Grain Weevils and Larval Tick

help!! bedbugs? body lice? help please!!
Location: southern Maryland
August 5, 2011 5:29 pm
Please help, my husband’s niece house sit for us & the next day after being home we found all these little bugs on top of the bed. We thought they were baby dog ticks round & black grey in color. We vacuumed them up & stripped the bed. The next day we came home to them on the bed again & I went into overdrive cleaning, even encased our bed. I have bites on my, neck, shoulders & around hairline. My husband & daughter have no signs….I. have checked our heads for lice & nothing!! I am losing my mind over this & getting tired of our nightly ritual of bed cleaning. We live in southern Maryland. I am also submitting a pic of a black bug we have seen a lot of, that bug is upside down in the pic….thank you!!
Signature: desperately need help

Thing found on the bed

Dear desperately need help,
We cannot make out any details in the thing you found on the bed.  Did they move?  Are you certain they were living things?  We sometimes get reports of Tropical Fowl Mites or Tropical Rat Mites entering homes and biting the occupants, but this generally happens if there was a bird nest on the roof or a rat’s nest the attic, and the occupants “flew the coop”, leaving nothing else for the Mites to feed upon.  Again, we cannot make out any details in your photo to be certain.  Here is a link to Biting Mites in the home from CityBugs website.  The second creature is a Grain Weevil, and it may be infesting stored grain products in the pantry or pet foods including bird seed.  You will need to find the source of the infestation to eliminate that problem.  Just discard the infested food products.  Here is a recent posting on Grain Weevils.

Grain Weevil

help!!! bedbugs? body lice? please help
Location: southern maryland
August 6, 2011 1:33 am
Thank you for responding so quickly! The weivels are an easy fix. The bugs found on bed were alive. At first glance it looked like dirt & then I did think were dead….but they moved very slowly. Sort of just pulling themselves along with their very tiny (many) legs. I took a couple of more pics, hope they help. Also the one in the pic seems to be dried up kind of shriveled…probably from one the many products I used. However my itching has not subsided. Thank you again!
Signature: desperately need help

Unidentified Bed Thing is probably Tick Larva

Hi again desperately need help,
We are sorry, but we cannot tell what this is.  It might be a Mite.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some information.


14 thoughts on “Grain Weevils and Larval Tick”

  1. Can the poster count the legs? That would help us to see if it’s an insect or a mite. With regard to the weevils – these are common in the tropics and we sift them out of the flour with a sieve! We don’t throw away the flour.

    • Thanks Juliet,
      We strongly believe that many old recipes call for sifting flour specifically to remove any insect pests that have infested it during its storage. While this is an easy fix with flour, with other stored products, there is not an easy means of separating food from pest and it is easier to discard than to have an infestation spread. We recently had an issue with meal moths in the nut canister. We were able to pick through the whole nuts, but all the nut meal that accumulated in the bottom of the canister, which we love to include in the batter for German Chocolate Cake, needed to be discarded. Corn meal is another product that is easier to discard than to try to salvage. We do give our flour sifter quite a workout, especially during the summer.

  2. The rounded creatures look to me rather like small, blood-engorged, grey ticks, as desperately need help (dnh) suggested in the original post. The grey color is indeed reminiscent of dog ticks, but on the other hand, there are a lot of different species of ticks. I wonder if dnh currently has a dog that likes to snooze on the bed? Anyway, it looks as if the ticks were collected using a piece of scotch tape. After collecting, dropping the piece of scotch tape into a small bottle of alcohol would preserve the creatures so that dnh can show them to an expert.

    Susan J. Hewitt

  3. No doubt in my mind, it’s a tick. When you start to deal with a tick infestation, it can be confusing because they have 3 distinct and very different manifestations, four if you count the egg stage and five if you count engorged adult separately. Infestation is a real problem because the engorged female will crawl off into some dark space to lay a ton of eggs. They don’t hatch for a few weeks, so just when you think you’ve licked them, the tiny hatchlings, very very small and hard to see with out a magnifying glass, will start the cycle again. They feed, then crawl away to change into a nymph then feed again then crawl off to turn into an adult… The two photos presented above show a young adult (I think) and an engorged female who may have laid eggs. After she lays the eggs, her job is done and she Shrivels up and dies. That’s what the adults do; feed, engorge, mate and lay eggs. I wish I didn’t know so much about them, and I really wish I had a cure all miracle for getting rid of the demons, but I don’t. The only real cure is to make sure your animals aren’t breakfast and lunch and you are not dinner. I love a tick remedy called certifect. It has amitraz in it and that chemical can be hard on dogs and should not be used on cats, but it kills any ticks that bite the dogs. It’s been the ONLY dog tick treatment that has worked for us. And clean the room, rooms, house and in my case, boat with a fine tooth brush. They crawl upwards if they can. Check curtains and behind wall outlets. Vacumn and then vacumn again and then vacumn every day for a couple of weeks. Dont miss window sills, behind headboards and dressers. Make sure you empty the vacumn cleaner bag into a sealed plastic bag before you toss or you will be spreading the herd. And of course, check the mattress and wash all linens in hot water. I realize the above post was a few years ago, but there’s so little info online that I thought I might be able to help someone else get rid of these blood sucking pests.

      • I once had grain weevils so bad they left the kitchen area and went into the bedroom. They look just like the bug with the little snout, very dark brown sort of narrow body. They will eat dead skin if they get in your room found in bedding, laundry and yes on you. They do bite as a last resort when their regular food source of grain is removed. I don’t think they are interested in blood just little bites of skin and that’s only when they multiply past the kitchen area. I am sure because I did compare the ones in my room to the ones in the rice and pasta. Strip and spray all areas and they should go away. I am guessing only by the fact that they multiply so fast and eat mostly grain that they probably don’t carry blood type diseases. I do think the CDC should know that grain weevils have evolved to nibble on people, dander and dirty laundry just in case there is a cause for concern. More than a few people are finding weevils in their bedding. The pictures don’t lie.

  4. I have had most all of the above experiences except that my bugs fly. They look like the grain weevil pictures, started when I cleaned my cabinets full of outdated dried goods, and feed off of me and my cats. One cat now lives in a caninef under tge bathroom sink that is not yet infested. I can pet them withouf causing pain only if I have covered my hands in permethin (i know not healthy but only relief). They do like food but everything else, too. They seem aggressive. They clamp onto me when biting and look like those little red dots. However, when hit with multiple ones, the pain is excruciating and I find little grey flecks. When I finally got a pucturs of one that was half dead (only safe way), it looked like one of the beetle pictures. These bugs clearly bite. They fly, too, unless I’ve got a secondary infestation. I should mention also that this became evident within hours of getting my cats treated for fleas, and these bugs have been confirmed not to be fleas.


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