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Specific BB Questions and a Quick ID

(4 posts)
  1. limoncello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Apr 10 2012 4:19:41
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    First off, thanks so much for all your guys' help. I've spent a while reading through the FAQs, the stickies, as well as random topics and I'm completely blown away by your level of commitment and support.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Now for a http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/possible-after-bugs-are-gone-questionsquick bug ID: This is a shiny spider beetle, right?. Sorry it's a bit out of focus, I took the shot quickly as he was on the move. The squares are ~1.5 mm (I don't have a ruler). Also found a much bigger (5-6mm) version of this guy under my fitted sheet. If I'm right that this is a spider beetle then obvious it doesn't bite. But I've found a virtual insect menagerie in my apartment since I started getting bites (ranging from ~1mm blisters, to gropes of ~15 barely visible dots, to ~2.5 inch red splotches). Everything from carpet beetles, to a centepeed, to spiders, and the guy posted above. No positive BB ids as of yet. Had some possible casings but was freaked out and threw them away without properly inspecting them.

    Questions:

    1) I've seen videos of adult BBs moving quite fast. Do the younger ones move at anything close to the same rate?

    2) I tend to kill anything I feel on me before properly inspecting it (I know this is dumb, but my reflexes take over since I'm freaked out). As such, was do the various stages of BB "feel" like when you crush them? Soft? Firm? Squishy? Crunchy like a beetle? Obviously ones who have just fed will be softer and more vulnerable.

    3) After squishing them what sort of debris are left? If they've fed is there enough blood to smear? What if they haven't fed?

    4) I've been compulsively checking my enter bed. I'm guessing this doesn't allow time for signs to build up. How long should I wait between checks?

    5) Can they climb even a few inches up a wall (paint over drywall)?

    6) Can they bite through thin material like synthetic sheets (obviously they can try and go underneath it, but can they bite through)?

    7) Photos of their eggs seem to show them as rather shiny. Is this just the result of focused lighting. or are they really generally that glossy?

    Random question, but I found something that fit the description of a BB egg but was giant by comparison (1mm wide, probably 4mm long). Just out of curiosity anything have a guess as to what it was from?

    Sorry for all the questions. Thanks a bunch in advance for your help. I really appreciate it!

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Apr 10 2012 12:13:40
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    bug ID: This is a shiny spider beetle, right?.

    Yes, shiny spider beetle. See this new image http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/7064837645/in/photostream

    1) I've seen videos of adult BBs moving quite fast. Do the younger ones move at anything close to the same rate?

    Yes, both capable of crawling quickly. See youtube - http://www.youtube.com/user/lougentpix

    2) I tend to kill anything I feel on me before properly inspecting it (I know this is dumb, but my reflexes take over since I'm freaked out). As such, was do the various stages of BB "feel" like when you crush them? Soft? Firm? Squishy? Crunchy like a beetle? Obviously ones who have just fed will be softer and more vulnerable.

    Correct, depends how plump due to feeding. Not really crunchy at all.

    3) After squishing them what sort of debris are left? If they've fed is there enough blood to smear? What if they haven't fed?

    Body is left and if fed, blood. Blood can be more liquid than solid depending on how much digestion has taken place. If haven't fed and basically flat, then just body will be present.

    4) I've been compulsively checking my enter bed. I'm guessing this doesn't allow time for signs to build up. How long should I wait between checks?

    That's hard to say. If bugs are feeding or you are waiting for egg hatching. Can be activity next day, a few days, a week or two. Temperature dependent, too.

    5) Can they climb even a few inches up a wall (paint over drywall)?

    No problem, even glass (see movies on youtube) - http://www.youtube.com/user/lougentpix

    6) Can they bite through thin material like synthetic sheets (obviously they can try and go underneath it, but can they bite through)?

    Yes, that's why the encasements are made the way they are to preclude feeding through them. I think sheets are normally tightly woven and bed bugs don't feed through the material. Normally they would feed by being directly on you or by holding on with feet and stretching proboscis out.

    7) Photos of their eggs seem to show them as rather shiny. Is this just the result of focused lighting. or are they really generally that glossy?

    Yes, see images that I've posted (maybe you've seen already- download large image and zoom in) http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix

    Random question, but I found something that fit the description of a BB egg but was giant by comparison (1mm wide, probably 4mm long). Just out of curiosity anything have a guess as to what it was from?

    Too big. Bed bug eggs are around 1mm long and a fraction of that in width. See images noted above and zoom in to see what they look 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.
  3. limoncello

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    Joined: Apr '12
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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Apr 17 2012 3:14:35
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    Hi loubugs thanks so much for your thorough reply! I really appreciate it. I'm still getting bites, but haven't found definitive evidence as of yet. However, thanks to this site and your advise I now feel like I have a pretty good grasp on what to look for. If this keeps up I'll buy a trap (through this site of course) to get a confirmed ID.

    One other quick question for you: Am I correct in assuming that bedbugs usually won't lay eggs/hide in close proximity (2") to a heater? It wouldn't be hot enough to kill them, but I imagine it'd dehydrate the eggs and the instars.

    Thanks again for all the work you do on this. It really helps people like myself get a grip on the situation. Despite the worry (one might even say mild Neurosis) caused by potentially having bedbugs, I must admit I find the little guys fascinating. Ability to live up to a year without food. Little to no ill effects from inbreeding. Five stages of life, each requiring a meal to progress. Quite the neat evolutionary specimen!

  4. limoncello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Apr 17 2012 14:31:32
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    Thought of a second one: Do bites of various parts of the body (feet, legs, arms, chest, hands) tend to look roughly the same? Or can they differ in size and appearance?


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