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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Help! These bugs are such a nuisance!


Mystery bug
Mystery bug  

Mystery bug
Mystery bug  
I am from Nashville Tennessee and I been living in an older model town home. I have been here for less than a year and have not seen these small insects until the last two months. I started seeming them in my bathroom and now I have began to see them in other parts of the home (other bathroom, kitchen, bedroom). I am not sure if they are attracted to water or if they slowly spreading to other rooms in the house. I tried o spray and yes, they have been dying, but I have been seeing a lot of them still alive. I have only seen them crawl on the ground, but thus morning found one of the bathroom wall and have also found them on my sink and in the tub. I am not sure if they are resorting to the wall because we sprayed the ground, but seeing how many I cleaned up off the bathroom floor is ridiculous! If someone could please help me identify them, I would defiantly sleep better at night.

I have observed them to be dark brown or almost black. They are so tiny, you have to really be looking to see them because they come off as such a black speck. They move pretty slow and observed when I got one on a tissue and it was rolled onto its back, it could not get up. They have antennas and I am unsure of his many legs but if I could guess I would say four to six since they are so small to see. It doesn't look like an ant because they have more of a shell.

If anymore information is needed please let me know, but I would love to get some answers!


They are definitely beetles of some kind, and likely something that falls into the category of a "stored product pest."  My guess is that it is either something in this family:

or flour beetles:

but the antennae look to be too long for a flour beetle.

You need to find the source of the infestation (grain, such as birdseed; pet food; flour, etc) and discard the item(s).

I could be wrong, of course, as images are not always sufficient to make an identification, but this is a good place to start.

It is always a good idea to store vulnerable foodstuffs, including pet food, in glass or metal containers with tight-fitting lids.  Boxes and plastic bags offer little resistance to hungry insects.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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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.

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