Currently viewing the tag: "Household Pests"

mystery beetle
Can you please identify the bug in the attached photo? It appears to be some type of beetle. Actual size is just under 1/8 of an inch long. It’s very slow moving, and will sit motionless for long periods. Coloring consists of alternating gray and black bands. I live in Northern New Jersey, and this bug was found indoors in February. I’ve seen this kind of bug occasionally all my life, always indoors, and always just sitting motionless. I have no idea what they eat. They’re never around in large numbers, but I’ll see three or four throughout the year, in various parts of the house. They are not associated with the kitchen, or anyplace else where there’s food. Thanks! I hope you can tell me what this is.
Don Riemer

Hi Don,
This is an Anthrenus Carpet Beetle, one of the Dermestids. Here is what Charles Hogue has to say: “These are the common Carpet Beetles. The adults have conspicuous variegated patterns of red, white, or black splotches on the back. The larvae are stout and less than three times as long as they are wide; they have hairs along the body that are generally stiff and erect, and there are two tufts at the rear end. These beetles are hated by entomologists because they often destroy collections of dry insect specimens.”

I’ve got a bug for you!!
These first started appearing in our bathroom early last spring. (2005) It seems like there is always one or two in our bathroom every morning. This is before the showers start and there hasn’t been any activity in the bathroom overnight. They don’t fly fast and easy to squash. They’re about the size of a pencil eraser. It’s annoying as hell! Mater bathroom (where they’re appearing) is on the 2nd floor of a 2 story house in Omaha, Nebraska. Any help as to what they are and where they’re breading? Don’t be confused by the picture. It might look like a common housefly, but it’s not. It’s smaller and doesn’t fly as fast.
Thanks in advance.
Tim Hayes

Hi Tim,
This is a Bathroom Fly, Clogmia albipunctata. Indoors, they breed in sink traps, drains and dead flow areas in household plumbing.

micro beetle
thanks for the past questions. i got a new bug for you.. whats this tiny micro beetle.

Hi Charles,
We thought this was a species of Carpet Beetle, and we have seen them on our squash blossoms. We checked with Eric Eaton and here is his response. “Ah, a carpet beetle in the genus Anthrenus! Please keep it away from my insect collection:-) You are correct that, outdoors, many species in the genus pollinate flowers in their search for pollen to eat. Eric” The larvae are destructive to collections and natural fibers.

Bed Bug or Flea?
My wife found this in our newborn twins’ nursery. We live in NYC and do not have pets. Very rarely have we gone out because it is cold out! Threw out the day bed and sanitized the nursery this morning. We thought it was a bed bug but it doesn’t have a head and the legs are long. Could it be a flea although it seems large? Definitely not a lady bug. It has long legs, no distinguishable head. It is flat along the sides. Can’t see if it has pincers. What do you all think?
Jeffrey Hwang

Hi Jeffrey,
This is a wonderful image of a Spider Beetle in the genus Mezium. They are common household pests that infest grain products. It is harmless to your twins.

Expert Update: (05/22/2008) spider beetle errors
Dear Bugman,
I believe I had written earlier when looking at many of the spider beetle pictures. Almost all of the shiny brown, globular body, images are of Gibbium aequinoctiale and not Mezium species. There is a combined 2 image photo (finger and beetle & 2 beetles) of Mezium : the answer was posted by Eric Eaton, I believe. Gibbium species do not have a velvety covering on the thorax, Mezium species do. You should correct your website postings so people will have a better idea of what they have been finding. Best regards,
Louis N. Sorkin, B.C.E.
Entomology Section
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
New York

Dear Lou,
Thanks so much for resending this vital correction to our website. We really appreciate your expertise on this. We sincerely hope that addressing you with such familiarity doesn’t detract from your professional status.

What is this bug?
Hello bugman,
I found a few of these in my apartment. Can you tell me what it is? Sorry for the blurred picture. It does not stay still. This one is about 0.5cm but I’ve seen 1 mm to 1 cm in size. Thanks much and have a wonderful New Year! From Toronto, Canada. Yoon

Hi Yoon,
You have Silverfish, a common household pest.

Help Please!!
I have been finding these bugs in my pantry (mostly in dry pasta and flour) and they must relocate!!!! I have found one in an empty bowl cupboard and one in the soap dish in the bathroom. I find only one at a time (not in groups), sometimes live and some dried up or skins. The image is scanned and enlarged about 100 times; actual size is about the size of a grain of rice.
Thank-you so very much!!!

Hi Amy,
You have Dermestid Pantry Beetle Larvae, a common household pest that infest stored grain products. The best remedy is to toss out all perishables in the pantry and stock anew, keeping only what you can use in a short period of time.