Breadbugs (パンモドキ?, lit.: "Pseudo Bread") are enemies in Pikmin and Pikmin 2. These creatures remarkably resemble bread rolls, and are the namesake of the Breadbug family. They cannot harm leaders or Pikmin directly, but they can drag small objects (in Pikmin) or both small and rather large objects (in Pikmin 2) into their dwellings. If Pikmin are holding onto something when a Breadbug pulls it into its nest, they will die.
A larger version of this enemy, the Giant Breadbug, appears alongside these enemies in one cave of Pikmin 2.
“This creature's thick hide protects it from most attackers.”
“The adult breadbug competes for many of the same food sources as Pikmin, but its thick-skinned hide allows it to withstand most Pikmin group attacks. However, some researchers claim to have observed breadbugs being overwhelmed by massive numbers of Pikmin and reduced to food.”
“Breadbugs are hearty and nutritious but also bland and unimaginative. They may be palatable in a pinch, but they hold no true culinary promise.”
Olimar's voyage log
“This pesky scavenger is truly annoying. It attempts to steal the spoils that the Pikmin earn in battle. If the Pikmin chase it too far, they can be dragged into its lair along with their food. It may look weak, but its appearance is deceiving.”
Each Breadbug owns a den from which it emerges at the beginning of the day or the sublevel. Normally it trots freely around the area, ignoring Pikmin and other creatures. Once it comes across something it can drag, it will head straight for that. If it reaches such an object, it will grab it with its mouth and drag it back to its den. In Pikmin 2, Breadbugs heal themselves completely when they successfully retrieve an object. If Pikmin are already carrying an object, Breadbugs will ignore it.
Breadbugs have a large amount of tough blubber, making them immune to swarming. In Pikmin, Olimar can punch them to damage them, but they will attempt to shake him off if damaged too much. When they are defeated in Pikmin 2, their dens release all the treasures they captured. Corpses Breadbugs retrieve will be permanently removed from play.
Breadbugs in Pikmin will only drag objects with a weight of 1, all of which require two Pikmin to overpower. In Pikmin 2, objects dragged by Breadbugs vary in how much strength is needed to overpower them, depending on the weight of the object and its maximum carriers. The exact formula is unknown and it's possible that one does not exist, as the game may use a lookup table instead. However, a formula that works in every case is:
So in other words: the object's weight, plus one-half of the carrying support slots, plus 1, rounded down equals the amount of Pikmin needed to overpower a Breadbug.
Breadbugs will ignore objects with a weight heavier than 10, as well as all treasures in the Explorer's Friend Series. They are also unable to drag very small or flat treasures such as the Science Project or Luck Wafer. Giant Breadbugs are no stronger than regular ones and all the same rules apply. The following table lists all possible combinations of weights and max carriers with their respective amounts needed to overpower. Most of these results cannot be observed without hacking.
The easiest way to kill a Breadbug is to wait until it takes hold of an object, then swarm Pikmin onto that object and return it to any Onion or the Ship's pod. The Onion or the Ship receives the object and the Breadbug takes damage by banging its head on the Onion/Ship. This method usually has to be done twice, though the first hit is so strong, it may just take one Pikmin thrown on its back to finish it off. So to better multitask, the best strategy would be to throw Pikmin on top of it once or twice and then have it drag an object and use Pikmin to carry it the opposite way. The Pikmin should deliver the object, and more often than not, get the now-dead Breadbug and deliver it as well.
It is also possible to defeat a Breadbug by throwing Pikmin on top of it, but this is slow as there is a period of immunity after each successful throw. Luckily, after being hit with a Pikmin, and finishing its pain animation, it will look left and right for some brief seconds, and during this time, it is vulnerable. By carefully timing, or by throwing a small barrage of Pikmin during this time, it is possible to hit the Breadbug again without having to move the cursor or the leader. The members of this species encountered in Pikmin move more swiftly than those in Pikmin 2, making them even more difficult to kill via this method. Using Purple Pikmin makes this method faster since their heavy weight will hurt the Breadbug, and they also try to home in as they land.
Names in other languages