Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Beetles, Grain Weevils, Spider Beetles, Meal Worms and Carpet Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello, we live in Tampa, Florida and we have recently been seeing these beetles in our home. They are brownish in color, about 1/16 of an inch in length, are more active at night, can fly and seem to be attracted to light. They also appear to like linens and laundry. I am trying to find their access to the home as they disturb my daughter at night.
Thank you,
Adam Matthews and Family

Dear Adams Family,
Most of the time when small beetles appear in the home, they are some type of pantry beetle. The larvae feed on a wide variety of grain products in the pantry. They can be found in flour, cookies, dog food and pasta among other things. Adults which fly are pollen feeders. Perhaps your fabric softener is attracting them to the clothes. Check your dry goods and try to track down the source of the infestation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

HELP! What Are These Bugs?!
Dear Bugman,
HELP! These bugs are driving me crazy trying to figure out what they are and how to get rid of them! They seem to be more of a nuisance to me more than anything because I do not know what they are and I cannot find any info on them to be able to know what they are. I keep finding them on our hardwood floor, mainly along the baseboards, in the hallway between our baby’s room and our room (which are right across from each other). We live in Columbia, SC.
The first time I ever saw one of these bugs was in my baby’s baby cereal box, which I then threw out the whole box after seeing that. After that I started storing her baby cereals in sealed tupperware containers. Then, not too long after that I found a couple of them on the kitchen counter. But, I haven’t seen any of them anywhere in the kitchen since then.
Ok, now I cannot find any in the kitchen at all. I’ve looked through our cabinets and cereals, (we do not have any flour), and I’ve also looked all through our pantry and cannot find any there either. The only place I’m finding them now is in the hallway where I told you, between the two rooms, closer to the baseboards. And I have found a couple on the bathroom floor also. There are a few on the floor in the linen closet, also closer to the baseboards, which is between the two bedrooms in the hallway where I keep finding them.
What really confused my husband and I about these bugs was that one time when we were going through things in our attic, we got out some older VHS video tapes and a few of these bugs had fallen out of the VHS tapes. Then my husband continued to keep knocking the video tapes on the floor and they just kept falling out of the tapes. They were all dead though. Finally, after so many of them, they stopped falling out.
Then when we brought down the box with our Christmas decorations in it, to our surprise, there were all these same little bugs (a whole bunch of them) stuck to, and stuck underneath, the masking tape on the outside of the box. Yuck!!! I kept thinking "Why are these things so attracted to the masking tape like this?!" I’ve attached a few pics of these little creatures that are on my last nerve, one of the pics being of them stuck on the masking tape. So, obviously they’re in the attic also.
Our neighbors have them in their cupboards every now and then. They call them Weevils, but I don’t think that’s what they are. I’ve been looking all over the internet trying to figure out what these things are and I cannot find anything that looks like these bugs. They are like tiny little brownish beetle looking bugs.
I don’t see how they can be Pantry Beetles, because I haven’t been able to find any in the kitchen anywhere. They are driving me crazy, because everytime I pick up the ones that I keep finding on the floor in the hallway between the bedrooms, a few hours later a couple more have showed up around the same spots. And you know, they don’t move unless I nudge them a little.
WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM?!
WHAT ARE THEY?! AND HOW DO WE GET RID OF THEM?!
PLEASE HELP BUGMAN!
Thank you,
Seriously Curious

Dear Seriously Curious,
You do have Pantry Beetles, but there are many species, some of which are weevils. You might have the Merchant Grain Beetle, Oryzaephilus mercator, or a member of the genus Cathartus. These beetles are especially a problem in the humid South. These are small elongate reddish beetles that feed on grain and dried fruits in the larval stage, but when they mature, they fly away to a new food source, often pollen. You might have large numbers of adults congregating where they think they can get access to the outdoors, hence the attic. Aslo sticky tape will trap them like fly paper. The larvae will also eat dried pet food or even a forgotten box of cookies in some seldom used closet. Could someone in the house be hiding (hoarding) food and have forgotten it? If they are really that plentiful, you might want to fumigate, though we believe that could do more harm than good.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination