You are here:

Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Unknown bugs first in bathroom, now spread


QUESTION: I started to see these little tiny (what appear to be black) bugs in the bathroom around the tub. One here and there..then the shower..and now my kitchen counter. I took a video of one walking along a baby shampoo bottle in my bathroom. I also have a macro picture which shows them actually as a brown color with a black band across its rear. Are they roaches? Beetles?

ANSWER: Dear Jamie - Although it could be a cockroach nymph (see for an example), the image in the video is not clear enough for me to be confident of an identification. Could you please attach your macro photo to a follow-up question?
Waiting to hear back,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I was told it was a rhyparochromid nymph and it was nothing to worry about, but I wanted to make sure. TY

ANSWER: Dear Jamie - When I looked at the video a couple of more times in full-screen mode, I could see that the insect's antennae were more typical of a true bug than those of a cockroach, but I also could not see enough other detail to make a confident determination. The family Rhyparochromidae (dirt-colored seed bugs) certainly is a possibility, but I really would like to see another image.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Were you able to view the still picture I took? You can certainly see it in detail there.
You will find the picture of it here:

There you can see the coloring. It was alive and moving as I took the picture and it was so small that this was the best I can get. Please let me know you were able to view the pic. thanks Saugy!

Dear Jamie - I was able to view your picture, and I'm afraid that placing it in the family Rhyparochromidae is about as far as you are going to get with it unless you run across an expert on that family. I personally do not know any, and there also appears to be a lack of identification guides to the nymphs of this family.
Sorry that I am unable to be of further assistance on this one,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

©2016 All rights reserved.