What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi there:
I found your site today and have looked through it but couldn’t find anything that even remotely resembles the bugs I’m dealing with. I’m completely lost and desperate – please help! Here is my situation – I have bugs in my car! I live in an urban area of the hill country of central Texas. Several months ago (I’m thinking maybe in March?) I started noticing these bugs in my car. At first it was just a few, but they have become more plentiful. The bugs are a little larger than a flea, smaller than a tick. They are completely black. This is where I’m going to sound dumb – I’m not sure if they have wings or not. They have no visible wings, but I think they may lay against their body, if they do have them. I think I have seen a few of them fly, but only for a short stint. Most of them do not fly. I’m not sure if it’s possible that only some would have wings while the majority wouldn’t. They don’t move fast. I can pick them up with ease, they don’t run away. Lately I’ve also found their larvae. The larvae look like tiny meal worms. The picture of the beetle grub that you have on your website closely resembles this larvae, but these are much much smaller and a more "normal’ larvae color. I’m guessing that these bugs are some sort of beetle but I have no idea what type. Shortly before I started noticing them I found a lady bug in my car. A friend indicated that she had similar bugs in her house once and they turned out to be baby lady bugs, but I’m not really sure that she knows what she is talking about. The bugs are most abundant in the backseat but are also showing up on the floor boards, headliner, sun visors, etc. The bugs seemed to originate from the area where the back part of the back seat and the seat part of the back seat meet. My back seat doesn’t fold down so I have no way of getting in there to clean it out really well. I have tried vacuuming in this crevice many times but I can’t get rid of the bugs (although I have decreased their population). I’ve also tried spraying the area where they are most prevalent with bug spray. This also hasn’t been fruitful, I think in part due to the fact that I have no idea what I’m trying to kill. They seem to be attracted to "bread" type products like crackers (and crumbs) and they attach themselves to any fabric items that I leave in the car (jackets, sweaters, diaper bags, etc) but they seem to avoid my umbrella. I washed several items that had been in my car recently and found LIVING larvae still on the items after I removed them from the washing machine. I’m so confused and I have no idea what to do. I’ve searched the internet for information on these bugs but have come up empty. My next options are to bug-bomb my car or sell it. If you could help me figure out what I’m dealing with I’d really appreciate it. If you could give me some hints to get rid of them, I’d be forever grateful.
Thanks for your anticipated help with this desperate situation!
Infested in Texas
Cindy Mooneyham

Hi Cindy,
It does sound like you have pantry beetles munching on a stash of food under the seat. Since you are unable to clean up the problem, I think fumigation might be the answer. We don’t like to recommend that, but I can’t imagine what else to tell you.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

8 Responses to Pantry Beetles hitch a ride!!

  1. jessica says:

    I have the same problem and they do fly and have a shell and they seem to come out more wen is hot i had that problem last year and i bomb the car and nothing it didnt help now this year 5/2013 they started coming out again and i don’t know wat to do i want to get rid of them

  2. Ja says:

    I am having same problem with used car purchased last June. Did not start seeing the bugs until weather temp begin reaching 85 plus. We have tried all the things Cindy tried. They are coming from somewhere in back seat…After all the different bug sprays and vacuuming they disappeared for a while. Now temp up to 90 plus they have start appearing again but not as many as before. YET!!! We are baffled as what kind of bug and how to get rid of. Our next step is exterminator. I hope that works for us!

  3. Denise says:


    This is unbelievable! I recently moved to Texas and have had my car over 3 years with no problem. It sounds like I have the same bugs… they are in the crevice of the back seat. I only noticed them after a recent trip to South Padre, I took my car to be clean and the next day discovered the worms. I have tried bug spray, insect repellent etc., to no avail. Fumigating the car seems a bit extreme.

  4. Sam says:

    We have had the flour beetles in our cars, two cars. The first one we tried everything except did not take it to a professional, tried at home sprays and getting it cleaned and shampooed. This time we are going to a professional. They are flour beetles, no idea why they are in the car but there are some crumbs, not a huge amount though…

  5. R says:

    I have the same exact issue & have for about 2yrs now!!!! In the winter there is absolutely no sign of them, but come summer all h*** breaks loose!!! Please help, I have 3 young children, 2 are babies that have to sit in my backseat & I have no idea of what to do. Desperate is an understatement!!

  6. Dione says:

    If they are multiplying chances are you have larvae living there.. Helped a sibling who had very tiny black sesame seed like bugs in back seat floor board. It was only a few each day same spot until one day there were 15-20 in front and back. We cleaned seats and found 2 living larvae and burned them. I was grossed out but something told me to lift up back seat so I did. What did I find??? Yuck.. HUNDREDS of mostly dried up larvae but no telling how long they were living there. She didnt notice bugs until 2 weeks ago. There were also orange peels, fruit snacks and cookie crumbs that were under there. So we vacuumed it all out and then put Diatomaceous Earth all over and letting it sit for a week since she is out of state. Waiting to see results when she gets back.

    • Cedonne says:

      Has she returned? It sounds like what is going on in my car and it is freaking me out. I noticed these little black bugs but only in summer(philadelphia, pa)… But last week i saw this huge grey looking beetle crawling up my sons car seat and it freaked me out i lifted a flannel blanket i had on the back seat covering little junk well there were larvae very small cream colored looking caterpillar like larvae swirling around. I have had the car vacuumed even the trunk as they look to be comin from the trunk into my back seat. Days later i see living larvae agaim i look at my spare tire really good… looks like shavings and dead larvae in the tire. I sprayed bug spray i know i need to lift up the tire. Ugh these little larvae and black bugs keep crawling into my back seat looks like there is food where the seatbelts are. My son has been havin spots on his head which looks like ring worm we’ve been trying to figure out what it is ugh. Maybe its whatever ia in my car. I felt like things were biting me inside of my clothes ugh. My biggest fear is tranferring them to others.

  7. Reed says:

    I have had this problem in my car and home but one thing I have that no one has mentioned is like a mist that comes from top of wall or too if wind shield this has been going on for about 1month I have them buried in my skin and they are Having my legs feel numb I hear people say about experience s from hospital so I dare not go..I am all alone and so tired I am thinkin of getting rid of car.my car is totally infested .I never cook or eat at home cause the bugs.My management thinks I have a screw loose cause they don’t see them and try and avoid me when call.Has any one got rid of bugs in car yet

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