What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Found in drawers
Location: Western North Carolina
April 17, 2011 8:13 am
I found these in two separate drawers in my house. While they look like seeds, I can assure you they are not seeds. I’m certain that I did not put seeds in these drawers. They are grossing me out and I would like to know what is creeping around my house. Are they eggs or droppings? Who do they belong to?
Signature: Creeped out in NC

What are these things found in the Drawers???

Dear Creeped out in NC,
These do not look like anything of animal origin, meaning we do not believe they are either eggs or droppings.  They really do resemble seeds like black oil seeds to feed birds or caraway seeds for baking.  Please provide us with additional information.  Where were the two drawers?  Were they near one another or in widely separated areas of the house?  Were they kitchen drawers or bedroom drawers or some other drawers?  Were they built in drawers like those in cabinets, or free standing drawers like those in furniture?  Were they empty drawers or were there other things in the drawers like stored food or clothing?  How long did it take these mystery things to accumulate?  When did you last open the drawers prior to the discovery?  Our first inclination is that this is a food stash.  Perhaps a mouse or other rodent is stockpiling seeds in anticipation of lean times in the future.  We hope our readership will assist in this identification which we do not believe has anything to do with insects.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: North Carolina

15 Responses to Mystery: Unidentified Things found in Drawers

  1. cthulhu says:

    I’ve seen this one before, and I am sorry to report that I can confirm WTB’s analysis that you have a rodent. This looks exactly like nyger (thistle) seed, that a mouse might collect. We’ve had these climb into drawers before and store seed meant for finch feeders. Look up and down the street for bird feeders, this could have come from some distance away. You can get yourself a trap (a humane or live trap if that suits you better) to verify, and put see if you can catch the little bugger. Do it quickly, they can spread disease near your food and utensils. I would actually recommend an exterminator. You probably have many more that you don’t know about. After we started looking behind appliances and under heavy items, we found – well – a lot. And we just had no idea they were there. Sorry.

  2. karenaso says:

    looks kind of like wild rice grains

  3. kntryboi says:

    Weird… I live in west palm beach, florida and found the same thing in my workshop & was pretty grossed out myself. At first I thought it was some kind of rice but then I wasn’t so sure. Needless to say still very grossed out about it & got rid of it as quickly as possilble. This was about a month ago & now I have this nasty black bug problem. Finding them everywhere especially in my dogs food. Not sure if they are connected but the only thing I could come up with. I’m going to get an air tight container for my dogs food since the last one I had cracked & I didn’t seem to have this problem when I had the food in the air tight container. If anyone finds out what these bugs are & how to get rid of them please let me know. Thanks atvmudman@yahoo.com

  4. Lisa C says:

    I found the same on a dresser the color is not as dark but very close. I notice some were lighter so I picked it up an when applied pressure to see how hard they were it actually had fluids came out almost looking sorta like a maggot, but one thing for sure these are not seeds but more like some sort of living creature. If someone could instruct me as to how to post a picture I will attach to this message. This is kinda embarrassing because my father was a very well known entomologist however he passed 2 years ago My go to man would have loved this challenge, but I am sure he would know at first glance what they are. Dr. James R. Copped get was my father,

    • bugman says:

      Send your images of “Mystery Things” using the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our website and we will try our best to post it before we leave town tomorrow.

    • Deb says:

      Yep, found a bunch of these in my shower the other day (Yikes!!!) and yes, when you squeeze them there is some kind of embryo thingy in them. Yuck. Not seeds, I have no idea what they are, my house is super clean. There is a cat door maybe 5 feet from that bathroom, don’t know if the cat drug something in or what but they were only in the shower and there must have been a hundred in there.

  5. Deb says:

    Did a little more research, seems it is the Hessian fly in it’s “Flaxseed stage”. Still gross and I have no idea why they would be in my shower but there you have it.

    • bugman says:

      We are providing a link to the Kansas State University site page on the Hessian Fly or Barley Midge which states: “Hessian flies overwinter as full-grown larvae or maggots inside protective cases called flaxseed because of their resemblance to real flax seeds.” The site explains the origin of the common name: “Though a native of Asia it was transported into Europe and later into North America, supposedly in the straw bedding of Hessian troops during the American Revolution (1775–83).” We do not believe the objects in the images of our posting are Hessian Fly larvae, but we cannot weigh in on what you have found.

  6. Carol says:

    Something eats thru a heavy plastic food storage bag and eats my granola bar stash that I keep in my nightstand. It does leave little black seeds it when I smashed it it broke in two

  7. patricia winne says:

    Found the same things in my kitchen drawer. Lighter color, but they attached themselves to the utensils in small groups. There were many more just laying in in the drawer, not moving. Gonna save some to see what, if anything, hatches. They are smaller than grains of rice, and maybe the layer of these ‘eggs’ left some kind of residue on the utensils as well, as I noticed they, too, had some kind of ‘ickiness’ feel to them.

  8. Katie says:

    I believe they are moths. Pantry moths start out like that. They are also are called Indian meal moth- I had them too it is gross. They are attracted to flour, rice, seeds, dog food.

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