Bed Bug nymph found in tank with Bearded Dragon

Subject:  Audrey
Geographic location of the bug:  Northwest ohio
Date: 04/06/2018
Time: 06:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey I found this in my bearded dragon tank and can’t figure out what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Audrey

Bed Bug Nymph

Dear Audrey,
This sure looks to us like a Bed Bug nymph, and you can compare your individual to this BugGuide image.  This is quite puzzling for us.  According to BugGuide, the members of the Bed Bug family are “ectoparasites of birds and mammals; most are associated with birds & bats, only 2 spp. (
Cimex lectularius and C. hemipterus) are permanently associated with humans.”   According to the U.S. Government Environmental Protection Agency site:  “Young bed bugs (also called nymphs), in general, are: smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color; and if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.”  Your individual appears to have recently fed, presumable from the blood of your Bearded Dragon.  We would also wonder why a single Bed Bug nymph appeared suddenly in your reptile tank leading us to speculate if it was bred in your home or if it was recently transported to the tank from something you got at the pet store.  We imagine mammals and birds sold at pet stores might become prey to Bed Bugs and kin in the family Cimicidae. contains a Q&A forum posting regarding bearded dragons and bed bugs, but no definitive answer is provided.

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