University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #4

(Mystery Picture #4)

NOVICE: The Bed Bug

Remember when your mother would tuck you into you bed at night and say "Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs bite"? She was actually telling you to beware of this insect. The common bed bug is a member of the family Cimicidae. The bed bug feeds by sucking blood from mammals and birds. It is oval and very flat, thus allowing it to hide in very small crevices during the day. Most bed bugs are nocturnal. The female bed bug will lay 100 - 250 eggs in cracks of walls and floors. Development takes about two months from egg to adult. These insects are an important pest because they have very irritating bites, but they are apparently not important disease vectors.

EXPERT: Ladybird Beetle Larva

The ladybird beetle, Harmonia axyridis, is relatively new to Kentucky. It is an introduced species from eastern Asia. This is a picture of the larva. The adult beetles are oval, convex, and approximately one-third inch in length. These insects have been receiving a lot of attention because they tend to congregate in great numbers on walls of homes and buildings during the fall. While some people view this insect as a pest, insecticides are not recommended to control Harmonia axyridis since both the larva and the adult are important predators of scale and aphid pests.

To read more about Harmonia axyridis, see ENTFACT 416 - Harmonia axyridis: A New Ladybird Beetle in Kentucky.

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This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: