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Bug ID Needed [a: probable bird mites]

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  1. bugidentificationplease

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sat May 13 2017 18:06:37
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    Long-time lurker here with my first post. I'll do my best to post in the most helpful way possible; please let me know if you have any suggestions for how I could be clearer.

    A few days ago, I found a tiny blackish bug on my phone. Yesterday, I found them in the bed -- one every foot or so. They are incredibly small and look like specks of dirt, but when closely watched, they move. We took everything off the bed and washed it; I checked the seams of the mattress for signs of bed bugs and found none. When we woke up today, my partner found about 30 of them on a book on my dresser in another bedroom at the complete opposite end of the house. Upon further investigation, there was another cluster in a suitcase next to the dresser, and a smattering of them on the wall behind the dresser and on the dresser itself. We removed all of the books affected from the house, put the suitcase in the dryer, and killed as many of the visible bugs as possible.

    I have done research online and my main theories are book lice / psocids, nymph stage bed bugs, carpet beetles, or bird mites.

    Based on what little I can see about them in my terrible photos (embedded further below), they look the most like nymph-stage bed bugs or bird mites (or perhaps another mite I haven't yet come across online). Despite their presence in the book, their bodies don't look quite like those of book lice. It would surprise me if they were bed bugs and seemed so much more interested in the books/bedroom with no hosts in it, plus their very small size and willingness to be out in the daylight, but my experience with bed bugs is limited and involved adults, so I'm far from sure about that theory. The book was at one point in the bag and was on the trip with us, so it's entirely possible we brought something home. At the same time, there is a nest of birds living on the other side of dresser wall, and have been every year we've lived here, so there is a possibility of bird mites coming in through holes in that wall (if that's a thing bird mites would do). The apartment in general is in a state of disrepair, due to the slumlord situation of most of Los Angeles (a bigger issue for another time).

    Additional info:

    - No visible bites so far, though my skin feels itchy and creepy-crawly at all times lately, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was psychosomatic.

    - The bugs appear black-ish on white surfaces/our skin, but translucent on the dark dresser. In the best photo I was able to get, they appear to be translucent in the legs/antenna and dark in the body. I know that could be a nymph-bed bug that has fed, but it seems bizarre that all of them could have fed on us despite no one sleeping in that room.

    - I attempted to follow the picture instructions, but even the best photos I took are pretty horrible. I have ordered a magnifying glass that will arrive tomorrow, because THREE hardware stores and TWO convenience stores near us were all out of stock (of course). I will absolutely post better photos tomorrow if necessary.

    - We do have two cats, but they are indoor-only and I could not find any on them.

    The size of them (one near the base of my thumb):

    IMG_5483 by BB Ident, on Flickr

    The color on the dark dresser:

    fullsizeoutput_3d8f by BB Ident, on Flickr

    One of the best pictures of a beastie (ugh, I know it's awful):

    fullsizeoutput_3d90 by BB Ident, on Flickr

    The second best:

    IMG_5442 by BB Ident, on Flickr

    And a photo of someone else's bird mites that I thought these may resemble:

    http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/insectid/files/2014/03/BirdMites2.jpg

    Please let me know if I can help provide further information or assist in any way. I'm very paranoid that we have very adventurous nymph bed bugs. Crossing all of my fingers you'll say we don't.

  2. bugidentificationplease

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sat May 13 2017 18:47:54
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    Adding this photo, which included a dozen of them I managed to trap in tape.

    IMG_5492 by BB Ident, on Flickr

    I definitely see stripy markings in two of them -- one in the top left group and one in the center bottom group. To me, they look like this bird mite under a microscope -- anyone with actual experience have any thoughts?

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Sun May 14 2017 9:49:19
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    Hi,

    Yes they appear to be bird mites.

    As the images are not super clear you may want to check them against the reference images int he link below:

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/birdmites.html

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  4. loubugs

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Tue May 16 2017 7:55:20
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    I'd vote bird mites, too.

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

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