About a month ago, I woke up with itchy, red welts in a row on my hip - a clinic couldn't identify the bites but told me I should get my apartment checked for bed bugs. I did and the pest expert said that he found only one bed bug and no eggs. The first photo is what was found on the day my apartment was sprayed for bed bugs. I received no further bites after this. However, I continued to find more bugs (second photo) but didn't have any more bites. To me the photos don't match. It's hard to recall the details from memory of the first photo but it looks like a standard bed bug. The bug in the second photo appears different - solid brown, narrow oval, without ridges on its back, but does have a split shell, has legs that span it's length, doesn't appear to fly. Before subsequent exterminations, it was found all over the apartment: under pillows, baseboards, table-top surfaces, window sills. Are both bugs the same? Is the second photo a bed bug?
Answer Dear Julie - Unfortunately, the quality of your first image is not sufficient for me to tell for certain whether or not it is a bed bug, but the second image appears to be a small beetle. I suggest that you submit any insect(s) you want identified to your nearest office of Cornell University's Cooperative Extension Service, see http://tinyurl.com/97g3u7d for contact information. The extension service usually is a valuable resource when dealing with most home/yard/garden pest problems.
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.
Organizations Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.
Publications 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.
Education/Credentials B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.