22 Common Grey Bugs You May Encounter (with Pictures)

Some of the most common grey bugs take on a brighter color to camouflage themselves.

Bug species often come in multiple colors which are dependent on the type of environment the bugs live in.

The same species might have a different color. Some of the habitats which prompt bugs to take on a grey color include deserts, sandy terrains, and rocky terrains.

Many grey bugs are predators and rely on their camouflaging capacity to catch prey.

Other grey bugs are scavengers and don’t really need any color adaptations to find food.

Here are some of the typical grey bugs you may find around the world.

1. Silverfish

Silverfish are one of the most common types of grey bugs as they often live indoors.

A shared habitat with humans makes these bugs look much more common to humans than other grey bugs.


As one of the oldest species of grey bugs in the world, Silverfish settle in high moisture areas of the house where they seek out organic materials to feed on.

Nymphs are almost white, but they darken as they age. Mature Silverfish eventually become silver-grey.

Their coloring is metallic which means they also stand out against floors, walls, and furniture when spotted in the house.

These types of bugs can eat almost anything they can find indoors from insects to cotton and from leather to nylon fabric clothes.

As a result, Silverfish is a type of home pest but they can be removed using sticky traps and sealing off all entry points.

2. Springtails


Springtails are another type of very common grey bug that lives in populated areas.

This species may come in a grey color but it also shows brown or even black coloring at times.

Springtails love living in moist soils, which is seen in the preferences of home spaces to live in as well as in their diet.

While not as common in homes as Silverfish, Springtails are among the common species that feed on various types of fungi and organic materials in the soil.

These bugs can also help decompose organic materials in the ground.

Moving patterns are one of the easiest ways to differentiate Springtails from Silverfish.

The capacity to jump high is specific to Springtails.

Even more, these bugs only jump high when they like the soil they live in. This has been used to determine the health or the nutrients available in the soil.

3. Booklice


Growing to a size of 1mm, booklice are among the typical gray bugs that are barely visible when settling indoors.

These bugs can be gray, white, or translucent.

High-humidity rooms or homes are known to be the root cause of their presence indoors.

These types of bugs feast on mold and are milder caused by high humidity. They can only be removed by reducing indoor humidity.

Talcum powder is also used as a solution to absorb moisture around books and shelves to drive booklice away faster.

Mold cleaners can also be used on areas of the house affected by mold once humidity has been lowered.

Apart from being dangerous to the respiratory system, mold is also the preferred food of booklice.

Often removed with borax or mold cleaners, mold you remove considerably reduces available foods for these bugs.

4. Pill Bugs

Pill Bug

Pill Bugs are native to North America and are known for their specific gray color and unique body shape.

Often referred to as Rollie Pollies, Pill Bugs have 7 plates that form their exoskeleton and 7 pairs of legs.

These bugs can roll into a ball when under threat, a capacity which has also inspired their name.

While they don’t bite, Pill Bugs are scavengers. They eat all types of decaying organic matter.

A high preference for moist environments is specific to these bugs.

They can be found under rocks, logs, under pavements, or behind large objects, typically in a shaded area without direct sunlight.

Spotting Pill Bugs indoors is not uncommon as they can make their way through small gaps and wall cracks.

No specific action is needed against Pill Bugs as they rarely survive more than 48 hours indoors without access to humid soil with decaying vegetation to feed on and to avoid dehydration.

5. Ticks


Many people know ticks for having a brown color. However, they can also take on a grey color, especially after getting attached to a host such as an animal or human.

Ticks are typically picked out when walking in dense vegetation out in woodlands, around the woodland, in the park, or even in gardens.

Dog ticks are some of the most common types of grey ticks. They change their brown color to grey coloring once they attach themselves but only after they start feeding.

Ticks need to be manually removed from dogs as they ember their mouths deep in the skin.

Most dogs can avoid picking up ticks. You may only walk them on established paths without allowing them to move through dense vegetation.

Stopping your dogs from getting in contact with wild animals may also help them stay tick-free.

6. Flesh Flies

Flesh Fly

Flesh Flies (family Sarcophagidae) such as Sarcophaga nodosa have grey to silver coloring with a metallic nuance.

These types of flies are some of the most detrimental in terms of impact on humans and animals as they feed on decaying flesh.

All types of rotting meats are ideal foods for these flies. They even lay eggs in decaying meat.

Vectors of disease transmission, Flesh Flies are among the species that can cause all types of diseases in animals and humans.

