Unwelcome bed partners
October 7, 2012 5:46 PM   Subscribe

What is this dried bug in my bed?

I've now found three of these little dried bugs in my bed. I don't think they look much like bed bug skins (I found an example pic of these here) but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

They look to me like whole (shrimp-shaped?) bugs that have been flattened on their sides and dried out. I can see tiny black eyes (on the right end of the bug in the photo) and also a thin black line down the back that looks like an intestinal tract. The left end seems to be a slightly curled around tail. They also look to have lots of little legs, some of which crumbled off this one before I took the photo. The whole bugs are probably about the width of a fingernail in length.

I've searched my sheets and mattress, including seams, but can see no live bugs anywhere. There are some tiny black specks on my sheets (hard and flickable, not stains) that I've now become paranoid are bug faeces, but could just be dust/dirt. I've changed my sheets since I found the first bug, and just found another on my fresh sheets.

Anyone have any ideas? When I try to search for anything related to 'bug found in my bed', all I can find are bed bug horror stories. I'm in London, England if that helps at all.
posted by amerrydance to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
look to have lots of little legs

How many legs? Bed bugs have six.
posted by jamaro at 5:49 PM on October 7, 2012

More than 6 I think. Hard to tell, they're pretty dried out and tiny. I'm pretty sure it's not a bed bug from what I've seen, but I'm pretty stumped as to what else it could be...
posted by amerrydance at 5:54 PM on October 7, 2012

My first thought when I saw it was that it was a termite.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:31 PM on October 7, 2012

Maybe a lawn shrimp? Has it been rainy there?
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 7:06 PM on October 7, 2012

Looks like it might be a carpet beetle larva. The things that look like tiny little legs would be setae. Larvae eat animal fibers such as wool, pet hair, fur, etc.
posted by expialidocious at 7:17 PM on October 7, 2012

Kinda looks like an earwig to me.
posted by aryma at 8:19 PM on October 7, 2012

It could be a carpet beetle larvae, but they have stripes that go around their bodies which are still evident when dead/dried out (ask me how I know, blech). I don't see that in the picture.
posted by cabingirl at 8:26 PM on October 7, 2012

Try What's That Bug or reddit bug id subreddit?
posted by mrs. taters at 6:47 AM on October 8, 2012

Thanks all! Think it was indeed a lawn shrimp - I realised later that I'd put an old picnic blanket onto my bed, which could well have been the culprit. Haven't seen any since; very glad it wasn't anything more sinister!
posted by amerrydance at 11:52 AM on March 26, 2013

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