Subject: unknown bug eggs
Location: Portland, Ct.
December 7, 2014 7:23 pm
for the past few years I have discovered piles (100+) of these tiny bead sized, black, shiny, hard shelled eggs. There only found in my basement. two piles were found in my garage. One was in a drawer of a RubberMaid rolling cart and the other large pile was on a open cabinet shelf piled high in a corner. when I touched the pile they all collapsed as if they were wet at one point. the other piles were in the cellar in a large plastic storage bin and also in my storage bag for my Christmas tree.
I took a picture with a microscope app the magnified 8xs and I will also include a few in my hand for a prospective.
Signature: Susan Popielaski

Seeds, we believe

Pokeweed Seeds, we believe

Dear Susan,
These look more like seeds than bug eggs to us, but we have no explanation regarding why you found them or what they might be.
  Interestingly, we just received another nearly identical identification request from Massachusetts, so we feel compelled to research this more.  Termite Pellets also come to mind, but they look different from Termite Pellets we have seen in the past.

Seeds, we believe

Pokeweed Seeds, we believe

Thanks for replying. We don’t have termites..we did have a ant problem that we eradicated. I’ve done research as well and found that some insects eggs are seed imposters,?
The piles are sort of glued together in a type of thin transparent sac. As soon as you touch them with slight pressure they break free and the tidy pile collapses.
Keep me posted, my FB friends are as curious as I.

Some ants may stockpile seeds, but we believe that is a very remote possibility.

Update:  April 12, 2015
Thanks to a comment from Teri, we believe this is a Rodent’s stash of Pokeweed seeds which are pictured on the Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide.

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Location: Portland, Connecticut

147 Responses to Unknown Black Things found in Home probably a Rodent’s Stash of Pokeweed Seeds

  1. Jacob H says:

    Given the locations they were found in, if they are seeds I wonder if some small animal could be stockpiling them? Chipmunks would do something similar with pine nuts in my grandmother’s attic years ago.

    • bugman says:

      We would not discount critters storing seeds, but we don’t believe that is the cause.

      • Ruby Fulmez says:

        I live in Western Canada, and for the first time ever we are inundated with the things. Everyone insists they are mouse droppings, but we have no sign of mice, There were piles of them in my pantry, which contained many plastic bags of oatmeal, flour etc. None of the bags were touched. Help!!!

  2. I would totally be incubating these in a warm moist environment to see what happens to them!

  3. aussietrev says:

    Don’t know if it happens over there but some of our stick insects produce eggs that exactly mimic seeds so that ants collect them and take them into their nests where they are safe from predators. Given this lady had an ant problem perhaps there is something that uses the same trick there?

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for providing a suggestion Trevor. We hope to solve this mystery soon. Our North American Stick Insects scatter eggs, and we think it would be rather odd for any seed gathering creature, ant or other, to gather solely eggs that were scattered over a distance, and considerably far from the site where the black seedlike objects were found.

  4. Jessica says:

    I have the same exact little black seeds in my home! I am in CT as well- but I only see 2 or 3 at a time and they show up randomly in my bedroom. The first time I saw them actually there were 3 of them stuck to a towel in my bathroom. Since then I have seen them on the carpet in my bedroom and on a chair in my bedroom. I see them about 1x a week. I’m a little creeped out because it doesn’t seem like an infestation and it definitely looks like a seed. I cut into one and they are all white on the inside. Help!

  5. Norah says:

    I found same things in my basement inside my winter boots. I hope someone can shed some light on this!!! Creeping me out.

    • bugman says:

      What is your location? At this time, all reports we have are from New England.

      • paulla says:

        i live in Manteca ca. and my yard is infested with these things..are you sure there not bugs???

        • bugman says:

          we are sure they are seeds.

          • Sue says:

            I was just outside this evening and saw what looked like very small (smaller than mice poop), round black “poops” in the dirt areas between tufts of grass, they smash to dust. Are they a very small rodent poop? They are not oval or rice shaped; they are round and black, not brown; I am in Yucaipa, Cal. (So. Cal)

        • Dawn says:

          They are bigs. I lay a sheet over my bed every morning and let my dog lay there and sleep with me. When we got up, they were all over the sheet. I gathered the sheet up and took it outside and when I grabbed a handful of them, only one moved and it was crawling. I smashed some of the others. They are for sure bugs. I don’t know what they are but I do know they are bugs.

    • Michelle says:

      I have the same little piles have found them in my shoes and on floors mostly. Can not figure out what they are. Im in ohio

  6. Norah says:

    I found piles of these in my basement, inside my winter boots. I put them outside and spread them on a table and they seem to almost huddle back together over time? White inside when i crushed one. I did notice some tiny spiders on table the other day could that be it?

  7. Norah says:

    sorry I live in MA

  8. Shannen says:

    I posted this on the other thread as well. I just found these same weird husks in the basement of my house. I live in Michigan. I found them in some duffle bags that were stored in a bag, in an open bag of stuffed animals and also in a drawer full of clothes. There were thousands of them. I found them first in the bag of stuffed animals about three weeks ago and I assumed they were chia seeds that had spilled ( I also stored a bag of dry goods down there). Then tonight when cleaning the basement I found more. I would love to know what they are! I’m so creeped out. They are only in the basement though. I wish I had taken a picture!

