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bug ID and question about argasid ticks

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  1. Bugsadness

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sun Aug 5 2018 15:14:01
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    Hi! I've been here before, we've just received another bed bug treatment with a new PCO. I have a question:

    is it possible that I have bat bugs, rather than bed bugs? the reason i ask:

    1. we have a concurrent and seemingly endless/massive argasid tick infestation in the same room the bed bugs have appeared in. actually, after treatment, more than dead bedbugs, (though we have had some of those too,) we have had HUNDREDS of dead ticks.

    2. the bed bugs seem to act a little bit anomalous: our pack tite passive monitors on the bed and couch stay clear, and we always first notice them in the office; the bugs most often show up, when alive, on the wall; we've never found a harborage; the room they are concentrated in and continue to show up in has never been occupied, never slept in.

    i am not sure if you can tell from the images i have here or if i need magnified image, but here's the imgur link featuring one of the argasid ticks and the original bed bugs found a year ago in my home (on the wall). i have another specimen in a bag in the office where they hang out if you need me to try to take another picture:

    https://imgur.com/a/PlBSFsj

    Of course, I understand many of these anomalies could be explained by our living in an apartment building, and we could be continuing to get re-infested with bed bugs by neighbors, but it seemed worth asking about. Today I found a giant greenish looking argasid tick lumbering around on the wall like a dummy and thought, "huh."

    thanks for your help.

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sun Aug 5 2018 19:39:46
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    Bugsadness - 4 hours ago  » 
    Hi! I've been here before, we've just received another bed bug treatment with a new PCO. I have a question:
    is it possible that I have bat bugs, rather than bed bugs? the reason i ask:
    1. we have a concurrent and seemingly endless/massive argasid tick infestation in the same room the bed bugs have appeared in. actually, after treatment, more than dead bedbugs, (though we have had some of those too,) we have had HUNDREDS of dead ticks.
    2. the bed bugs seem to act a little bit anomalous: our pack tite passive monitors on the bed and couch stay clear, and we always first notice them in the office; the bugs most often show up, when alive, on the wall; we've never found a harborage; the room they are concentrated in and continue to show up in has never been occupied, never slept in.
    i am not sure if you can tell from the images i have here or if i need magnified image, but here's the imgur link featuring one of the argasid ticks and the original bed bugs found a year ago in my home (on the wall). i have another specimen in a bag in the office where they hang out if you need me to try to take another picture:
    Of course, I understand many of these anomalies could be explained by our living in an apartment building, and we could be continuing to get re-infested with bed bugs by neighbors, but it seemed worth asking about. Today I found a giant greenish looking argasid tick lumbering around on the wall like a dummy and thought, "huh."
    thanks for your help.

    Yes. Definitely a possibility. I would be interested in getting any specimens of ticks and bugs. It's a bit difficult to see the cimicid bugs in the pictures. Can you get more closeups? It is a possibility that bed bugs could be coming from neighbors, but the argasid ticks possibly throw a wrench in that scenario. There's more going on here than has been found so far. Did a PCO ID the bugs?

    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.
  3. Bugsadness

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Aug 6 2018 15:19:46
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    hi loubugs,

    you're a saint for all the work you do. i spent some time taking pics with my phone and with another camera, but some are still blurry. here's what i've got: https://imgur.com/a/cHB3WwU

    i looked for a long time at the underside of the bug, as i read that the second and third coxae are farther apart, but bug is not my lingua franca, and i wasn't sure.

    to answer your questions: the PCOs have spent no more than a few seconds IDing the bugs--I think looking to confirm it was a bedbug rather than, say, a cockroach, and not to identify whether or not it was another kind of cimicid.

    we're on good terms with a few of our neighbors, and they've never mentioned bedbugs, but i know some people don't know what to look for.

    if those pics don't work, i'm happy to send them to you in the post. i suppose i could also call the PCO and see if they have experience differentiating btw bed and bat bugs.

  4. Bugsadness

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Aug 6 2018 15:27:39
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    I think maybe the 9th, 10th and 11th picture are clearest.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Mon Aug 6 2018 16:24:59
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    Difficult to see them. They seem very dark. Too bad can't get closer and take a more magnified picture. I realize that's the max output from your hardware.

  6. Bugsadness

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Tue Aug 7 2018 15:19:47
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    Lou,

    Here's another try with a magnifying app, though i'm not sure these are any better: https://imgur.com/a/1lhA29X

    I'm happy to send them to you! Is that something you'd still be interested in?

    I haven't seen any more live ones, but have seen three ticks, two in the kitchen, one in the living room.

  7. Bugsadness

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Aug 8 2018 16:10:26
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    Lou & everyone,

    An update: I took the specimens to my PCO's office and they checked out the adult cimicid under the microscope. He said bat bugs. I asked him how certain he was and he said 90%. He told me to unpack my tupperware totes.

    He noted, like you said, that he's actually seen an uptick in bat bug reports this summer, and less bed bug calls than he's had in previous years.

    You know, I've been living out of Tupperware for a year now. I know my case is a special one, but I gotta say: if your "bed bugs" aren't acting normally, if you can't find a harborage and if you keep finding them on the wall and in places where no one sleeps--it definitely could be because you live in an apartment, but it could also be because you have bat bugs. The only way to know is to get an expert to check it out under a microscope, and you have to advocate for yourself to do that, more often than not. You have to look for signs that most PCOs are too busy to investigate. In my case, what I thought was an unlucky simultaneous argasid tick infestation turned out to be a clue I was ignoring.

    Thanks everyone. Good luck on your journeys.

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Aug 8 2018 18:03:47
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    I'd vote for 100%. Argasid ticks and "bed" bugs don't seem right, but bat bugs do. It was out of the ordinary to have bed bugs the way you were experiencing them.


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