Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bed Bug

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Question
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Hello Mr. Eaton,

I was wondering if you could identify whether or not this is a bed bug. I have had them in the past years ago in a different place and am hoping this is not one.

Thank you,

Alex

Answer
Hi, Alex:

I am changing this to a public question because it illustrates another insect commonly mistaken for a bed bug.

Your images depict a "booklouse," order Psocodea, part of the order that includes barklice.  Booklice can occasionally be pests in libraries and homes.  They feed on fungi and mold (some species are pests in dry insect collections, though).  Here's more about them:

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/booklice

Booklice are typical in humid conditions, so you may consider installing a dehumidifier in rooms where you find them.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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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.

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