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I found these bugs walking on the floor/ wall and on my laptop. And unfortunately I think they could be in my bed, too, since I bring my laptop to bed sometimes.

I live in a big city in the Netherlands without pets. My house has humidity issues.

I have noticed that the bugs are very tough to exterminate; meaning that when trying to squeeze them it really needs a lot of effort for their size. Their size is about 1 - 2 mm and their color is whitish.

  • Please note that my lightbulb is having a yellow color.so it makes it look darker than normal. It's more white than looks in the picture

I took this picture on the screen of my laptop, you can see that it is a very small

enter image description here


This is a pic of it walking on my screen...

mite walking on computer screen gif

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  • $\begingroup$ Very likely a tick, though b/c of poor picture quality, I'm not certain if it's Ixodidae or Argasidae. Can you upload additional pictures (preferably of better quality)? A gif of it moving would be helpful to. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 2 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a nearby bird population? Perhaps living outside the window of your room? $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 2 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ Do you work with wildlife or do outdoor work? $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 2 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist thank you for your reply. I will make sure to reply/ edit my comments. I do have some birds at my window but not that often. I have an office job and I rarely go to a forest or similar. $\endgroup$ – Panos Apr 2 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ I found this great mite ID key tool at idtools.org. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 8 at 21:25
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Definitely an arachnid and mite (subclass Acari), and very likely a member of the order Parasitiformes, of which there are more than 100,000 species!!

The body plan is not all too different from a tick (order Ixodida), but the movement of your specimen in the video doesn't seem to match that of typical tick. As such, I next began examining species in the related order Mesostigmata.

  • Unfortunately, according to here, a clear detailed shot is needed to ID this specimen confidently:

    In most cases identification of Mesostigmata to family or lower can be accomplished only if the specimen is an adult female. The easiest way to determine the stage and sex of your specimen is to look at the intercoxal region. Adult females have a genital opening that is almost invariably in the intercoxal region (species of Metagynella are exceptions) and covered by a sclerotized shield which may be truncate posteriorly or continue onto the ventral region.

However....

Mites just always seem to be associated with birds in urban homes, so I thought I'd do some google sleuthing....and voilà! I've found a near and reasonable match!

Specifically, your specimen looks quite similar to mites in the genus Ornithonyssus of the parasitic family Macronyssidae -- these are bird mites (or possibly rat mites). According to here,

The tropical rat mite, Ornithonyssus bacoti, is one of the most common house invading species. The tropical fowl mite, Ornithonyssus bursa, and northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum, are also frequently encountered in homes. The latter two species are found principally on domestic or wild birds. The house mouse mite, Liponyssoides sanguineus, may also be found in structures with house mouse infestations. The tropical rat mite is a parasite on rats. Although none of these species are truly parasitic on humans, they bite people readily, often producing dermatitis and itching.

As for knowing the specific species, citybugs.tamu.edu suggests:

Distinguishing between different species of Ornithonyssus mites to determine whether birds or rodents are the likely source is difficult and requires special expertise.

You can read more about Ornithonyssus bacoti, Ornithonyssus bursa, and Ornithonyssus sylviarum on Wikipedia, and you can see videos of these mites crawling on people here and here.

  • According to here, Ornithonyssus bacoti can be found as far North as Iceland.

See below for images:

enter image description here

Rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti). <1 mm; © Erling Ólafsson; Source: www.ni.is

enter image description here

Ornithonyssus spp.; Copyright 2014 Tom Murray; Source: bugguide.net

Note: I do not know this group of organisms well, so my answer serves as an (educated) guess to get you on the path toward proper identification...

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for taking the time to do all this research. I have further researched with a local organisation and their educated guess was as well that this is most probably a bird mite. To add more on the whole story; I have cleaned all around my house and washed my clothes, bed sheets etc with very hot water. And in general I havent seen any more of these bugs in my room! So I think it was somehow a one time incident. $\endgroup$ – Panos Apr 15 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Panos thanks for the confirmation. Glad I could help! Just out of curiosity, do you have a mouse problem in your building? $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 15 at 11:36
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I can't tell much else due to the photo quality, but it could very likely be a tick. Find them all and get rid of them if you suspect there are more. Ticks are sources of some very nasty diseases. If you have pets, check them thoroughly, the ticks will be embedded in their fur.

Please address the Wikipedia link above for more information. The tells here are: it's (1) small, (2) an arachnid based on the number of legs, and (3) lacks a segmented abdomen. The rest of the features are blurry, and so I wouldn't comment on anything I couldn't discern clearly enough. Much of my ID here is coming from personal exposure to ticks in the wild. The nymphs tend to be somewhat translucent like that.

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    $\begingroup$ Please provide support/evidence for your answer. thanks! $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Apr 2 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist Added the rationale I thought made a solid ID. As for sources, I wouldn't recommend much else than the linked Wikipedia article. My ID is largely based on personal experience. $\endgroup$ – CKM Apr 2 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ Netherlands has ticks, yes. Here are some distribution maps of tick spp.. There are also quite a few Google hits for "ticks in the Netherlands". Apparently Dutch spring is quite a season for ticks. $\endgroup$ – CKM Apr 2 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ @CKM I look at the pictures of the ticks and they look nothing like the ones that I saw in my house. But still could be wrong. I will try to upload a video too; so to make it easier for people to help. Thanks once more for the help! $\endgroup$ – Panos Apr 2 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist I would have guessed a tick, but your post has convinced me that a rat mite could very well be a good candidate in the 1-2mm range. $\endgroup$ – CKM Apr 8 at 22:47

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