Animals are more likely to eat decaying meats with Flesh Fly larvae and the most likely to get sick.

Decaying flesh is the main food for the adult and the nymph Flesh Fly. Adult flies may also feed on plant nectar, on occasion.

They are generally attracted to sweet foods and may feed on decaying and living plant nectar.

There is no direct damage to plants when it comes to these flies but they should still be managed so that they don’t enter in contact with food humans or animals eat.

7. Drain Flies

Drain Fly

Drain Flies are named after their capacity to live and breed in drains.

More than 2.500 species of drain flies exist around the world. Many of these types of flies have a fuzzy appearance that resembles moths.

Brown and grey colors are specific to most of these species.

They can be an indoor problem as they can settle in the kitchen drains where they lay larvae.

These types of flies may also settle in potted indoor plants. Their larvae need decaying organic matter around plants and plenty of moisture to breed.

No direct damage to living plants is known with the species which prefers decaying plants.

8. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha halys) typically have a brown color but they also come in grey.

These bugs grow to a maximum length of 0.6 inches and may also come in gray-red coloring. A shield shape is characteristic of the species.

A serious pest in North America, the bug is found in gardens, but mostly on crops.

Peach and pear are among its preferred foods, together with soybean and other vegetables.

It feeds on the sap of these plants and it may lead to stunt growth to the incapacity of plants to disperse their seeds.

Damaged fruit and brown or yellow leaves are among the first signs of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Invasion.

One of the biggest causes of concern is that the species doesn’t need a particular plant to feed on as it can feed on a wide range of vegetables.

Pheromone-based bait traps are among new management techniques that work against this species.

9. Brown Stink Bug

Brown Stink Bug

Brown Sting Bugs (Euschistus servus) are a species that may be seen in a gray and yellow combination.

Spotting this bug is not a good sign as it has the potential of becoming a widespread pest on certain crops.

Brown Stink Bugs are found all across North America and they are seen throughout the year in the Southern US states.

These types of bugs are known to feed on various grains. They suck the sap out of grains but they also inject substances with a toxic effect on plants.

The result is these plants stop growing altogether.

Insecticides aren’t fully effective against these bugs but many types of wasps are known to eat Brown Sting Bug eggs.

10. Ashy Gray Lady Beetle

Ashy Gray Lady Beetle

This type of bug (Olla v-nigrum) comes in at least 2 widespread colors.

A gray-to-white color is specific to this species. Tiny black spots are also specific to this bug.

A tan color is also specific to the Ash Gray Lady Beetle.

Its habitat is widespread covering an area between Canada and Argentina.

This bug is predatory and only eats other bugs and insects. It doesn’t harm plants as it keeps them from being eaten by all types of bugs such as aphids.

Ash Gray Lady Beetles also eat leafhoppers and some small caterpillars.

11. Sri Lanka Weevil

Sri Lanka Weevil

A gray-to-white color is specific to the Sri Lanka Weevil (Myllocerus undecimpustulatus). This is a species that grows to a size of 2mm and which has been introduced to the US from Asia.

A confirmed status in many parts of Florida is troublesome when it comes to this crop pets.

The species is known to feed on plants and flowers, but its exact list of hosts grows.

These types of bugs feed on various legumes, fruits, and flowers. Citruses, myrtle, potatoes, and eggplants are some of the plants eaten by this species.

Considerable damages by defoliation have also been spotted on the roots of different legumes as well.

All seriously impacted plants die following the invasion of these weevils.

Bugs of the species always move onto new legumes and fresh leaves as they are softer and start eating them from the edges inwards.

12. Tumbling Ragdoll

Tumbling Ragdoll

Gray and black mottled colors are specific to the Tumbling Ragdoll (Mordella marginata).

The nectar-feeding species is known for its elongated elytra which makes it look as if it has a tail.

As they age, these types of bugs may darken.

These types of bugs feed on plant nectar. Native to North America, the species is known for its tumbling movements but it has no direct impact on plants.

Bugs of the species may be seen on different grasses, plants, and flowers in gardens.

13. Carolina Mantis

Carolina Mantis

A type of Praying Mantis, The Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) is a species that has almost uniform grey coloring.

This species also comes in a camouflaging green color.

One of the specific traits of its nymphs is the capacity to adapt coloring to a certain environment.

This color adaptation happens across various instars, depending on the coloring of the environment.

Carolina Mantis are predators that only eat insects and bugs. Small flies, moths, spiders, and other bugs are eaten by this species.

