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The Mystery of the Missing Bed Bugs: Solved

So hey.
Remember when I wrote this:
The Mystery of the Missing Bedbugs


And I was super confused about how I could be getting all these bites, but have no sign of bed bugs?
Well I finally figured it out. (Spoiler alert: the problem revolves around the high amount of squalor I live in.)

There is something called a varied carpet beetle. They’re shaped a lot like bed bugs, and their behavior is very similar to bed bugs.
They’re attracted to your CO2, they’re hard to find, and they come out in the early morning. (Finally, a positive to me staying up stupidly late! I solved a mystery!)
But they don’t bite, they eat fibers and other stuff that doesn’t matter unless you have fancay wool clothing or something (also they will eat the food in your pantry sometimes).
Here’s the kicker though: Some people have severe allergic reactions to their hairs that look VERY similar to bed bug bites (and feel similar).

The other night, I went to bed stupid late as is now the norm for me (some day I will fix my sleep, I swear), and I saw a bug crawling on my bed. A small bug, maybe 5 mm at the largest (I’m bad at measuring so don’t take that too seriously). Instead of squishing it in disgust, I caught it in a container.
I took pictures. I furiously googled. I showed people, to get their opinions. I came up with a hypothesis, but I needed confirmation.

I sent the pictures to a really cool bug website, and they got back to me today. What they said was “carpet beetles are common household pests”, which I am taking to mean it is in fact a varied carpet beetle (which is what I thought it was) and they’re not just telling me about a random common household pest.

Here is the picture:

Illustration for article titled The Mystery of the Missing Bed Bugs: Solved

(y u gotta be so giant, picture?)

It doesn’t look like a varied carpet beetle if you compare it to the pretty, high quality pictures that are easy to find on the internets. But if you compare it to other pictures that were probably taken on a crappy cell phone camera like mine, it looks EXACTLY like one.

So I was never getting bit. I never had an infestation. There was no point to the high level of stress I went through, trying to get rid of my imaginary bed bugs.
Basically, if I want to get rid of these (and I don’t even know if I care enough to, although I suppose I should because the allergic reaction is unpleasant and they may be making my sinus problems worse) all I have to do is stop being so fucking gross. Change my sheets on a regular basis, vacuum, and probably steam clean the carpets. Stop living in such abject squalor. Simple solution.

Here is the link about the varied carpet beetles and their similarity to bed bugs:


And here is the link to the cool bug site I emailed:


Also this is a bit of a side note but I bonded with it while it was caught in a container (I wasn’t going to release it outside until I was sure it wasn’t a bed bug, and it’s actually quite cute), and I woke up today and my mom had killed it. She said she thought it was dead, and flushed it down the drain. :(
I’m sure it wasn’t dead, it was just sleeping, it did that a lot. She killed my friend. :(
RIP friendly beetle. You will be missed.

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