Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Beetles, Grain Weevils, Spider Beetles, Meal Worms and Carpet Beetles"
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Hello there,
I came upon your site by accident trying to identify a species of moth that’s been living with me. I just moved into a new apartment a few months ago and noticed that there were several moths in the apartment. I have no picture, but they are small, maybe 1/4 inch long, and very thin – they look a lot like a tiny segment of a stick. The head end tapers down slightly narrower than the wingtips. They are a mottled dark brown colour. They tend to sit on walls for long periods of time very still and only fly away when approached. Their style of flying is erratic and fluttery. I found a dead one in my pancake mix and the mix itself had a sour smell to it. I also found a small larva about the same size as the moth, white with an orange head, hiding under my teapot. I’m not sure if this was a larva of the moth or something else, though. These moths tend to hang out in the kitchen, so I have a sneaking suspicion that they may be after food. In some corners under or inside the cupboards I have found dead (or possibly the molted skins of) moths attached to the corner within a thin layer of silk. Any ideas on what these are, and if they are bad to have in the house?
Thanks,
Catherine

Hi Catherine,
You have pantry moths which will infest all types of grain products in the pantry, hence the appearance in the pancake mix. The larvae do the damage by devouring the foods. Mature moths will lay new eggs and the infestation perpetuates. Clean out the pantry and store drygoods that you
are not going to use immediately in a tightly sealed container (though this does not prevent eggs that have already been laid from developing) and better yet, refrigerate or freeze flour products. Do not stockpile drygoods when you have a potential problem in the pantry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear Bugman,
My roomate and I recently opened up a chocolate bar only to find a fat worm/maggot had eaten a hole right through the bar. The chocolate was in a box full of more chocolate bars that are maybe a year old. We were totally disgusted, and when we opened up the remaining bars, we found a few more that also had the worms. The worms had eaten holes right in the chocolate and on some, they seemed to shave the top of the bars off – there was chocolate shavings on the surface. Some of the worms looked like they had spiny tails, but it was hard to tell for the others whether they also had the spines. Do you know what kind of worms are these? And how did they get into our chocolate??
Kate

Dear Kate,
Pantry beetles are known to infest chocolate. The immature beetles are wormlike grubs, much as you describe.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Yellow-green worm
Dear What’s That Bug,
We live out in the country in central Texas (30 minutes northeast of College
Station). When I went to change the sheets on my extra bed last night, I
discovered HUNDREDS of tiny yellow-green worms that had reproduced there
since I last changed the sheets (1-2 months ago). They were about about an
inch long (inch worm?). We hang our sheets outside in a wooded area and are assuming they came in with the sheets and multiplied like crazy. Do you know what they are. There were little caccoons in the bed folds, pillows, etc. Could they still be in the mattress!?! Being a city girl myself, I’ve adapted to the wide variety of spiders and roaches surrounding our house, but this has made me reach my limit! Your help would be greatly appreciated. What a great service you have!
Thanks!
Caren George

Dear Caren,
I must say, this is confusing. What you are calling worms are probably the larval form of some insect. Two common household pests that will eat organic matter, including cotton, are carpet beetles and clothing moths, but neither have larvae that are yellow green. You also didn’t state that the sheets had been damaged in any way, so I am eliminating them as possible culprits. There is no way that your free-loaders grew and reproduced between the sheets without eating. I suppose it is possible that they migrated there in search of a warm place to metamorphose, but that still doesn’t give me a clue as to what they might be. I will continue to research and hopefully get back to you when I discover something. Additionally, Inchworms are actually the caterpillars of a group of moths known as geometrids, and they get their name from their curious method of locomotion which has the
appearance of measuring.
Daniel

Mystery Solved
Dear Bugman,
We came home last night to more little worms (only a handful this
time)–even though we bleached and washed the sheets and cleaned the room completely. We tore down the bed and found the nasty culprit. A storage bin of cat food my husband had put under the bed. It was COMPLETELY webbed and gross and the bin was full of little moths. Looked on your site and was able to identify Indian Meal Moths! We emptied the room, cleaned EVERYTHING and put it back together again. I’ll write again frantically if that didn’t solve the problem! Thank you so much for your service and getting back to me. This city girl needs all the help she can get!
Sincerely,
Caren George

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I have very small bugs in my flour products and cereals as well as gummy bears. What are they and how can I get rid of them. I cleaned my pantry and threw out all that was infected and now they are back again within weeks.

Pantry Beetles will infest many types of organic foods in the pantry. They will infest all grain products but will also get into spices and candies. The adult beetles are pollen eaters and it is the grubs that eat the food in the pantry. Though you cleaned out all the infested items, it is possible that some adult beetles remained in the house and reinfested the new food you bought. They will also get into nuts, pastas, flour, noodles, cereals, and on and on. You pretty much need to remove everything and clean thoroughly. It is also possible to buy infested food at the market.

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We keep finding these what look like tiny beetles in our house. I have found maybe 10 over the last week. Tonight I found one in our bed and that freaked me out. I have a picture of the nasty little thing I scanned. The bug is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch at the most. It looks all brownish/black to the naked eye but when I scanned it it looks kind of spotty. I am not sure if they bite. On the scan the bug is split up the middle of it’s back, but that’s just from when I killed it. No wings that I can see, but kind of a round bulbus butt, and a head the comes not really to a point, more like a triangle with the top cut off where the mouth is. 6 legs, and one set of antenni. I am not sure why they keep coming in our house or where they come from, and I don’t know if they bite. I am somewhat bug-phobic, so any answers you can provide could help tremendously!!

I looks like a type of weevil, some species of which attack food in the pantry, which could explain their presence in your house.

Thanks very much. I did a picture search on Google and that’s the guy.
We have more weeds than usual close to the kitchen / side entrance so
that also explains them getting within reach of the house too. Thanks
for your help!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear What’s that Bug,
I live in Chicago in a two-flat. My husband and I are moving in two weeks and I’m worried because we have noticed some new bugs appearing in our bathroom. We have lived here for a year and have never seen these bugs prior to last week. Now they are showing up every other night in our bathtub, five at a time. They are little tiny black bugs (about 1/4") and they don’t move. I thought they were dead, but upon further inspection I realized that they were just still & when prodded they moved their legs a little. They didn’t look like roaches, but I can’t help but panic. The only other bugs we’ve ever seen here are silverfish. Could they be baby silverfish?? So far I’ve found about 20 of them over the past week, mostly in the bathtub, though one was in the sink, five on the floor and one made it to the kitchen floor (near the sink). Any words of advice? Anything we can do to keep them from coming with us when we move in 2 weeks?
Thanks, C&J

Dear C&J,
Sounds like pantry beetles which seem to be very plentiful everywhere right now. clean out the pantry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination