, and die.
See for more information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #727 We can't seem to agree as to whether or not this is a rat or a mouse. I think it is a rat. Whatever it is, it's disgusting and this is the first of two we have discovered; one in our backyard and the other in our neighbour's yard. Ick!
   This is most definitely a rat, a pet rat. It appears someone try to be funny posting pictures of his pet on the pest page.  Oliver

This definitely appears to be a rat, most likely an escapee from a pet store or a pet owner in your neighborhood. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
I am the person who posted this and I assure you I am not trying to be funny nor is it a joke. We found evidence of what we thought was a mouse last week in our kitchen Wednesday morning. It had eaten a hole in our bag of coffee on our counter. Short of having my husband tear the house apart, I bought some traps and some bait. The next morning (Thursday) my husband said he swore he saw something "white" scurry into the cupboard when he came into the kitchen early in the AM. I figured he was seeing things because no house-mouse or rat I have ever seen was white. On Saturday we sealed up every exterior hole, nook, cranny we could find with foam insulation and steel wool. Whilst doing this we had to pry up two boards on our deck where the deck meets the house in order to get access to that part of the siding/foundation. It is there (because of the droppings we found) that we determined the access point of the "mouse". We sealed the hole. Later that afternoon, my husband called me to the backdoor claiming there was a hamster in our yard. I thought he was nuts, but when we both went out to the year to look, this is the rat we saw so I took a photo. This was also the "white mouse" he'd seen the Thursday morning. I was horrified because my first thought as well was that this was someone's loose or abandoned pet. However we had already laid bait out and sadly he had taken enough of it. We buried him safely in the garden so as not to have his remains harm any other animals. Now, here's the clincher.... The next afternoon (Sunday), we saw ANOTHER one almost identical but lighter grey on it in our neighbor's yard. When my husband hopped the fence to get a better look at it, it scurried under the adjacent fence.  So... what do we think now? Someone thoughtless soul let a pregnant pet go just before winter weather arrives? We are in Ontario just east of Toronto.  I just wanted to assure you that I am not in the habit of fake postings for the heck of it. But I sincerely do appreciate the confirmation of my fear; a pet of someone's. I have checked around and no one has posted signs or anything. So I feel these poor things were abandoned. At the same time, I hope the rest of them aren't residing in my house.  MW.  Ontario. 
This is a rat, of the genetic strain "Long-Evans" and are often called the hooded rat because of the dark head and the long dark stripe down the back.  These are often used in laboratory experiments as a comparison to the often used albinos, because of the genetic differences. They have more acute eyesight and better sense of smell than the albinos, as well as better cognitive function. And they are much cuter than city rats! They were developed my crossing Wistar female (one strain of albino) with wild male gray rats. As to how this type of rat got into the backyard, it must have been either a lab rat or pet rat that escaped or was set free. Amy Starosciak,
Neuroscience Graduate Student, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD
  #726  My friend find this one on his garage in Buffalo NY. What is it? 
This is yet another of the many species of orb-weaving spiders native to North America. They all are harmless to humans. See nos. 721, 710, 700, 670, 659, 647, 634, 613, and 612 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #725  This was found by my kids on Oct 30th. He is about 3 1/2 inches long. He has a stinger/horn/prong on one end. We live in Southwestern New Mexico.
This is the larva (caterpillar) of a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). The terminal ‘horn’ is characteristic of the family, and is completely harmless. The adult moths also are known as ‘hawk moths’ or ‘hummingbird moths’; see no. 654. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #724  I have recently come across three of these guys in the past week. I live in Michigan in an apartment building. I found all three guys on the ceiling in my bedroom. It has 6 jointed legs and the tail has 3 points on it. There
appears to be two sets of antennas on the head. The bug is brown in color,
narrow and the body is pretty flat. Please help so I can rid myself of the pest.
Raven.  Have a blessed day.
This appears to be a silverfish or firebrat (Thysanura: Lepismatidae), primitive insects that can be household pests. See for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #723  Could you help me identify this insect? I went through all of the pictures you have, but was not able to identify this insect.  This insect was found indoors in Central New Jersey. I have found about 10 of them in the past 2 years. They are always stationary - I've captured them alive, they don't seem to move when I find them. I've found them in my bedroom on the dresser, windowsill, and most recently, in the sheets in my spare bedroom (the bed wasn't slept in for a month). I have found 3 of them in the past month.  Thank you very much.  Bob Stokey
These are stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae); see no. 720 for another example. They likely are accidental intruders in your home, and no control measures are necessary. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #722  This guy was found in my kitchen sink (Oct 27th). He only has 6 eyes so I think he is a recluse but not sure which species. His abdomen is covered in very fine fuzz and his legs have a few hairs but not stiff. The mid area of his body is almost skeleton-like. There is not a violin shape on his back but he may be young. I live in southwestern New Mexico.

