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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Possible bed bug or book louse?

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Bug1a
Bug1a  

Bug1b
Bug1b  
Hello Dr. DeAngelis,

I found this bug in my apartment. I recently moved into the apartment, which is in the greater Chicago area. I don't have any bites, but I also haven't spent much time in the apartment yet.

I found it crawling on the sink in the bathroom. It is tiny and translucent. I stuck it to a piece of scotch tape, so the picture quality isn't great. I included a penny in the photos for reference. I noticed a small brown spot on it's lower abdomen, which made me concerned. I initially thought it was a bed bug nymph, but I also haven't seen any other signs in the apartment or on my bed or couch. After getting a closer look with the photos, I now think the head looks separate, so it could be a book louse, but I'm really not sure. I'm still concerned and would appreciate an expert opinion.

Sincerely,
Kat

Answer
Kat,

The image is a bit too blurry to be certain but it looks more like a booklouse (http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/booklice) than a bed bug (http://www.livingwithbugs.com/bed_bug.html). These are very common and harmless especially in older buildings. They can indicate a moisture/mold issue but not always.

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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