Thousands of pest photos submitted for identification.

winter stonefly

small winter stonefly

5940   My name is Tammy and I live in Midland, Ontario, Canada. It is mid-March but still very cold. We have had a couple mild spells over the last couple months. I am finding these bugs in and around my hot tub. Concerned that they may be carpenter ants but they don’t look like the other photos I can find online. Help please!   Thank you!

This appears to be a small winter stonefly (Plecoptera: Capniidae)  see http://tinyurl.com/qj2bhsf for an example. They are completely harmless and their nymphs are an important part of the freshwater food web. See http://tinyurl.com/n4jqv8w for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

male horse fly

male horse fly

5939   This was on my truck in Abbotsford B.C.

This is a male horse fly (Diptera: Tabanidae); possibly Tabanus punctifer   see http://tinyurl.com/mvfm6fw for an image.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Silverfish

Silverfish

5938  I’ve found this white flat bug several times in my new condo building in Ancaster,  Ontario. I’ve found it both in fall and winter, haven’t been here in summer yet. I fund it just sitting on the wall or floor and seems pretty sedate at times. What is it and is it problematic? Any tips to get rid of it? Thanks    Sue.

This appears to be a silverfish, Zygentoma: Lepismatidae. These are cosmopolitan in distribution and along with their close cousins, firebrats, basically are nuisance pests that seldom cause real harm. See http://tinyurl.com/mc5vk7j for more detailed information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

 

spider beetle

spider beetle

5937 Found this in my bathtub this morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia

This is a spider beetle (Coleoptera: Anobiidae; subfamily Ptininae). These basically are nuisance pests, but sometimes they will infest some dry stored food products. See http://tinyurl.com/mamup5 for more detailed information.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

Wood cockroach Nymph

Wood cockroach Nymph

5936   Dear Editor,  Thank you for your help in identifying the attached beetle.  A few weeks ago we moved into a home that had been unoccupied for a few years. We are finding on average 2-3 of these beetles in our house on a daily basis. Often they are on their back, in the process of dying it seems. Others are running around, active and seemingly healthy.   The body size is about 1cm.  There is no particular time of day or weather conditions in which we notice them more or less.  Our house is on a lakefront property, about 15 minutes north of Kingston, Ontario.   Thanks again for your help. Kind regards,  Cameron.

This is a nymph of a cockroach, likely one of the wood cockroaches in the genus Parcoblatta; see http://tinyurl.com/h9un4df for an example. These cockroaches may enter homes accidentally, but very seldom will cause an actual infestation.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

powderpost beetles

Powderpost beetles

5935   I am from Hamilton Ontario my wife purchased a hand made wood hanging ornament ( made in India ) from Home Sense and after a few days of lying on top of our dresser we noticed fine wood grains on the floor and around the object ‎wondering what it was or what could do such a thing my wife  placed the wood item in 3 plastic bags and placed it in the freezer after a day the picture I am sending is what we saw come out of the wood not one but at least 5 or 6 of them there dead as you can see, but what is it?  And can they spread to other wood in our house?  Not sure when she purchased it could be around Christmas time of this year .  Thanks   Tom Cipriani

These are powderpost beetles of some kind; likely in the family Lyctidae, but their condition precludes further identification. Some species are quite capable of infesting other wood in homes; see http://tinyurl.com/n4ta2me for more detailed information on these and other wood-damaging insects.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Carpenter ant

Carpenter ant

5934  I am Michael, and I’m in South Florida.  Photo was taken, March 2. Specimen was retrieved from a South Florida bathtub.Thank you.

I cannot be certain, but this might be a carpenter ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Camponotus sp.). The best way to tell if it is a carpenter ant is to look at it from the side. If the top of its thorax forms a smooth curve (see http://tinyurl.com/zq3gsaz for an image), it almost certainly would be a carpenter ant. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

scarlet malachite beetle larva

scarlet malachite beetle larva

5933  Hi my name is Mike Weir, I found these in a light fixture in Edmonton Alberta.   They are about a centimetre long.
thanks. 

