Pest identification

Asked July 21, 2013, 7:16 PM EDT

I live in Cumberland County. I found a live bug, very small, crawling on the underside of my child's mattress. I trapped it with the sticky side of clear packing tape. I need to identify it to rule in or out bed bugs. My child woke up with what appear to be bed bug bites. Where can I take the bug close to home?

Cumberland County Pennsylvania

1 Response

I am sorry to hear about your kiddo's bite marks. I hope you find out what's happening soon. You have a few options with the sample you already have in hand.

I just heard back from your Cumberland County office. They're happy to do on-site identifications, if possible. Occasionally, they'll send a sample to Penn State for verification. Give them a call at 717-240-6500.

Here is a photo gallery of bed bug images for comparison:
http://extension.psu.edu/pests/bedbugs/copy_of_photo-gallery.

Submit a picture to the Bugman at http://www.whatsthatbug.com/ask-whats-that-bug/.

If your sample has become too squishy to identify, you can set a trap to collect more (and better) specimens. This handy video from Bed Bug Central explains how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26_gEvgqxMA.

You're wise to seek identification first. Many suspected bed bug samples turn out to be bat bugs, carpet beetles, fleas, or some other creature. When you do find out, please read some unbiased advice before deciding on your action plan.

What to do about bed bugs:
http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/bedbugs