Thursday, September 16, 2004

Is There an Entymologist in the House?

My readers, for being knitting experts, have come up with several good theories regarding Mr. Mystery Bug. However, none have quite hit the nail on the head. I bucked up and looked at pictures of these bugs on the internet (yucky!) and drew pictures. In the future, if I have an encounter with any of these bugs, my ball-point and post-it representations will look like this:

Not Mystery Bug:

A millipede almost looks like a worm, and has a LOT of tiny short legs that sort of undulate and wave as it moves. A centipede has a lot of legs, but they're short, and spread out a little, and I don't think they move together the way a millipede legs do. Millipedes and centipedes seem to spend a lot of time in dirt and under rocks, not so much on ceilings. Silverfish don't have long enough legs to be the Mystery Bug, although that's what I used to think they were.

More clues:

1. Mr. Mystery Bug is not actually big enough to eat a penny. I was just being silly and exaggerating. If I lived farther south than I do, he might have been. But I live in Missouri. We are bug wimps here. He was between 2 and 3 inches long. And oh my god, if he had a stinger like a scorpion, I wouldn't have been able to get out of bed. I would have laid there screaming with my covers up over my face.

2. Here's a different view of Mr. Mystery Bug - Mystery bug head on:
See how his legs come out to the side of his body and are bent and taller than his body? And there are a lot of them. But he's still not a centipede or millipede. He's just not a -pede type bug. It's the legs that give me the heeby jeebies. Yikes. I have the shivers just thinking about it.

I couldn't find one in the limited amount of time I could stand looking at bugs on the internet. Apparently Terminex doesn't know him.


Gwen said...

Gee, go to NYC for 2 days and Beth becomes not only too famous for us (Yeah Beth!!) but the great bug hunter as well. At least it wasn't the jumping spiders that we had at the townhouse that took half a can of raid to kill.

Katherine said...

looks really creepy. I have no idea what it is and I'm from australia!!

Anonymous said...

I think your mystery bug is a centipede. When I was a kid one fell off someone's ceiling onto me. Gross!

Nanette said...

I'd suggest that it's an earwig, but it has way too many legs to be an earwig.

My last apartment had a huge earwig problem. It was awful. At the peak of the "earwig season" last spring, my fiance and I (er...mostly him) were killing six or seven of them a night. We'd come home and sit down to watch TV, and one of us would notice something walking down the wall. Ugh.

Also, earwigs aren't usually that long, although I saw some pretty big ones.

Now I'm going to have nightmares about earwigs. Yuck. I have never been so glad to get out of an apartment in my life.

Michael said...

Wow, I'm having the same trouble as you, with a bug looking extremely similar, and I can't figure out what it is. First I thought it was a cockroach (we have lot's here, but they aren't TOO bad (after a few years), and not the big stereotyped hissing ones you see on T.V., but then it moved to fast and was too big (your penny picture threw me though) with far too long of legs. I barely saw it the second time (killed the first, should have guessed there would be more) but it was right above the head of my bed. I live in a desert valley (Yakima, Washington State) where the population is primarily south-american immigrants, and we get all sorts of weird things, but this is by far the most ominous. E-mail me at if you get/have any info.

Thomas said...

Your mystery bug is a house centipede. Sarch "house centipede" and you will find lots of images.