Mystery bites

A few weeks ago I was bitten three times in a row. I put out bed bug traps and have been checking my bed daily. I have no more bites. Two weeks ago my grandson slept over and had two sets of bites on his arm in a line of three bites. I still have bedbug traps down and I have washed all bedding and clothing and sprayed pesticide everywhere a week ago. Today I swept it all up and washed my floors. I found five different larder beetles. I still have no seen any signs of bedbugs. It is possible it is larder beetles and we are having allergic reactions to them. GimliN

“Mystery bites” are among the most difficult cases to resolve satisfactorally, as several causes other than actual bites may be responsible. The only absolutely certain solution is to actually observe the culprit(s) in the act of biting. I am unaware of any instances of allergic reactions to larder beetles, but cases of dermatitis caused by a reaction to the hairs of carpet beetles in the genus Anthrenus are well documented – see for an example.