Do bed bug eggs look like dandruff? [a: no/ more questions added](11 posts)
Hi. I haven't posted before, so please forgive the long description. I will try to add photos soon. Not sure how yet and my attempts haven't come out too well either.
For the past few months, we've been finding dandruff-like bits on our sofa and in our laundry, and at times the amount seems to be increasing - especially on the sofa; size is generally a small dot, but a few are longer and a few are flaky like dry skin. I've also found similar debris in my sheets/on the bed and on the floor near the bed. I've picked up the debris with tape and looked at it under a microscope (4x magnification) and it sometimes looks like eggs (other times it's like crystals or possibly human skin or old dried eggs - not sure); the most egg-like items are generally oblong or oval and somewhat opaque white, see-through, or yellow (the yellow ones tend to be a less-defined, fatter shape that I'm pretty certain are from carpet beetles).
For about 6 months, we've definitely had carpet beetles in our house (all stages), but I'm worried we may have bed bugs too as the description and photos of eggs I've seen may match both. Sitting on the couch has made us all itchy too and once in a great while, we'll get tiny welts on exposed skin that itch just a little but seem to fade as soon as a few hours or within a day (I know that can be carpet beetles, but would bed bug bites present that way too?) My husband has itchier skin with an excema-like rash (he's had that for years, before these other signs, but it's worse). Due to snoring, we're all in separate bedrooms.
On the tape, but not by sight as they are too tiny to see, I've also noticed tiny brown, yellow, beige, or black oval debris that looks like bugs/bug pieces, but don't seem to be alive. A few days ago, I found 2 white opaque bugs on the tape that WERE alive -- again only visible w. the microscope, under 4 magnification. They were pudgy and didn't have a segmented body, just a small head poking out. I think they had 8 legs, but I'm not 100% sure. The legs were in clumps of 2 to the left and right. I think they are mites because of the tiny size (and hopefully 8 legs), but are just-hatched bed bugs too small to see w/out a microscope? Don't they already have clearly-segmented bodies too, though, rather than a very round and pudgy body with just a head sticking out?
2-3 times, I have found small pieces of insects in various rooms of the house that are shiny and red-brown, but not whole castings that clearly show the shape of their former occupant; one piece had some striping on it and it was round - size of a pin head. These pieces haven't been definitive and often seem consistent with carpet beetle or ant tissue (we have odiforous ants too) or as far as I know are too small to be bed bugs. Wouldn't a red-brown casting only be from an adult bed bug, and therefore larger than a pin head, and wouldn't there be more pieces of the bed bug nearby; it was just this round piece? I've never found a complete casting.
We're going to have a PCO come out to look at our specimens and search around, but I'm hoping someone can tell me that everything I'm saying sounds like carpet beetles (or ants) and not at all like bed bugs! I'm getting very nervous.
It will be nice to see pictures when you upload them. If you needed a microscope to see certain ones, it's too small to be bed bugs.
Take a look at some pictures and make a comparison.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pixProfessional 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.
Thanks, Lou! Do you know if bed bug eggs ever look like dandruff, as I've described? Or, if carpet beetle eggs are more likely to have that appearance? These have been visible without the microscope. Photos coming - hopefully later today...
None like dandruff
Hi. Here's a link to photos -- too many, sorry, but I wanted to show various things and I've been collecting stuff for a few months waiting for something really definitive, but I still feel unsure about all that's going on - probably multiple issues:
Lou (and all), here are some descriptions:
* The mite(?) that wasn't visible with the naked eye except maybe the tiniest speck is photo #50-54.
* Sofa debris that has been looking "dandruffy:" are shown in photos #1, 2, and 30-32. Photo 31 shows how small the specks are in relation to a penny.
* #24-25 is (I think) a carpet beetle or other beetle I found, included for color and shape comparison in case it helps with identifying the bug pieces in photos #17-23 (ant or roach? please!); 34-39 (squished on a rug -- photo #33 shows their size in comparison to a penny); 40 & 48-49 (are these carpet beetle pieces? I hope not bed bug casings)?
* Photos 13, 14 and 26-29 are strange see-through possible developing antennae or legs (?) I see now and then that look a little like mini antlers. Several are often conjoined and linked in a diamond shape. They are barely visible - just a shiny yellow-beige speck on a piece of tape. I should note we've seen centipede-like insects in the room where I find these pieces - and ants.
* Carpet beetle pupa #43 or eggs #30? Or?
* Photos 6-12 were found on a chair & in the cushion at a family member's home. They looked like bits of sand or salt and pepper at first, but at least some seem to be tiny eggs. I forgot to mention that this family member has been itchy while sitting in a chair next to this chair and mentioned seeing a "black speck" on his body at some point - gulp!
