Found another bug - this one alive - please identify(23 posts)
So after finding a long dead BB yesterday, today I found four of these living bugs in another room - on the duvet where the cat had been sitting.
[Image deleted at user request]
I've still found no other evidence of bugs (bites/casings/fecal matter etc..)
Forgot to add, it's 1-2mm long
Not an expert, but I would say NO!
It is an odd looking fellow. I wonder what it is!
I looks quite tick-like to me.
yeah, it does. It has been a while since I seen a tick close up! I used to get covered with them while visiting family in West Virginia.
Is this the best photo you have???
It does appear to be a tick from the photo but we can't be certain due to the quality of the photo.
Do this if possible:
> Count the legs. If there are eight legs = arachnid = probably a tick. If just six legs, some sort of insect but likley not a BB.
> Take a few additional photos. Assure they are in good focus, well lit and from different viewing angels.
Hope this helps, paul b.
Not a tick (which is a certain type of mite, BTW), but is a mite, an outdoors species. Immature, larval mites (ticks) have 6 legs; nymphs and adults have 8. Our tick species look very different, even the soft ticks. Most of us are used to seeing the hard ticks, esp. on dogs (& sometimes us).
Thanks Lou !
Thanks - that was tricky one to photograph, even using the macro setting!
I had tons of these this summer !!!
Long story short, my daughter and I were getting the odd bites, not really the right pattern for BB (too far between, weeks without, then 2 or 3, then none), Freaked anyways, cleaned and steamed every crack and crevise, tore apart furniture, bought hundreds of dollars worht of mattress encasements for the 4 beds, spent HOURS searching every minute spot in the house. No BB. Got 3 dogs in - they confirmed - no BB.
Still getting bites.
So then, my cat walks over and I pick him up and rub his belly and a bunch of 'dirt' falls out. Since I had already been inspecting every speck with a 20X magnifying glass, I checked what came off the cat. You guessed it - 20 of these little guys ! They look like mini spiders - 8 legs - about the size of a grain of sand or a small poppy seed.... or about this big . (period)
We cleaned the rooms and sealed them off from the cats.
Brought my bug collection to the entomology dept at the University McGill and also via the parasitology dept of the vet University in St-Hyacinth (via my vet).
They both (independantly) came back with oribatid mites, ground dwellers, eat moss and fungus. They do not bite and do not live on nor hitch rides on cats.
No one at either university could explain to me why I have found over 200 of them on my 2 cats or the beds they slept in a 1 month period or why I seemed to get bites only when the cats were allowed on the beds...
The mystery continues...
OK, let's solve the mystery !
> Did your cats exhibit bites or evidence of bites? ( redness, blood, scabbing, etc.)
> Where do your cats spend most of their time?
> What areas do your cats usually rest/lay down where they might pick these critters up?
> When found on your cats, what behavior did you observe? Were they affixed by the mouthparts, clinging to one location or moving about?
> In your photo I can see eight legs but it's not exactly clear. Can you post better photos; perhaps a dorsal & ventral view? (Perhaps use your 20x lens to enhance a photo? Try alcohol to put your critter "under" for a still photo.)
> Are you finding these critters loose in your house or only on the cats?
> Have you ever had any vertebrate nests in your house that you know of? (i.e. birds, rodents, etc.)
Mysterious your critter is ! ( sorry, the yda thing spilled over from the other posts.)
Hope this helps ! paul b.
The photo is not mine but I am the one with the collection... Actually, I tossed the collection after they were ID'ed - figured if that was not what was causing the bites then why keep a vial of dead bugs (they were in alcohol or taped to scotch tape)... So sadly, I cannot send any new photos.
My cats are outdoor cats and roam through the woods. One cat more so than the other and he hangs out in the sand and back woods behind our house. He is a hunter and often brings back birds or moles as evidenced by a clump of feathers or a left over tail.
All my pets are treated with Revolution for months, and certainly before the bites started. I did notice a little bit of scabbing on my cat around his collar but at that point, I had only started getting the bites myself so never though to connect the dots. It took a few weeks before I started to think my bites were something other than the mosquitos we have here (bumper crop this year !). Since they mostly appeared in the morning, I naturally assumed bedbugs but after exhaustive searches, I found nothing.
When found on the cat, they were not affixed. Actually, I picked the cat up and fluffed his belly and dots fell to the ground. I assumed it was sand (lots of sand here) but since I had been checking every little speck for weeks with the microscope, I figured I'd check this as well. Lo and behold - they were alive !!!