    • bugman says:

      We hope to have an identity for what we believe to be seeds, possible stored by some critter, but at this time we still have no answers.

    • Deb says:

      I’m from the North Carolina mountains, and I found a bunch of these little black “seeds” inside the pillowcase on our bed. If it’s a pokeweed seed stash from a rodent, was it crawling around inside a pillowcase? That’s so creepy and disgusting!

  9. Shannen says:

    The weirdest thing is that there was no food source. All the items in the vicinity were untouched. The clothes had no holes. There was food food in the bags, just fabric. One bag had only polyester items in it. There was also no sign of burrowing/traveling and no sign of insects, just the tiny black seed looking things.

  10. Dawn says:

    We found identical looking black seed/egg like things in a pile on top of the sheet of a guest room bed located in my mother’s Rhode Island house on December 26, 2014. The bed was made and the seed/eggs were found under the comforter next to the pillow. The guest room is in a finished attic of the home and had not been used in 10 months. There were no signs of animal droppings, hair or foot prints on the bed or sheet which was clean other then the strange pile of black seeds/eggs. We would really like to know what these black seed/eggs are. Interestingly a dead Stink Bug had been found on top of the comforter a few weeks earlier.

  11. Paula Bowman says:

    I happened upon this website because I was looking for an answer. We found identical looking “seeds” in our basement just a few days ago in a notebook in our basement. I was doing some cleaning and opened the notebook and about a hundred of them fell out. I live in CT. I probably still have them in the vacuum bag. I am so intrigued!

  12. Heather says:

    I posted on the other thread as well but we live in Ohio and are finding the exact same pellet looking things…first on my sons bed in his toy room under a blanket in a nice neat pile..cellar and now in a dresser drawer…I myself am pretty creeped out!! HELP US lol!!!

  13. Heather says:

    I found the exact same things in our home as well, under the covers in spare bedroom, cellar and now a dresser drawer…we live in ohio 🙂

  14. Norah says:

    Still looking for answer to what these are? Anyone…. Anyone….. Anyone??????

  15. Lisa says:

    I am right there with you. They are in totes with clothes in my basement or attic. I have no idea what they are. I am outside of Philadelphia!

  16. Michelle says:

    We found 100s of these under a storage cubbys door on the door in a closet. It’s been driving me crazy to not know what they are. The closest thing that I can find is called Dutchmens breeches or ant bait. The ants carry and store the seeds to these wild flowers to later consume. The white spot on these seeds opens and looks kind if like an octopus which attracts ants. I’m not sure if this is exactly what it is but no one seems to have any answers. Could this be what these are???

  17. Ken Martin says:

    They may be Dutchman Breeches seeds. They have little gel appendages that stick out and are attractive to ants who eat these gel fingers and leave the casing as its not edible. Check out one of the images on this website.

    • bugman says:

      The Dutchman Breeches seeds do look very similar, but the mystery remains regarding how the seeds are getting into the homes.

  18. Jingibi says:

    It is common for ants to stockpile beans or seeds where they live, so if a house has an ant infestation (not uncommon) the ants could deposit these inside the house. That’s my theory, because these look very much like seeds, especially with the little white part.
    However, this has gotten me curious. I’ll try to do a little research on your behalf.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for the assistance. The strange thing is that despite numerous comments from people with similar discoveries, no one mentioned Ants.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, thanks for your response. I have lots and lots of these but not one ant. Not even a dead one. Nothing. No bugs at all. Next time my exterminator comes, I am going to ask him too

  19. Jingibi says:

    Hmm, that’s very odd. I think the best thing to do right now would be to attempt to identify the seeds themselves, and I think the comment left earlier about them being dutchman’s breeches seeds might give me a lead. Perhaps we can contact the people complaining to ask if they’ve been noticing ants lately. I might just end up bringing this matter up with the head of Entomology at the museum I volunteer at.

    And thank you for the fast response! I’m certainly going to contact you guys next time I run into a little insect fellow I haven’t met before. 🙂

  20. Jingibi says:

    That’s very strange. I cannot for the life of me figure out what else could be bringing the seeds in other than ants. As I said before, I will be bringing this up with the head of Entomology at my local museum and I will share what he thinks of it as soon as I can.

  21. Jingibi says:

    No problem! This in particular piqued my curiosity, and I’ll be as glad as anyone else when the ID is found.

    Just a casual question, but last fall a large female Grass Spider (Agelenopsis of some sort) made its way into my bathroom in North Carolina and made a gorgeous little funnel web in the corner of my window. That window has mosquito nets, so I left that window open a lot so that the spider could have access to insects inside as well as outside the house. She ended up being well worth the drafts, as she caught three pesky houseflies, a couple mosquitoes, some invasive stinkbugs, and an indian-meal moth all on her own. As the weather got colder, less insects started showing up in the bathroom and my little spider got hungrier, so I started feeding her small crickets and moths from time to time. She became accustomed to my presence and no longer darted into her funnel when she saw me. Then, soon after the first frost, she simply disappeared. She had moved once before to the shower and I had to put her back because her web was getting sprayed with water, but this time she was nowhere to be found. What do you think could have happened to my spider?

