Bug I.D.
January 29, 2013 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Cleaning apt. of a deceased friend. Their mattresses were on the floor - a boxspring, and a mattress on top. Found these bugs in between the boxspring and the mattress.

No bugs or blood or little specks in the seams of the mattress as I have seen in many sample pictures of bed bugs, and not too many overall - all dead. And nothing on top mattress either. But are these definitely bed bugs? No other evidence in the apt of any bug infestation at all. But I've been cleaning for a few days, and I've been a little casual while I worked, leaving my bag on the floor, sitting on the bed as I sorted stuff etc. If they are bedbugs, just want to know so I can stay alert, and wash my clothes immediately etc. (And what are those black things, similar to mouse droppings?)
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posted by samoa to Science & Nature (14 answers total)
 
They look like bedbugs. Also, bedbugs will leave what looks like mouse droppings, but smaller. When you wash them up, you realise it's their droppings with a fair bit of red blood still.
posted by jb at 5:49 PM on January 29, 2013


though, looking again, they could also be baby cockroaches, which also leave little black pellet droppings.

But if you wash up the droppings, the ones from bedbugs will be reddish, those from cockroaches stay black/brown.
posted by jb at 5:51 PM on January 29, 2013


I honestly can't tell from the pictures; some of them look way more like cockroach nymphs to me. Look at the underside again, and look for a sharp pointy beak. A cockroach mouth has bitey side-closing jaws instead.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 5:56 PM on January 29, 2013


They don't appear to be bedbugs.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 6:07 PM on January 29, 2013


They look like baby cockroaches.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:11 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are definitely german roaches and possible roach egg sacks. I had these in an apartment in California thanks to the nasty neighbors.
posted by phytage at 6:25 PM on January 29, 2013


They do not look like bedbugs to me, either. I was going to suggest some sort of roach, but definitely not bedbugs.
posted by Brody's chum at 6:43 PM on January 29, 2013


I don't know what these bugs are, but just so you know, you can transfer cockroaches from one place to another via a bag or other other items left in places where the cockroaches are active. You may want to take precautions even if these aren't bedbugs. I worked in a coffee shop once (warning, super gross! don't read if you are squeamish!) where we got a cockroach infestation IN THE ESPRESSO MACHINE. It was the only place in the shop where we ever saw them. The exterminator said that most likely someone who lived in a building with cockroaches set their bag on the counter near the espresso machine and one crawled out of the purse and into the machine where it laid its eggs. My impression is that cockroaches are easier to kill than bedbugs though, we only needed one treatment and never saw them again.
posted by ezrainch at 7:39 PM on January 29, 2013


Yep, they look like baby roaches to me too. If they were all dead, I wouldn't panic. Someone probably bombed the place or the neighboring apartments in the near past. Check your purse and wash your clothing but don't freak out over it. Also, I'd be a little more cautious where you leave your bag if you're gonna be doing any more cleaning there. I mean, don't leave it on the floor, put it up on a chair or something or hang it from a hook that's not against a door or wall. Just in case.
posted by patheral at 8:38 PM on January 29, 2013


Entomologist! I agree, they look like roach nymphs. I tend to think that if you didn't find any live that they are from a previous bombing, but again, they are hardy lil critters, so be careful.
posted by bolognius maximus at 9:05 PM on January 29, 2013


Also, bedbugs will leave what looks like mouse droppings, but smaller.

No. Bedbugs leave something that looks like an ink stain.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:32 PM on January 29, 2013


I wouldn't worry too much about transporting cockroaches to where you live. Presumably you live in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is winter. Cockroaches really need a warm, dark, humid environment to survive. The inside of your house or apartment may be warm, but on the other hand, since it is winter it is going to be really, really dry, so it would be pretty tough for them to establish a foothold at this time of year.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:33 PM on January 29, 2013


Presumably you live in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is winter.

The OP's profile reads "haiti" -- the forecast is 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) in Port-au-Prince today.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:09 AM on January 30, 2013


Thank you all so much, your collective expertise has been enormously reassuring during a difficult time. And I will take more general precautions anyway going forward. (also this cleanup is in the Northern Hemisphere).
posted by samoa at 7:16 AM on January 30, 2013


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