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IDs requested. Already have carpet beetles, bed bugs too? [a: psocids/book lice]

(6 posts)
  1. CarpetBeetle

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2014 21:24:33
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    I am afraid I may have bed bugs and if I do, have literally done everything wrong to contain them because I was cleaning for carpet beetles. I am looking for verification of
    1. little pink bits (photos) that were found on top of my vacuum cleaner after vacuuming my entire bedroom top-to-bottom, including my mattress and box spring (possibly nymphs?),
    bed bug nymphs? by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    bed bug nymphs? by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    2. new small dots I found today in the box spring corner protectors (photos),
    Bed bugs? bottom of box spring corner B by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    Inside box spring corner cover C by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    as well as 3. other potential evidence that may signal bed bugs seen below. The entire album can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126738469@N06/sets/72157646785110347/

    And if they are bed bugs, what is the best course of action now that I've disturbed them and possibly run them into deeper hiding places? Thanks!

    Here's the full story for context:
    Five years ago I started noticing beetles in our bedroom. I looked them up online and found out they were carpet beetles and that they eat clothing. So I went through a super deep cleaning and moved all the furniture. I found evidence of casings/eggs under a bookcase without feet (so it wasn't being vacuumed under) and behind an old phone jack that was askew from the wall. I cleaned up both areas and treated with boric acid. Since then, I haven't seen any adult beetles in the bedroom.

    Recently, I'd noticed my husband's t-shirts seem to be getting small holes in them. He keeps them rolled military-style, two layers deep, in a dresser we got from friends who moved about 4 years ago. Then, as I was getting laundry out of the bathroom hamper I saw a larvae on one of his shirts. Okay – hamper gets chucked and everything is getting pulled out to check for CB and being washed in hot water just in case. Well, when I took everything out, I found only 2 old casings and no active larvae. There was some yucky stuff in the corners, some little dots of an orangeish/brown staining on the drawer bottoms, and in two of the bottom drawers, the shirts that had been on the bottom layer had been severely stained in a pinkish/orange color.
    dresser drawer by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    dresser drawer bottom by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    Feeling skeeved out I cleaned the drawers outside, dumped the severely stained t-shirts (which hubby admitted he probably hadn't worn in 3 years), did laundry, got rid of the dressers, and did another full move-the-furniture cleaning of the bedroom, including mattress and box spring. I found one larvae in-between the carpet and dresser and another in our hallway, which had probably dropped off a piece of clothing on the way to being laundered. I found more casings as I went along (photos in album), but I'll admit, by the time I got to vacuuming the box spring days later, I was no longer looking for evidence of bugs and just vacuumed. Although I believe I would have noticed any large infestation like the pictures I've seen.

    As I did more research, I couldn't find anything about carpet beetles staining clothing like what I had found in the drawers. I finished cleaning on Wednesday. On Friday I worked a day-long outdoor program. On Saturday we left for the weekend, to stay overnight at a friend's house. It was on Saturday afternoon that I first noticed the welts on my finger. They looked like bites – three small ones in a row and then a fourth larger one next to it. I thought I'd had a single bite on my arm Tuesday, but didn't think anything of it at the time as it didn't itch and went away. Then as Saturday continued I noticed other “bites” starting to appear on my arm and neck as the ones on my finger began to swell and become blistery.

    Then I found a large dark smear on my husband's pillowcase, which we'd brought with us.
    smear on pillow case by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    [For the record, it didn't smear with saliva applied.] It was at this point I started to freak out thinking we might have bed bugs at home and that I'd possibly disturbed them with the cleaning and now they could be anywhere/everywhere else in our house because I'd moved things without bagging them and kept stuff outside the bedroom as I cleaned, moving items to the living room and that I could now possibly be spreading them to my friend's house! I remembered back to the previous weekend when I'd heard the tail-end of another friend's story of his new apartment and how he'd seen bedbugs, but that they'd come in because the neighbor had bombed for them and supposedly his apartment was being treated too and everything was fine. This was after I'd hugged him, sat on a couch he'd been sitting on, and then I'd kept the shirt I was wearing out in our bedroom to wear again. Needless to say, I didn't actually sleep at our friend's house that night.

