What is this bugger?
August 6, 2012 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Please tell me these aren't bed bugs (pictures attached).

Saw one of these today on a guest bed, and took some photos of it. Looking at pictures online, I'm hoping these aren't the dreaded buggers, but obviously my judgement is clouded by personal biases at the moment. Can anyone tell me what they think these are?

Here's one of its back.

Here's one for scale.

Here it is on its back.

Here's another when it's on its legs.

I don't see any striations on the back, but I've been told bed bugs can look different depending on where they are in their life cycle. Any help with IDing this guy will really put my mind at ease. Thanks everyone!
posted by reformedjerk to Science & Nature (12 answers total)
These look completely different to me, but I have no expert knowledge.
posted by mercredi at 8:17 AM on August 6, 2012

It looks a lot like a Larder Beetle, or some other member of the family Dermestidae. Not a bed bug, and not harmful, but still not really something you want in your house.
posted by pipeski at 8:22 AM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Looks like a kind of skin beetle to me, although my only expertise is panicked late-night google searching.
posted by lalex at 8:22 AM on August 6, 2012

They don't look like they're shaped right for bed bugs.
posted by jquinby at 8:23 AM on August 6, 2012

Bed bugs are wingless. You can see the body segmentation from the back. Those aren't bed bugs. My guess is that they're a kind of beetle, from the apparent elytra, but I'm not sure.
posted by endless_forms at 8:23 AM on August 6, 2012

Seconding Larder Beetle.
posted by cardboard at 8:23 AM on August 6, 2012

...seconding pipeski. They look a lot like carpet beetles.
posted by jquinby at 8:24 AM on August 6, 2012

Not a bedbug! Congratulations on your wonderful luck!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:38 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Great picture of bed bugs at various life stages. That's some kind of beetle, based on your 'scale' picture, that's about 3x bigger than a bed bug.
posted by missmagenta at 8:41 AM on August 6, 2012

Thanks guys! I was concerned that it looked a bit like the ones in the oval life stages. Now I can go let that poor beetle out. The little guy didn't much like having it's picture taken.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:50 AM on August 6, 2012

So I just showed your pictures to an actual beetle expert*, and "Dermastid" was the first thing he said, and he agreed that they were probably larder beetles. (Though the diagnostic features he really wanted -- apparently hairs on the rear end of the beetle and on the larvae -- were not available in your photos.)

His opinion was "they're not good -- they'll eat a lot of stuff, including your leather shoes -- I'd get rid of them". But they're not bed bugs.

*One of the perks of being a biologist is getting everything under the sun identified.
posted by endless_forms at 8:52 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Definitely not a bedbug. Looks like a larder beetle to me.
posted by fullerenedream at 6:26 PM on August 6, 2012

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