    And sorry if that long tirade should have been a separate post. You can treat it as such if you wish.

    • bugman says:

      We are not certain how to move this comment to a more relevant posting on Grass Spiders, so here it will stay. Your Spider may have relocated, or her life span may have ended. We cannot be certain.

  22. Melissa says:

    I live in Eastern CT. I’ve been finding piles for years. I have a contract withTerminix. No one can explain. However, we have had mice problems. We ONLY find these “seeds” when we have mice. We’ve had them in attics, basements, and the garage. When the mice are exterminated, no more black seeds. NONE. I am convinced it’s a type of dropping. My husband is convinced it’s their food hoards. Whatever it is, We are both sure it’s mice related.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks so much for providing your experience. We also feel they are rodent related and not ant related, and we are favoring, like your husband, that this is a food cache and not droppings.

    • Kristen says:

      This is what we think also. We have found them on and off for four years. I recently found them in a plastic glove box, yesterday on my table bed in the basement, in an old discarded bag in the garage, once in the corner of our closet.

      They are hard like a stone shiny and in huge clusters. I also found them once burrowed in a small floor rug. Something is definitely storing them there. We are confused because we are not seeing any regular mice drippings around the clusters. We have had to kikl a few mice and this year we used steel wool and masking tape to keep them out. My concern is are they dangerous and would really like to know what is creating the piles.
      We also live in CT. New Caanan on the line of CT and NY.

  23. dmd32 says:

    I just discovered these mounds of black bead-like things in a stored luggage, storage bin and now under a sofa. Can’t figure them out as well. Odorless. We live in western CT. Help please – thanks.

  24. Jingibi says:

    Hello everyone! I got feedback from the head of ento, and while he was unable to offer anything for certain concerning what kind of seeds they were, they are seeds and they are most likely the stash piles of mice or another similar rodent. He’s not the expert when it comes to mammals and plants, so now I’m just waiting for the botany guy to get back to me. I’ll keep you guys posted.

  25. bill says:

    Have the same things in my shed in Durham Connecticut also mouse droppings nearby. It seems the mice have found something they like To store. I’ve never seen them before.

  26. teri says:

    after ready some comments about these being seeds i got to looking at some pictures of seed and got to think that i had a plant right next to my home that produced black looking berries this plant is a pokeweed and the seed to a poke weed look alot to what i have found in my home. just and thought to some of you that may have this plant close to home may have been the rodents that carried them in to storage during the cold months.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for the information. That might be a good possibility. The image of the seeds on the Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide site look very similar.

      • Jeffrey says:

        I just found a pile of the black shiny “seeds” in my basement. They were found in between several comforters. I took pictures which I will try to forward to you; they actually look identical to those already posted. Please let me know if you identify and determine what they are, and or their origin. I live in northwestern ohio

  27. Christine Sullivan says:

    Found the same black balls in drawers of stored furniture last year. I also detected a smell when I opened the drawers. Yesterday, I was cleaning out the dog crate, where our Pit Bull resides every night and found the same balls interspersed between his towels and bed pillow. Can’t imagine a mouse brave enough to pick this storage spot. Husband thinks it’s some kind of spider waste….?

  28. Joker says:

    I had a glass of juice out next to my bed overnight, and those clusters of black ball things appeared in my cup of juice, I’ve never seen it before and they just appeared in The cup overnight, floating in the juice. I poured it out but I really need to know what that stuff was

  29. Molly says:

    We have black bead looking things in our bathroom. Just in our bathroom. We live in a large apt. building in Boston. I’ve never seen a mouse. They are hard and don’t really seem like a bug. See 1 or 2 a day… Can’t figure out what they could be.

    • Donna says:

      I just went into my bathroom and found them all over the floor. About 20 of them. They look like small, black plastic beads. I have no clue where they came from or what they are?

  30. Dee says:

    I live in TN and have them in my floor occasionally. 3rd floor apartment with no sign of rodents.

  31. Pam Patrone says:

    We have the same things. They are creeping us out. They are in the basement only hidden in clothes we have stored. My daughter went to pick up the clothes and she saw piles of these things. Last week I noticed mice droppings in another area of our basement. I am leaning toward the black things as being mice related too but I don’t know that much about mice and where do they get these things from? We are in Massachusetts too. I am a little relieved that these things could be mice food and not spider eggs or some other things that could hatch. But where do they come from?

  32. Jillian says:

    We too have found thousands of these in our basement in Western Mass over time. We find piles. We have found them in a dresser drawer used to store blankets. We have found them in boxes stored away. And I have even found a pile in a laundry basket that had clean clothes that I hadn’t gotten to folding in a couple of days. I was so creeped out and had my husband take a sample to a local pest control who took a look at them and said they were a seed. I could not figure out how a pile of seeds would just randomly appear in our basement. Today I found the latest stash and I jumped on Google as I have in the past. I was so happy to find this! After reading the comments above I then Googled poke weed seeds and plants and sure enough we have this weed growing by our shed. Mice are known to eat these seeds. And we have had mice issues in the past. So I’m assuming this is our answer. I’m not happy with the fact of having mice living in my home but I’m happy to know there isn’t a bug taking over my home.

