Bug identification help
October 31, 2006 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Bug identification help; location: Texas. We found this half-inch bug walking on the wall in my son's bedroom.

It's the second one I've seen in there in a year. I know what a conenose looks like, and this doesn't look at all like one. Then again I have no idea what an immature one looks like. My Audobon insect book is of no help, and the insect websites I've found are pretty disorganized. Should we be concerned?
posted by zek to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
It looks like what my family always called a "Texas tree roach," though unfortunately. I don't know the actual name.
posted by justonegirl at 12:12 PM on October 31, 2006

posted by Monkey0nCrack at 12:15 PM on October 31, 2006

I'll give you this much-- it actually is a bug, so you get points for not just generically calling any arthropod a "bug".
posted by norm at 12:18 PM on October 31, 2006

It looks like a Box Elder bug.
posted by o2b at 12:22 PM on October 31, 2006

After glancing through the true bugs at whatsthatbug.com, it looks like a box elder bug to me.

Maybe a Goldenrain tree bug by the coloring.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 12:22 PM on October 31, 2006

Box Elder Bug. They are inert, but in some parts of the country (particularly the northern midwest) they come in plagues.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:40 PM on October 31, 2006

I don't know what it is, but I get those all over the place at my house in Dallas.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 1:40 PM on October 31, 2006

Funny, I just killed one of those out in the hallway not five minutes ago.
posted by cellphone at 1:50 PM on October 31, 2006

posted by allelopath at 3:03 PM on October 31, 2006

I'm in northern Illinois and we have box elder bugs all over here during the late summer and early fall... I don't think yours is a box elder. They're usually thinner and the red on its back would be more vibrant.
posted by youngergirl44 at 4:25 PM on October 31, 2006

Given the usual regional color variations, I'd think Box Elder Bug. I heard once that box elder trees come in sexes, and that they only hang out around one sex or the other, but I have no idea if that's right. (If I had more time, I'd do the research, but maybe somebody knows.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:04 AM on November 1, 2006

It's true. I'm in central Iowa and have had to learn about Box Elder bugs. They mate on the female box elder tree. The will drink sap from almost any plant, though. This can be especially damaging to tomato plants and grapes. I know.

To rid yourself of them you could use any common insecticide, but that only works for the bugs it contacts during the application. Since this is the case, you can accomplish the same thing with a mixture of water and dish soap.

Try this. Mix one quart warm tap water with 1 tbsp dish soap. Spray this on the critters. They will die in 30 seconds. The soap doesn't pose a health threat to people or pets and it's fine for plants and soil too.
posted by kc0dxh at 6:59 AM on November 1, 2006

Jesus Christ! Thanks a lot for www.whatsthatbug.com, assholes. Now I'm going to be flinching for days from the all of the phantom Solpugids crawling up and down my legs.

I had those things following me all around Las Vegas one summer five or six years ago. I don't deal well with spiders. And I know they're not spiders, but damned if they don't look like the meanest, most carnivorous, man-slaying spiders you've ever seen. And now I've gone and looked at a whole page full of pictures of them. Goodbye, peace of mind.
posted by Darth Fedor at 11:11 AM on November 1, 2006

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