Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

Do Bed Bug's Squish Easily?

(17 posts)
  1. SayItIsntSo

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 10 2011 3:04:23
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    Okay, so I wrote out my saga of sleeplessness and misery, but you've all heard those, so I will simply ask the two main questions I have right now.

    I had dark sheets on at the time my scare began and have since changed them to white. My first question then is:

    1. How long should it take for evidence (feces, cast skins, blood) to be visible in a bed?

    Finally, tonight, after nothing but my bites to prove I'm not crazy, I saw a bug.

    I walked into my bedroom after dinner, flipped on the light and saw a bug on the carpet. Horrified, I made a grab for it. It didn't run, in fact it seemed lethargic, but sort of fell down into the carpet. I dug for it and pulled it out between my thumbnail and forefinger. I was on the verge of accepting my worst fear, but I'm not yet positive it's a bedbug. The reason is that it squished between my finger and nail. I had expected it to be hard and wriggling away like a flea, but it was more like grabbing a tiny ladybug. I didn't squeeze it that hard.

    Now that it is smashed, it is hard to describe it except that it's back seemed to come apart in two "wings" like a beetle would. I'm wondering if it actually a carpet beetle. I tried to take a picture of the corpse, but my camera won't even focus on it.

    So I must ask the immortal question: Is it a bedbug? I have no useful photo, but my question is: Do bedbugs squish easily?

    If lifes-tage matters, it was dark brown, but still very small.

    Your help is appreciated.

  2. SayItIsntSo

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 10 2011 6:34:59
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    If anyone has anything helpful from their experience, it could be the difference in whether I sleep tonight. Thanks.

  3. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 10 2011 8:20:46
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    If you still have the cadaver, save it and perhaps one of the entomologists here will consent for you to send it for positive ID. Even if it's thoroughly squished, I believe an expert can be confident in identifying it if they have the actual specimen.

    As to how long it should take for feces, cast skins, and blood (of those three, I think only cast skins would comprise unambiguous evidence, since the other two could be artifacts from other causes) (to be double-certain you would want to look at the cast skins under magnification) to be visible in a bed, if you've now made sure all components of your bed are white or light-colored solid uniform with no color patterns and a minimum of creases, seams, ridges, etc. so that any and all evidence of bugs stands out readily visible to see: my non-expert view would be that it could be within a few hours or a day or two if you have a heavy infestation, but if you hopefully have only a light infestation it could be a few days. In other words there would be no general rule because it would depend on the population density of the pests.

  4. steelwheels

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 17:46:28
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    My quest for truth began Monday morning w/ two bites to the hand coming in close proximity to each other. The first, as i live in the country and sort of expect bugs in the house, (but not in my bed) I reach over w/ the other hand and grabbed it between the thumb and forefinger and kind of felt it crunch, the second I was more careful and took it to the bathroom to see what it was, then retrieved the first one which was badly mangled, he was dark but in a ball about 1/8th in. the second if he in fact is a BB is a nymph and light tan colored, but w/o magnification and having known nothing about them, I'd be lying if I said for sure what it was. After a little research and w/whats been in the news I figured BB was the most logical and I set about a mad 48hr cleaning spree finishing up w/ double sided tape along the headboard and around each of the four round 'feet'. It wasn't till this morning that I had my first two 'guests', one on each leg at the foot board trying to get ON to the bed, but like you I'm unsure by thinking that w/ an exoskeleton that they would have been sturdier. I managed to pull the first off the tape w/ tweezers w/ minimal damage only to squish it flat putting it on a index card w/ invisible tape shooting everything out the rear end. W/ the second I was more careful seems to be 1/4 inch elongated w/ a large abdomen and what seems to be a kind of light colored band between the head and abdomen, w/ the predominate coloring being a dark brown/gray. S the only thing I can do I guess is to keep cleaning and checking the tapes. Going to the sore now for some Phenothrin. Has anyone ever COUNTED the folds of material on a 'Lazy Boy' chair?

  5. steelwheels

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 17:50:05
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    Oh BTW, I had no idea when you REALLY look for bugs, how many you find of different kinds. I got quite a little collection going on index cards w/ the date, time and location each was found.

  6. rAVENSFAN99

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 18:04:05
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    In my experience, they don't squish particularly easily, unless they've just taken a meal, in which case they'll be engorged with blood and when you squish them, the blood will come out.

    Otherwise, they're very flat and surprisingly stretchy, almost accordion-like. If I don't have a tissue handy to grab one, I'll take it in my hands and rip it.

    It doesn't sound like what you're describing, but a picture would be best.

  7. zlatik

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 21:20:53
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    If it has wings then it is absolutely not a bed bug.
    The chances are it is a beetle, but there many kinds of beetles.
    Look for more bugs/consider searching online for other bugs that look similar

    good luck!

    ps you may still have bed bugs or your bites may be caused by something completely different all together.