A detrimental role may also be attributed due to the habit of also eating bees.

Carolina Mantis is a specialized predator available in stores as a biological control agent.

You can purchase a few Carolina Mantises to release in your garden as a means of controlling the pests that eat your plant.

Warm climates allow this species to live long lives and control bugs for a long time.

These types of bugs are known to live up to a year. Even bugs surviving short periods still live at least 10 months.

The Carolina Mantis has an almost throughout-the-year role as a biological control agent in gardens where it can eat and reduce the populations of almost all types of typical pest bugs.

It has even been known to try to capture bugs as large as itself

14. Half-edged Wall Jumping Spider

Half-edged Wall Jumping Spider

Brown and gray morphs are specific to the Half-edges Wall Jumping Spider (Menemerus semilimbatus).

Some spiders of this species also have a combination of grey, black, and brown coloring.

Its legs are most likely to be brown while its body is the most likely to be grey.

Half-edged Wall Jumping Spiders have hairy bodies which may make them look dangerous or venomous to humans, but they pose no direct risk.

These types of spiders are predatory, with the capacity of living in and around homes.

Common sightings are specific on walls next to lights, which are the most likely to attract spiders.

The capacity to climb walls is what differentiates this spider from other jumping species that also grow up to 0.33 inches.

Moving upwards, they also benefit from a higher vantage point which helps them easily locate prey.

These spiders pounce on prey jumping a few times their body length directly on bugs or insects.

15. Gray Wall Jumping Spider

Gray Wall Jumping Spider

Gray and black coloring characterize the appearance of the Gray Wall Jumping Spider (Menemerus bivittatus).

This is a species known for its contrasting look, hairy body, and hairy legs.

As an active predator, this spider jumps on different types of prey. It moves fast, pouncing on different insects and bugs directly.

Gray Wall Jumping Spiders can even catch flying insects.

While these are more difficult to catch, Gray Wall Jumping Spiders are known to develop certain hunting techniques to help them trap various insects.

One of these techniques is to wait for ground-nesting bees as they approach their nests after collecting pollen.

This is a strategy that works better for them as the bees often stop at the entrance of their ground nest before heading in.

Spiders of this genus are spotted across North America, Europe, and Asia.

16. Grasshoppers

There are more than 8.000 species of grasshoppers in the world.

Some of them are known for having a grey color or a combination of colors that includes gray.

Grasshoppers are some of the typical bugs in tall grasses and their history goes back millions of years.

Gray Bird Grasshopper

Gray Bird Grasshopper

Mostly gray coloring and golden yellow are specific to the Gray Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca nitens).

This species has a gray nuance closer to silver with a slightly metallic hint.

Grasshoppers of this species are highly adaptable to living at high elevations.

Aztec Grasshopper

Aztec Grasshopper

Central and Southern America mark the continents with a consistent Aztec Grasshopper (Lactista azteca) presence.

This is a species with uniform gray coloring across its wings, body, and legs.        

Cone-headed Grasshopper

Cone-headed Grasshopper

This slant-faced grasshopper (Acrida ungarica) is native to Europe. It comes in a uniform gray color or in a green color.

The species has a widespread presence around The Mediterranean.

Pygmy Grasshopper

Pygmy Grasshopper

A distant relative of grasshoppers, this species (Tetrigidae sp.)is found in different colors.

This type of small grasshopper is found in different regions around the world where it takes on the coloring of its surroundings.

Pygmy Grasshopper living on rocky terrains close to water have a gray color with black spots

17. Crickets

Crickets are some of the most common types of bugs in the world, regardless of their color.

Many people know them by their black color but they also come in other colors, mainly influenced by the appearance of their preferred habitats.

For example, crickets living in deserts or on rocky terrains take on a grey color, or a lighter color, in general.

Grey crickets are harder to spot in these areas and take on this color for defensive pursposes.

Grey ground cricket

Allonemobius griseus
Grey ground cricket. Image by James Miskelly via inaturalist

The Eastern parts of the US mark the habitat of the Gray ground cricket (Allonemobius griseus). This is a species with almost uniform grey-to-brown coloring.

Enhanced camouflaging abilities are among the main advantages of the species.

This bug can hide in plain sight on pieces of dead wood or dead leaves on the ground.

18. Cabbage Aphid

Cabbage Aphid

Cabbage Aphids (Brevicoryne brassicae) are some of the most damaging types of gray bugs in the world. They have a slightly waxy grey appearance and they may invade crucifers in high numbers.

