Currently viewing the tag: "Household Pests"
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bug info
We are having this bug on our carpet for a while. Apparently it’s harmless, but since I have a 6-month-old baby, I’d like to check what it is. I’ve looked at several bug pictures, but could not find it. We also find them sometimes on our bathtub. We live in Boston, MA. It is the size of a small ant, very small. To kill it, I crush it and it sounds like killing a pregnant dog’s flea, it cracks. I’ve put a couple in a completely closed jar a few days ago, and they are still alive. I’m sending some pictures I took. I’d appreciate any kind of information you could provide me.
Thanks a lot
Melina Suarez

Dear Melina
We were not sure exactly what species of beetle you had, though we suspected some type of Pantry Beetle. We contacted a true beetle expert, Eric Eaton who gave us the following reply:
“Some pretty clear images of pretty tiny beetles! They are spider beetles, Mezium americanum. It is a stored product pest, so best to inspect the pantry to find the source of the infestation. This should also include examination of pet food, taxidermy mounts, insect collections, the spice rack….Aside from adding some inadvertent protein to one’s diet, though, they are of no real consequence even if you don’t ever find them. Aside, we’d love to have these images submitted to Not even sure this family is represented yet.
Ed. Note: We put Eric in contact with Melina and hopefully she will give permission to post the images on

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

mystery bug
Good day Bugman! I have been searching everywhere for someone who has the knowledge to help me out! I am currently living in Taiwan, and have recently moved into a new apartment. My landlord told us that this apartment had been vacant for about 10 months before we moved in. Well, I started seeing these strange spots on the walls, and realized that they moved imerceptibly! Taking a closer look at what I initially thought was cobwebs (because they like to move up and down the wall in the corners where 2 walls meet), I discovered they are in fact alive! When I squish them, they are as thin as paper, and there is no crunch or resistance of any kind. The black protrusion you see coming from the bottom can protrude from the top or the bottom, but not simultaneously. It has no big range of motion, and has a very tentative hold on the surface it is against. This one is on the outside of my toilet bowl. And you’ll notice that this one has an orange coloring, very distinct. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been all brown and mottled, resembling tree bark, without this orange splash. There never was any big population, I found maybe 10 in the whole 3 bedroom apartment when we moved in. Since then, I’ve found maybe a dozen more, and these at long intervals…since this one on the toilet bowl, I haven’t seen another for 2 weeks or so, and so it’s not a question of infestation or management, I just can’t seem to find anyone who can tell me what this is! I hope these pictures and this information reach you alright, and I am eagerly anticipating your response! Thanks again for your excellent site, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Dear Kimberly,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae probably Phereoeca fallax or a near relative.
The small larvae carry a noticeable case made of fine sand and debris. The case, which is about a quarter to half an inch long, is flattened on top and bottom, expanded at its center and tapered at both ends. They are often found on walls (both outside and inside) of houses and other structures. Larvae are said to feed primarily on insect remains, fur, flannel, and hair: they do not seem to be a clothes pest. We have gotten many letters from Florida regarding Case Bearing Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Little worms in white paper houses
Dear Bugman, I recently moved to Florida to a just constructed home. I have a monthly bug service that I pay for dearly, as our new home had cockroaches before it was even occupied. Now I keep finding a very strange bug in my bathroom. It is a little tiny reddish worm carrying a big (1/4 inch long) paper shell, acutally dragging it around. The shell looks similar to a large sunflower seed in shape, but is white and papery. When you go near them, they retreat into the little shell. Then when they think it’s safe, they pop out of the end and start akwardly dragging the shell around again. I keep picking them up and tossing them outside, but everytime I go into my bathroom there are more of them. Yesterday when I was taking a bath, one crawled up out of my bubblebath, pulling his little paper shell with him. Now that’s the last straw for me. Yuck! What could these things be? None of my neighbors have ever seen or heard of such a thing. They suggested silverfish, but I know what they look like and these definatley are not silverfish.
Leslie M*^^!##s

Hi Leslie,
You have Case-Bearing Moth larvae. The small larvae carry a noticeable case made of fine sand and debris. The case, which is about a quarter to half an inch long, is flattened on top and bottom, expanded at its center and tapered at both ends. They are often found on walls (both outside and inside) of houses and other structures. Larvae are said to feed primarily on insect remains, fur, flannel, and hair: they do not seem to be a clothes pest. We have gotten many letters from Florida regarding Case Bearing Moths.

