Lou Sorkin in AMNH video, more bed bug bite photos

by nobugsonme on October 18, 2010 · 12 comments

in bed bug bites, bed bugs, photos of bed bugs, videos of bed bugs

The American Museum of Natural History produced this wonderful short video of Louis Sorkin talking about bed bugs, and feeding bed bugs on his hand:

Click here to view on YouTube if the embedded video above does not work for you.

I know you’ll also want to read Lou Sorkin: On the Front Line in the Battle Against Bed Bugs, an article accompanying this video on the AMNH website.

Lou also has some amazing new close-ups of bed bugs feeding on his skin.

They’re really good shots and very educational. They’re also bound to freak out many readers who may be trying to avoid such images right now. So I am hiding them after the jump.

Of the first image, Lou writes,

Various bed bug nymphs

Inverted a vial (note indentations in skin) of bed bug nymphs on the birthmark of my hand. Note some shed skins. Bed bugs had only been feeding a minute or so. They feed quickly in this area.

Online definition of nevus flammeus: A port-wine stain is a vascular birthmark consisting of superficial and deep dilated capillaries in the skin which produce a reddish to purplish discolouration of the skin.

Various bed bug nymphs

Of the second photo, Lou notes,

First instar bed bug nymphs

Inverted a small vial (note indentations in skin) of first instar nymphs on my hand, on the birthmark. These have been feeding less than one minute. They feed quickly in this area.

First instar bed bug nymphs

Note: if you’d like even more detail, click the images above to view the shots on Lou’s flickr page, then select the largest view to see them at highest resolution.

It’s hard to express just how much Lou’s work is appreciated by all of us who spend most of our time trying to avoid bed bug bites.

Thanks, Lou, for your tireless efforts to educate the public about bed bugs!


Photos: Lou Sorkin, AMNH.

AMNH video produced/edited by James Sims.

Links updated 1/2019

1 Pete NY NJ October 19, 2010 at 8:42 am

Only those who want to be educated….will be educated. Most people don’t care about the bed bug plague unless they have been affected by it…….and that’s the worse nightmare come true for an unsuspecting person(s). I just wish there was a website attributed to scientists and emtomologists devising up to date formulas for pesticide treatments as dedicated as BEDBUGGER.com is for informing the public. The outlook will remain grim for the public until a MODERN DAY DDT formula is found.

2 Carpathian Peasant October 19, 2010 at 9:10 am

You said it well, Pete, but left out one point: things are not going to get better within the lifetime of many “older” people many of whom live in apartments.

I, for one, do not expect things to get better in MY lifetime and am probably approaching things differently than some folks.

3 nobugsonme October 21, 2010 at 1:19 am

Added above:

I know you’ll also want to read Lou Sorkin: On the Front Line in the Battle Against Bed Bugs, an article accompanying this video on the AMNH website. (See post above for link.)

4 nobugsonme October 21, 2010 at 1:22 am

Pete and Carpathian,

I actually have a lot of faith in things getting better in our lifetimes. There have been advances made even in the last four years, which is as long as I have been studying the problem.

Science and technology are capable of good things. There may yet be some advances, though they may need to be more creative than “a new DDT,” since part of what we learned from DDT is that bed bugs can become resistant to any chemical pesticide.

Options like heat could be made more affordable/available. A return to certain habits we have forgotten for a few generations would help a great deal also.

5 CarpathianPeasaant October 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

nobugsonme, honey,

In considerably less than a year I will be 75 years old. Even if a solution is found tomorrow, by the time it is organized into active use I will most likely be well over that mark. Many people already are.

I do not expect a solution tomorrow. The elderly (and probably many disabled people) will not have a solution in their lifetime. What life there is will be “different.”

Thanks for being a fighter.


6 CarpathianPeasant October 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

PS: See? I’m upset enough that I can’t even type my own long-time moniker without typographical error.


7 Lieutenantdan October 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

Lou is a kind person, a gentleman.
He had helped me through my infestation.
I cannot thank Lou enough.
Thanks again Lou.

8 AMska October 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I need help. We were in Vegas on April 19, My son was getting bites and then noticed they were not mosquito bites end of May (20th?), I noticed them on two little girls we babysat around June 22 (at this time I started to get bites in my room). Thought they were scabies and treated like we had scabies for about 3 more weeks and went on vacation without my hubby for about 5 days, came back and he had been bitten, they traveled down the hallway during this time and to my daughters room. By this time, I was seeing them crawl around after 10, but thought they were ticks. Anyway, I finally found them all over my sons bottom mattress because we threw out my top matteress and his top mattress thinking it was scabies. But it was worse, Bed bugs are demonic little bugs and they must all die in hell. Ok, So we did Heat treatment on July 26th, the whole house, and On July 27th, I found one alive on my sons shoe, in the kitchen. I killed it thinking it was a fluke, and then arranged for pest control to do a residual treatment August 6th, because I thought I was getting more bites, I even thru out my bedframe and my sons bedframe and got him a new one, and I got rails with wheels for mine, and dusted the wheels with glue traps and Diamaceous earth. I got bit the night they sprayed, I think it was from the couch. and then I also got bit at my husbands computer chair, which is down the hallway. I had them come two weeks later. He used a can with a straw on it and sprayed all cracks and crevices. More bites. at least one a day. (did i mention we encased all the mattresses?) I even encased my bottom matteress twice. I finally got a friend to call her friend for me that owns his own pest control company to come to my house three more times and spray everything. I did my own pest control and I check daily for eveidence. No body seems to be getting obvious bites except me. I slept in my daughters room for two nights because I did my own pest control in my room and overdid it. I think I got bit there too. But she says she has not been bit. My sons encased mattress the bottom of it has fecal stains, but he does not have any bites to show for. My daughter says she is not getting bitten, but she is getting marks on her face that look like pimples, but more like a mosquito bites. yet not eveidence in her room of fecal stains. I pulled the carpet around their beds, I calked my room, because my room has lamenant fake wood no carpet. I turned my furnture upside down, I have washed every peice of clothing in the house. Nothing. I cannot find anything alive since the day after the heat treatment and it is 10/22, Exactly 6 months from getting back from Las Vegas. I am getting wierd pimples on my head that are sore, but not itchy and they go away in 2 days. and little itchy spots on my face that itch for a little and then go away during the same day. I sleep with the sheets wrapped around my entire body so they cant get to my body. I do not know what to do anymore. Where are they? DO I need to thow away the bottom encased mattresses? I cant afford this madness anymore, or let it steal my time, money and joy. Is anyone else getting bites that are sore but not itchy on their head or hairline? It has been 3 months since the heat treatment. When Can I be sure they are gone? I have not seen one alive for almost 12 weeks.

9 nobugsonme October 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm

You’re absolutely right, Carpathian Peasant. I misunderstood your point.
My heart breaks for everyone who has to live with bed bugs, but especially older and disabled folks.

10 shann October 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

@AMska: you’ll probably have better luck in getting your question answered in the forums. You can find them here — http://bedbugger.com/forum/

11 nobugsonme October 24, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Hi AMska,

As shann says below, the best place to ask a question not related to a post like this is on the forums. I suggest you repost it there.

I will offer some suggestions: first, did you contact the company who did the heat treatment and let them know you saw a live bed bug the next day?

I would also recommend employing some detection techniques. Passive monitors like BBAlert Passive and ClimbUp Insect Interceptors, and active monitors like Bed Bug Beacon can work. You may be able to catch a sample. You can read more about detecting bed bugs in this FAQ on Detection.

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