Entomology (Study of Bugs)/identify bug


Dead PerfumeBug.jpg
Dead PerfumeBug.jpg  
QUESTION: Can you please identify this bug (photo of dead bugs attached). It seems to crawl under and around screen edges. It can fly, it is very small - approx 1/4 inch long. Looks like a somewhat soft slightly beetle shape, not an ant or wasp body. It has a strong, slightly lemon perfume smell when squished.

We live in downtown Portland, Oregon right on the Park Blocks. The bugs first showed up last spring, living and breeding between screen and window. I taped window shut. A few found another window to enter. Very little action during winter. This spring they came and there have been more than ever. I don't like killing bugs and wish to know what they are, and how to nicely but effectively discourage them from entering apartment.

thank you very much for offering this service
Cynthia - Aug 18th, 2015

ANSWER: Cynthia:

Thanks for including the images.  Unfortunately, they all show the underside of the insect, and I am having a very difficult time reaching an identification without a dorsal (top) view.

This could easily be an introduced species from Europe or elsewhere that I am not aware of yet, or that I don't recognize from the images provided.

I have to rule out Boxelder bugs on the basis of the odor alone.  Boxelder bugs have no odor.

Please feel free to take pictures of the top (back) of the insect and re-submit or ask a follow-up question.  Otherwise, take specimens to the Oregon State Department of Agriculture in Salem.


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

hopefully the attached picture of the top of this bug helps you identify it.
thank you again,


I am still baffled.  Please take (or send) intact specimens to Jim LaBonte at Oregon Dept. of Agriculture in Salem.  Tell him I sent you, and please ask him to tell me what this is.  I'm sure I haven't heard the last of it, whatever it turns out to be.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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