Over the last week or so as warmer weather has arrived, I've noticed small insects crawling around in the bathroom. I'm located in western Europe. They are perhaps 1mm in length, quite difficult to see without a magnifying glass. I used a macro lens to capture these pictures. What might they be? Ticks? Aren't ticks larger? Why are there so many?

Note: these pictures are heavily magnified (they are on an old wooden door with cracking paint), and I've applied lighting auto correction. Actual size of each insect is 1mm or less.

Macro lens on highest magnification

Lower magnification, group of insects

Sheet of toilet paper for reference

With natural lighting

  • $\begingroup$ I can't tell if those have 6 legs and large antenna, or 8 legs and no antenna. If 8 legs, then I suspect some sort of mite. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Apr 21, 2015 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ At the moment, my guess is louse or first instar nymph cycle of a bed bug. Can you obtain better pictures? $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Apr 21, 2015 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like 6 legs and large antenna to me. $\endgroup$
    – rozmarin
    Apr 21, 2015 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @rozmarin Yeah, the last 2 images show it better. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Apr 21, 2015 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely a spp of mite. And definitely not a bed bug. Sick of people always suggesting that small unknown insects are bed bugs -_-. Need bus do have their own distinct appearance... $\endgroup$ Apr 2, 2016 at 4:48

1 Answer 1


After a long hunt it seems they are Dermanyssus gallinae. It appears I have a pigeon's nest somewhere near my building.


enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should add the picture. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Apr 21, 2015 at 21:09

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