Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What is this bug?



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Hi Ed,
I'm trying to identify the source of bites on the bodies of people in our home. We've had a PCO with a bed bug dog in twice and the dog didn't detect anything.  I found this , which to my my untrained eye looks like a body louse, however, this would be odd since everyone here is hygienic, showering and changing clothes every day. On the other hand we have noticed a disproportionate amount of what we thought was  lint balls in our clothing, so now I'm not sure. Thanks in advance for your help. We're at wit's end here.



4 photos of bug including bottom view here: https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=F0291FFFFD3ADD30!637&authkey=!AJnEohu__JvpL5A&ithint=folder%2cjpg

Dear James - What you have here is a friend, not a foe. It is a pseudoscorpion, an arachnid related to spiders, scorpions, ticks, etc. (see http://tinyurl.com/36vv3q). They are general predators on other small arthropods and thus usually considered as beneficial; they are completely harmless to humans. As to your bite symptoms, please bear in mind that with very few exceptions (such as bed bugs), it is nearly impossible to identify the source of 'mystery bites' without actually seeing/capturing the culprit(s) in the act of biting, and there are other causes of skin lesions that easily can be mistaken for arthropod bites.

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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