Entomology (Study of Bugs)/disposable diaper bug


dirty diaper bug
dirty diaper bug  
Dirty diaper was left out for few hrs maybe a couple of hrs. When I realized it and picked it up there were a lot of crawling tiniest grayish bugs with antennas on them. Not sure if theu are harmful but I know it grew from the wet diaper.

Dear Virginia - These are springtails, primitive arthropods closely related to true insects in the order Collembola. They are harmless scavengers on decomposing organic matter, and pose no threat to you or your child. They are extremely common in most environments, but often are overlooked because of their small size, They do require moist/humid conditions in order to thrive, and a damp soiled diaper could appear attractive to 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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