  33. Lesley says:

    We have found piles of these in our basement and in a boot stored in our garage. After googling it I found your page and have read these comments. Since many mentioned pokeweed seed I googled that next and yes I think this is your answer. Our neighbor has this plant growing next to our fence which is about 20 feet from our bulkhead door to our basement.
    forgot to mention I am in SE CT

  34. Nicole says:

    I’m in MA and found them in a load of unfolded laundry I stashed in a closet when we had guests coming. I agree with the creeped out comments above. Haven’t had mouse activity in years thanks to my cats but it’s a possibility- except no poop. I can’t believe there wouldn’t be any in or around the basket if it’s mice!

  35. Janie says:

    I just found around 15 of these things stuck between 2 towels in my bathroom. They couldn’t have been there long as we go through our towels frequently. They were lightly ‘stuck’ to the towels but came off easily, as mentioned above. I have them in a baggy right now. I really want to know what they are! I’m in Kentucky and have been for 30+ years. I have never encounter anything like this before. Any information is appreciated.

  36. Jacqueline says:

    I’m in Alberta Canada, super dry cold winter here -30. It started this summer, I was sitting in living room carpet realized something biting my leg, thought carpet is old & dirty. I vacuum everyday, shampoo the carpets, washed my clothes in hot water than this past month I realized these black seeds stuck to my clothing; attach to my skin. I can’t figure out where it’s coming from, I heard the condos across the street had mouses and they had to clear out. Could that affected our house?
    It gets worse, my skin is super sensitive because I have allergies & asthma. I can wash and re-wash the clothes, I put them on my body I can never get rid of these black crazy “doodle-craps” or whatever they are!! It’s giving me anxiety attack

  37. Lia says:

    Really helpful thread! We live in RI and have been finding these seed stash piles in many places throughout our house over the last couple months. Towels, clothes, stuffed animals, etc. most piles have between 50-100 seeds. We definitely have pokeweed on our property so that makes sense. Like others, I am impressed by the very neat piles and baffled by the absolute lack of nesting or droppings. Some creature is working really hard to bring in all these seeds, bypassing two dogs, and leaving no other trace of itself. Fascinating. It makes me wonder if it’s going to be a bad winter. I am going to set a live trap and will report back in the unlikely event that I can shed light on this phantom seed stasher.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for contributing useful information to this posting.

    • Kristen says:

      Phantom seed stasher….brilliant name for this ghost.

      I think using a live video camera in the places that the stashes are occurring most would solve the mystery. Anyone handy with a video camera?

  38. Heather says:

    I first noticed these “seeds” , in my basement, when I turned on my Shop-Vac and they came shooting out of the filter exhaust area. The next time was on the floor behind a curtain and the last time was inside a folded air mattress. This has all been since mid-December. I have never seen this before. Like the other posts there were no mice droppings anywhere near these piles and would mice organize their food stores? Would we not see other types of food in the piles? Also, some of the “seeds” were clumped together. I am in central western Pennsylvania.

  39. Bubbe says:

    Handful of these found in a hat in the middle of a stack of hats inside a cardboard bankers box inside a storage locker. No mouse poop in the box or the storage locker. Some dirt and leaves next to the pile of shiny black “seeds.” Looks like a well planned stash but puzzling. Another hat was destroyed possibly by moths but no evidence of moths either. Pokeweed is common here but we’ve had pokeweed for 30 years and this phenomenon is new. Thank you everyone for helping to try this alarming problem. Found in King of Prussia, PA

  40. Bubbe says:

    If they are seeds, has anyone tried to sprout them?

  41. Bubbe says:

    If anyone wants to see if they are actually pokeweed seeds here is what you need to do:
    Soak pokeweed seeds in sulfuric acid to break dormancy and germination. After soaking seeds for 5 minutes, wash them under running water. Allow seeds to dry thoroughly before planting. Cover seeds lightly when planting. Seedlings can be transported into the garden after the chance of frost has passed. Set them at least 3 feet apart.

    I would do this but I thought they were feces. I threw them out.

  42. Helen says:

    I live in Northwest Arkansas and just recently found these same little buggers! Last night I was digging through my husband’s backpack for one of his books and at the bottom of the pocket I was searching, I see TONS of little shiny (almost jelly-like) beads. Instead of being black, they were of an orangey clear color. I saved some and put them in a jar but am not sure what to do with them yet. if anyone has any answers, I would soo appreciate it! Kinda freaking me out…oh, also we have no problems with rodents or insects at this point.

  43. Sandra says:

    Wow! What is happening! I live on the shoreline in Ct. My sister stayed over in a bedroom that was closed up on the second floor for months. She found a pile of these black seed things with other seeds in the bed between the blanket and comforter!
    No sign of rodent droppings.
    Will set traps and see what we come up with!

