Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Fleas? Costa Rica....

Advertisement


Question
Live bugs
Live bugs  

Bug eggs
Bug eggs  
Hello Eric,

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!

Answer
Patty:

Ok, you have your images mislabeled.  The "Bug Eggs" image actually depicts the bug, not its eggs, and vice versa.....

The resolution and detail of the images are so poor that I really can't make a concrete identification.  However, the jumping creature is definitely NOT a flea.

Your description of the behavior and quantity strongly suggests these are "springtails," non-insect hexapods in the class Collembola.  They are perfectly harmless, but are exceedingly abundant in damp, moist conditions.  You can live in a desert, but have them in your bathtub.  They are very good at finding niches of moisture.

No worries on that front, but hope you avoided mosquito bites, kissing bugs....;-)

Cheers,


Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.