What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please identify these bugs!
Hello Again,
I am very anxious to ask you what are the bugs that I’ve attached. For me, but I am almost too upset to go into the full story of how and how many of these bugs I’ve found in my NYC apartment. I fear that they may be bad for my health. Can you please help me identify, or tell me what they are not. No one’s been able to help me.
Sincerely,
Russell Cowans

Hi Russell,
You have Spider Beetles, Mezium species. According to the Audubon Guide: “These minute, pear-shaped beetles superficially resemble spiders because of their long, thin legs and long threadlike antennae. Most are brownish and less than 1/4 inch long. … Both adults and their C-shaped larvae are scavengers, feeding on dried organic matter, including wook, museum specimens, desiccated animals,l dung, plants, stored seeds, and dried fruits. … Continuous generations as long as food remains available.” So, you had better find the food source. They will not harm you except for your sanity. Good luck.

Hello, It was sure good to hear back from you. I have one question though; do you really think the larvae in the picture is that of the beatle. Dare I say it; after moving into my brothers room, a room which was not clean out for some time-in the bottom corners of a very warm closet, in a dust collection I found scores of shed skin and living larvae. I would come to find this scene in various spots of my house. One area turned up the larvae always in a much smaller state-the bathroom, in particular; by the cat litter. I decided to examine the cat food box (newly bought from the local store) remembering what I read about meal worms etc. I turned over an entire box into my bath tub so that the white background would allow for easy detection of critters, I wasn’t completely surprised to see that out (along with the food) came baby larvae, fast movers, but poor on slick surfaces like a tub. Also, this would be the first time I came across black beatle like bugs. I wondered was the larvae that of the beatles and began wondering if they were spread by my cat! Online, the closet pictures to the black beatles I found and their larvae was a name of Tenebrio beatle and grain beatles? I wondered if I was dealing with two different bugs because, the red little guys I found long after the larvae. Around the time I found the attached picture, this is taken beneath my window sill, the red dots are too small for me to discern any recognizable features, only that I never found them moving always dead or still and they’ve shown up twice. I don’t know what they are/were. Funny, I moved into the living room onto a beach chair to get some sanity, I’m pretty sure they’re back by now.
Russell C

Expert Update: (05/22/2008) spider beetle errors
Dear Bugman,
I believe I had written earlier when looking at many of the spider beetle pictures. Almost all of the shiny brown, globular body, images are of Gibbium aequinoctiale and not Mezium species. There is a combined 2 image photo (finger and beetle & 2 beetles) of Mezium : the answer was posted by Eric Eaton, I believe. Gibbium species do not have a velvety covering on the thorax, Mezium species do. You should correct your website postings so people will have a better idea of what they have been finding. Best regards,
Lou
Louis N. Sorkin, B.C.E.
Entomology Section
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
New York

Dear Lou,
Thanks so much for resending this vital correction to our website. We really appreciate your expertise on this. We sincerely hope that addressing you with such familiarity doesn’t detract from your professional status.

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