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Swallow bug, Oeciacus vicarius - Oeciacus vicarius

Swallow bug, Oeciacus vicarius - Oeciacus vicarius
6 miles SE of Meeker, Rio Blanco County, Colorado, USA
February 8, 2009
Size: ~4mm
Using a scope and the key found on the Colorado State University Extension web-site I identified this as Oeciacus vicarius by the following:
1. The lenghth of the hairs on the pronatum is longer than the width of the eye (eliminates cimex lectularius, bed bug).
2. The middle and hind coxae are widely separated and beak does not reach 2nd coxae (eliminates Haematosiphon inoderus, poultry bug).
3. the body hairs are long (I have nothing to compare with so do not know how useful this is) and third and fourth antennal segments are equal in length (not Cimex piloselius, bat bug)
Comments, confirmation or corrections are helpful. I haven't been able to find a lot of information on identifying the various bed bug type bugs.

Images of this individual: tag all
Swallow bug, Oeciacus vicarius - Oeciacus vicarius Swallow bug, Oeciacus vicarius - Oeciacus vicarius Swallow bug, Oeciacus vicarius - Oeciacus vicarius

Thanks for the great addition! I have found a page with images of Oeciacus and it looks very similar to what you described
New species page created and images moved.

This may also be a 'batbug' which looks identical to a bedbug except under a microscope. (search the web for some comparison photos which show the minor differences on the head). batbugs are bat parasites which congregate where bats roost, which may be behind your shutters (as they do on my house) or in your attic. batbugs live inside the walls, hibernate in winter, and can live up to a year without feeding. We found their casings between our windows, around door openings, and live ones even walking in our bedroom. i found the live batbugs had dug huge holes in the mortar behind our shutters and were over-wintering there.
whether bedbugs or batbugs, you should attack this pest aggressively.

Swallow Bug
Any of those, swallow bugs, bedbugs or batbugs and other relatives, can be pests and can be difficult to get rid of. Under a microscope this bug keys out to be a "Swallow Bug" and was found on a building where Cliff Swallows had nested. These bugs will overwinter in crevices but in my search for information on these species I did not find any indication that they dug holes.
Dona Hilkey
Meeker, CO

holes in mortar
i doubt if there is any information on batbugs digging holes in mortar. i should point out that our home is 80 yrs old and was constructed using 'lime mortar' which has very little portland cement in the mix(this would make the mortar rock-hard.) our mortar can be removed more easily although it is not inferior...soft brick required softer mortar. it appears the bugs just dug holes by the action of their feet. i am sending you some photos via shows them clustered at the back of each hole.
as dave berry used to say...i am not making this up. i couldn't believe it either!!

just because you saw them at
just because you saw them at the back of the hole doesn't mean they dug them. They were probably just trying to stay warm or something. Also, what is a 'bughater' doing on this site??

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