Cabbages and Brussels sprouts are among the most impacted hosts of these aphids.

A small species with a soft body, Cabbage aphids have multiple defense systems which they may use against a series of common aphid predators.

They absorb different types of substances from plants which act similarly to toxic substances when released.

Still, many predators are immune to these toxins.

For example, predatory wasps and lacewings show little reaction to the defense efforts of Cabbage aphids that they eat.

Some types of lady beetles can also eat both nymphs and adult Cabbage aphids.

Large-scale cabbage production needs more industrialized management techniques against these types of bugs.

Insecticidal soap is often successfully used against bugs.

19. Giant Leaf-footed Bug

Giant Leaf-footed Bug

Mostly present in Southern US territories, Giant Leaf-footed bugs (Acanthocephala declivis) grow to a size of a few inches and may come in grey or black colors.

Blending in with its environment is one of the main reasons the Giant Leaf-footed Bug can be fully grey, with just a few tiny black dots.

Bugs of the species living on sandy terrains or in areas with plenty of rocks may show this bright color.

The body and most of the legs are grey, while the front legs are typically brown.

These types of bugs are among the typical pests of ash trees. Their nymphs are the most likely to impact ash trees by feeding on the roots in high numbers.

Adult Giant Leaf-footed Bugs have more diverse diets but may still damage a wide range of plants.

Goldenrods and hawthorns are among the typical species impacted by the Giant Leaf-footed bug.

20. North American Wheel Bug

North American Wheel Bug

North American Wheel Bugs (Arilus cristatus) may be seen as beneficial grey bugs at times, due to eating some of the invasive pet bugs on crops and in gardens.

Seen in many colors such as black, red, and pink, adult North American Wheel Bugs are commonly seen in grey as well.

These types of bugs are very good at catching insects with their long proboscis.

They use it to pierce prey and inject enzymes that immobilize various insects and bugs.

Crop bug pets are among the species the North American Wheel Bugs eat.

Growing to a size of 1.5 inches, they can eat species such as Japanese beetles and Mexican bean beetles.

These types of bugs are also detrimental when they eat the caterpillars of various butterfly species which have no real method of defending themselves.

Bugs of this genus feed on Cabbage Butterflies and Giant Swallowtail caterpillars.

North American Wheel Bugs show little interest in humans. However, they might bite when handled.

The bite of the North American Wheel Bug is more painful than the typical wasp sting.

21. Squash Bug

Squash Bug

Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) are one of the typical grey bug species in gardens. This bug comes in many colors such as grey or brown.

Most bugs of this type can be seen as mild pests or severe pests on crops.

They can multiply rapidly and make all of the cucurbits on a crop not suitable for commercial use.

The feeding habits of the species mean they suck out plant juices. This can lead to stunted growth or to pumpkins that never reach their maximum growth stage.

Squash bugs are also known for injecting saliva into cucurbits. This means they can easily transmit bacteria and eventually lead to squash or pumpkins that never grow as expected.

Management techniques are multiple and may depend on the number of grown cucurbits.

Only growing a couple of pumpkins at home means you can hand-pick these bugs from your garden.

You may also use essential oils to coat your plants and keep these bugs away.

On crops, horticultural soap as well as insecticide might prove a more commercially-viable alternative.

You should also avoid adding mulch to your garden if you plan to keep these bugs away for good.

Squash bugs are very good at quickly hiding and multiplying in mulch so that you believe there’s no invasion in your garden.

22. Citrus Flatid Planthopper

Citrus Flatid Planthopper

One of the most damaging grey pest bugs in Florida is the Citrus Flatid Planthopper (Metcalfa pruinosa).

This bug is covered in a waxy substance which may make it look white, at times. This substance helps it avoid detection in front of its long list of predators.

Citrus Flatid Planthopper shave initially been believed to only impact citruses in Florida.

It turns out even flowers can be eaten by the species.

Herbs are a common food source for the species, together with vines. Grapevines are also impacted by the species.

These bugs feed on the sap of vines, essentially leading to dead leaves but they may not fully kill vines and shrubs unless there’s a serious invasion.

Grapefruit is one of the typical species impacted by the Citrus Flatid Planthopper. As its name implies, it can hop from one leaf to another.

Atypical plant hosts mean management techniques are still required against the species as they can quickly spread around the garden.

These types of bugs may eat azaleas and other decorative flowers around the house.