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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/I need help identifying a Bug!



Hello, my name is katelynn and I found this bug in my hair attached and after I pulled it off there was a red bump. My head has been very itchy. My roommate also found one in her hair a couple weeks ago. People keep saying its just a bug but we cant accept that answer and need your help!

Hello Katelynn,

Thank you for the question and the photos. The photos are blurry, so I can't make out the details. However, it might be head lice. You should compare what you found to this photo:

If you think you have head lice, you need to wash all your things that might have been exposed, including clothes, blankets, and brushes/combs. Find a lice shampoo and wash your hair (maybe a few times). You want to make sure to get all the bugs and eggs (which look like tiny dots) out of your hair. Some shampoos come with a fine toothed comb that will help brush out the bugs and eggs. If you catch lice early, the infestation won't get very bad, but lice can reproduce quickly so I would recommend acting fast.

If your bugs don't look like the photo of lice, they could be a number of other things. Lice, however, are the most concerning. Bed bugs can also be a hassle, but your bugs don't look like bedbugs.

Good luck,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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