In addition to recluse spiders (at least eight species), there are at least two other families of spiders native to New Mexico having but six eyes. If your spider has a strongly convex cephalothorax, it might be a Scytodid (‘spitting spider’); recluse spiders have a relatively flat cephalothorax, and I cannot tell the shape on your specimen from the photograph. If no one is able to provide a definitive i.d. on this forum, I suggest that you submit the specimen to your county office of the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service for assistance.
See for contact information.

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #721  Found in Shady Cove, OR  (near Medford)  on the upper structure of a back deck/porch.
This is one of the many species of orb-weaving spiders native to North America. They all are harmless to humans. See nos. 710, 700, 670, 659, 647, 634, 613, and 612 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist, Sinks Grove, WV
Probably something from the Araneidae family. Maybe a variation on the Cat-Faced spider.
Jacob Duarte, aspiring arachenologist

  #720  I noticed this strange bug on the side of my house in Oakland, CA today. Ten minutes later I sat down on a chair on my deck and happened to look up just in time to dodge the little bugger as it sailed right at me and then landed on the trellis behind me where it crawled around long enough for me to snap a few blurry photos. I won't even begin to guess what it is. Ah, and the trellis rung is 1/2" X 3/4". Thanks for your time!   Amy Ortega 

   This appears to be a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), but not a species that I recognize. Most members of this family are plant feeders (some may be serious garden pests), and a few are predaceous on other small arthropods (I really like the ones that will feed on potato beetle larvae!).  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #719    I have been getting bug bites (about 1 bite every 2 weeks) for a year now. The bites look like a large red mosquito bite with a white pimple-like bump in the middle. They produce a dime-size rash for a few days and the bite scar lasts up to 3 weeks. I would suspect it to be bedbugs but the bites are extremely painful for a few days and never itch. In addition, they usually occur under the clothing (stomach, upper leg) and I never have multiple bites in a row as suggested by bedbug patterns. We have torn apart our apartment twice now and have never seen any evidence of bedbugs (fecal excrement, dead bugs, etc.) However, this last time, we found 2 of the bugs that are shown in the pictures- one was in a sock dresser drawer and the other on the bottom side of our mattress. We live on the top floor of an apartment building in Denver, Colorado but we are literally 5 feet away from a marshland in our backyard below the balcony. We bought a new mattress and bedroom set exactly one year ago- any chance this caused the infestation?  Looking at other pictures of your pests, are these bugs carpet beetles? If so, is there a chance that they hide inside clothing or blankets and cause painful bites? I would be grateful for any information!  Thanks, Allison
  The insect in the photograph is indeed a larva of a dermestid beetle. This family included carpet beetles and other pests that attack a wide variety of organic materials, including woolen fabrics. See no. 714 for another example. It is extremely unlikely that they are the cause of the bites you have noted. Unfortunately, diagnosing the cause of such bites without catching the culprit in the act is fraught with pitfalls, as very few arthropods leave a mark so distinctive as to be immediately recognizable, and there are totally unrelated conditions that can cause skin eruptions that resemble arthropod bites. See  for more information on this subject. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #718   Hi,  Thanks for the service you run -- very useful! Outside my house in Santa Rosa, California, I've noticed many of these wasps. They don't appear to be aggressive; I generally see them flitting in short hops along the ground. The body is about an inch long, not counting the long antennae.  -Brian
This most likely is a parasitic wasp in the family Ichneumonidae, a very large family whose prey includes members of just about every group of insects as well as some spiders. They are non-venomous and harmless to humans, although some species having a short, sharp ovipositor can deliver a pinprick-like sting if mishandled.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #717  Oh, this website is wonderful!  Thank you!  However, I have been unable to locate my current guest on your list.  I live in south-eastern Minnesota.  I have found two of these critters in my house now, both in range of stacks of paper and books, as well as slightly dark/moist areas. He is no longer than 1/8 inch from snout to rump, but has an arm span about three times that.  As you can see, he has ten legs, the front most limbs being disproportionately long and ending in very crab-like pincers.  To me, he looks very much like a little fiddler crab.  He is very flat, fitting into my scanner without much discomfort, I believe.  As I attempted to coax him into a tiny jar, he became aggressive and actually lunged backward and sideways rather than forward, waving those little pincers at me.  I would just love to know what this is.  Thank you!  Lynette. 
      I humbly apologize.  I just sent you a photo, but I looked a little harder on your site, way back to the beginning, and found my critter already listed.  He's a little pseudoscorpion.  I let him go into a box of books immediately after reading about them.  He is very welcome here!  Feel free to use the photo!  It turned out rather well, I think.  Thank you so much!  Regards, Lynette 
  #716  These are the best pictures we could get of our new house guests. We have found several in the past week throughout the house. All that we have found have been during the day an out in the open throughout the home. They have each been just under or about an inch in size, and are able to scurry quickly, or fly to attempt to evade capture. Nicole. 
This is another leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae), possibly a western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) – see no. 707.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
#715  Would you be able to tell me what this insect is? Pennsylvania, USA. Thanks, Bill
This is an assassin bug, specifically, a wheel bug (Arilus cristata; Hemiptera: Reduviidae); the largest member of this family in the northern United States. They are predaceous on other insects, and can give a very painful ‘bite’ if mishandled. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #714  I found this bug in a storage box of winter sweaters located under our bed. There were many of them in the box.  I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and would appreciate any help in identification of this bug.  David
This is a larva of a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). There are several species in this group that will attack woolen fabrics as well as other materials of animal origin. See 
and for fact sheets that include images and control recommendations.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #713  I recently had some basement foundation repaires done, ie,feeder leads from outside the foundation connected to my sump-pump, any how every fall I have noticed these snail like bugs coming up from my basement sewer and just recently from the baseboards in my basement,I have included pictures of the insect and hope you might have a solution to what it is and how to get rid of it. regards W. Abbott ps, they only seem to venture out just long enough to either die on the concrete or carpet.

The photo is a bit fuzzy, but it looks like a very elongated slug (basically, a snail without a shell). However, I cannot make out whether it has eyestalks, usually visible when the slug is moving about; see for an image. Some species can be garden pests, but control probably is not necessary in your case. 

Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #712  I have these tiny bugs in my pantry, and i think they are cigarette beetles. I am unable to get a picture of them with my camera as they are so small. I do have a picture of the damage they did to a seasoning package. Can you tell me what these are? Thank you very much.
It is possible that this damage was caused either by cigarette beetles or a close relative. See and for fact sheets that include images and control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #711  I found this bug on the exterior wall of my home, next to my patio door. I live in Highland California, USA.  We think it's a termite, but other say it's some type of beetle. Thanks for the help.  Patsy
Unfortunately, this more likely is a reproductive termite that has shed its wings after its nuptial flight than it is a beetle. See for information on California termites. Also, you may wish to contact your county office of the University of California Cooperative Extension Service for advice/assistance; see for links to contact information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #710  I live near San Francisco in California, and was startled by this 3.5-4.5 cm spider hanging a few feet from the ceiling in my bedroom.   It was fast-moving, able to move vertically on the walls, and had apparently produced copious amounts of sheet-like web within the past 24 hours.   My best guesses are a wolf spider or a funnel weaver, but I can’t tell for sure and it seemed to have some characteristics that would make it neither.  I apologize for the lack of clarity in the photo – it’s hard to take a clear close-up from six feet away with shaky hands.  Thanks,  Lydia 
This most definitely is neither a wolf spider nor a funnel/sheet-web spider, but appears to be an orb weaver in the family Araneidae. See nos. 676, 670, and 609 for other examples.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #709  Hello,  We live in Southern CA. Usually see the pictured jumping pest at night, in the kitchen, in the bathroom or in the living room. Has long back legs (came off when moving for picture). We eliminate 3-4 of them in a week or maybe more. They jump 6" or more when you chase them or jump right at you. Our place is at garden level, there is carport below, no basement or attic. Couldn't find how they get in, yet. What are they, where are they coming from and how do I go about getting rid of them? Can you help? Thanks, Glara.
This appears to be another species of a camel cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllacrididae; subfamily Rhaphidophorinae). They very seldom are abundant enough to warrant control, but if you feel that it is necessary in your case, see for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
I'd like to thank  Ed Saugstad who answered my question and I'd like to thank everyone at website who enables such communication.
Best Regards,  Glara
  #708  I found this bug/caterpillar on my chair when I got up first thing this morning.  It was on its back and obviously couldn't move.  It's got a very hard shell, and when I initially grabbed it with a tissue, it BIT the heck out of the tissue and hung on, leaving a red-brown liquid on it.  What is this and how on Earth did it get on my chair in the living room?  I do have a cat, but he's indoors expect for a screened-in back porch.  I live in Eastern VA in the U.S.  ~Anne.  I took the best pics I could, but it was still moving around when I clicked the button.
 This appears to be a larva of a click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae); see for an image. Commonly called 'wireworms' because of their thin hard bodies, many species are herbivorous, and some may be serious agriculture and garden pests. Still others  are scavengers and some are predators on other invertebrates.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #707  I’m pretty sure that I have a brown stink bug here but would appreciate confirmation. This creature, and many like it, are common on the shores of Shuswap Lake in southern BC. Interestingly, the bugs appear in the Spring and in the Fall but disappear for most of the summer. Can anyone provide a specific identification for me, including the Latin name?  Thanks,  JW
This is a leaf-footed bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae); most species in this family are sap-feeders, but a few are predaceous. A few species, such as the squash bug, can be garden pests. See nos. 669 and 668 for other examples. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV 