  44. Janie says:

    I have found more in my daughter’s bedroom. Still no other traces. This is so crazy. I’m certain they are seeds, I just don’t know how they are getting in my home.

  45. Nicole says:

    Mousetraps in my closet have caught nothing. Totally puzzling.

  46. Paul says:

    Found a couple hundred of these in a bath towel that was unused in the closet of the bathroom. They are indeed Pokeweed, which I have a lot of in my backyard. Put out 4 traps and had 4 mice within 30 min! (Evening hours). Traps are out again. Seems the rodents bring them in for winter.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for the confirmation regarding our original speculation.

    • Bubbe says:

      Did you find any mouse droppings? None of the reports of finding stashes of pokeweed seeds report mouse droppings anywhere nearby.
      We found a large pile of pokeweed seeds inside a hat that was inside a pile of other hats that were in a box in a storage locker. Quite a feat for some little mice. Hard to believe but there were no mouse droppings anywhere in the box or storage locker. Still puzzled. ??

  47. Annbd says:

    We just found these at our home on Martha’s Vineyard- one pile under a pillow, another in a shoe.

  48. Live in Rochester, NY and just found a pile of these black “seeds” in our basement. Very curious as to what they are and where they came from and in reading these comments it sounds like no one has to come to a conclusion yet. Would love to know where they came from and how to get rid of them.

    • Mary Jo Johnson says:

      I live in Farmington and just bought a used RV. I keep finding these seeds on my bed just like the others in a pile. I can’t get under the bed so I can’t put a trap there. I tried peppermint and Grandpa Gus’s peppermint bags but about once a week we find more. It creeps me out!

  49. Bubbe says:

    Can anyone put an IP Camera on one of these piles? This way we can finally have an answer. Canary and Arlo are easy to use. I no longer have an active pile of seeds or I would do it. The cameras have motion detectors. I think at this point we would all enjoy the video. We haven’t entertained the idea of small aliens (joke).

  50. Alfred says:

    I Live in NH and just pulled back the covers on a guest bed. I was shocked at the amount of seed that was there. it looks like it was packed in the mouth of a rodent and released onto the bed. there were three solid balls of these seeds along with a pile of loose. when you touch the solid balls they brake down into loose instantly. This tells me its probably their saliva in their mouths as they are collecting it that’s keeping it together. What makes me confident these are probably seeds is, in another section of the bed where different seeds. Larger and obviously seeds. I think probably chipmunks got into the house somehow and stockpile their seeds.

  51. K says:

    Pokeweed, or ink berry, produce fleshy fruit. Perhaps these are being consumed by the rodents and the indigestible seeds are left as dropping?

  52. Alicia says:

    I just found a pile of these black “seed” looking things. Only difference with mine there are no white on them. Could they still be seeds? Im in VIRGINIA

    • bugman says:

      It is difficult to speculate on this without seeing images, but we would be inclined to think they are most likely a rodent’s stash of seeds.

  53. Sherry Vogel says:

    The seeds look like Celosia cockscomb seeds. My grandmother grew and collected the seeds each year. I hope this solves your mystery.

  54. Cindi says:

    Wow ! I finally…FINALLY ! found some clues to this mystery. I have searched and studied every “dropping” chart available on google ! My story is identical to most…piles of them in clothes in storage bins….no sign of anything else there ! I live in southern MA.

  55. christine says:

    i just vacuumed a LARGE stash of these in a pantry closet, neatly contained under a roll of wrapping paper. I was dying to know what they are and I’m thinking a seed too…DEFINITELY related to mice…as i also vacuumed copius amounts of mouse poop all over my house. not sure what poke weed is, but i’m going to investigate further to see if we have any nearby. We are in Coastal RI

  56. elaine says:

    I live in orlando, fl, over the past two weeks i have found tiny black “seeds” even smaller than a “chia” seed, two different times. once on my tile floor in a bathroom i saw them scattered around in a 2 foot area, and today i just found them in a cardborad shoe box lid that i keep on my floor for my cat to sleep in. i think i am going to try to sprout / germinate them and see what happens. this creeps me out big time !!!

  57. Deborah says:

    Just found a large ball of these in laundry basket of unfolded clothes in my basement. Thanks for posting the picture. I live in southern Illinois and this is the first time we have seen these.

  58. Lynn says:

    From NW Ct. I also found these seeds. No evidence of mice droppings around, but I do have pokeweed in the yard. I belive also this is a rodents stash of these seeds. We have allot of chipmunks around. My question is if the are poison why aren’t the rodents dead? ? I also found them in shoes, in between blankets etc. Within plastic tubs. With no evidence of chewing thru. Weird cuz I consider myself a clean freak. As part of my study I’m planning to eradicate the plants this spring and I’ll see if the infestation continues.

    • bugman says:

      While we are not experts in toxins, we know there are many edible plants that have poisonous parts. According to Healthline: “Apples are a popular and healthy fruit that are a big part of American culture and history. … But as you bite deep into an apple, reaching its core, you are confronted with something not so sweet: tiny black seeds. Unlike the sweet tang of the fruit, the tiny black seeds found in an apple’s core are another story. They contain amygdalin, a substance that releases cyanide when it comes into contact with human digestive enzymes, but acute toxicity is rare with accidental ingestion of seeds.” Also, plants that are poisonous to some creatures are eagerly eaten by others. A prime example is the Monarch Butterfly and toxic Milkweed.

