What is this little bug? (please help)
Bugman please help!
I live in Philadelphia and I keep finding these bugs in my apartment. I thought they were biting me but I am not sure. I have never seen anything like these things before in my life. Enclosed are two photographs of these bugs. I found them near my bed, which makes me terrified to sleep in it. They are round and shiny like tiny beads and are amber-reddish in color. They have those little legs and they are almost always dead when I find them. Also, when they are held up to the light they are translucent.
Scared in PA!

Dear S.A.,
Fear not. These are Mezium Spider Beetles, grain infesting Pantry Beetles. They will infest your stored food, but will not bite you.

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,
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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3 Responses to Spider Beetles

  1. Joan Insero says:

    I suspected dust mites.I called an extermi nator and he sprayed for dust mites without confirming it. I have been using allergy wash for dust mites only to still feel pinches in my clothes. I had the carpet and furniture steam cleaned. I still had a problem. My apartment complex extermi nator came three times and was not c onvinced it was dust mites but something was going on. He put traps in the living room and bedroom. He caught what he says is a spider beetle. He is coming to treat for this Wednesday. However, I washed my clothes in regular detergent and still get pinches from my clothing. I told maintenance that I think I have bed bugs because something that pinches still lives in my carpet and at night in my sheets. I do have some bite or allergy marks on my chest and have been to 3 doctors. I am awaiting an allergy test. I read that spider beetles do not bite. I got a bite on my upper foot that went right into my vein and left a black and blue mark. I can feel them pinching me and biting. Maintenance does not think it is bed bugs although we had an infestation problem in other apartments. I had my carpet and furniture steam cleaned but still have a problem when I frequent certain places where I sit on a wooden chair. Something comes on my shoes and up my legs. I have been washing my bedding and clothes putting them in trash bags and when washed and dried I put them in clean trash bags. I can’t sleep and have no apetite. I lost 18 pounds within this 7 week problem. I am told to still isolate my laundry until I can talk to the extermimator Wednesday. I know that spider beetles and bed bug symptoms are closely related. But I still believe I have bed bugs. I vacuum every day, have seen no bugs but have found what look like beetles . It has cost me a lot so far and I am so anxious to find the source of the problem.

  2. Sam says:

    Spider beetles do bite !!! How did I know that I ‘Ll tell you my story , one day wile slipping I felt a stinging bite it was so painfull I smash my hand against my right arm and run to the bathroom so the bug has no chance to escape , and then came the surprise it wasn’t a bed bug it was a spider beetles !!!! I have seen them around several times in my previous apartment mainly in the bathroom I was thinking they are harmless and never had any problem until now , I’m really scared now I bought a net with tiny holes to close the vent and other opening in the bathroom .

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