Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

BED BUG OR FLEA? ID PLEASE!

(6 posts)
  1. whydotheyexist

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Oct 6 2018 18:13:47
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    Hi everyone,

    I am hoping someone can help me out with my bed bug vs. flea dilemma. I have read dozens and dozens of posts here that have been extremely helpful and am now to get some help of my own.

    I woke up on Tuesday morning with several bites (3 on my tummy in a triangle, by my naval; 2 on my arm, spaced apart, 2 on the back of my neck right next to each other, and one on my flank). I freaked out and when I threw off the covers to see if there was something there, I saw a little bug. The idea of a bed bug did not even cross my mind (I have not traveled recently, haven't stayed in a hotel/motel, haven't visited anyone who has bed bugs, don't live in an apartment so they couldn't have come from a neighbour) so I squashed it with a tissue and put it in a ziploc bag. As the day went on and I did some reading on bed bugs, I realized the bug I had squashed looked a lot like an adult female newly fed bug (it was long/elongated and was crawling around the bed quickly).

    I have searched high and low and found no blood/red stains on the mattress (using white sheets) or pillow, no fecal deposits, and there are no exoskeletons visible. I have searched every crook in the mattress with my father and we did not find anything. We also looked all over the box spring and the bed frame - still not a single sign of anything (no eggs either). I used tape around the bed posts and nothing appeared. I purchased "bed bug traps" to put around my bed and still nothing. Note: since Tuesday, I have developed a few new "bumps/bites" - 3 more on my arm (in a line with the older bites from Tuesday), one behind my knee, one on my right calf and one on my left calf, two on my toes (these appeared more or less during the day, with maybe one or two occurring at night when I was sleeping). I have been washing and drying everything and have vacuumed and cleaned my room as much as possible. Up until yesterday, I kept having the sensation of something crawling on me - however, every time I looked, nothing was there. Maybe it's all in my head, not sure. I have not had any new bumps since yesterday.

    Unfortunately, because I partially squashed the bug, trying to get it ID'd has been challenging. One person in pest management said he is "60% sure it is not a bed bug". Another said he thinks it may be a flea. I do not have any pets and do not come into contact with any animals. However, I do work with patients (in healthcare) and often have to interact with people who are covered in pet hair and likely dander. Not really sure where to go from here now. Can someone please help me ID this bug and provide some guidance (in the context of all the details I provided). Note: lots of blood was visible when I squashed the bug. Here are some pictures (apologies in advance that the quality is not amazing - and the back of the bug was a little "bent" because the back of the bug was stuck to its blood when I squashed it and kept trying to get free):

    https://imgur.com/a/Z3xpEJN

    The 6th picture is two blood stains from squashing the bug and the bug itself. I've also included 3 pictures of my bites (although I know they are not a reliable way to tell the difference between bed bugs and fleas).

    What should I be doing to help solve this issue? I don't want to keep getting bites! They are extremely itchy. Thank you so much in advance. The stress and paranoia has been driving me crazy! I am an anxious mess.

  2. dude

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sun Oct 7 2018 0:09:58
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    to me that definitely does not look like a bed bug. the legs are too lon. I'm not an expert but it looks like a flea to me. wait for one of the experts to chime in.

    lou is pretty good at IDing almost any kind of bug so wait for him.

    I also have similar bites like you. they were in triangles and some in straight lines. but you're lucky cause you actually found the culprit. I am still to this day very paranoid cause I could not find what bit me.

  3. whydotheyexist

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Mon Oct 8 2018 21:31:51
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    Hi,

    Thanks so much for your response. To hear that it may be a flea instead of a bed bug definitely makes me feel a little bit better. Sorry to hear about your experience - are you still getting bites now?

    My boyfriend woke up with some bites today. We purchased a new home recently and he has been living there (I am not living there yet) for the past 3 weeks. There is no bed, no couch, or any furniture at that house as we are still in the process of ordering things. He has been sleeping on the carpet in the bedroom and up until this morning, he had not noticed any bites. He woke up with a few bites that were a little bit itchy but again, no sign of any bugs whatsoever (the carpet is beige, and he has a white sheet on top of the carpet that he lays on; also sleeps with white covers and a white pillow case). Interestingly, the night that I got bit, I was at that new house before I drove home to my old house and slept there (then woke up in the morning with the bug and the bites).

    In summary: no sign of bed bugs (shed exoskeleton, stains, blood) at the old house where I sleep or at the new house where my boyfriend sleeps. Found the bug in my bed that is either a bed bug or a flea. No bugs found since. No pets, just carpet. I will eagerly await Lou's response - this issue is driving us a little crazy.

  4. dude

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Mon Oct 8 2018 22:10:14
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    So far i have not received any new bites since then. Although i have been itching myself but i think that is like paranoia in my head thinking i am being bitten or something.

    I also live with my family so we are 6 people in total in a 3 bedroom apartment and no one else has any bites either. Ironically i was the only one getting bitten, but since then I don't see any new bite marks. My mom does vacuum everyday and i have no pets. so crossing fingers hoping the culprit is gone now and i may never know what happened.

    at first i thought it was a bed bug cause i found some black stains on my sheet But i do suspect it was a flea now cause i heard online that they also leave black stains. Oh well as long as the biting stopped i guess i have nothing to worry about

    If lou does not respond feel free to Send him a PM with your concern. I am sure he will help out

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Oct 9 2018 5:30:38
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    I've been traveling. Yes, looks like a flea to me.

    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.
  6. whydotheyexist

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Oct 9 2018 10:36:13
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    Thanks a lot Loubugs, I really appreciate your help. We are going to try the water bowl with soap and light strategy today in the bedrooms to see if we get anything since we haven't been able to find a single bug yet.


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