  59. Lissa says:

    Live in Michigan Just found these Black seed looking things in my laundry room. Stuck in a clump… creeped out! Help!! What are these things!??

  60. HenBecca says:

    We live in southwest, VA and have found these seeds recently in our bed. What’s weird is that we sleep in this bed nightly. We have found mice in our house and they used to hoard dog food in different places, but we have contained the dog food since. This is the first time we’ve seen these seeds so it could be a “new” food source for the mice.

    This may be unrelated, but last night my husband was stung by a wasp that had joined us in our bed. Could the wasp have been drawn to the seeds or something?

  61. Carla says:

    Have these seeds in our house here in Leicester, MA. Someone else mentioned finding a dead stink bug with some seeds and I found a live one today with some seeds in a plastic tub of stored clothes I was going through to get ready for a garage sale. The other time we found seeds was last summer in a trash bag of clothes. Way at the bottom with no holes, droppings, nesting materials, other foods, etc. No holes in the bag, either. We do have chipmunks but they steal the dog’s food late at night while we’re upstairs. (And sometimes downstairs- that’s how we know…)

  62. Bob says:

    Live in Connecticut and have been finding these shiny round unidentified object about 1/16 in diameter in out attic. We have had peppermint oil and mothballs in the attics but we are still getting these. Would anyone know what they are please or what State Agency would? Thanks

  63. Bug Phobic says:

    This is might sound bazaar, but it may be relevant for some for a few people who found them in shoes and/closets. After finding them in a shoe box, I was certain it was a type of insect larvae; although it was actually the contents of the little packet manufactures put inside boxes to keep contents free of moisture (I think that is their purpose). Sometimes they are white or black or even black with a red hue. So relax to the people this may help. I was freaked out when I found them last night. I am so relieved to know another bug was not going to hatch and bite me. I am certain about this information; yet it may only apply to a few writers. FYI The little ball I found were quite hard which is how some larvae protect themselves. When crushed they still looked odd.

    I hope this is helpful to anyone . I was panicked when I found them last night since they were not there the day before. Good Luck.

    Hey Bugman; is that Mt. Washington near Balt, MD? Do you have knowledge of microbiol organisms? I am dealing with a health issue and think they may be the cause. No offense to persons in medicine or health care; doctors are clueless, even infectious disease physicians. I have studied them over the last 2 years since doctors have treated me for everything with the exception of these tiny organisms that are all around us, even our drinking water. I can not find a medical professional who knows about them or how to treat a patient who may be a host. There are even unidentified new GMO types and archea organisms (here for millions of years and can withstand extreme conditions; like molten lava). Please contact me if you have any expertise and care to discuss. Thanks. Regards, Bug Phobic

    Cool site!!!!

  64. Kelley W says:

    I live in Bridgewater, NJ and found these things. I have a bluestone walkway leading from driveway to front porch. There is a lot of ant activity within the joints between the stone. I was weeding this area yesterday left for about 2 hours. Upon my return there were hundreds of these little black seed like things scattered everywhere. It was very freaky. I took a closer look and the gravel dust between the bluestone had little holes and the ants were everywhere. It looked like they were trying to move these things. I swept them away to see what would happen the next day. I just looked now, the black seeds are BACK on the bluestone with ants running around. Very weird!!!

  65. Maureen Liljegren says:

    .y mother has found hundreds of these piled in her guest room in a drawer, bottom of closet, and bottom if stored duffel bags. She swears they move like bugs.

  66. Stacey D Fryman says:

    So very relieved to find this site!! Last night my daughter came in from college and lifted up a pillow on her bed. There was a pile of these seed looking things. I cleaned them up but of course she wouldn’t sleep there lol. We live in the country and have field mice in the house pretty much year round. Just so happy they aren’t related to snakes in any way so far !! I’d likely have to move lol

  67. todd says:

    check out this image….. i found these in one of my outbuildings at my property in central PA. i believe its rodents stashing seeds. but i dont think its mice because they dont respond like mice in other outbuildings on my property, whatever it is wont go in traps like mice and the area isnt mouse poop infested like other areas are. and the larger nuts stashed along with the seeds make me believe its chipmunks or similar. if anyone can confirm that would be great. i would like to catch the rodents and dont know what trap or bait to use. thanks.

    • Carla says:

      If it helps, we’ve seen chipmunks in our house and our yard but not any mice or rats. Rat and mice traps get passed on by so we can’t catch them. (And haven’t caught anything else in there either.) We’ve had these little black seeds in our closets and attic so my guess it is the chipmunks storing food.


  69. Cheri brodeur says:

    After 7 months absent we just visited our mountain home near Bakersville NC. We got in late and went straight to bed. At some point I woke up with my hand under the pillow. I felt something like rice. Turned on the light and there is a pile of what looks like Niger seed . I checked the pillows and one had a bunch inside. There is no sign or smell of mice but I am totally grossed out. Have pulled off the sheets to wash in the morning and am spending the rest of the night on the couch.

