Entomology (Study of Bugs)/unidentified bugs


bugs on tape
bugs on tape  
QUESTION: My daughter moved her backpack off of her bed and found these bugs everywhere underneath. They are super small. At first glance we thought seed ticks but they are too round. They "pop" easily (no shell that I can tell).

ANSWER: Dear Deborah - Unfortunately, I cannot see any detail in your image that would aid in identification. Did you see these move in any fashion, or were they stationary? If they didn't move, it's possible that they might not be insects or arthropods at all. Please see if you can get a clearer close up image to attach to a follow-up question. Also, how long had the backpack been on the bed, and where had your daughter been wearing it?
Waiting to hear back,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Her bag had been on the bed about an hour. I tried to get a close up of the picture.  They were crawling on the bed.They didnt jump or fly. Really at first glance we thought they were very "full" little seed ticks.  The picture is of their bellies. The tape is stuck to the backs.

Dear  Deborah - As I still can see nothing in your image that would enable me to offer an identity, I can only suggest that you take some specimens to your county office of your state's Cooperative Extension Service (see http://tinyurl.com/ck6vrz for assistance in locating it). Someone there should be able either to assist in identification or could forward the specimens to the appropriate university office. I would like to request the favor of being notified what you are told.
My apologies for not being able to be of more direct assistance,

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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