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 '15 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 '15 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like 6 legs and large antenna to me. $\endgroup$ – rozmarin Apr 21 '15 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @rozmarin Yeah, the last 2 images show it better. $\endgroup$ – user137 Apr 21 '15 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... $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 2 '16 at 4:48

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


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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should add the picture. $\endgroup$ – dustin Apr 21 '15 at 21:09

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