Bed Bug Species and Solutions BugMan,
One of my pictures is a juvenile and the other an adult (or elder juvenile). I know these are from family Cimicidae. Can you tell from the picture whether they are human bed bugs, or a species that prefers birds/bats?

If it is one of the latter, I may be tempted to head to the roof to seek out roosting flyers. I have only seen them on the walls, and my mattress looks uninhabited, yet I have snagged about 60 juveniles and 5 adults off the wall/ceiling. I have noticed around 10 bites over the past two weeks that may be due to them, but that doesn’t seem like enough to sustain them all. Since realizing the bed bug problem, I have isolated my bed from the walls and other furniture, and I have tried to make the legs of the bed unappealing with some household insecticide at the base and some duct tape sticky-side-out part way up. If they were indeed not in the mattress, and were prevented from traveling up the legs, would I still be in danger? I know they can crawl on the ceiling, so are they crafty enough to drop down onto the bed to feed? Any help or advice would be most appreciated.
Nathan in Saint Louis, MO
P.S. Best case scenario for me is to keep this info from my landlord for a while, for reasons too detailed to go into. However, I wouldn’t want someone else in the building to inherit my problem or for the problem to become unmanagable. My hope is that these bugs are primarily interested in bats or birds, and that the bug problem may go away if those animals do. Or, that I can take measures to eradicate them myself.
P.P.S. You perform a great service. Kudos to you.

Hi Nathan,
Sorry for the delay but you seem to have a rational approach to the situation. Had your letter not been so detailed, we would have simply responded with an affirmative Bedbug identification. We checked with Eric Eaton to see what he could tell us about the species. Here is his response: “Wow, great image! Hope it makes its way to BugGuide eventually. It is absolutely impossible to identify even the GENUS without putting specimens under the microscope. Subtle details like the patterns of setae (hairs) are among the only clues as to what they are. He should submit specimens to the county health department and/or county extension service for an accurate ID. This could have lots of implications, from landlord negligence to bat conservation issues, so it really needs to be addressed. Sorry I can’t be of more help myself. Eric” So Nathan, in closing, we echo Eric’s advice to seek out the County Health Department. Being unsure what your reasons are for keeping this from the landlord, we really feel he should know. This story is not being posted on our homepage, but going directly to the Bedbug archive in an attempt to reduce hysteria among the desperate homemakers in our readership.

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