Entomology (Study of Bugs)/small bugs biting us


I live around Dover Delaware and the last couple of days we have been getting bit by something but haven't found anything. At first I thought it might be bed bugs but couldn't find any signs of them and I mainly get bit during the day.  Then last night around 5 my 18 month old son started itching on his back so we looked and we found this very little bug on him.  It was hard to even see it because it was so small about the size of a needle point and it was Grey. I Haven't found one me but my boyfriend found one on him too.  I would love to know what this is and what we need to do about it.


Without seeing a specimen, or at least an image, I can't make an identification.

The more common household pests you are likely to encounter are:

Carpet beetles (family Dermestidae, genera Anthrenus and Attagenus most commonly).  The larvae commonly eat wool blankets and garments, dry pet food, and other dry animal products including accumulated hair shed by pets and people.

Springtails (class Collembola).  Not all species jump, but they are tiny, grayish, usually associated with bathtubs, basins, showers, and other damp places.

Booklice (order Psocodea).  Tiny, usually associated with starchy materials.

Fleas (order Siphonaptera).  The only small, flightless insects usually found indoors.

Bed bugs are most commonly encountered in situations with multiple serial occupants (motels, hotels, hostels, dorms, cabins, homeless shelters, etc).

Best idea is to take intact specimens to a local entomologist with a university, natural history museum, state department of agriculture, or even the public health department (vector control division will have at least one staff entomologist).  There is no substitute for someone looking at a specimen under a microscope.  Almost impossible to ID "over the phone" or internet in this instance.

Take care.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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