Thousands of pest photos submitted for identification.

Sphinx Moth caterpillar

#5502  Found in alpine ca. Today October 25, 3 inches long. Has little feet like caterpillar.

This is a caterpillar of a sphinx moth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) in the genus Errinyis; likely E. ello – see  for an image. This species occurs from South America to the southern USA, and like many other species, the caterpillars can vary considerably in their appearance.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Boxelder bugs

 #5465   Found on raised garden bed in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. They have been in the yard since May and started clustering on the beds in August

These are boxelder bugs (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Rhopalidae; Boisea sp.), possibly the western boxelder bug, Boisea rubrolineata. These basically are nuisance pests, see for detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

German Cockroach

#5527  Hello. My name is Craig. I live in Guelph Ontario and just found this bug in my apt. It’s November and the insect is about the length of my finger tip. So far just one and I’m wondering if this is a problem bug and should be reported to the building super. Thank you.

This is a German cockroach, Blattella germanica (Blattodea: Blattellidae), one of the commonest peridomestic pests in North America. See elsewhere on this site for some control recommendations, and for links to professional pest controllers in your area.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.


Assassin Bug Nymph

#5550  My name is Mark and I found this thing crawling on my wife’s blouse in the house this morning. We live in Franklin county Va.

This is a nymph of an assassin bug (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Reduviidae) in the genus Zelus. These are general predators on other small arthropods, and thus usually considered as beneficial. See for more detailed information.   Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Carpet Beetle Larva

#5518 Hello, I’m finding this critter increasingly inside my house – on walls, ceilings. It moves very little and is about 1/8 in long. Thank you for your help!  Frank.  New Jersey
This is a larva of a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae), likely in the genus Anthrenus (variegated carpet beetle and allies). These can be difficult to control because of their widely varying food preferences. See for some control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Bed Bugs

#5516  Hello:   I was wondering what type of bug this is(photos attached)? I haven’t purchased any new/used bedding or furniture. I haven’t used a hotel in decades or traveled anywhere. These bugs sudden appeared when my husband brought some soft wood into the house. We heat with wood. It was around the end of August or the first week of September. It seems that my room is the only one affected as it is above the furnace room. The bugs vary in size from a speck to about 4mm. They don’t look exactly like a bedbug but similar. They are hairless and run like little spiders.  The little ones cannibalize the larger ones. There is no difference in shape between the small and big ones.   I find an occasional one or two on my bed or on my books by the bed. The mattress is 2 1/2 years old and still covered with plastic. No visible bugs under the plastic. My husband also brought some sand into the yard. I was wondering about sand fleas and if they hitched a ride on my poor cat. The bugs do bite as I have several little dots on my leg. It takes forever for the bites to vanish. I did get some bites outside as well.  I would appreciate your assistance in identifying this bug. I hope that the photos are clear enough. I live in Corbeil, Ontario. Thank you. Sincerely,  Ann
These either are bed bugs or closely related bat bugs (Hemiptera/Heteroptera: Cimicidae; Cimex sp.); you may wish to call in a professional certified in beg bug control –  see elsewhere on this site for contact links. In the meantime, see for more detailed information on bed bugs in general. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Case Bearing Caterpillar

#5522  Hello, I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I’ve been finding these guys attached to the outside of my house. I have also found a few indoors either hanging from the ceiling or crawling up a wall. They first appear like dirt or a small splinter sized stick.. until you get up close and see that it’s in some kind of shell with its head poking out from the top. Please help identify. Thanks!

This is a case-bearing caterpillar of some sort, but I cannot see enough detail for a definitive identification. It might be one of the bagworms in the family Psychidae.  Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.

Firefly larva

Firefly Larva

#5499 I found this worm on my kitchen counter after taking a garden decoration inside for the winter (we are end of October and have had some nights below freezing already) and sitting it on the counter.  The decoration sits on top of cedar mulch.  I live on the South Shore of Montreal, Quebec.  The flat, hard-shelled worm is black on top (or very dark brown) and beige on his underside, has approx 10 segments, 6 legs, pushes himself along with his tail/bum and measures approx 1cm.  This is the first I’ve ever seen one of these!  Thanks!  Jamie
This appears to be a larva of a firefly (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), which are general predators on other small arthropods. See # 5490 for another example. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV

True fruit flies

5497 I live near Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and these flies are inside in October, can’t   seem to get them under control.  Not sure how they are coming in. Can you tell me what they are and a control method?  Smaller than a regular house fly. Tend to Walk sideways. Apparently like to make a home under siding outside the house also but don’t see them outside in summer.
Flies in the related families Tephritidae (true fruit flies) and Ulidiidae (picture-winged flies can have confusedly similar wing patterns. I’m inclined to believe that your specimen is in the family Ulidiidae, likely in the genus Ceroxys, see for an example. These flies reportedly commonly enter buildings in the autumn, but are no more than nuisance pests. Their larvae develop in the seed heads of plants in the family Asteraceae. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV


Drugstore or Cigarette Beetle

#5496  Hello, can you please let me know what this is, there are several in the house, and they are very tiny. It was very hard to get a picture of this. I am very worried. And I’m unsure of how to get rid of them. Thank you.
This might be either a cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorn (Coleoptera: Anobiidae), or a drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum); both can be pests of many kinds of dry stored food products – see  for more detailed information, including control recommendations. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV ******************************************************************************************

biting louse

Biting Louse

#5495  I just found this on a my brothers puppy and was crawling on my finger and it bit me. I’ve tried all the pictures on Google a nothing has come close to what this is. I live in  Alaska and some random guy gave him the puppy. I took a magnifying glass and took the picture with my cellphone. Thanks

This appears to be a biting louse (Psocodea/Phthiraptera : Mallophaga), it looks like Trichodectes canis, a species commonly found on dogs and wild canids. See for more detailed information. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV


Little brown worms.

5500  Hello, I’ve been finding little brown worms (about 1/2″) with black tails in my bathroom for about a month now. Today I found a bigger one (about 1-1.5″) that was very similar but darker (photo attached). I live in Montreal in a basement apartment and my name is Jessica. Thank you.
This is a millipede, an arthropod in the class Diplopoda. Ones like this specimen are harmless scavengers on decomposing organic matter, but may be nuisance pests when they get indoors. They need abundant moisture/high humidity in order to persist in an environment, so moisture management is key to their control. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.



Termite swarmer

5498  My name is David. We have seen these maybe once a year on warm days at our home at edge of forest, Vancouver Island BC. Sept 25/09/2013 (photo of individual insect) & 13/10/2015 (photo of swarm near top of tall fir tree). The swarm is persistent and lasts at least an hour. Insect length (mouth to end of wings) is 1.0cm. Identification much appreciated.
.This is an alate (reproductive/’swarmer’) termite. You may consider having your home inspected to determine whether any on these have decided to make your home theirs as well. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV