These toe biters that have been spotted in Metro Vancouver can fly

Water bugs, also known as electric light bugs or toe biters, have been spotted in Metro Vancouver.

They can bite humans, and they contain a toxin that can cause a lot of pain.

Here’s what you need to know about these disgusting-looking critters.

“They are ugly,” Judith Myers, professor at UBC’s Department of Zoology, told Daily Hive.

Pictures of the bugs were posted to a Tsawwassen Facebook community group, thinking it was a beetle or a junebug, showing someone was handling them in their hands, which Myers advised against.

She said it wouldn’t bite for no reason.

“You’d have to be messing around with it.”


People were quick to identify the critter as a water bug in the private Facebook group.

One person asked, “How the heck were you brave enough to pick that thing up?”

Someone even wrote a poem about it:

In Tsawwassen’s waters, where the Fraser River flows,
A giant lurks, with a story to be told.
Lethocerus americanus, a name so fine,
A water bug, of enormous size, divine.

Another person said what many probably think when seeing a bug as creepy-crawly as this one:

“It’s called a hell no bug. Burn everything down.”

Myers also told us some tragic news if you ever encounter one.

They can fly.

“My experience with them was actually in Florida,” Myers recounted.

She said someone told her that if they’re flying, they’ll land on shiny things because they’re attracted to them—like cars or asphalt when wet.

So, you should probably get rid of your car, just in case.

Myers says they’re not known to be in significant numbers in any particular spot of BC.

“They’re widespread,” she said.

Thankfully, despite being widespread geographically, she added that “they’re fortunately not too common.”

While the bite can hurt, it won’t kill you or cause long-term effects.

Have you seen any water bugs in and around Metro Vancouver?

Rate these things on a scale of ugly from 1 to 10 in the comments, with 10 being the most hideous.