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Can you tell how long this bug has been dead?[a: not bed bug-related]

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  1. timcter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 11 2014 17:56:47
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    I had a small and quickly-dealt-with bedbug problem over a year ago, and have not seen any live bugs since.

    However, today I noticed what appears to be a very small dead bedbug stuck to a shoulder strap on one of my tote bags. (Macro images below)

    The bug itself appears to be stuck to the fabric by its own feces, and the body's texture is hard and plastic-y (think of a dried booger). The legs do not appear to be intact.

    My question is: based on the photos and texture of the body, can you estimate how long this bug has been dead? Could it be a left-over from last year's bunch, or is this likely a fresher corpse?

    [EDIT] I just had the horrifying realization that this could be a cast skin, and the culprit is may still be alive.



  2. Canuck

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 11 2014 18:08:09
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    Does not appear to be bed bug related; not convinced it is insect related to begin with. Apologies for the cryptic message as on the road at present.

    Sheree Swindle / certified K9-assisted bed bug inspector
  3. timcter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 11 2014 18:12:41
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    Thanks Canuck,

    Your optimism is appreciated.

    However... the shape, coloring, and presence of fecal-looking spot seem like too much of a coincidence for this to be a non-bug related, don't you think?

    Could it also be possible that this is a discarded skin?

  4. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 11 2014 18:34:17
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    Nothing to worry about; not a bed bug cast (shed) skin. From what I can see in the picture, doesn't look insect-related. So it has never been alive and never been dead.

    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.
  5. timcter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 11 2014 18:45:31
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    Okay, I hope you're right t. It's mostly the black spot next to it that makes me nervous.

    Here's a zoomed-out photo for size reference. If you guys still think I'm just being crazy, then I will happily accept your consensus.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 7:49:41
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    Canuck is a k9 inspector and Lou is an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, so you can rely on their IDs.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. timcter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 10:33:53
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the quick and reassuring responses.

    But for future reference, can you tell me exactly what traits you based your conclusion on (size, texture, etc?), so that I don't freak out about something similar in the future? It was mostly the coincidental shape that bothered me.

  8. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 12:53:53
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    Lou has a set of pictures on this site that is really helpful. I didn't see legs or a head, so I assumed it wasn't a dead bedbug or skin.

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Dec 12 2014 12:55:39
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