Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Pin point brown bugs


My daughter recently woke up one morning with tiny pin point brown bugs on her arm   After looking there were multiple ones on her mattress. We vacuumed her mattress and brought a zippered cover to put on it. When we looked later in the day there were multiple bugs on top of the zippered cover. We started to panic as she also found one on the sleeve of her shirt. We purchased nix brand treatment that stated it would kill lice and bed bugs. We sprayed the mattress and had it zipped up we sprayed the floor , carpet , window sills and everything in her room only to find more of them later.  She does not have any bugs on her or bites   I thought maybe she had lice but there are not any bites or live bugs on her.  She looked in her hamper and there were bugs on the clothing in there as well. We have a cat that does not go outside and is clean  I took a piece of scotch tape and got several of the bugs and took them to a lab tech that I know that identifies bugs   He initially stated when looking at them under the microscope he thought they were baby bed bugs. Then he ran a chromatic test (think that's what he called it) and say no it's lice.  I don't understand how when my daughter doesn't have any live ones on her or bites if that is correct.  Don't they have to be on a host.  Why would she find multiple ones on clean clothes in the hamper that she has not had on in multiple weeks? We did the hair tx anyway  threw the mattress and hamper out and used a fogged that stated it killed lice.  We want to make sure we do everything to get rid of them.  We did not take the clothes out of her drawers and wash them. Please help as this is very upsetting and she is paranoid that everything she sees is a bug.  I looked at them under a magnifying glass and they have six legs and are brown. With your naked eye they look like a tiny round brown pin point (like a chigger just not red)  It's only been two days since we did the cleaning so not sure if they are gone or not. She also has carpet in her room could they be in there too and just can't see them   HELP.  We live in Virginia


I really can't help you without seeing specimens myself.  I would get a second opinion from another entomologist at a university, natural history museum, state department of agriculture office, or even the public health department (vector control division will have at least one staff entomologist).  Take that person intact specimens and see what they say.  It would be irresponsible of me to offer an opinion without seeing the critters.

Best wishes for a swift and satisfactory resolution to this.


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.

Past/Present Clients
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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