Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Black tick like bugs


Black tick like bug
Black tick like bug  

Black tick like big
Black tick like big  
Hi!  I have recently been seeing several little black tick like bugs on my porches at night. I have not seen them at all during the daytime. I have bright porch lights so the little geckos can feed on the night bugs. But these black tick like bugs have me concerned because I've never seen them before. They don't have any front claws so I don't think they are those pseudoscorpions. I live in the Dallas, Tx area. I have not had any inside the house and am very careful to turn off inside lights to let my dog out so as not to attract bugs inside. Sorry for the long question. Can you help?

Dear Debbie - These are true bugs in the order Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera. Your images are too blurry for me to be absolutely certain, but they look like burrowing bugs in the family Cydnidae. They can cause some damage to vegetables in the garden, and are noted for being attracted to lights at night. See http://tinyurl.com/k2twqv4 for a Texas A&M University fact sheet on these insects.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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