My daughter got a few bites as well. On one night, she came to wake us up around midnight with 11 new bites. We stripped her bed, dumped everything in the bath to deal with in the morning, remade her bed and all went back to sleep. The next morning, I found one of these alive in her bedsheets in the bath.
I assumed it was bird or rodent mites. All the evidence lined up (hunter cat, eats bird, left over mites jump on cat, cat sleeps in bed, mites jump off and bite us. TADA !!). I was astonished when 2 independant sources, one a mite expert from agriculture Canada said they were not biters !! Ground dwellers, feed on gungus ??!?! And never seen on animals... Again, no one could explain why I had found so many over a month of obsessively fluffing my poor cat. He started avoiding me cause I'd fluff him over a white sheet everytime he came in the house...
(by "fluff" I mean I would do like they do at the vet when they check for fleas: hold him by the chest with his back feet on the ground like he were standing up and vigorously rub his belly and back, anything there would fall onto the white sheet and I would inspect with my loupe)
When the snow came... the bites stopped... Havent seen a bug or gotten a bite since late November...
Now MAYBE I have a sensitivity to the bugs - if they got into the bed or couch and I slept on them, maybe I reacted to them on my skin and they never bit me. Odd thing is my daughter had the same reaction as me (not as many bites or as often though). Exactly the same 'bite' reaction too, small pimple like dot, itchy for the first day then fades but the red dot would hang around and sometimes flare up again when I got a new bite. Benadryl spray was the best solution, better than hydrocortisone.
So right now, eary January, snow covered yard, everything is OK. I wonder what will happen in the spring when the "cat loving fungus eaters" wake up again...
Sorry this was so long...
Just looked up the answer from the email I had. This was the answer
Yes, it is definitely an oribatid mite. Looks like it might be in the Family Nothridae (if it has a 'notch' on the rostrum), or a very similar family like Camisiidae
This was from a mite expert at Agriculture Canada. My original request was sent to the curator of the Lyman Entomological Museum at McGill University in Ste-Anne de Bellevue (near Montreal) who then consulted this mite expert (dont have his name). She must of sent him pictures as she has the samples in alcohol.
Some google pics of those names look nothing like my collection but these guys were the closest
(Looked kinda like a dried raisin !)
JulieH, do these mites look like pepper on the floor?
When my cat has stayed in the room, I have found black spec's as well.
I had thought fleas but the cat and dog are on on reveloution for the last 3 months.
Our snow in Edmonton has pretty well melted, there is some but not lot's.
These fungus mites do not bite though?
If you're getting bit and these are the critters then perhaps it's possible that the original identification was incorrect.
We need Lou to look at the photos too.
My guess is that either these were identified incorrectly and they are in fact biting type mites or, you may be reacting to the physical presence.
However, as it's winter in Canadia right now (january) and you have no mites & no bites, I'm connecting the dots here, then logic leads us to implicate these critters.
Lou, what to you think?
Hope this helps ! paul b,
Yes, they do look like pepper. I have a 20X magnifying glass and through that you can clearly see they are bugs, not dirt. But to the naked eye - you'd never guess they were.
That is what they told me - they don't bite. They also 'dont' travel on animals' which does not explain why so many of them travelled into my house on my cats !
I'm going with mutant mites - the original ones ate fungus and lived in soil - they drank too much Labatt Blue from a tossed can and evolved into animal parasites who bite me in bed !
and I'm with you Paul...
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck... it's probably a duck... or a biting mite !
Do you have any left in a jar or something?
I am fairly certain they were all tossed in December when I cleaned for the Christmas company. I had a jar on the kitchen window sill with alcohol and 'pepper' flecks - didn't want any questions...
I might have a batch that was stuck to a piece of packing tape. Picked up 17 that time in one cat 'fluff' (I remember cause I stuck the tape to a piece of paper and wrote 17! on it). That was kept to make sure the BB dogs didn't sniff those bugs out and alert that they were BB. But that may have gone too... I'll take a look...
Honestly, I was insanely freaked out by this at first but then I calmed down. I get mosquito bites all the time in the summer - I am a magnet for them in our wooded back yard. So I rationalized that as long as it was not BB, I can live with the occasional mystery bite.
OK. Feel free to let us know if anything occurs that you need to ask about, take care ! pb
The mites are correctly identified as oribatids. I didn't say that in my first post, wasn't sure how specific the ID should be. I think when they were first noted as not being on animals, it referred to the fact that they are not parasitic. If your cats lay down on leaf litter and related areas and the mites are there, they may simply crawl around and get on the cat, hold onto hairs like holding onto plant fibers, stop moving when the cat bounds around and not fall off..
Thanks Lou ! ! !
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