Tell me this thing isn't about to bite me.
October 1, 2012 12:45 PM   Subscribe

[NameThatBug Filter] Please help me figure out what this little bug is that I found on my bed this morning (and hopefully put my mind at ease!).

I found this very small spider (?) on our bed this morning (sorry, the image is pretty crappy, and nothing there for scale - it was very tiny, maybe about 5mm long). I've just returned from a trip to New York, where my boss was bitten by something at our hotel (the hotel has sent us an inspection saying it wasn't bed bugs, but I'm feeling pretty paranoid anyways). We searched our bed and didn't find anything else, so I'm hoping this little guy just dropped onto the covers from somewhere and isn't something more nefarious. I did inspect my hotel room in New York before unpacking and didn't find anything, but you never know, and my partner has been feeling itchy and thought she might have a couple of bites (but again, could be paranoia!). Any idea what this guy is, and if we should be worried?
For extra description, it was brown-ish in colour, with a round "body" (sorry, don't know bug terms!), and seemed to have collected a bit of fuzz onto its back. It definitely didn't have the characteristic flat body of a bed bug (at least the ones I'm familiar with).
posted by sabotagerabbit to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Hard to tell, but looks like a spider beetle to me.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:49 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am no expert, but it looks fairly tick-like to me.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:50 PM on October 1, 2012

Because you mentioned the fuzz, could it be a masked hunter? The nymphs are sticky so they get coated in fuzz, dirt, sand, whatever for camouflage.
posted by RobotHero at 1:20 PM on October 1, 2012

More masked hunter pictures.
posted by RobotHero at 1:22 PM on October 1, 2012

Response by poster: So far, I think spider beetle seems the most likely, though I have no idea how it would have randomly ended up in our bed!
RobotHero - it wasn't as flat as the masked hunter, and the fuzz was only stuck to the end of its back.
Tick is also a possibility, I think, but I'm not sure...
posted by sabotagerabbit at 1:36 PM on October 1, 2012

Lovely SO and I find maybe one spider beetle in our apartment each week. There must be more, but one gets caught. They tend to congregate in the kitchen and bath, but we've seen them in the bedroom, too. Don't think their presence in the bedroom is necessarily some indictment of your cleanliness, moral uprightness, or suitability as a host for their beetle babies.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:10 PM on October 1, 2012

I'm voting for spider, but here are some images of ticks.
posted by gudrun at 5:44 PM on October 1, 2012

I don't think that's a tick, and it's definitely not a bed bug. I have no idea what it is but I wouldn't worry about it unless you keep finding more.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 5:59 PM on October 1, 2012

It's hard to tell from the picture but frankly it doesn't look like it has enough legs to be a spider. I'm seeing six legs plus maybe an antenna. From where I'm standing it actually does look a bit like a bed bug, but it's going to be hard to give an definitive ID based on that picture. Do you still have it? Can you post a picture that's zoomed in more and sharper? It's hard to even tell if it's an insect or an arachnid based on that blurry half-inch-square photo.

Spiders definitely have eight legs though. Insects have six. Also if it had six legs and looked like it had a "shell" on its back that split down the middle then it was for sure a beetle. If it had six legs and its "body" looked more segmented and horizontally-sectioned then I would be more inclined to worry that it was a bed bug. Can't really say from the picture.
posted by Scientist at 9:25 PM on October 1, 2012

I'm pretty sure I've seen the exact same thing in my house before, and so far I'm still alive.
posted by Dansaman at 3:19 AM on October 2, 2012

myJust wanted go say that I asked my professor who is a bona-fide morphological entomologist with decades of experience IDing insects, and he couldn't make heads or tails of that picture. So it's probable that the world will never know for sure.
posted by Scientist at 8:02 PM on October 19, 2012

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