This is a larva of a scarlet malachite beetle, Malachius aeneus (Coleoptera: Melyridae) – see http://tinyurl.com/khegf6s for detailed information. This is not a pest, but simply an accidental intruder. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

western conifer seed bug

western conifer seed bug

5932    Hello, I live in south west Nova Scotia. In Dec. of last year we found 3 of these insects flying around the house within a 10 day period. We have a wood furnace. Have not found anyone who knows what this is. Thank You,  Pauline Horton

This is a western conifer seed bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Coreidae), a harmless nuisance pest. These commonly enter buildings in search of shelter, but do no harm there; see http://tinyurl.com/ybmonu3 for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Bat, bed and swallow bugs info

Bat, bed and swallow bugs info

5931   Hi,   I live 30 min East of Calgary, Ab. The attached photo was just taken, so its winter time. We have seen 15-20 of these in the last month. Mainly on baseboards, or on walls. We got our house inspected and there were no signs of the bugs during inspection. Nothing around any beds, or in the beds, which lead our inspector to think these are bat bugs. He seemed to think the color of the bug in the picture is off from what a bed bug should look like also. There was a serious swallow bird problem (20 nests) on the side of our house last year. I have heard swallow bugs look similar to bed bugs. Regardless the treatment is the same for both. But I would like to know if this is a swallow bug. Then I know for sure I need to do something about the bird problem next year also. Thanks in advance, Jamie. 

Unfortunately, your image is not clear enough for a positive identification; this usually requires examination of the specimen with a good magnifying glass. See http://tinyurl.com/hucqs55 for a fact sheet that includes a key to separating bat, bed, and swallow bugs. That aside, swallow bugs usually have a hairier appearance than the other species – see http://tinyurl.com/jswylwz for an image. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

varied carpet beetle

varied carpet beetle

5930  Hi   I found some of these at my bedrooms yesterday.  Is it a bed bug?  Marjan.

This is a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Anthrenus, such as the varied carpet beetle, A. verbasci. See http://tinyurl.com/hz44zxx for images and detailed information on this species and http://tinyurl.com/zl9w25c elsewhere on this site for some control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

broad-nosed/short-snouted weevils

broad-nosed/short-snouted weevils

5929   It is a warm February and i have seen a number of these beetle type insects crawling around the ceiling of my Toronto condo. Please let me know what it is. Thank you.

This is a weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the subfamily Entiminae (broad-nosed/short-snouted weevils) – see http://tinyurl.com/heh23d5 for an example. Weevils such as these often enter buildings in search of shelter, but do no harm there.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

dark-winged fungus gnat

dark-winged fungus gnat

5928   There are hundreds of these in my house.  They are mainly around the windows in one main level room.  It is currently winter here in Kitchener Ontario however we just had record warm temperatures for February. They are only a few millimeters big.  Any help identifying is appreciated.  Thank you,  Marc  

This appears to be a dark-winged fungus gnat (Diptera: Sciaridae); see http://tinyurl.com/hlg9p8n for an image. Their larvae usually are found in very damp/wet soil having a high organic material content, and can cause damage to very tender plants. If you have house pants of any kind, avoid overwatering and allow the soil to dry out as much as practical between waterings, this should alleviate the problem.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

Winged reproductive ant

Winged reproductive ant

5927  This was found inside my house ….there are a lot of them seem to be attracted to light ….what are they? How do I get rid of them? 

This is a winged female reproductive ant, likely a Modoc species carpenter ant that has emerged from a satellite nest in your home.  Because it is warm in your home, reproductive ants think it is spring and time to leave the nest to start a new nest.   They fly to windows attempting to get outside.  Trapped inside, they will die.  For control solutions see:  http://pestcontrolcanada.com/ants/carpenter-ants  

Assassin Bug Nymph

Assassin Bug Nymph

5926   Returned this weekend to my daughters apartment and found this alive on the floor of the laundry room. It was full of dust. Tried to clean dust off as much as possible. She lives in a basement apartment of a house in Northern Ontario. Had bites on ankles, now legs, and abdomen. Can you help me identify this? And how to rid of them?   Thank you.   Ed.

This is a nymph of Reduvius ersonatus, a peridomestic species of assassin bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae) known as the masked hunter – see no. 5925 below.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

masked hunter assasin bug

the masked hunter

5925     Brittany.  Winnipeg, MB.  Please help! Was found running across my living room carpet.  It’s February but very warm outside and snow is melting.

This is Reduvius ersonatus, a peridomestic species of assassin bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae) known as the masked hunter. These are reported as having a very painful but not dangerous bite. See http://tinyurl.com/23g4bdy for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

picture-wing fly

picture-wing fly

5924  We had many of these flies with striped wings ( pictures attached) indoors in late summer/fall and every week or so I still see one or two crawling on my windows. I cant identify this fly and it quite unusual for us to see this many flies indoors in winter. Please let me know where they could be coming from and how to get rid of them. We live on an acreage in the country with farms around us near Hague, SK.    Thank you,   Rachel

This looks like a picture-wing fly (Diptera: Ulidiidae) in the genus Ceroxys. These basically are nuisance pests that do no real harm; see http://tinyurl.com/zp3c9lv for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

leaf beetle

leaf beetle

5923  Hi.  I have a  ton of these beetle like bugs hanging around inside my house around the windows. What are they? 

This is a special kind of leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in the subfamily Bruchinae. Often called pea or bean weevils, the larvae of several species will infest seeds (primarily those of legumes), both dry stored ones or still in the field. If you have any stored seeds, including bird seed, check for signs of infestation and dispose of anything found to be infested. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

western black widow spider

western black widow spider

5922 Hello! I’m always trying to identify spiders I find around bc and I stumbled across one I couldn’t figure out, this one lives in my house and I’m just hoping you could help me out. I understand you get a high volume of emails so thanks for reading! Alisandra.

