Help identify...sofa bugs that don't bite??!(18 posts)
I'm not sure if this is the proper place to ask this question, as I don't think I have bedbugs (praying I don't!) but I would like to identify my soon-to-be-ex roommates.
Small bugs have been appearing on my old couch. Old cloth couch, bought it used 10 years ago, I've never had a problem before. Recently I've noticed little dark bugs crawling on it. They don't appear to match any of the photos of bedbugs on this site. They are a little larger though not much, roundish, mostly black but with some tan colored speckles. They appear to have wings (which would seem to rule out bedbugs, ticks and fleas) but I have not seen one fly.
I have not received any bites, at least none that I've noticed, and I'm generally pretty sensitive to insect bites so I think I would notice. I haven't seen the bugs anywhere else but the couch.
The couch is being removed, hopefully tomorrow, but in the meantime I was wondering, does anyone have any idea what these could be? Are they bedbugs or fleas and I've just been lucky in not having been bitten? (That doesn't seem likely, but possible I guess). They've been around several days now, and come to think of it I can recall seeing at least one some months ago but only in the last week have there been larger numbers.
Can anyone help? Carpet beetles, maybe?
hrm, without seeing one of them its hard to say... tan speckles? wings?
have you tried whatsthatbug.com? you might see a photo of what you are looking for on there. i could spend days on that site, it's great.
I would save one or two of these bugs and get them identified. Sounds like possible carpet beetles though. Some people out there are allergic to that as well.
Can you post a photograph of the bug?
take a look and see if site helps...
Perhaps varied carpet beetles perhaps pubic lice perhaps you might measure them or supply a better description. With all the insects in the world 80% of the animal kingdom perhaps they are harmless. Perhaps they are in the carpet beetle family as they are emerging about now.
Most likely a carpet beetle. There are many colour variations.
Yes, I have done some more searching on the web, and I believe they are Anthrenus carpet beetles. Humans do not seem to be on their menu, for which I am thankful!
Thanks everyone for your responses. I'll be bug-free and have a new couch by the end of the week!
There are actually very few arthropods with humans on their menu.
Good to here O5440. It's always good to take precaution and find out what is there before you treat.
Worth noting that although carpet beetles do not bite some people develop a bite like response if they are present. I have been discussing this with entomologists recently and it would appear that the fine hairs of the larvae may become statically charged and attracted to human skin.
If they embed into the skin then a small hole is left and similar to the environmental affects discussed in another thread the area can swell and look like a bug bite.
A few weeks ago I had a number of out of London visits where carpet beetles were the problem and previous PCO's had indicated Bed Bugs. Its one to keep an eye out for, least of all because they can and will eat fabrics.
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How do you inspect for carpet beetles? Thanks for the info. If people do have bite like response to carpet beetles than maybe that might be a consideration to the mystery bite/skin reaction thing. I found a small one the other day under my bed after I dusted a little DE.
The best way to identify carpet beetles is to look for them. They have a complete metamorphic lifecycle so you actually look for two things at once, the adult and juvenile forms.
Adults first although they are rare to find in my experience. They are basically small round beetles and by round I mean practically spherical. They can be variegated with small spots or dots that are different shades. I am lead to believe by research that the colour can be highly variegated from greys through yellow/beige colours to greenish tints.
The larvae seem to be easier to spot as they are maggot/caterpillar like. Often called "wollie bears" they have fine hair like filaments that project from what is usually a 1-1.5cm long and 0.5cm wide body. After the metamorphosis the skins appear split down the middle and are often found as paper like husks stuck to undersides of furniture and dark places.
I host some pictures and information at: http://www.Bed-Bugs.co.uk/carpetbeetles.html
I am currently working on treatment strategies as at times we see up to 5% inspections resulting in identification as carpet beetles. I might try and get time to compile and eBook on the subject.
Thank you. I do know what they look like but I wish to know some more info on peoples skin reactions to the carpet beetle.
Talking about allergic reactions to carpet beetles – what do they look like? Could you please give some more details, maybe photos...?
The matter is for the past 3 months I've been having bites all over my body, in most of the cases the bites would swell up in big lumps, oval shaped or stretched into a line like a sting. The swelling usually would disappear within 4-8 hours. The bites would not be itchy.
Nobody else in the house is getting bitten.
I've done blood test for allergy, we washed our cat (despite she wears flea collar all the time), vacuumed whole house hundreds of times, washed all bedding, curtains etc. in 95C hot water, we even called pest control in twice to spray the whole house and the roof against bed bugs and fleas. But nothing works!
I do find carpet beetles though, very small hairy caterpillar-like insects. And I've noticed that some of the clothing does get little wholes.
If you could, please show a photo (if you have) of allergic skin reactions on carpet beetles. It can be teh key to the mistery of my bites!
Information on carpet beetles can be found at:
I updated the info on it the other week.
There are no pictures of bite type responses because like all insect / bite type reactions they vary so greatly from person to person they are not accurate enough to identify the problem.
I cant find any information on the internet either!
Maybe I should just put one of the carpet beetles on my skin and simply squash it in to see if I get a reaction!
With all due respect please read the information on the page I have just posted as it explains why just placing them on your skin may not be enough to test your situation.
You are looking at an area which is not common knowledge and many pest controllers will not consider this to be an option at present. I hope the industry will catch up with time but from what I have seen on the Bed Bug issue to date it is likely to take another 3 or 4 years.
If you want to get test for a hypersensitive reaction go and see your doctor or a dermatologist.
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