Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Unknown black insect


Black insect - top
Black insect - top  

Black insect - bottom
Black insect - bottom  
Hi Mr. DeAngelis,

I found an unknown dead on the surface of my bed.  I was rearranging some rarely worn clothes from my bedroom closet atop a bed when I found this.  It was not there before I started putting the clothes on the bed and it is the first time I have seen this type of insect in my home.  The insect is about 7 mm long and 4 mm wide.  I think there are antennae tucked in among the legs at the bottom that are at least 2 mm long.  There are six legs tucked under the insect.  I can't see any pincers or mouthparts on the head, but there are two tan round things, about the size of a pinhole, on either side of the base of the head.  The dorsal part of the middle section is smooth.  On the third part the wing covers curve towards the end of the insect, forming a 'V' shape.  The tips of the wings are visible.  

I live in Chicago, IL, USA.

What is this insect and should I be concerned about a larger infestation?  Is it dangerous to my 1-year old child, who also sleeps in the same bedroom?

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.



The image is a bit too dark to be certain but this looks like the black carpet beetle. These beetles feed on a variety of dry foods like cereals and dry pet food as well as some natural fabrics. They are harmless except for potential damage to these items. See http://www.livingwithbugs.com/carpet_beetle.html for a related species. General cleaning is usually all that is needed especially areas that are seldom used.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Ph.D. in Entomology

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