Entomology (Study of Bugs)/2 mistery bugs


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QUESTION: Would you please let me know what are those 2 bugs.
Thank You

ANSWER: Dear Dat - I cannot see enough detail in your first image to be confident of any i.d.; about the only thing I would worry about would be if it turned out to be a termite, in which case you should be seeing many others, possibly with wings. The second image includes several carpet beetle larvae, apparently in the genus Anthrenus, See http://tinyurl.com/yun78p for detailed control recommendations.

Hope this helps,

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QUESTION: Dear Saugy,
Thank you very much for the quick response. I probably have termite but the carpet beetle larvae surprise me because I don't have carpet in my house.


ANSWER: Dear Dat - Carpet beetle larva are notorious for being able to feed on an extremely wide range of organic materials, not just carpets! Among their favorite meals are accumulations of dead insects such as might be found in some light fixtures or behind baseboards.

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QUESTION: Dear Saugy,
Are they dangerous like bed bug (feed on human blood, caused irritated itchy?) or harmless?

Dear Dat - These insects do not feed on blood, the only harm to humans that have been associated with them is contact dermatitis (see http://tinyurl.com/3pa92oh), and this appears to require extensive contact over relatively long periods of time. I have had them in my homes many times over the course of years, and have never experienced any adverse effects from them.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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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.

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