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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bed Bug or Stink Bug or Other?


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I recently stayed at a hotel and I found this bug on my purse when I was getting ready to check out.  At first, I didn't think much of it, but then I looked up what a bed bug looks like and it looked a little similar, so I took it in the bathroom and shot some pictures on the counter (attached).  I then did some more research and thought it also looked very similar to a spider beetle - originally I thought it looked like some kind of beetle which is why I wasn't concerned in the beginning.

I returned home and treated everything as if it were a bed bug just to be safe.  Washed everything on HOT, left my suitcase in the garage - all that jazz.  

After returning, I also emailed the hotel managment with these pictures and my concerns of a possible bed bug infestation.  The manager responded to me quickly stating that this is actually a stink bug, not a bed bug, and that they deal with them from time to time because they are located on a marsh.  I looked up stink bugs, and I didn't really think this looked like the shape of a stink bug, but it looks like they have a growth cycle and the younger ones could possibly look like this?

Just looking for an outsider's opinion from someone who is an expert in bug identification.


Thank you for including the images.

It is *not* a bed bug....or any other kind of true bug for that matter.  It is a leaf beetle of some sort, family Chrysomelidae:

As you can see the family is very diverse, so I can't give you a species name (or even genus).  It helps to know what plant they are feeding on, but obviously it was not on a plant in this case.  Leaf beetles sometimes fly to lights at night, so that may be why it was in the hotel.

Hope this eases your mind.


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.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 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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