Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Beetles, Grain Weevils, Spider Beetles, Meal Worms and Carpet Beetles"
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Pointed head bug
Dear bugman,
Perhaps you can identify this bug picture I sketched. I cannot find a close match anywhere to say that I am sure what it is. It is a 6 legged bug VERY tiny, about 1/10". I can tell you that not only did they show up in my kitchen, but there were literally millions in a bag of birdseed! There were so many that you could hear the bag rustling. Gross! I looked in the bag to see millions of these creatures with their pointed heads and antennae. I hope you could steer me as to what these bugs are.
Thanks!
Tom Bartman
Pottstown, PA

Hi Tom,
Weevils are one type of Pantry Beetle whose shape matches your description and drawing. Weevils are a type of beetle belonging to the family Curculionidae. Grain Weevils belong to the genus Sitophilus and have the head elongated into a snout.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I use World’s Best Cat Litter. It’s an organic product made from corn. I have bought bags before that contained these small, elongated, lighter brown, hard, beetle type bugs. They don’t seem to be able to fly. I think they might develop into some sort of tiny moth, because I have seen the little (tiny!) moths in the litter enclosure, but nowhere else. I have tried freezing the bag before I use it in the litter box, but sometimes this does not work. What are these bugs and how do I get rid of them? Are they harmful to my cat? Could they get into the rest of the house? Sorry I don’t have a picture.
Christa Moeller

Dear Christina,
Both meal moths and pantry beetles will infest stored corn. Neither will harm your cats, but they may invade stored grain products in your pantry.

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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Reposted February 4, 2010
She has Debris
(04/09/2004) what are these bugs
i have been fighting. some sort of bug infestation since late october 2003…it’s got to the point where people believe i am suffering from delusionial paratosis.  after  6 months of this crap I went around my house with stickers collectiong samples.  i’ve undergone a psych evaluation .. results 100% sane/  my landlord won’t do anything nor will he fix stuff,  i believe that there is a pigeon mite infestation from the attic and some sort of carpet beetle/ silverfish infestation.. let me know what you find in the scanned immages.. these were actual beetles /frass/mites  placed on scanner plate
thanks

Jenny and Amanda's Floor

Editor’s Note: Though we gave this homemaker kind advice about the inevitability of critters getting into the house, we are nonetheless amazed at the thoroughness of her housework. While we feel some of her time might be better spent in more rewarding pursuits, we somehow shutter at what she would find should she ever bring her stickers to our offices. Sadly, we were unable to identify any of her “bugs” and might actually concur with the delusional parasitosis diagnosis.

Bathroom: Large Bug Turned Over

re: problem resolved after months of dealing with this problem, see link below -No OCD, no delusional paritosis -infestations include the following (sowbugs, silverfish, house centipedes- in all rooms of home) pigeon mites from pigeon roost in attic (landlord blocked entrance 3 yrs ago, leaving nests etc there) and mice. (tenant lawyer want me to sue)
classicrockermom

Kitchen Cabinets Bottom

Dear Rocker Mom,
We are happy you have solved your mystery. Pill Bugs should not infest the home, though they might enter upon occasion. Centipedes, while they are frightening, are harmless and will also help to devour any other intruders, like cockroaches, crickets and spiders. Silverfish can be a nasty infestation issue, especially since they love to eat the glue in book bindings and behind wall paper. Your biggest problem would be the mites, though they are much too small to see. They will cause itching and are very difficult to eradicate. Certain mice will carry the Hanta Virus. Good luck with your law suit.

Ed. Note:  February 3, 2010
This letter got lost when we migrated our website in 2008, and we had to locate the original letter and images on our old computer because it is such a wonderful letter.  We never actually identified the crushed insect parts in these scanned images, but a skilled entomologist might be able to identify some of these particles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi,
I stumbled on your website during a search. I have a question concerning Chocolate. I have a co-worker that brings me Hershey Kisses every morning. I don’t eat them right away, so, when I finally decided to eat a few, to my surprise, there were little brown gnat type bugs that had burrowed through the kiss!!!!!!!!!!! One co-worker had the entire Hershey Kiss gone including the almond! It did leave the shell however! HELP. We just want to know what they are! Thanks!
Pamela

Hi Pamela,
Certain types of Pantry Beetles will eat chocolate, burrowing through the candy leaving the shell intact.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What this bug?
Dear Bugman,
First, congrats on a great site!
Attached are two closeups of a bug, possibly a bed bug, found when stripping the sheets from our mattress. (We do this every week, but this is the only ‘visitor’ we’ve ever seen). Bug was not dead, but just lying there waving its little legs slowly. Could be because we had had a flea infestation (we>lying there waving its little legs slowly. Could be because we had had a flea infestation (we>sprayed the house and mattress with flea spray last year. Any way here it is…

Dear Richard,
I really wasn’t positive, so I sought out a true expert, Weiping at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles. Here is his answer:
“Thank you very much for your image. This is a Thylodrias larva (Coleoptera: Dermestidae: Thylodrias). It is very common in Los Angeles area. I collected it many times in our museum. Hopefully, the information will help you. Sincerely, Weiping”
I can add the Dermestidae is a family of beetles known as Carpet Beetles or Buffalo Bugs. They are fond of eating skins, furs, woolen materials and dried animal matter, and as a family, are the bane of the entomologist since they can quickly devour a prized insect collection.

Many thanks for the reply – I’m greatly relieved that its only a carpet beetle, and not something worse! Attached the second picture, which was of the head/jaws of the grub.
Best Regards, Richard

Dear Richard,
Thank you for the additional photo. I did find some additional information for you. The beetle Thylodrias contractus does not have the typical form of most Carpet Beetles. It is more elongate with long legs and antennae. I did find an interesting anecdote in Lutz’ book Field Book of Insects. He writes: “In 1908 Mrs. Slosson, the author of such charming stories as ‘Fishing Jimmy,’ published a description of a strange beetle that was eating her collection of insects. She playfully called it ‘Ignotus aenigmaticus.’ This name was in proper form and by the rules of the game remained the scientific name of the beetle until the discovery was made that the beetle was an introduction from Transcaucasia and had a prior name. It is now Thylodrias contractus. It eats like a Dermestid but does not look like one. The female is wingless and the male has no hind wings.” The beetle was originally described in Transcaucasia by Motschulsky.

Thanks again Daniel – two further questions,
1. do you have a picture of an adult?
2. Will my bug make it onto your website?

Hi Richard,
I have your letter ready for posting, but the site is currently down due to heavy traffic. I was expecting it to be up today, but still no luck. I know the site is up on the east coast, since I began getting additional letters. Check in a day or two. I have a photo of an adult and will attach it. It was previously identified only generally, but now there is an exact species name. Thank you for your interest.
Daniel

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination