Insect guide > Bugs > Flat Bark Bugs

Flat Bark Bugs

(Family Aradidae.)
These are small, strangely-formed bugs found commonly under the bark of trees, where they feed upon fungus growths. They are all extremely flat, and look, as Comstock says, as if they had been stepped upon. It is these insects which are often mistaken for bed-bugs and that give rise to the idea that the household pest breeds naturally in such situations. The abdomen
is broader than the wings, and frequently encloses them like a frame. It is not a large family, less than three hundred species being known, of which about thirty occur in the United States.

The prevailing color of these insects is brown, sometimes varied with reddish or pale markings. Aradus crenatus Say is the largest of the species found in this country, reaching nearly half an inch in length, and Aradus similes Say and Neuroctenus simplex Uhl. are the commonest species in the northeastern states. Mr. Heidemann has found the eggs of the last-named species. They very closely resemble the eggs of the bed-bug, having the same size, markings, and the same whitish color. The life history of both these last-mentioned species should be carefully worked out, as they represent different subfamilies.