Country Living Series

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Close-up creepies

With the advent of autumn, we're seeing a lot of last-ditch activities by a lot of insects and arachnids. It's like they know their days are limited and their time is short. Yellow-jackets are everywhere, clustering frantically on the last of the cantaloup in the garden.



I found the dogs staring intently at this orb weaver clinging to a window frame on our front porch. Doubtless it's the same lady who graced our front porch all summer. Why she would leave her web and venture onto the more exposed portions of the house, I have no idea.


She was sluggish, displaying nothing of the deadly and nimble action shown on her web during warmer days. It did, however, allow me the opportunity for some close-up shots.



Then there's these unnamed critters. We only see them in the fall, and some years we see more than others. We've seen more this year than we have for the past ten years -- the first year we lived in Idaho, we were positively infested with them. I have no idea what they're called and would welcome anyone's positive identification.



But while they look and sound unnervingly like yellow-jackets on their surprisingly nimble flights, on the ground they're slow and bumbling and harmless.


We tend to call them "prehistoric beetles" (since we have to call them something) and are rather fond of them. If we find them in the house, and we always do, we scoop them up and toss them outside.



Prehistoric beetles are a sure sign winter is on its way. The busy season for our woodcraft business is drawing to its close which will give us the opportunity to embark on some of the projects we need to do before the snow flies. But for insects and spiders, unless they have a way of overwintering underground, their days are numbered.

34 comments:

  1. The spider looks like it mite be pregnant. Or just really fat.

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  2. They look like the stink bugs we love so well here in Texas

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  3. Looks like a squash bug. The variety I am used to are more gray in color. The do buzz you and sound like a wasp when the do.

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  4. My bet is an assassin bug and if that's the case, it's good you're putting 'um back outside. They're good guys for taking out the bad bugs. I do think they will bit humans too, so be careful.

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  5. I think that might be a Western Conifer Seed Bug.

    Blessings,
    Southern Gal

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  6. Not sure about the spider, but I think the name for the bug is chicken feed.

    A. McSp

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    Replies
    1. The chickens do not like them, they must taste like they smell, Gross.
      Paintedmoose

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    2. Uh oh. It's bad when even the chickens won't have 'em.

      "We dislike them but the Western Bluebirds and the Mountain Bluebirds and the Flickers like to eat them."

      This is good news...although I guess it doesn't do much for folks finding them indoors...and in their clothes..yuck!

      Fortunately we have a large and voracious bunch of friendly flickers living on the place here. I'll appreciate them even more now.

      A.McSp

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  7. Looks like a stink bug...we've been infested here in N. California...they've made the news in Sacramento!

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  8. They are stink bugs. We have them on the East Coast as well. They love to come in the house for the winter. They are very passive, occasionally flying from one lamp to the other or going to the window on a sunny day. I call them my winter pets. If you crush them they give off a distinctive odor, which is why they are called stinkbugs. They do not sting or harm humans.

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  9. I agree with the two previous anon comments....either stink or squash bugs.....either way....they both need to die....if you care about next year's squash! :)

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  10. We have those bugs in our house, too, and I've always thought they were just plain stink bugs, but, after a quick search, it turns out they're properly called Western Conifer Seed bugs. They still pack a powerful stink if you squish 'em, but they're not the proper green or brown marmorated stink bug that a Google search will point you toward.

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  11. Hard to tell from the picture, but they could be box elder bugs

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  12. This is the north Idaho stink bug per eHow. "The Saye Stink Bug feeds on raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and loganberries. It is also fond of other fruits, like apples, cherries, peaches and pears. They are also known to feed on wheat kernels, alfalfa, red clover, beans, tomatoes and asparagus, and are considered a nuisance for farmers because of the damage to crops and pungent scent they leave." As you can see, they are a pest. We live further north of you and get them every year. Last year was really bad for us - not so much this year.

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  13. We call them stink bugs in Ohio also

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  14. Patrice-

    Those are stink bugs. We get them up here in Stevens County, WA too. Though this year has been very light on them, compared to last year.

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  15. they are squash bugs aka stink bugs. we live near athol and haven't seen as many this year as in others.

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  16. They look like a variety of leaf legged stink bugs. They absolutely destroy the tomatoes along the Texas Gulf Coast. They have particularly bad these past two years because of the mild winters we have had (only frosts, no freezes).

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  17. If it is what we had here, it's an assassin bug. They help us out with our abundance of box elder bugs.

    I write "we had" because we had our second snow storm, a two day blizzard, and I think we're done with outside bugs for the year. Unfortunately, we are overrun with some small brown beetle that I can't identify.
    sidetracksusie

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  18. We call them stink bugs or pine beetles.

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  19. We call them ugly bugs, but they are a stink bug and will "juice" if you pick them up. They will also juice you in the face or where ever they fly into you at, and the clothes on the line! So yucky to find them inside your clean clothes when you go to put them on. We dislike them but the Western Bluebirds and the Mountain Bluebirds and the Flickers like to eat them.
    Paintedmoose

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  20. agree w/previous posters, spider is pregnant, and those prehistoric bugs look like stink bugs to me...don't smash em, they smell the place up!

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  21. In Tennessee they are called "stink" bugs.....

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  22. The last critter is a "stink bug" ... or at least that is what we call them on the East coast.

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  23. hi. type of shield bug. in ohio stand on the window screens looking inside--perhaps longingly if we could read their facial expressions. called stink bugs. many types must research to specify.
    traps for them are sold here at home depot.

    assassin beetle if it has a long proboscis folded under it. they do kill other bugs, not your squash but you have to inspect closely to tell.
    have been told some are chinese invaders. don't know for sure.
    deb harvey

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  24. Stink bugs can ruin your tomatoes. They sting them and leave hard spots. Can suck out so much juice as to make the tomatoes worthless.

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  25. Southern Gal had it right. A Western Conifer Seed Bug. Leptoglossus occidentalis They can exude of foul smell if harassed (or squished.) They do have a proboscis and may attempt to use it if handled roughly, but unlike some other members of this family bites are rarely successful and cause no particular problem.

    Our local cousin on the other hand prefers mammilian blood to vegetable matter and can cause serious allergic reactions . Trade ya!

    Jeff - Tucson

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  26. That's an assassin bug. They eat other bugs, but I've seen them dip their snout into my cactus.
    -bravokilo

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  27. STINK BUGS! we are infested with them

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  28. The distinctive marking on the back would indicate that it is an assassin bug.

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  29. I'm sorry to disagree, but it is not an assassin bug. Assassin bugh have a larger "shoulder" area, necks that are smaller than their heads, and a large (usually curved) tube extending from their head which is used to feed on other insects.

    See here for a good photo:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reduviidae

    Stink bug is kind of a catch-all term that covers thousands of species of bugs worldwide with glands on their thorax which are capable of giving off a foul smelling liquid. Nearly all of these have a triangle (shield) shape on their backs.

    While Patrice's specimen may correctly be described as a stink bug, I believe it would be more specifically identified as the Western Conifer Seed Bug. By specifically identifying the species, we can find that this particular "stink bug" causes damage to Douglas fir and pine trees and often looks to overwinter in buildings.

    http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/western-conifer-seedbug

    http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/pesticides/gotpests/bugs/factsheets/wcsb-cornell.pdf

    Blessings,
    Southern Gal

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  30. Also:
    This website has nice photos of a few stink bugs commonly found in my neck of the woods...

    http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/MizellRF/stink_bugs/stink_bugs.htm

    Southern Gal

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  31. I just wanted to say, the bug looks like something we call "stink bug" in europe... i guess that smell is known worldwide

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