This might be a western black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus, but I would like to see a clearer view of its eye pattern. Although these spiders possess a potent venom, they are not at all aggressive towards humans, and usually bite only if handled roughly. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

booklice

Booklice

5921  Hello,   I have been seeing these tiny little bugs in my basement over the past few months.  I like in the Halton region, in a brand new house. I do some woodworking in my basement, so initially thought the dust/wood was drawing the bugs into the house.  I’ve cleaned the saw dust and still see these bugs in the basement floor and on my work bench occasionally.  They are white/clear in colour, and there is also a few I’ve seen that are darker and seem to have wings.  Trying to compare to something similar online, I have thought maybe they are booklice.  All websites I’ve seen indicate I should plug in a dehumidifier to draw out the moisture in the basement.  It seemed to work for a few weeks (didn’t see any bugs), but I saw quite a few again last night.  There definitely is moisture in the house; I’ve emptied the dehumidifier every day and a half for the past few weeks.  Any help/insight on how to get rid of these bugs would be appreciated.  Thanks,  Chris

I cannot see the wing venation clearly enough for a positive identification, but I would include booklice (order Psocodea) as a possibility. It certainly does not appear to be a destructive pest of any kind needing immediate control. Please see if you can obtain clear images, and in the meantime, continue with your efforts to reduce unnecessary moisture sources and lower humidity levels I your home. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetle

5920  Found this one beetle in my carpet. Only have ever seen this one. Just making sure. Looks like 6 legs, straight antenna, oval shape, hard shell, brown and black colour, has wings but doesn’t fly, size of a pen tip. Chris.

This looks like a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) in the genus Attagenus – see http://tinyurl.com/hngt3cj for an example. Check around the margins of your carpeting to see if you can find any larvae that look like this: http://tinyurl.com/hr3qzn5 If you do, see http://tinyurl.com/zl9w25c elsewhere on this site for some control advice.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

Boxlelder bug

Box Elder bugs.

5919  We live at Lighthouse Cove, Ontario near the mouth of the Thames River on Lake St. Clair.  These flying insects seem attracted to our house. We have a white stucco exterior and during a sunny day, our house will be covered in them.  They are now making their way into our house. The attached photo is one that I caught today. It is ¾ inches long.  We’d appreciate your help in identifying these insects so that we can put measures in place to eradicate them.  Thank you.  Darrell 

This is a box elder bug.  They are common in your area as they seek shelter in the fall to hibernate over the winter.  They can be a nuisance but are harmless.
Read more about box elder bugs.

 

ground beetle

ground beetle

5918  I live in a basement apartment in Vancouver, BC. I’ve been here a year and never seen these until this week. Now I’ve seen 5.  They look black, the photo shows reflection on the shell.   They are very lazy. I’ve never seen them move, they just sit there until I kill them.   Thanks,  Ryan

Please do not kill any more of these, it is a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in the genus Carabus; likely Carabus granulatus – see http://tinyurl.com/j8l7wvy for an image. These are general predators on other small arthropods, and thus usually considered beneficial. Their occurrence indoors is strictly accidental. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

horntail wood wasp

horntail wood wasp

5917     I live in Kilworthy Ont. Canada…we believe they are coming out of our wood for heating our home…hope you can help me…thank you
Karen

This is a pigeon tremex, Tremex columba, a horntail wood wasp (Hymenoptera: Siricidae). Their larvae develop in the trunks of dead and dying trees, including ash, beech, cottonwood, elm, maple, and oak; they are not pests that need any control. See http://tinyurl.com/jzf2u4v for more detailed information on their life history.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

 

Saw-toothed or merchant grain beetle

Saw-toothed or merchant grain beetle

5916   Please help me! I need an idea of what these bugs could be. I really need to know how to get these out of my home it has been going on for over 3 years at this point. I have tried every insecticide available, steam and freezing cold and there are always more.