    On Monday the “bites” got worse and I found them around my eyes, which were swollen, so I went to the doctor. She asked if I'd been out in the woods (which I had), said it was likely poison ivy and gave me steroids. I hoped that was true, but wanted to make sure I didn't have any evidence of bed bugs, just in case, before I let it go. So Tuesday, I went back to the mattress/box spring and found this darker area on the box spring.
    Bed bug staining? by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    I also, pulled away the plastic corner cover (which I'd missed during cleaning) but don't think I found anything there.
    box spring corner cover A by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    There is staining on the top of our box spring, but it has been there since two apartments ago (15 years). We'd always assumed it was some sort of mildew because we were living in a basement at the time. I found the hole in it when I did the big cleaning 5 years ago and assumed it was from CB.
    top of box spring by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    close-up top of box spring by carpet.beetle, on Flickr

    I took the vacuum outside to clean it thoroughly (it was on the linoleum floor in the kitchen, so at this point anything living could have crawled into the rest of the apartment. That's when I found the small pink bug-looking things on the outside of the vacuum among the dust in the indentation where you can change the brush height. (photos at top). Nothing seemed to be alive, but it looked the right color for bed bug nymphs.

    I've gotten up every night around 3 am and looked with a flashlight and haven't found any bugs. I've been wearing long sleeves and pants to bed, just in case. My husband doesn't have any bites. This morning I got what looks to be a new bite on my right wrist and 4 on the knuckles of my left hand. But it's also still within the poison ivy blooming period. I also realized that the box spring had two more corner covers at the top near our heads. I took each one off and inspected. When I started to zoom in to take a picture of the second one (corner D), I saw the first movement ever. I'll admit I panicked and ran outside with it. The very, very small clear bug was still on it, but when I used the tape to capture it and try to isolate it for a picture, I lost it within the rest of the gunk there.
    Inside box spring corner cover D 1 of 3 by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    Inside box spring corner cover D 2 of 3 by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    Inside box spring corner cover D 3 of 3 by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    bed bugs? spots from box spring corner cover by carpet.beetle, on Flickr

    Then there's other weird stuff -- staining evidence from the carpets under the dresser, which I think looks a little pink for BB feces, but want to confirm.
    weird staining by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    Black dots I found when cleaning for CBs. These do seem like the right color for bed bug feces, but I threw this out before I started suspecting BBs, so I can't test it.
    Bed bug feces? by carpet.beetle, on Flickr

    And a couple of additional bug IDs -- I have yet to fully rid the house of CB, but I have recently figured out where they are hiding in my kitchen – in between the window pane and the plastic handle. That's where these two other bug photos are from. They were taken during the day.
    Bed bug? Other bug? by carpet.beetle, on Flickr
    Bed bug? Other bug? by carpet.beetle, on Flickr

    Thank you for your help. I know I may not have any definitive BB evidence (without bodies, unless the pink ones are a positive ID), but I need to know if I should keep looking or if I can assume no and go back to cleaning exclusively for CB. I was already obsessing for cleaning every nook and cranny for CBs and have just about lost my mind trying to prove or disprove BBs. Thanks again!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2014 5:03:57
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    Hi,

    Non of the image show any signs of bedbugs.

    The insects are Pscocids and along with some of the other image point towards a damp / humidity issue in the property.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  3. loubugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2014 5:53:25
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    Agreed. Booklouse.

    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.
  4. CarpetBeetle

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2014 11:35:15
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    Thank you both for your responses!! I am very happy to get your expert opinions! I can now investigate what needs to be done for book lice (no more library book sales for me!) and go back to cleaning for carpet beetles.
    Thought the crawling mini-bug yesterday was going to break me. Feeling positive. Time to rotate the clothes that couldn't be cleaned in hot water in the freezer.

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2014 11:46:19
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    Hi,

    Booklice are an indicator species, which means you only see them in large numbers when they have a lot of food options available. This is more to do with your home rather than what you bring into it.

    Its usually an indication of dampness or humidity which allows any mold to thrive and thus feed larger populations of booklice.

    As such its about building work and remediation rather than spraying or halting the book collection.

    David

  6. CarpetBeetle

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 5 2014 12:25:45
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    Thank you, David.

    That all makes sense when put together with the staining on the box spring (from 2 apartments ago when we were in a very damp basement apartment), staining on the bottom of the dresser drawers (came from people living by the ocean), and somewhat muggy conditions here in our current apartment.

    The only thing I have yet to figure out is the staining on the clothing in the drawers. Based on your observations, I am now thinking the pinkish/orange staining may have actually been mildew damage rather than bug-related.

    Glad to be pointed in the right direction so I can make the needed changes. And extremely grateful to have the confirmation that it's not bed bugs!


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