Location: Central Washington State (Yakima area)
July 27, 2011 7:19 am
This specimen was found in our bed after it apparently bit or stung my wife in the middle of the night. I had captured with some packing tape in case I needed it for identification, since my wife is highly allergic to bee’s and I didn’t want to take any chances that she could have a reaction to this. I am posting this the night of the incident, so I do not have more info about the bite/sting.
Hopefully with some help in identification, it will put our mind at ease.
Signature: Concerned Husband
Dear Concerned Husband,
This is an adult Masked Hunter, and it is generally the lint covered nymphs that are found in the home. This species seems quite comfortable cohabitating with people, and we occasionally receive a report from a person who has been bitten. The Masked Hunter is also known as a Bed Bug Hunter, presumably because it will prey upon Bed Bugs, so the advantages of having a Bed Bug free home would have to be weighed against an occasional bite. For more information on the Masked Hunter, see BugGuide.
Thank you very much for the very fast reply and identification. It has definitely helped us. My wife can certainly attest to the “painful bite” remarks on the BugGuide site you linked. I do feel bad about more or less killing it by capturing it with packing tape since it is a good predatory bug…
I hope we do not have any bed bugs in the home, we have not noticed any of the telltale signs like sores or bites, so that should be a good sign. We do have many earwigs outside in the ground around the house, so I am sure this Masked Hunter was primarily feeding on those, still concerning to have it in our bed though… we will likely be on high alert for bed bugs in the near future.
Thank you again for the help! It was invaluable!