Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

The sneakiest, flattest, best-hiding-est bed bugs OR the common carpet beetle?

(8 posts)
  1. melimoo

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Tue Mar 12 2019 23:02:24
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    Right off the bat, here's the good stuff:

    Photos of smooshed bug (what is it though?) and what looks like shed carpet beetle skins: https://imgur.com/LXMJhma

    Photos of bites (mostly for the EWWW factor, I know you can't diagnose from them):
    https://imgur.com/gbZjp7f
    https://imgur.com/y3tmrsz
    https://imgur.com/qNcGxxV

    Summary: I've been getting bites that react very badly basically every day/night for the last week. Not sure when they're happening because I notice them at all different times. I have found 2 live adult carpet beetles in my house in the last 4 days. I also found what looks like shed carpet beetle skins. I found only ONE thing that could've been a live baby bedbug, promptly smashed it too early to get a photo, and have used Cimexa for ~1 week with no alleviation of bites and no evidence of bugs.

    Longer explanation:
    I've been noticing mysterious "bites" for the last 1.5 weeks or so. Averaging 5 bites or so every night or every other night, and it started VERY abruptly. Bites start as discrete lumps, often in lines of 2-3, and then merge into a weird rash thing. I was not noticing any bites at all before this. It's only happening to me, not my roommate. We live in a 1000 sq ft 2 bedroom apartment. The bites tend to be on areas exposed at night (ankles, neck, fingers, back of knee) but I've also had bites on my inner elbow (only two) and on my hip (only one). I notice them at all different times of day.

    After the 4th night in a row and the beginning of some of my bites having a very odd and somewhat painful blistery reaction (see photos above! gross!), I started thinking "bed bugs?". I proceeded to tear apart my bed and bedframe. My bedframe is DARK wood with slats (no box spring), which makes it more difficult to search for feces or adult bugs, but I still searched every crevice, screw head, and screw hole with a bright flashlight. I found what I think could've been a very, very young bedbug, no more than first or second instar, but accidentally smooshed it trying to get it out of the bedframe with tweezers. That's what extreme anxiety will do, make you think tweezers are a good way to extract a tiny squishable creature! There were no other signs of bed bugs in my room or in the living room. No casings, feces, live bugs, or dead bugs. I checked the mattress, pillows, baseboards in my room and in the living room behind my sofa, the bedstand, my desk, the curtains (now tied up and not touching anything else except the curtain rod) and the bottom shelves of my wardrobes/the bottom of my dresser drawers, and found nothing. I promptly ordered Cimexa and a bellows duster, placed my bed legs in four aluminum baking pans (as the legs are very large and irregularly sized), dusted those with Cimexa, dusted every crack/crevice/screw hole of the mattress frame, and have been painting the area where my mattress rises out of my bed frame with Cimexa. Still, bites have been occurring basically daily and we're going on 4 days after Cimexa-ing.

    Since I've inspected my bed/room/couch thoroughly twice now and found no evidence of bed bugs, I'm starting to think -- carpet beetles? I've found 2 live carpet beetles in my house in the last four days, and I also found what appears to be two shed carpet beetle skins and possibly a smooshed carpet beetle. One shed skin and the smooshed thing was below the rug in my room and one skin was in my bedframe (photos above).

    I'm going to have a PCO, ideally one who handles carpet beetles and bedbugs, come out soon. I know that bedbugs are notoriously hard to find, but if I'm getting bites EVERY night, that would seem to imply a more serious infestation and yet - no evidence. But the "bites" seem too discrete, at least when I first notice them, to be broad carpet beetle hair irritation.

    I'm well aware that the information above does not provide any concrete answers. Hopefully the PCO will, and I'll update accordingly, but I might not be able to get one out for a while. I'm hoping to get the opinions of you wise folks in the meantime.

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Tue Mar 12 2019 23:12:32
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    Those are carpet beetles and shed skins, nothing bed bug related.

  3. melimoo

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Tue Mar 12 2019 23:14:13
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    Thanks for your feedback. And the strange bites/rashes don't provide any evidence to the contrary in your opinion?

    FYI, apologies for any double posts -- Chrome is bugging out (ha) and not showing me my post when I refresh the page, making me think I need to re-post.

  4. BigDummy

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Wed Mar 13 2019 7:37:04
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    Okay fine, they are bed bugs.

  5. melimoo

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Wed Mar 13 2019 14:25:14
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    It's hard to pick up on sarcasm over text, but I'm assuming that was your attempt at it? As I said in my original post, I'm well aware that bites aren't evidence. I'm also aware that the things I found are likely signs of carpet beetles (as I mentioned in my original post). Cannot diagnose bedbugs without seeing live/dead bugs, skins, fecal stain, or eggs, etc etc. And I'm aware that no one here can make a diagnosis without me finding that evidence. I was just looking for another opinion, since the folks here are well versed with bugs and might have some experience or advice I hadn't yet considered. I assumed I'd find some kindness and empathy even in the face of yet another "OMG mysterious bites, opinions please?" posts, but I'm disappointed to find that's not the case.

    Regardless, I've ordered passive monitors and will update this thread if I ever find concrete evidence about bedbugs so that others in my situation have another data point when considering their own cases.

  6. deBug

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Wed Mar 13 2019 15:17:28
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    Can someone please help me identify if this is a bed bug or a carpet beetle?
    Found a few under the mattress crawling very slow. They were dark as shown in the picture.
    Thanks.

    https://imgur.com/WBsp52B

  7. Scared88

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Wed Mar 13 2019 15:19:36
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    deBug - 1 minute ago  » 
    Can someone please help me identify if this is a bed bug or a carpet beetle?
    Found a few under the mattress crawling very slow. They were dark as shown in the picture.
    Thanks.
    https://imgur.com/WBsp52B

    Out of focus, but looks like adult carpet beetle to me (NOT an expert)

  8. deBug

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    Posted 8 months ago
    Wed Mar 13 2019 16:01:27
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    Thanks, Unfortunately that is the only picture I have. I do have a trail of bites on my side, but read it can be an allergic reaction from carpet beetles.

    The ones I found were crawling very slow, and found sheddings and nests in an old guitar case that had a layer of fabric under my bed.

    Yesterday, I found a small one outside my room that looked like a ladybug with black/brown/white spots and I am 100% sure that was a carpet beetle.

    Still, the bites are making me doubtful. Are carpet beetles and bed bugs able to co-exist in the same area?

    Thanks.


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