  8. steelwheels

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 23:22:11
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    thanks for the reply. I now have a total of six of the same thing, like I said their not real sturdy. When I taped that first one to the index card I didn't think I applied that much pressure, but squish out his rear a tan looking ooze squirted out, also they seem to be migrating back to the bed even though I haven't slept there since this began Monday around dawn. I did find that I had some loose carpet in the threshold between the bedroom and the master bath and have found a squished but alive one there and some dead ones also those nymphs are freaking quick. Just barely caught him out of the corner of my eye and I'm glad he stopped or I never would have got him. My plan was to spray around the base boards and under the dressers and nightstands, door jams w/ Phenothrin and try to herd them back to the bed where I've been getting them w/ the double tape on the legs. Nothing so far on top of the head board, but I did tape the trim around the ceiling and that seems to have made a difference.

  9. steelwheels

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 23:30:09
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    they do seem to be a bit stretchy and are a good 1/4 inch long and maybe a 1/8th inch wide. They're also not real pleased to get pulled off the double tape. I've got an iPhone but it doesn't seem to be able to focus in on them very well. Where would I send some pic's if I can get some decent ones?

  10. steelwheels

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 23:43:17
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    On another note after returning home from the store on Tuesday evening, like things couldn't get any weirder, we've got a red head, red thorax, black abdomen ant out here most people call a carpenter ant. (we also have the big black one just to make it all the more confusing.) When I got home and went in to check the bedroom, I got these ants coming in from under the ceiling trim, that's why I taped it up and there have been some rather small ones mixed in also caught in the double tape( some also got onto the bed before I got the tape up. That could have been what I got a hold of Monday morning, but the second one was more like a juvenile BB than an ant. After you kill them they seem to dry up real quick and it drastically changes the composition of them.

  11. zlatik

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 17 2011 23:57:24
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    steelwheels, it seems that everyone and their mother infesting your home. Get a PCO ASAP, identify ALL insects in your home and their origin, let the PCO do their magic while you stay somewhere else.
    make sure to go anywhere outside of the house after completing the check list

    if this is a rental unit--call LL and move, again after treating all your stuff properly or leaving it behind.
    drastic? maybe, but i am just sharing what I would do.

  12. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Mar 18 2011 1:41:02
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    Mine are paper-thin and almost crumbly.

  13. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Mar 18 2011 4:56:14
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    steelwheels - 5 hours ago  » 
    they do seem to be a bit stretchy and are a good 1/4 inch long and maybe a 1/8th inch wide. They're also not real pleased to get pulled off the double tape. I've got an iPhone but it doesn't seem to be able to focus in on them very well. Where would I send some pic's if I can get some decent ones?

    You only described an adult and not the smaller immature, nymph, stages. You should take a look at images noted in bedbugger.com. Try taking a picture and linking it to your post. There might be a macro setting on your phone. Adult bed bug has front wings but these are small and pad-like.

    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.
  14. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Mar 18 2011 5:00:51
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    The description about being 1/4 inch long and about 1/8 inch wide only refers to the adult bed bug and not the smaller immature stages (nymphs). You should look at images and links to images posted on this site that show all stages of bed bug life so you have reference points.

  15. steelwheels

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Mar 18 2011 15:17:32
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    Thanks for the shout.
    Zlatik, "if this is a rental unit--call LL and move, again after treating all your stuff properly or leaving it behind.
    drastic? maybe, but i am just sharing what I would do.
    I probably put it another post/link; I live in the country on five acres in a little double wide. Till now, nice and comfortable. When I'm working, I'm rarely home. Take a train; Houston to Victoria, lay over at the hotel, then bring one back. We've got a group of bikers that all work for the RR, we call ourselves L.O.S. Railriders. (Laid Off Sick)
    Recovered from back surgery, got my Dr to release me to full duty. Now I just have to get them on the same page for a physical and rules test get back to work and make some money.
    Been off a year now, savings gone and a short term disability policy is used up, so right now it's 1320.00 mo; less than U.I. . I'll make it through this. Sprayed all the base boards, door jam's and the entry to the bathroom. Was going to spray the mattress and go to town. I know your not supposed to 'soak' it but, ( 1 piece XL king mattress ) two boxes. On those nymphs, hell to be honest, I don't really know what they really look like, I'm lucky I can see 'em at all. To me they seem as though their almost clear and seem to be somewhat scrunched up. the say they are supposed to look just like an adult but a real light tan. In my searches I found a site that shows a pic of the exact likeness of the ants that were going thorough the house. (not through, but into the vacuum) They said it was a 'fire ant'.
    There were some smaller ones that came in and got stuck w/ the tape, so they were going for the bed. Thanks for the help, I'll keep Y'all posted.

  16. Scritch

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jun 29 2012 20:05:17
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    The ones I squished had eaten sometime recently. They squished easily and the blood squirted out of them. I don't think I know how to recognize one that hasn't eaten but the only thing I've seen recently despite bites is a spider. (Which I stupidly let go outside. Should have kept it as they eat bedbugs.) The nymphs I've squished just basically crumbled into dust.

  17. KillerQueen

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jun 29 2012 22:22:38
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    And I just read a thread from a year ago .... Does the OP still need an answer?

    I should have looked at the date.


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