Identify Photo of Bug Exoskeleton Molts(6 posts)
Please let me know if the following photo shows molted Bed Bug exoskeletons, or if it is something else:
The largest bug molt in the photo is about 1/8 inch long. I found about 20 of these molts under a flap of fabric underneath a sofa, which I immediately threw out. I also found 3 molts inside the fabric lining of my box springs. I haven't seen any living bed bugs, though.
I started getting bites while sleeping about two months after I returned to my house in California following a trip to New York City. I also found a molted exoskeleton like those in the photo in one of the pockets of a portfolio I took on the trip to NYC. I was getting between 2 and 8 bites about two to three nights a week throughout April and early May. The biting stopped right after I threw out my sofa, but resumed in a few weeks, though less intensively.
I've had conflicting identification of the exoskeletons I found in the sofa by two different exterminators. One said they were from bed bugs, but he couldn't treat for them unless he found live bugs during his inspection, which he did not. (He only inspected the house for 15 minutes, and he didn't even remove the fabric to check under my box springs.) A second exterminator said he thought they were carpet beetles, but he was not a bed bug expert.
I am moving in two weeks, and I really need to get a definitive identification of these things so that I know if I should throw out most of my furniture and pack everything I move into plastic bins. I've spent the last five weeks away from my house, and just returned three days ago. I haven't received any bites since I've been back, so I'm curious if I did have bed bugs, could they have vacated my house while I was away, or are they likely still hiding in some of the furniture? I have also been using a Bed Bug Beacon Carbon Dioxide bed bug detection system for the last 3 days, and it hasn't trapped any bugs yet.
The second exterminator wins the donut they are carpet beetles larval skins.
The first one can sit in the naughty corner with the dunce hat on.
To resolve this look at:
Hope that puts you at ease.
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Absolutely no question that these are carpet beetles.
Thanks for the ID on the carpet beetles.
From my description above, does anyone think I might actually have a very small bed bug infestation, but I haven't found any actual bugs yet? Something was biting me several nights a week for about six weeks straight. I don't have any pets, and I haven't been around anyone else's pets, so I don't think it's likely that I had any fleas in my house. Anyhow, the ID on the carpet beetles does make me feel a lot better.
I would say description and sample ID together make it most likely to have been a reaction to carpet beetles all the way along.
The linked document will explain how to deal with it in a non chemical way. If you follow the protocol and get no more activity then you can be certain that's what it was.
Could be a species of Anthrenus carpet beetle. Both exterminators should know this.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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