  70. Michael says:

    That’s black slime mold. Those are the dried out spores. There’s a reason you’re finding them in basements, bags, boxes, and damp dark places. They grow from a sticky mass (like that one post that mentioned finding them in a sticky drawer and why they stuck together and suddenly fell apart when disturbed.) When they dry out, the mold lives on in the dried out little pearls.
    Here are two links about slime molds.

    And pokeweed is toxic to mammals. Rats won’t stash them. I just found some of these little black pearls in an old shoe box today, assumed it was mold and Googled it, and found this site along the way. I can’t believe it took almost four years for this to get figured out. IT’S NOT POKEWEED lol!

  71. BarbaraH says:

    I can’t find an image related to “slime mold” that looks like the tiny black pearls I find in my Connecticut house, but they look exactly like the ones in the hand of Susan Popielaski in the pic at the top of this page. The places I find them are not damp at all, nor particularly dark.

  72. Steven Zitrin says:

    Instead of, I would love to know what this stuff is, rodent or insect. The first thing I would do is contact a competent exterminator or entomologist to start eliminating the usual suspects.

  73. Kelly L says:

    I have found these several times over the past few years, most recently this weekend doing a deep cleaning of my house. They were in some old boots and roller blades that have been stored in a closet. Previously I have found them inside shoes in my closet as well. I actually work for an exterminator and was googling to find an answer as no one has ever seen them or knew what they were, I did vacuum them up. Next time will save some! We have had history of mice, but it is strange that there are no mouse droppings anywhere these things are found! But I am glad to have possibly found an answer!

    • Josef C says:

      A bit late to the party, but they are in fact pokeweed seeds. Do a Google image search for them. You have a rodent issue. Not an insect one

  74. Michelle says:

    I have found these in my house in northern NJ. First found In a dust mop in 1st floor garage. Then found inside a towel in bathroom cabinet. Appear clumped together and when touched go everywhere. Looks like a black kiwi seed. I have found few in bathroom before and thought they were small rocks coming from boots. But obviously not that!! Help!!

  75. Joseph C says:

    They’re pokeweed seeds. Just image search

  76. aussie says:

    I’m in Northeastern North Carolina I know what they are. It’s 100% for sure those tiny smooth black looking stones are not stones, bugs or anything that can harm anyone at all. Without any doubt there pokeweed seeds. I have a yard full of them plants and millions apond millions of seeds all over the place in the back yard.

  77. Karen Clough says:

    Could they be bat droppings? We have found some and I was bit by something in my sleep and I think maybe by a bat.

  78. Christina says:

    Hey all! We have found some of these little piles within a slimy liquid on our kitchen floor. Just in the middle of the kitchen, not hidden anywhere. I thought my flatmates have dropped and crushed some blackberries, as it also seemed to have colored the floor underneath in dark purple as smashed. I have washed the floor. This morning I found another pile outside at the entrance to the kitchen, in the middle of a passage. We have a big garden, so certainly there are mice who sometimes wander into the kitchen (mostly in the winter though and now it’s August). I have never seen pokeweed anywhere around. I am in Lisbon, Portugal, so pretty far away from all of you guys. I don’t believe the mice would find pokeweed in the center of the capital city and just pile them in the middle of the kitchen where us and our cat always pass by. We also had a larvae infestation last night, but it was in a trash bin outdoors, and it looked like flies larvae, I don’t believe it’s related, but anyway, might be relevant. The black things look just like the ones in the picture though, but stacked in neat slimy piles of like 20 pearls. It’s creeping me out. I have read the whole forum and looked on the internet and nothing really that I can find to explain this. It looks kind of like black caviar.

  79. Joyce says:

    I am in New Yorks Hudson Valley and found the tiny, shiny black things in corners of my laundry room.From scanning posts,the answer seems uncertain. Yes, we do have mice and did have ants a few months ago.

    I vacuum them up and more just show up.

  80. Stacey says:

    I just found these in my house. I’m relieved to find out that they are seeds as I had suspected. I have seen stashes before, but not all of the same type of seed. Usually it is a mix of seeds and nuts. We have had mice and there are alot of chipmunks around as well. I’m not to happy that they were found in my bedroom though! That means the little boogers have been scampering around in there.
    Gross! Rodent proofing and disinfecting a.s.a.p.!

  81. Dawn says:

    We live in ny – just found a ton of these in my closet, amongst my clothes. After reading this I know it’s pokeweed seeds. Our house is surrounded by pokeweed bushes. I looked up pics of pokeweed seeds and that is definitely what this is. I feel so much better. We already knew we had a mouse problem. GlAd to know it’s not termites or something crazy.

