What is this tiny black bug with stipes?
Location: The Woodlands, Texas 77382 (just North of Houston, TX)
March 17, 2012 10:41 am
I have lived in my home for 16 years. This tiny bug has suddenly started coming into my house. It is entering between the small crevice between the large window and window sill. Can you help me identify it and tell me what I can do to stop this bug from entering my home?
Signature: Thank you, I really appreciate your help – Lisa :o)
You have Carpet Beetles, probably Varied Carpet Beetles, Anthrenus verbasci. This is a common and cosmopolitan household pest. According to BugGuide it is: “The most abundant species in buildings; arguably, world’s most important pest of insect collections. Adults from indoor populations have a negative attraction to light, but near the end of their oviposition period they become attracted to light. Adults from outdoor populations show attraction to light. Adults are active fliers and often fly high above the ground. They enter houses through open windows, around eaves, soffits, and attic vents, and often lay eggs in the dead insects collecting in light fixtures.” Adults feed on pollen and it is the larvae that do the damage. According to BugGuide, the larvae feed on a: “wide variety of materials of animal origin (wool, fur, skins…)(1); stored food materials and products (biscuits, cakes, seeds, wheat, maize, oats, rice, cayenne pepper, cacao, and dried cheese).” We were about to inform you that we believed your beetles were most likely trying to leave the home since adults that emerge from larvae that have been feeding indoors are attracted to windows, but according to BugGuide: “Field strains have an apparent diapause and must experience cold temperatures to produce adults in the spring; household strains produce adults in the fall.” Since you have a spring sighting, it is most likely they are entering the home if that information is correct. It might be difficult to seal your home from such a tiny invader, but keeping careful watch on the stored foods in the pantry may help control the indoor population. We once had Carpet Beetles devour some papier mache masks we made from newspaper and flour paste.