Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Fleas?


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Hello Walter,

Hoping you could help me.  I was recently in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica and on our third night we saw many bugs in our bed that looked like fleas.  They were jumping.  Even after we had the hotel change the sheets they reappeared leading us to believe they came from our mattress. (Photo BUGS1)

The hotel then transferred us to another room; however, we saw what looked like a host of flea eggs all over the comforter.  The bed was also very damp due to the high humidity and rainfall. (Photo BUGS2)

The hotel supposedly had an expert identify the bug after we left and said it was a Mushroom Beetle (Family Cryptophagidae).  I don't know anything about this bug and would like to know what it is for health reasons.  

My inexperienced assessment is that these are fleas given their ability to jump as well as what their eggs look like but would greatly appreciate your expert opinion.

Many Thanks!

  Hi Patty
I have examined your photo and I am sure that these are springtails( members of the Order Collembola) They occur in very large numbers just about every place on Earth including on snow. They thrive in moist conditions. They are harmless feeding on fungus spores.There are no health hazards here. They have a device that is cocked under their body which is released when they are disturbed springing then into the air. Think of a cocked mousetrap dropped upside down.
The shape in the photo and the jumping tells that these are definitely Collembola. Look them up. They come in different shapes
 The "expert" the hotel hired is no expert. Any entomologist can tell a springtail from a beetle

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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