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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery bugs found in the house

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Question
Mystery Bug
Mystery Bug  
The enclosed bug is from a photo our veterinarian took today.   A number of incredibly small bugs (too small to see any detail but we could see them moving) were found on a bed this morning where the cat had been, and then later on a couch where the cat had again been sleeping.   We assumed they were from the cat and took her to the vet.   He couldn't find any bugs on the cat at all.   He took the enclosed picture under a microscope and suggested we contact an entomologist.  Any idea what this could be?

Answer
Michael:

The creature in the image is clearly some kind of mite.  Unfortunately, mites are not insects and I have very little knowledge of them.  You need an "acarologist" (mite expert), and I don't know that there is one on AllExperts....

You might start with Dr. Barry M. OConnor at the University of Michigan:

http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/bmoc.html

You can tell him I sent you, as we are both on the Entomo-l listserv, an international e-mail service for entomologists.  He freely shares his expertise and if he doesn't know the answer he probably knows someone else who can help you.

Please consider writing me back, as I'd love to know the answer to this one myself, and no doubt I'll eventually get another person writing to me with the same question.

Sincerely,

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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.

Past/Present Clients
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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