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Lepidopteran Caterpillars Cause Swelling

A reader approached us with a question about a literal brush with nature. While outside, she accidentally brushed her ankle against a caterpillar. Very quickly, she noticed her ankle swelling. She’s curious what type of caterpillar this might be, and has sent in a picture to help us identify it. Continue reading [...]
bug in the bathroom

Are Fruit Flies and Bathroom Worm Related

A reader who had what he thought was a fruit fly problem he’d been managing with sticky traps sent us this picture of a worm he found in the bathroom. He also recently found a moth-like bug in the bathroom and infestations near the floor and ceiling grout lines.The moth like bug and worm that he found in the bathroom point to drain flies, also known as “Clogmia,” (named by a pun-lover, obviously.) The Clogmia are a tiny fly, measuring only about 1-2 mm and often mistaken for fruit flies or fungus moth flies. They have a hairy body with large wings for their size which leads to them being called moth flies.As you might guess, drain flies breed in the slime that coats drains in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. Typically we find them coming from drains in the basement or garage Continue reading [...]
lawn grub

Grub in the Basement: May Be(etles) or June Bug

A reader would like help identifying what the worms she’s finding on her basement floor are. From the picture provided, we think that this is a lawn grub, possibly the larva of a June Bug or Masked Chafer Beetle, (Cyclocephala) which are members of the scarab family.The Masked Chafer Beetle larva is a white grub with a dark stripe on its back with a brown head capsule and legs. When full grown, white grubs are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long grubs and if our reader stretched one out, she'd find it has irregularly arranged spines on the underside of the last body segment (raster). They are commonly found curled in the C shape and are considered agricultural pests, in part because they really enjoy eating the roots under new turf and can kill lawn installations pretty handily. June bugs Continue reading [...]
worms Sciaridae driveway

Could A Pile of Worms on Driveway be Sciaridae (II)?

On August 13, a reader sent us this picture of a mass of living worms on her driveway. The worms were wiggling and had a black dot at one end of each worm. She was concerned that the mass of worms could have been vomited up by one of her dogs, which had been exhibiting symptoms of illness, but we think these Fungus Gnat larvae (Sciaridae) came from the lawn.While the shiny mucal gloss on this mass may have caused her concern about the worms having been passed by her dogs, it’s actually the very thing that allowed this mass of larvae to move as one onto her driveway.Although the adult Dark Wing Fungus Gnats (Sciaridae) live on the types of fungal growth that grow in overwatered lawns and potted plants, the larvae will sometimes move in a ‘slick’ of mucous secretions they Continue reading [...]
leeches

Getting Rid of Leeches in Cattails

We recently heard from two readers, both curious about how to get rid of leeches in cattails and in a pond, respectively. We are happy to provide some information about leech removal for our readers! Continue reading [...]
slug

Mother in Belgium Finds a Slug

A reader has been finding an interesting creature in her home in Belgium. We believe that this creature is a slug. Continue reading [...]