This is the Western Conifer Seed Bug, or so it seems to me. Check out this website, and see if it looks like your insect. I live in the interior of British Columbia, and noticed a lot of them recently in the hallways of the college I attend here, and got curious myself. They do stink though, and don’t squish them, the smell just gets worse!! 
Crystal, an insect enthusiast.

  #706  Hi, I found this possibly injured arthropod outside my house on the sidewalk. It did not use its powerful legs when I approached it for taking pictures. I live in Southern Indiana and I found this around early October.
This appears to be another 'camel cricket' or 'cave cricket' (Orthoptera: Gryllacrididae; subfamily Rhaphidophorinae). In addition to outdoor environments, they frequently are found in basements and other dark, humid indoor environments. See #s 686, 665, 527, and 487 for other examples.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

 #705  I've found these guys on the ceiling. They're about an inch long and have a brown spot on the head. Can you identify them for me? I've been catching flour moths in traps lately. Any connection?  Bill from NY
This also could be a stored products pest (see no. 704), but it is a bit large and pale in color for an Indian meal moth caterpillar. Nevertheless, you also may wish to examine any infestible products in your home for signs of insect infestation. See for a fact sheet that included control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

  #704   I have found this pest on the bathroom ceiling. There were a lot of them, around 15 to 20.  I have a pet dog, i have recently cleaned out her left over dry food in the bedroom. however there is some distance between the bedroom and the bathroom. (6-8m around).  I live in Canada Ontario. These pest had been found just recently, in this many numbers.  Here's a picture of the pest i found. thanks for the help!  Andy
It is possible that this is a larva (caterpillar) of a stored-product infesting moth, such as the Indian meal moth. Check all infestible products in your pantries, including dry pet food, flour, corn meal, dry cereals, dried fruit (especially raisins), etc. for signs of infestation. Moth larvae usually leave signs of their presence, including frass and webbing that might be mistaken for spider webs - see . When mature larvae are ready to pupate, they may travel some distance from their food source. See  for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV
  #703  Hi; My Name is John And I Found this 3" Long Bug in My Garage right by the entry door into the house tonight. Do you know what it is?  It looks like a new born to me. I live in the hills of the Sacramento CA , USA  Region. Thanks, John
  This is a Jerusalem cricket.  See #646 for more information.
#702  Hello again. This little fellow/lady was found sitting on a sidewalk on a cool fall day in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  I have never seen an insect like this before. I just had to snap a few pictures of it. it's little body was soft and fat. and the checker pattern on it's back was almost perfect. what can you tell me about it?  btw. the dagger moth (yellow caterpillar) picture I sent in, is still in it's cocoon. Thanks,  Sheila
  This is a wingless female moth, such as the fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria; Lepidoptera: Geometridae); see
The female moths emerge in early autumn, mate with the winged males, then climb trees to lay their eggs. See  for a fact sheet. 
Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
  #701 We live in Calgary, AB.  This ugly looking thing looks like a grasshopper kind of, but it has been found frequently in our garage, and I saw one in our kitty litter in our downstairs basement.  What is it? and is it a problem?  Holly
    This an orthopteran closely related to the Jerusalem Cricket (see no. 703). Some species in this group can be pests when they occur in large numbers, but the occasional indoors stray should not present a problem.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.



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