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Are bed bugs black only after they have eaten?

(10 posts)
  1. Pennie Lane

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 19:38:39
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    I am wondering because I killed a small black bug around 5 am a few days ago and it was black. I squished it while it was biting me. I still have the body and it is still black. Could this be the case?

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 20:53:44
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    I never thought of bed bugs themselves as black. They always looked brown to me. (In fact, it took me months after I got rid of bugs to not freak out every time I saw a flax seed somewhere else. So as far as their color, if you want a point of reference, look at some flax seeds. Bed bugs are a different size, but color wise, flax seeds are a pretty good match as far as my brain in concerned.)

    Nymphs are translucent. Unless they've just fed, in which case the nymphs will be brownish-red.

    If you're seeing small black bugs, you may be dealing either with a pest other than bed bugs that has been mistaken for bed bugs (forgive me for not recalling the particulars of your story) or with another pest in addition to bed bugs.

  3. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 21:14:32
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    Penny...Can you photograph your catch and put it up here so our experts can take a peek at it?

  4. LVK9

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 21:27:22
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    Pennie Lane, I have seen samples that were caught and put in the fezzer that were black
    (minus the head). I think if the sample was full of blood meal and the blood coagulated then it could be black. If you squashed the bug and the blood meal was expelled, then I would think you should not see a black coloring.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 21:51:25
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    You may have had something on you that wasn't a bed bug. It is best to see a picture of the insect in question. An unfed first instar nymph is pale, but becomes straw-colored soon. I just uploaded more images that should clarify some points of bed bug morphology.

    Newly fed will be plump and red, but during digestion would get less plump to flat and have darker coloration (digested blood) inside. See this picture for fed & unfed first instar nymphs. The squares are 1/4 inch and the large bug is the adult female. Notice that the droppings are pale ones and then deposited dark on top of these.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/4242766442/

    Recently molted adult female bed bugs. Note digesting blood in gut from previous 5th instar nymph stage.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/4784549187/

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  6. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 22:27:48
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    Geezzz...just spent 20 minutes looking at all those photographs Lou put up. Incredible. Lou is lucky he doesn't get much itching from all those bites(sucks). I can't believe how those bbs look hiding in plain vivew on that button and how they encrusted that slipper...Good grief.

    Thanks again Lou

  7. Pennie Lane

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 22:29:43
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    I squished it, you can no longer tell what it is. If it happens again I will take a picture. Thanks so much everyone!

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 23:04:25
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    Squished bug can still be identified. The parts are there, just in different positions.

  9. bushbugg

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 12 2010 0:09:01
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    DeedleBeetle - 1 hour ago  » 
    Geezzz...just spent 20 minutes looking at all those photographs Lou put up. Incredible. Lou is lucky he doesn't get much itching from all those bites(sucks). I can't believe how those bbs look hiding in plain vivew on that button and how they encrusted that slipper...Good grief.
    Thanks again Lou

    I felt like I was gonna hurl!
    But, the things in my old apartment I always thought were ticks look a lot like spider beetles. Hmm.

  10. vincenzo

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Nov 7 2011 19:38:37
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    i put carpet tape down along my walls to see what was biting me. while my bugs act like bed bugs, they resemble this California Spider Beetle:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=black+spider+beetle&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1223&bih=777&tbm=isch&tbnid=c5yis4Igk2zBYM:&imgrefurl=http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/Pantry_pests.htm&docid=3g0EThIbvjh3YM&imgurl=http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/California%252520spider%252520beetle.jpg&w=593&h=427&ei=jGO4TrnZCaWNigKb_oT3BA&zoom=1

    incidentally the bites have nearly ceased since i put down the tape and caught about 10 of these suckers. i did get one bite this week after going a month without a bite and another one was waiting for me on the tape. ritual decapitation FTW!


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