Entomology (Study of Bugs)/flea-like bug ID


I live in upstate NY, and I have no pets.
Something has been biting me in my apartment of 4 years - for weeks, but I never see them. The bites are consistent with fleas (ankles, armpits, groin, etc.)

I used glue traps and a light and caught a slew of bugs - flying and crawling, but discarded them after I sprayed my place with Virbac Knockout ES.

They have returned after a couple weeks. I used a new glue trap and caught the attached bug (shot through a microscope).
A veterinarian could not identify it as a flea that she is familiar with.
I do not know if this is what's biting me. But I would like to know what it is!  They are smaller than flees.


Thank you for including the image, which is of a non-insect hexapod called a "springtail."  More about them here:


and here:


They would NOT be what is biting you.  Springtails are totally harmless.  They are moisture-dependent, so to control them you need to thoroughly dry the room where you are finding them.  Consider a de-humidifer (though with winter approaching the dryness should send them into hiding or kill them).

Meanwhile, please address the *symptoms* with your physician, and don't assume it is insects or mites or something biting you.  Many other illnesses manifest themselves in this way, masquerading as "bites."  Unless you actually see something biting you, then you cannot make the assertion that *anything* is biting you.

I do hope you find quick and permanent resolution to the problem.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


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.


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.

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.

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.

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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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