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Are these bed bugs or what are they?

by Tim Dougherty
(San Jose, Ca)

3 bugs, alive and walking

3 bugs, alive and walking

I am naturally allergic to lots of things. So when I itch or scratch at night I assumed it was me, then I found these bugs at the point of the irritation. I have been through bed sheets, top mattress and look around the box-spring and can't find anything conclusive. Certainly nothing obvious. Now I am washing everything including a hand-made quilt :( in hopes to solve the issue.

Anyway please check out the picture and let me know what you think?


Editor Comment - Bugs in Mattress That Can Cause Itch

Hi Tim,

Bugs that can cause long-lasting itch, include bed bugs, lice, and mites (scabies). Scabies is an itchy skin rash caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. Intense itching occurs in the area where the mite burrows. The need to scratch may be stronger at night. It is important to note that bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but they are difficult to find. If you suspect that you have bed bugs, you should look for confirning signs of bed bugs, such as blood spots on your sheets or mattress, or small black dots (fecal matter) on your sheets or mattress.

We suggest either bringing in an exterminator to identify the insect in your photo, or send an insect to the Cornell Insect Diagnostic Lab for examination ($25 fee).

The insect in your photo does not look like a bed bug nymph, but the small size of the image makes it hard to know for sure. Best to call in an expert.

Best of luck,

Bed Bugs Handbook

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