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


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Hello Jack,

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!


The images are too small to be certain but these look more like springtails (Collembola) than fleas, see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/springtails.html for details. Since springtails can also be associated with fungi and mold it is consistent with the beetles which also feed on mold/fungi. Both are harmless and would be common in warm/tropical areas. The cryptophagids are a very small group of beetles that feed exclusively on fungi.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


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.


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

see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Ph.D. in Entomology

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