Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Roach or Beetle?


Mystery bug
Mystery bug  
Mystery bug 2
Mystery bug 2  
QUESTION: I'm utterly skeeved by this particular insect, because we recently found click beetles (which also look like roaches) nearby. We live in Lancaster, PA. The most recent bug was found IN MY SLEEPING DAUGHTER'S HAIR, which had me up until the wee hours of the morning looking through cabinets and behind the refrigerator to see if there were any others like it. Turns out, I believe it probably was a click beetle, because my wife said it was "popping and hissing" after she picked it up. It was too small to be a Madagascar Hissing Roach, so that led me to believe (based on its size, shape and general likeness to the ones I've seen online) that it was a click beetle. Over the last six months, however, I've found a couple different bugs that look like roaches, but this one bearing (in my opinion) the closest resemblance to one. I'm sorry this is only part of the bug--while trying to pick it up, I inadvertently (quite possibly purposely) killed it. It was about half an inch long in size.

ANSWER: Hi Justin
The condition of this bug makes it difficult especially the second photo but from the first photo I am almost certain that it is a cockroach. It is definitely not a click beetle. Why it got in your daughters hair I cannot say. They avoid people. Put a couple of roach traps in the kitchen and see you have more of them

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My apologies. The bug in my daughter's hair was what I believe to have been a click beetle. The bug in the picture was found in May. Here's what I'm having trouble understanding (maybe it's denial); we found another bug that looked like a roach a few months ago, so we had an exterminator come and be sprayed and laid traps. Nothing in any of the traps at all. And he said he saw no evidence of roaches. Then, we found the bug in the picture in May, but throughout it all, we never caught anything in the traps. Now, we have noticed that whenever we find one of these insects it is usually after a certain person visits us. This person works in an area known to be infested with roaches (even though the business has an exterminator that makes regular visits). Is it possible that this person brings these visitors with her when she visits? I have twin toddlers, I live in a suburban townhouse and cannot stomach the idea of having roaches. I'm on the verge of having an industrial cleaning service (like the ones that clean up after murders) come clean my house and then have an exterminator bomb the place while my family and I hole up in a hotel for a few days. Any thoughts you have are greatly appreciated. Thanks, by the way for the quick response. I really appreciate it!

Hello again Justin
 Your recent experience exactly I am at war with exterminators . The guy comes and does not find any roaches, sets traps and doesn't catch and sprays poison around and gives you a bill. Stop calling these guys.
If  he could not see any or trap any you do not have any and he should not have sprayed nor billed you. If you have a roach infestation you see more of them. I think there is a good chance your visitor brought that roach in. I think you should tactfully suggest that this person to check her clothing when she leaves work.
 Another thing: Describe the bug that was in your daughters hair. A beetles are outdoor bugs although I had a small one attracted to the light by my computer a day or so ago

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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