  82. Sherri Young says:

    Explain this one:

    I’m in Portland, Oregon. I live downtown in the city, a couple blocks from the waterfront, on the 5th floor of a studio apartment, that has 2 screened in windows, which I keep closed most of the time. I have 2 cats and a chihuahua. The cats are indoors only. I’m going on 5 years of residency with the same household pets, and not had one single bug event, save for a lone gnat a couple years back. My apartment building was built within the past 10 years and is kept clean and well maintained. I have vinyl laminate wood floors and a leather couch. On my leather couch I keep a little furry pet pillow on one end and typically it’s used by just the one same cat, however on the rare occasion my dog has sat there briefly too. The other day I picked it up to brush it clean with a lint brush and that’s when I noticed the exact same little black pods on the edges of the pillow. They were randomly spread around the perimeter on two ends. Not a whole lot of them, but maybe about 20 or so total. I’d never seen anything like them before and fearing the unknown, I used a small pet dander comb to scrape some of them off, as they were rather embedded into the furry part of the pillow. Once I got them on the comb, they were hard to shake free. Trying to drop them into a bowl, they either stuck to the comb or would detach, then hang suspended from the comb by some invisible method. I have no clue, as they were just solid little balls. Then when they landed in the cup they hit hard, as if they were BBs or pebbles. Once in the cup, they just rolled around as I tipped it. Never did there appear to be any webbing or anything that it could have been woven in, yet something was sticky enough to keep it hanging from the comb. So anyhow, my boyfriend who grew up on an East Coast farm, had never seen them before either. He tried to cut in to one but it was too small and hard shelled to make a cut on. He thought it looked like they had crystalline linings, which is what makes them look shiny. So not being able to locate any information I had determined that I was going to throw the pillow out instead of just washing it, and that’s when I caught sight of the back side of it, which being a dark purple color, I hadn’t noticed before, was mobs and mobs of these things..all burrowed in to the underside fluff, which was the side that lay against the leather couch, and which the cat did not lay on.

    So my circumstances appear to be very different, yet the description of these tiny black balls are just as described in all the other reports. And I, like the others, am freaked out and want to know how, where, what and why these things would just show up out of nowhere, without any likely source.

    Would appreciate brainstorming possibilities, or hearing thoughts and ideas…thanks !

    • Michael says:

      Hi Sherri. Personally, I think your case might be black slime mold, or black pearl slime mold. At a microscopic level, the mold cells feed off damp surfaces that are not exposed to light (underside of your pillow in your case, an old shoe box under the bed for years in my case). At first, these cells form a sticky visible amber color protoplasm on the damp surface. At some point, the cells run out of material to feed on, and start forming black hard-shelled spores that stick to the surface. Locked inside the little black pearls are mold cells, in a self-preservation effort.

      What might have happened is some small amount of pet “business” was left unnoticed under that pillow, and left damp and unexposed to light for several weeks, and the mold grew.
      I don’t think it’s particularly dangerous, just dont let your pets eat them just in case.

      Of course I might be wrong, but that’s my guess.

  83. Sherri says:

    Thanks Michael!!

    That’s a really interesting thought, and I will definitely have to do some research on the topic and see if that could be a possibility.

    What did occur to me later. Was that I had washed that pillow just a few weeks earlier, and at first, i kept saying to myself, but I just washed it….how could so many of these things have gotten here when i just washed it…

    But I hadn’t stopped to consider that my building has a laundry facility on every floor, and on my floor we have 4 washers and dryers that are shared by any number of people on my floor.

    Because these black things were found only on this one pillow, and have not been detected on any other item to date, I’m thinking that it’s possible that maybe they were in the dryer already. Although, again I’d have to wonder why they were stuck to just that pillow and not any towels.

    Well its baffling to be sure. But I will check out your suggestion and hopefully I will have my answer, lol. Crazy stuff !

    Thanks again for the info!

  84. Rob says:

    Could they be tick larvae? See link below. I found them between a folded seat cushion in Hudson Valley NY

  85. Happy Gardener says:

    I found these yesterday when I opened my folding beach chair. It was a telescopic chair that. Was stored in its bag in my shed (which does get mice in the winter.) There was no other damage to the chair, they were just on the seat part. Slid off with no residue. I’m in Massachusetts. Pokeweed grows within close proximity to my shed in woods behind my yard.

  86. Jean says:

    I live in southern NH. Just found thousands of the black balls in clothing that hadnt been touched for a couple of years. It was accompanied by other seeds and a few mouse droppings. I have NEVER seen these before and have had mouse issues for 30 years in the same house. My question is, why have these begun to appear in huge quantities, across the country, when I have never encountered them before. Poke weed is not new here. Why did I only find sunflower seeds for 30 yrs before this “ infestation?”

  87. Cassy says:

    I live in CA. I was spray painting a chair out in my yard and let it dry, I can back ab
    ND little black seed/eggs were everywhere. This happened numerous times. I can’t remember exactly why but I found them to be beetle eggs, large hardshell black beetles. They come into my house all the time.

  88. Lynn Wilder says:

    We just found them in a sealed plastic bag with Euro shams, in our attic. We are in MA. We don’t have rodent issues, but have had bees and ants in prior years. But this is a new bag in our attic, just the last 12 months.

  89. Gloria Roussel says:

    I have small black round things all over my lawn .not in the house.looks more like seeds or somthing from the trees.not bugs

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