Last week, we went to Aldridge Botanical Gardens with Ashley, AJ, and Tessa.  We had a lovely time letting the kids run around the gardens, eating lunch, and feeding the embarrassingly large mound of stale bread I had to thousands of fish, dozens of turtles, and one oddly alone Canadian Goose.

I also embarrassed my fancy new camera with my deplorable outdoor photography skills…


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I ALWAYS end up with shadowy eyes. Drives me crazy.

But none of that was the point of this post.

Along with Bachelor Goose, Turtles, and Fish, we saw other forms of wildlife, too:


And, I’m afraid, I brought a piece of the non-savory variety home with me.

That afternoon during the kid’s naptimes, I was taking a quick break – a.k.a. laying in bed in a completely vegetative state.   When all of a sudden, I felt a biting on my right arm.

I looked at my arm and didn’t see a culprit – must’ve been an itch.

But then the sensation of being eaten got more intense.

I looked closer.  And I saw him: a ridiculously tiny, but scarily strange looking bug, his butt up in the air, boring a hole right through my forearm.

I flicked him off onto the floor in a panic, then stared at my arm.  Quite a large portion of it was pink and growing rapidly to have been such a tiny bug’s meal.

I started thinking about how odd he looked…

What if he was some bizarrely rare poisonous bug?  What if Chris came home to Noah screaming his head off and Ali saying “CAN I GET UP NOW?!?!?!?!” for the 1,382nd time because I’m passed out on the floor?  Then what if this poisonous molecule of a creature somehow managed to find his way to my now motherless children and bit them as well?!?

I must find the bug.

So I got down on my hands and knees on the carpet, expecting quite a search for such a tiny bug.

But alas, luck was with me.  I found him right before I passed out.

Okay, I didn’t pass out.  But I did find him and locked him away in a ziploc bag, then tweeted Chris to let him know where to find the culprit should he come home to a passed out wife, a screaming baby, and a kid that is begging tirelessly and repeatedly to get up from her nap.

I managed to hold onto my consciousness and actually somewhat forgot about my guest for the whole evening.

But during the night, my arm began to itch and hurt mercilessly, so I had dreams…

….about that bug and thousands of it’s cousins on our bedroom ceiling and dropping down onto me…

…about that bug and it’s girlfriends all up in Noah’s formula canister and bottles (apparently that dream was a mixture of bug + nursing woes puréed together in mushy sleepy mix).

So the next morning, I checked up on my prisoner.  Who was miraculously still alive.  I photographed him and put him up on Facebook to crowdsource his identity…

Cruel Bug
…and, in the process of trying to make him HOLD STILL for the camera (he was a very quick little menace), I accidentally smooshed him dead.

(Hopefully I never do that with any other photography subjects.)

I got a few identity suggestions on Facebook, but no sure responses.  My Mom, who was the Audubon Field Guide QUEEN when we were kids, didn’t comment, much to my disappointment.  So at lunch on Sunday, since I was still itching and therefore thinking about my deceased feaster, I asked her if she looked up my bug.

“Yes, I did.  And the closest thing I could find was definitely a poisonous one, but also a rare one – a Mexican Bed Bug.”

I choked on my Arby’s Roast Beef.

BED BUG?!?!?

“You mean maybe he DIDN’T come from Aldridge Gardens and, since I was laying in my bed when I found him, my bed is infested with [double choke] a rare, poisonous, Mexican BED BUG?!?!?!?”

“Well, but he didn’t look JUST like it – it was just the closest thing I could find..his head was the wrong shape.”

But what if I have an even RARER MUTATION OF THE RARE MEXICAN BED BUG???!!!

I’m itching all over as I write this post.  Literally.

Obviously, this mystery must be solved.  I’m searching the internet as I type (I’m multi-talented like that), but not finding his identity.   But I am unbelievably relieved to report from my firsthand observation of Mister Mystery that he was NOT a Mexican Bed Bug:

Mister Mystery:                                                           Mexican Bed Bug:

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Which means that SURELY he was just a nasty creature whose natural habitat is Aldridge Gardens who hitched a ride in my hair and just happened to get hungry while I was lying in bed.

I do NOT have Mexican Bed Bugs.

I do NOT have Mexican Bed Bugs.

I do NOT have Mexican Bed Bugs.

But so that I can fully relieve my stressed out mind and eaten off arm (that IS still itching like crazy), all help in figuring out what I was eaten by is greatly appreciated.

And please hurry – before his second cousin comes seeking revenge for Mister Mystery’s death.

itch, itch.

24 thoughts on “Insect Identity Crisis.

  1. I was soothing the baby a few nights ago when SOMETHING started crawling up my naked leg. It was promptly flung across the room as I freaked out, but then I realized I needed to find it to kill it so it couldn’t crawl on (and quite possibly eat and/or poison) my children, but I totally failed at finding the stupid thing in the dark and have been slightly obsessed on keeping a lookout for the presumably buglike creature (I’m just positive it was very nearly the size of a hamster) since.

    Your probably not a Mexican bed bug story is even more freak out worthy. Eeeeeeeew!

  2. Do you still have some Dr. Tichnors (sp?) It is better that anything for something strange like that. Rachel, this is not funny but only you would have this happen. Keep us up to date if you find out what it is, I am very curious.

    1. Thank you thank you thank you!! They gave me the answer I needed – it’s a Lacewing Larva! They don’t “usually” bite – but mine must’ve been especially hungry after hanging out in my hair all day.

  3. Sorry – no idea on the secret identity of the bug…

    As for the mexican bed bug – holy crap does that thing look disgusting. Thank goodness it wasn’t one of them!

  4. Well, it could have been the Mexican Bedbug. Aldridge Gardens is in a certain, um, culturally diverse, part of Hoover.

    He is one bad looking bug, whatever he is.

  5. This has nothing to do with the bug, but I have a suggestion on your “shadowy eyes”. This might be oversimplified, but try to make sure the light is behind you when you take the pictures; and if you can “see” the light in their eyes when you take the pictures, those blue eyes will pop. I know it’s not always easy to take “candid” pictures of kids, but if you walk around and have them “follow” you with their eyes, you’ll see it. Also, using a white board or reflector (work, I know) will cast light up in their eyes as well.

    1. Thank you!! The idea of following them in a circle until I find a non-shadowy spot is genius! And yes, kids at this age are ridiculously hard to photograph. But I’m going to keep trying!

  6. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I’ve had two episodes of finding a big spider on me, while I’m in bed. Ugh. Big spiders here up north aren’t really all that big, but when you find any kind of bug on you in your bed, it’s just gross. Hoping for an update when you get it identified!

  7. Eww, not a fan of the bugs, and for some reason tiny ones can be even scarier than the big ones! They can get into more places I guess. Hope you figure it out and are not poisoned!!!

  8. Try looking up Thrips – seems to be shaped similar, but the horn-looking things seem to be a little different. I bet they’re at least related in some way. Sheesh- spend a few minutes looking up this stuff and you get to itching FAST! Good luck- please update if you hear something!

    1. You’re exactly right! I had just looked it up at and they responded with the same answer – it matches exactly! Thanks so much!

  9. I hate creepy crawly things and I seem to have an allergic reaction to anything that bites. Where’s the Raid when you need it. It looks like an earwig mated with something it should not have. I’m glad you found your answer. The Mister Mystery case is solved.

  10. my mother has been watching one of these fly around for a week wondering what they were…so I looked up your bug and that what it is! eat those aphids, lacewing!

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