Update: Invasion of Privacy????? (03/22/2008)
March 22, 2008
We are writing to you on behalf of Leslie M*^^!##s. She has asked us to contact you to see if you will consider removing the content about her … Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We are ReputationDefender, Inc., a company dedicated to helping our clients preserve their good name on the Internet. Our founders and employees are all regular Internet users. Like our clients, and perhaps like you, we think the Internet is sometimes unnecessarily hurtful to the privacy and reputations of everyday people. Even content that is meant to be informative can sometimes have a significant and negative impact on someone’s job prospects, student applications, and personal life. We invite you to learn more about who we are, at [web address removed] . When our clients sign up with our service, we undertake deep research about them on the Internet to see what the Web is saying about them. We find sites where they are discussed, and we ask our clients how they feel about those sites. Sometimes our clients express strong reservations about the content on particular websites. They may feel hurt, ashamed, or “invaded” by the content about them on those sites. As you may know, more and more prospective employers, universities, and newfound friends and romantic interests undertake Internet research, and the material they find can strongly impact their impressions of the people they are getting to know. When people apply for jobs, apply for college or graduate school, apply for loans, begin dating, or seek to do any number of other things with their lives, hurtful content about them on the Internet can have a negative impact on their opportunities. At some point or another, most of us say things about ourselves or our friends and acquaintances we later regret. We’re all human, and we all do it! We are writing to you today because our client, Ms. M*^^!##s, has told us that she would like the content about her on your website to be removed as she considers it outdated. Would you be willing to remove or alter the content? Simply omitting her last name would be more than sufficient. It would mean so much to Ms. M*^^!##s, and to us. Considerate actions such as these will go a long way to help make the Internet a more civil place. Thank you very much for your consideration. We are mindful that matters like these can be sensitive. We appreciate your time. Please let us know if you have removed or changed the content on this site by sending an e-mail to: [email address removed]. If another individual would be more appropriate to contact on this matter, we’d be grateful if you could forward this message to him or her. Yours sincerely,
ReputationDefender Service Team

Hello Bistra,
Though it is time consuming, we can provide a do-over for her by removing Ms M*^^!##s name from our website post haste. We never intended to invaid her privacy. We merely posted a query letter she willingly sent to our site. We would hate to impact her potential dating opportunities, her chances of getting into a university (we would never forgive ourselves if this was a deal breaker with Harvard) or her chances of getting a lucrative job merely because of the world knowing that she had Case Bearing Moths in her bathroom. It is sad that potential love connections and employers could be so cruel and insensitive when a good look at their own closets, kitchen cupboards or bathrooms might reveal an infestation of carpet beetles, meal moths or bathroom flies. Our sympathies go out to Ms. M*^^!##s and we wish her all the luck in her subsequent internet romances, post graduate work, and securing that six figure income now that she cannot be connected to Case Bearing Moth Larvae on the internet.

Our readership weighs in:
On the ” Leslie M*^^!##s” thing.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this young woman probably had a problem with an entirely different place all together. Or perhaps had no problem at all and this company is phishing. Either way, they just did an internet search for her name and, since it came up on your site, they mailed you. That’s my opinion and can be taken as such. This sort of thing always makes me mail the person in question to see if it’s true. Bye! Love your site!
Jill Sylvan

Invasion of Privacy
Dear What’s That Bug,
At first I thought that your letter from the ReputationDefender team was a joke since it was one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. Ironically, I think that worse than having your name associated with a picture of a Case Bearing Moth Larvae in your bathroom, is being associated with a “reputation defender team” trying to get your name removed from being associated with a picture of a Case Bearing Moth Larvae in your bathroom! Personally, I would feel honored to have my name as one of those privileged few who have had their pictures and/or letters posted on such a respected and loved web site. In fact, I wouldn’t want to have as friends or employers those who would think that writing such a letter to What’s That Bug would be liability. Some of the coolest and most interesting people I know are those who are frequent visitors to this site. Keep up the good work!
Laura from NJ

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is this bug?
1/4" in length. many legs on each side. somewhat hairy. has a wormlike head that wiggles around, the back end almost looks like wings creeping out from under a jacket. the jacket is light oolored belt around the midsection and the ends are darker. the tummy of the bug is all light colored. they had no visible antenna or tail (through a magnifying glass)…… 4 of these were on one sons wall in his bedroom. one more was sighted in an upstairs bedroom. they are very slow moving, in a slow wiggle sideways. when dropped in the carpet, they burrow down into it. help. thanks.

Hi Jean,
You have a Carpet Beetle Larva, one of the Dermestid Beetles which eat wool and other natural fibers as well as doing major damage to museum collections.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help Me Figure Out What This Is…
My house has recently had an infestation of a bug that seems to really be a fan of grain. We’ve found it inside our sealed cereal boxes and also in packets of oatmeal. After putting all of our food in sealed containers the contagion seems to have died down, but now I’m finding some throughout our house. I took a number of digital pictures but this is the only one that came out pretty well. The bug resembles a very tiny ant except it obviously isn’t an ant. It is about 2 mm long. Hopefully you can identify it, I’ve searched many many sites.

Hi Zach,
It looks like you have a type of Merchant Grain Beetle, possibly Oryzaephilus mercator or the closely related Saw-toothed Grain Beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis. These are very small beetles that are elongated. According to Hogue: “The appearance of these pests in a tightly sealed package of dried food is a source of wonder to housekeepers. Entry is commonly by way of minute imperfections in the seal, but some species may bore through paper and cardboard containers to get at the contents. In other cases, infestations occur when the foods are stored in bulk in railroad cars, warehouses, and at other stops along the processing line.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this?
Can you please help me identify this bug. They are found on the walls in my home. They crawl very fast and are very tiny. I took a picture next to a dime.
Thanks for any help
Jon Lindberg

Hi Jon,
You have a Dermestid Beetle larva which include household pests like carpet beetles and larder beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination