Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identify bug


I am located in Alpharetta, Georgia.  I have found a small bug around my bed.  I first noticed this after I returned from a trip to California recently.  I felt like I had mosquito bites on my scalp and neck.  They itched and so immediately I was afraid we had bed bugs.  But after finding a bug and looking at pictures of bed bugs online I realized it was not a bed bug.  There are only bites on my scalp and neck and none anywhere else on my body; my husband does not have any on his body nor do my children.  My husband travels frequently and on those occasions my children sleep in the bed with me.  I have a sleigh bed so I am not able to easily vacuum under it weekly when I do my routine house cleaning.  I did removed the mattress, box springs, and moved the entire bed after I discovered the bites and was searching for bed bugs.  There were and still are not any "rusty stains" on the mattress or mattress pad, nothing on the box springs either.  Under the bed I did find a bug and I also found what appeared to be its skin that it had shed; there were several places where the skin had been shed.  These were found by the bed frame (wood part on the carpet).  Last night I woke up and felt something on my arm; it was a tiny bug.  I immediately put it in a plastic bag; this one was very small but looked like one I found when cleaning under my bed recently.  I am attaching a picture, can you please identify the mystery bug?

Dear Lee - Unfortunately, I can see no image attached to your question, can you please try again? In the meantime look at images of carpet beetle larvae and their cast skins at http://tinyurl.com/m86vojm, http://tinyurl.com/lkb5va2, http://tinyurl.com/kgy5ly4, and http://tinyurl.com/kaohv9l to see if any of them resemble what you found under your bed. They would not be responsible for your bite symptoms.

Waiting to hear back,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.