THANK YOU so much for your time and expertise!!
Live link is https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_7OAdMq-Rv9UmU5WU42M2haVE0
#24-25 look like ladybird/ladybug beetle wing covers.
Not concerned about any pictures. Most look like debris masquerading as something else.
Thanks very much!! Just a few more neurotic questions and then I will try to relax:
* Do you know what the long bug is that's pictured in #17-23? I'm thinking ant or roach?
* What species would be associated with the strange spindly, "antler"-like conjoined pieces? They glow like legs or other see-through tissue (photos 13, 14 & 26-29)?
* Photos 8 & 9 are hard to see, but there were several small, oval gelatinous items in a cluster. These were visible. Do you think they could be eggs from another species? Definitely not bed bugs, though?
* The amount of visible debris on our sofa and laundry - and that it keeps appearing in spite of my daily cleaning - still makes me nervous & it is also gelatinous-looking and much of it is oval. None looked like hatched b.b. eggs to you?
Ooops, in addition to the new questions above, I meant to add more details about why I'm suspicious and still anxious:
In October, what started this whole search and panic was I found 3 live see-through bugs on my bed, about the size of lady bugs. I believe they had segmented bodies. My niece had lice at the time, but I took the bugs to a lice expert and they said they had no idea what they were. I found some similar ones near the light above my bed - mini spiders, or b.b. instars? Wish I'd gotten a photo.
A few weeks later, my daughter woke up one morning and squished a bug on her bed that left a blood streak. It was crawling, not flying. She immediately flushed it, and wasn't able to give me a good description. She's had a few blood spots on her sheets now and then. She's also had mosquito-like bites, but at least 6 months before any of these bug sightings. We all take daily anti-histamine so bites might not show up; she wasn't on an anti-histamine when those bites appeared.
An out-of-town friend slept in my daughter's bed a few nights when we were away (in August). This friend had been complaining of mysterious itchy bites all over her body for a few months, but has never said anything about b.b., nor checking for them (so I don't know if she could have missed something)? A few out-of-town family members have had confirmed bed bugs in the past couple of years. They've visited, but stayed overnight in someone else's home.
Our house is very cluttered. We have piles of clothes in two bedrooms and piles of books in my daughter's room. In my room, we keep the laundry and some suitcases. I'm worried that bugs could be hiding. Wouldn't I notice more obvious signs out in the open by now, though, or not necessarily?
Part of me is pretty certain it's just carpet beetles (and ants), since I've seen live ones and larva and pupa and holes in clothing...but I feel like I may have left out details when first posting here that made our situation seem less worrisome...
You can see some comparison debris galleries here:
Hopefully the example images and the galleries of bed bug signs will help you to better differentiate between confirming signs and debris.
Hope that helps.
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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.
David, those images were extremely helpful - thank you!!!
Given my added descriptions about why I've been alarmed (in messages above), do you think I can relax now and stop being quite so vigilant? Just so many little circumstances and findings. I obviously need to clean up to remove potential hiding places -- and I suppose it's good for everyone to check things out now and then...
I should also note that I've looked at mattresses and under beds, but haven't taken them apart -- or looked super closely in dressers, etc. In your opinion, does my situation warrant such an extensive search?
Hi. I added some more details and questions that I'm hoping Lou and/or other experts can address (see postings 8, 9 and 11, above). I think my message is getting buried, especially since the original question was marked "answered." I will start a new thread if I have future postings. Sorry for rambling, I'm nervous and keep remembering important points, but I think I've included the key info. now...
I continue to find carpet beetles (no big deal), but also bug carcasses that I can't identify: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B_7OAdMq-Rv9bXk2eFBCVUU2OEk?usp=sharing. The 1st 3 photos are the same bug carcass -- it had legs and either a long "snout" or antenna; the 1/2 photo of it kind of shows you the shape of the "head." The last photo is a carpet beetle larva that I included because I'm wondering if the mystery carcass could be from a c.b. pupa? The 4th photo is a squished bug on its back, so it's hard to see, but you can kind of make out the shape; I think I see wings, which would mean not a bed bug, correct, or do they have small vestigial wings? What is it?
Something else I just learned re. my friend who slept in my daughter's bed in August and has had numerous bouts of mysterious itchy bites: her son now has the bites. At first they thought his issue was chicken pox, but he's had the vaccine. I told her to check their rooms.
I'm hoping our clutter isn't masking a problem and that we aren't people whose bites don't show up (or that my husband has bites instead of eczema)!
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