Entomology (Study of Bugs)/help with this bug

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bug on paper towel
bug on paper towel  
bug up close
bug up close  
QUESTION: Hello,

I would like help identifying this bug.  We are in Uruguay South America.  Iíve attached two of the best pictures I have of it.

Thank you!

Bill

ANSWER: Bill,

Let me say at the outset that I'm not an expert in Uruguaian (sp?) insects. But, this appears to be the larva of a dermestid beetle (carpet beetle), see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/carpet_beetle.html for more images. They infest dry foods but are otherwise harmless. If you tell me a bit about how it was caught, what it was doing, I may be able to confirm.

Jack DeAngelis


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

QUESTION: Thanks for the rapid reply. We live in a 100 year old apartment/church. There isn't any carpet, just tile and old plaster. We have seen and killed many silverfish here. My wife places diotamaceous earth under and around the bed. So, the bug may have lost legs in the process of crawling through the dust. We found the bug dead on the sheet when making up the bed. We noticed the pointed parts coming from the hind part of the insect. She wants to be 100 percent sure that it isn't a bed bug :)

Thanks again,
Bill

Answer
It is not a bed bug (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/bed_bug.html for pictures of bed bugs). The hairs on the back-end are characteristic of dermestid larvae. Carpet/dermestid  beetles are very common and usually not a big concern unless they infest stored food.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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