You are here:

Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Could you help identify this bug?

Advertisement


Question
bug
bug  
QUESTION: Hi Jack,

A week ago, we moved a mattress that had been stacked upright against our bedroom wall for three months. We found tiny spots of mold on the wall and bugs crawling all over. Here are some pictures. The picture on the left was taken under a microscope of a dead one. The one on the left was taken alive. These bugs don't fly and are about 1 mm in length. We are located in Albany, NY.  We have been sleeping next to the mattress and have had no bites etc. What do you think these are?

Thanks for your help!
Prashant

ANSWER: Prashant,

Are you sure about the size (1mm)? These appear to be beetles but 1mm is a little too small for beetles. Post a follow up and let me know if your estimate of length is correct.

Jack DeAngelis



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

size of bug
size of bug  
QUESTION: Hello Jack,

Thanks a lot for your quick reply. We checked again and these bugs seem like they are around 1 mm. Please see attached picture next to a penny and a mm scale.  Is there any chance that these can be a species of bed-bug? Our property manager insists they are, but we weren't convinced, hence checking with the expert!

Thanks,
Prashant

Answer
Prashant,

If the specimen in the second image is the same as the first set they are not bed bugs. In the first set I can see "elytra" which are wing covers in beetles. Plus, the prothorax and antennae are beetle-like. These may be a small fungi(mold)-feeding species but unfortunately I don't recognize it. Bed bugs have a very different shape, see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/bed_bug.html. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Jack DeAngelis  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.