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Bug ID Needed [a: dermestid/carpet beetle]

(14 posts)
  1. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 12:46:03
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    I found this bug on my bed at 2am. At first I thought definitely bedbug but I pulled out the macro lenses and now I'm not so sure.

    I caught this guy the wrong way...stuck a piece of tape on him and then stuck him to the sticky tape board and then pulled the tape off. Pretty sure I mutilated him but hopefully someone can take a look and know for sure. He's about 2.5-3mm.

    Back story...husband international travel, home for 15 days now. I have 40 bites, daughter has 20. Searched and searched and came up with nothing bed bug related except two blood spots on sheets. Did find one carpet beetle skin. PCO came out, cursory look and said no bed bugs.

    Based on this bug from last night, should I call in a different PCO?

  2. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 12:59:05
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    And here are pictures of the blood spots (right exactly where I lay my arm), my arm and my daughter's feet.

  3. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 13:00:08
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    Shoot! I'm terrible at posting. Trying again.

  4. KillerQueen

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 13:20:33
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    Bug is a beetle.

    Bites "look" flea like.

  5. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 13:30:43
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    KillerQueen - 4 minutes ago  » 
    Bug is a beetle.
    Bites "look" flea like.

    Definitely a beetle? Could it be a carpet beetle? If so, then I've found one carpet beetle skeleton and one live carpet beetle in my bed. Maybe carpet beetles are the source of horribly itchy rash?

    My arm is the only concentrated bite area. The other 20 bites are random all over. My daughter only has bites on top of feet, 2 on bottom of feet and 2 on leg.

    We do not have bites and have not been around pets. Could my husband have brought home fleas?? We haven't seen a single flea. He was working with poverty stricken population in a 3rd world country.

  6. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 13:31:37
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    I meant do not have pets...is there a way to edit a post?

  7. frightened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2016 14:11:06
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    I agree that even though even a though a dermatologist cannot say what insect causes specific bite those do look like flea bites. I would put your husband's bag and suitcase outside.
    Here are the instructions from the website on how to make your own flea trap to ascertain whether fleas are the source of the bites
    http://bedbugger.com/2012/11/09/faq-do-i-have-fleas-or-bed-bugs/

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jul 4 2016 0:26:43
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    Flea trap mentioned above is a good idea for detecting fleas. You don't have to have pets to have fleas. Fleas may also have bitten outside, or of course, there could be other causes.

    I had similar reactions last year to mosquitos which bit primarily on my feet and ankles, because they were under a deck and I was wearing sandals.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jul 4 2016 7:18:52
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    Yes. A beetle and looks like dermestid/carpet beetle (or what's left of it). Not sure if I would suggest flea bites. Usually based on bites occurring on lower leg/foot. I'd check the suitcases your husband uses.
    You have time to edit your posts for a few minutes (10?) after posting.

    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.
  10. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jul 4 2016 14:34:53
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    I've got a flea trap set up to rule out fleas. Thx for the suggestion. I have a bed bug expert coming in after the holiday (he only deals with bed bugs) to double check. We used the scabies cream just in case. We do seem to have a few carpet beetles wandering around so I'm going to try to get rid of them.

    My house is becoming immaculately clean and I'm amazed at the random creepy crawlies I'm finding when I inspect every screw hole and corner. An earwig, a beetle, a moth, spiders, etc. Amazing how many bugs live right with us...

  11. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 5 2016 1:35:55
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    It's ALL making sense now!!!!! A few weeks ago I was doing laundry and spotted a cute little ladybug in a pile of clothes. That was NOT a ladybug!!! That was an adult carpet beetle!!! I don't even think I killed the damn thing. Then after getting "bit" like crazy and searching every crevice of my bed, I found a carpet beetle skeleton under my mattress. At that point I was googling every bug imaginable so I did know that was the remains of a carpet beetle (larvae?). Then I decided to stay up and see if a bed bug popped out in the middle of the night and at 2am, sure enough, a bug walked across my bed. I didn't sleep a wink that night! Only it wasn't a bed bug, it was a beetle (confirmed on here).

    What to do now??? I'm betting my boots I'm highly allergic to carpet beetles and the timing of my husband's trip was just perfect to send me into bed bug frenzy.

    Best way to search and destroy ALL carpet beetles?????

  12. itchyinSoCal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 5 2016 2:00:25
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    One further question for the bug experts:

    I keep a pantry moth sticky trap in my kitchen (after the dreaded pantry moth invasion last year, I will always keep one of these around). A few days ago I noticed maybe 10 tiny little clear "hairs" sticking straight up on the tape and thought that was weird. Are carpet beetle hairs visible???

    Based on my finding 1 adult lady bug looking carpet beetle, 1 carpet beetle cast skin, 1 tiny black looking beetle and possible hairs, what level of infestation should I expect to find?

  13. frightened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 5 2016 2:33:48
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    Hi. Ask the PCO when they come about the level of any bedbug infestation that you may find. As to the carpet beetles, people are generally not allergic to them but to their larvae who have these tiny white hairs. You need to check around corners of rooms, in wardrobes, drawers, curtains - all the places that are not disturbed very much as this is where they like to live.

    My friend found her carpet beetle infestation behind the TV and they had stripped the carpet bare. I had one on top of a curtain when I moved in my apartment. The room had not been occupied for a long time so the curtains had not been drawn.

    As to your current bites and those of your child. I suggest that you make a note of their whereabouts (you have the photos too) so that you can determine if you are getting new bites. I have an idea that Loubugs told me that the carpet beetle larvae hairs are not that easily destroyed by washing clothes so it may be a while before they are released from the clothing (should that also be a factor)

  14. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 5 2016 6:22:12
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    As to the carpet beetles, people are generally not allergic to them but to their larvae who have these tiny white hairs.
    As to your current bites and those of your child. I suggest that you make a note of their whereabouts (you have the photos too) so that you can determine if you are getting new bites. I have an idea that Loubugs told me that the carpet beetle larvae hairs are not that easily destroyed by washing clothes so it may be a while before they are released from the clothing (should that also be a factor)

    The hairs or setae in question are not white and they're not general body hairs of the larva. The setae that cause the skin reaction are the defensive setae called hastisetae. These are known as spearheaded setae and are found in tufts at the rear of the body of the larva. As for washing, I think destroyed is the wrong word. I don't remember saying that. Washing will dislodge them; nothing really destroys them. Just because carpet beetles are found it doesn't mean the skin lesions should be 100% attributed to them. Investigation should still be continued and monitors should be used.


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