This is a grain beetle (Coleoptera: Silvanidae) in the genus Oryzaephilus, either a saw-toothed (O. surinamensis) or merchant (O. mercator) grain beetle. Both species are cosmopolitan pests of dry stored food products, including dry pet food. You need to conduct a thorough examination of all food storage areas in your home to find the source(s) of the infestation. See http://tinyurl.com/jnc6w7k for some control/management suggestions. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Plant seeds, not insects

Plant seeds, not insects

5915   Please identify. They are Black on one side and green underneath. They are biting too.  Sherry

These appear to be plant seeds of some kind, not insects. They may have short spines that irritated your skin. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

xiphydriid wood wasp

xiphydriid wood wasp

5914.  Hello,  I have noticed these bugs over the past couple of weeks in my house. I live in northern Ontario and it is currently winter outside. They are about 2 cm long and are very slow moving. They have been hanging out around a large window at the front of my house . I have no idea what they are and haven’t been able to identify them.  Thank you,  Danielle

This is a xiphydriid wood wasp (Hymenoptera: Xiphydriidae), possibly Xiphydria mellipes – see http://tinyurl.com/ja5ecqf for an image. This wasp will not harm anything in your home; their larvae bore and feed in small dead or weakened limbs of trees, primarily birch.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Unlikely biting spider

Unlikely biting spider

5913   We got this guy today on sticky paper . Both my husband and myself have been getting bites likely at night in bed.  The bite starts off the size of a dime and  swells to quarter size, burns, itches for about 5-6 days. The area around the actual bite swells to a tea cup saucer size. I got two on my ankle than a week later on my arm. I got a skin infection from that one and was on antibiotics for a week.  We checked for other insects..bed bugs etc. but we found nothing. Even the doctor confirmed they are not bed bug bites. We got obsessed since they really SUCK and cleaned our bedroom like mad!!!   We though it was gone but I got bit last night and we found this spider living in a tube in our bed frame.  Could this be the thing that’s biting us?  It looks maybe like a house spider but there are SO many varieties.  Your help is most appreciated.   Taya

This spider is extremely unlikely to be responsible for any bites. It is Steatoda triangulosa, a very common peridomestic species; I have been unable to locate even a single report of this species ever biting a human. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

red-headed ash borer

red-headed ash borer

5912   Found these guys in my room.  Identify please.  Rob. 

This looks like a red-headed ash borer, Neoclytus acuminatus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). It will not infest or harm anything in your home; see http://tinyurl.com/k8j27rp for more detailed information on this species. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

assassin bug

assassin bug

5911      I this a kissing bug?   Audrey

This is an assassin bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae), but not a kissing bug. This one looks like Zelus renardii, known as the leafhopper assassin bug – see http://tinyurl.com/hclhvvm for an image. Like most assassin bugs, it can deliver a painful bite if handled carelessly, but they are not at all dangerous to humans. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Praying mantis egg mass

Praying mantis egg mass

5910   Hi there,  I’m hoping that you can identify this cocoon for me. I’ve been finding quite a few of them in my barn this winter and I’ve come across one in the pasture but I’m sure there are a lot more. I’m worried about an infestation of something come spring. I live in Flamborough (Southwestern Ontario). Thanks, Chantal.  B.Sc.(Env.), University of Guelph.

This should be a welcome infestation, as this is an ootheca (egg mass) of a praying mantis. When the eggs hatch (usually in the late spring/early summer), the little mantids will set about capturing and eating many potentially injurious insects. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Crane fly

Crane Fly

5908   About 1 inch long slim body, always on wall near the ceiling, live in Manitoba so cold outside. Have seen about 15 in December and Jan. What are they and where do they come from? Thanks  Larry S.

This is a crane fly (Diptera: Tipulidae); see http://tinyurl.com/2fz8joo for an example. It is not unusual to find some active in the winter in sheltered places.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Tiny Wasp

Tiny Wasp

5907  Daniel from Dartmouth, NS. 17 Jan 2017. Indoors on 4th floor of apartment building.  Body approx 3-5mm long, with tail almost same length as body.  Has wings, but seems to only jump/hop rather than fly. Pair of long antenna on head. Golden-brown body.  Group of at least 50+ found in corner of room high up on the walls and on also the ceiling, directly above a bright table lamp. Never seen them before, and after trying to kill all the ones we saw, a few more keep reappearing every couple of hours in the same location.   These photos are of one still alive and hanging onto the wall behind the lamp. Thanks for your help!

This is a tiny wasp; the image is not clear enough for me to be at all certain, but I see a resemblance to the genus Megastigmus in the family Torymidae – see http://tinyurl.com/h62fqj2 for an example. These will not harm anything in your home; the larvae of most members of this family feed in the developing seeds of plants, including roses.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.