You are here:

Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What type of bug is this found on bedding?


Bug Image 1
Bug Image 1  

Two dead bugs on white background
Two dead bugs on white  
We were changing our bedding this morning and found 12 of these little brown bugs on the pillows, under the sheets, and under the mattress.
They don't look like pictures I've seen of Bed Buds - Thank you on advance for your help.


Thanks for including the images with your question.

The insects are *not* bed bugs, but "flour beetles" in the family Tenebrionidae, genus Tribolium .  I don't think you can tell the two species apart without examining specimens under a microscope.

Flour beetles are considered "stored product pests," so you need to find the source of the infestation, and then discard the item(s).  Store all vulnerable foodstuffs in glass or metal containers with tight-fitting lids.  Here's more about their control:

Those links should help you to find the source of the problem and eliminate it without need for chemical controls.  Remember dry pet food might also be a source...or birdseed.

Lastly, I would love it if you might send me your images.  That way I can write a blog post about this insect and help other people address their own problems with this pest.  Thank you for your consideration.  You would of course get proper credit for any images I use.


Eric Eaton

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]