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ID requested - can you confirm this is NOT a bed bug? [a: psocid/book louse]

(5 posts)
  1. itchykid

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 22 2013 16:45:30
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    My apologies for the imgur link - having difficulty registering for flickr.
    For size reference, the bug is loosely stuck to a piece of regular scotch tape - not squished, just stuck.

    So I'm disinclined to believe this is a bed bug nymph. I'm thinking psocid. Any thoughts?

    My kid has been waking up with itchy welts on her arms and legs almost every morning for the last week. They look very much like the welts she gets from a mosquito or flea bite, and shrink down to small red bumps by midafternoon. The bumps are sticking around longer than I would expect though.

    After a recent bed bug scare in the neighborhood (row houses), I've gone a little berserk in the search for the cause of the itchy spots. Tore her bed and bedroom apart and went over it piece-by-piece with a flashlight and a magnifying glass. All I have found are two of the bugs in the image, and they don't look like bedbugs to me.

    With 5-10 bites showing up on her every night, shouldn't I see at least SOME evidence if it's bedbugs getting her? But there are no eggs, no droppings, no skins, nothing. I'm kind of at a loss.

    The only other theory I have at the moment is that there are a couple of fleas hiding somewhere in her room. Having waged an epic battle on them in another house a few years ago, though, I'm extremely familiar with the signs of fleas. I haven't seen any.

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 22 2013 16:49:17
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    Hi,

    You are correct its not a bedbug.

    I believe its a Pscocid. I have seen a few unusual cases where people have been irritated by them in significant numbers but they can also be signs of underlying issues such as damp or mold spores.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

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  3. itchykid

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 22 2013 16:57:16
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    Thank you for the very quick response, sir!

    It's a small relief to at least confirm that what I'm seeing so far aren't bed bugs. It's a bit concerning to know that psocids can be a red-flag for other issues, though. Gives me something new to check out. Thanks again!

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 22 2013 17:09:54
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    Hi,

    I would not say red-flag, I prefer to think along the lines of "indicator species".

    When you see seals at the seaside you think clean water, you see pscocids in a home and it's likely that there is a lot of potential food around to support the numbers you are seeing.

    That having seen said if you search hard enough you will find them in most homes so its not a "blue light special".

    David

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 22 2013 17:12:55
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    Yes, does look like a booklouse and as David mentioned, this and other species are indicator species that something is going on in your house that supports their main food source of fungal/mold. You may very well see very small beetles commonly known as plaster beetles and even springtails.

    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.

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