It's not a bedbug! ...or is it?
July 14, 2008 6:46 PM   Subscribe

IdentifyThisBugFilter: A friend of mine who lives in Astoria (infamous for being in bedbug central) got a little freaked out after finding this bug in her bed. After lots of Googling, I determined that it's not a bedbug, but we'd appreciate any help in identifying this non-bedbug bug.

Her anxiety was furthered by the fact that after practically drowning it in Raid, it was still moving. Please help me allay her fears so she can get a good night's sleep!
posted by chan.caro to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
There's no sense of scale in your photo, but it could look like a pillbug/sowbug.
posted by CKmtl at 7:00 PM on July 14, 2008

carpet beetle larvae.

posted by extrabox at 7:03 PM on July 14, 2008

More on the carpet beetle (and similar beasties) at
posted by jquinby at 7:08 PM on July 14, 2008

Response by poster: I'd say the bug's about half an inch long.

It's not quite as hairy as the carpet beetle larvae, but it does have something characteristic of the pillbug in that it curls up into a little ball.

Do pillbugs have a tapering towards the end of its body? The pictures I've seen seem to indicate that it has a pretty consistent pill-shape to it.
posted by chan.caro at 7:20 PM on July 14, 2008

Sowbugs are similar to pillbugs but they don't roll into a ball when startled, as they aren't as flexible in their segments. That said, that looks a lot like a sowbug to me.
posted by lekvar at 7:28 PM on July 14, 2008

Best answer: It looks like a woodlouse to me also, either a pillbug or a sowbug. Some of them are definitely tapered, as you say, at the caudal end. Check out the photos and information here.

One very cool thing about them is that they aren't insects. They are terrestrial crustaceans, in the same taxonomic class (Malacostraca) as crabs and lobsters.
posted by nobodyyouknow at 10:33 PM on July 14, 2008

Wow, that's disgusting. Way too big to be a bed-bug. I sympathize with your friend. I'd be freaked out too. Please tell her to air out her bed and flip it over. I'd hate to think of someone sleeping in a cloud of Raid. One thing I've found that stops the nasty NYC "waterbugs" is Spray and Wash. Bug spray seemed to do nothing to them but they were no match for the slimy film of pre-treater. It's toxic to but you don't have to use much of it. It will probably work on these things too.
posted by i_love_squirrels at 7:28 AM on July 15, 2008

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