Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Is this a bed bug?



We stayed somewhere months ago and returned home with bites. We noticed more the day after returning home. Assuming they may be bed bugs, we took all possible precautions short of calling in a PCO. Today, I found this dead bug amongst my things after doing a big overhaul of the bedroom I stay in.

Please note that I have lightened the photo to see more detail - the bug is nearly black in real life.

Is it a dead bed bug?
Many thanks!

Dear Kay - This is not a bed bug. It is a beetle in the family Dermestidae (carpet/hide/skin/larder beetles, etc.). It appears to be in the genus Attagenus (black carpet beetles and allies). See http://tinyurl.com/pvgfq3 for a fact sheet that includes control recommendations.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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