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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/what is this beetle insect?


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I am trying to identify tiny beetle-like insects I've been noticing around my home the past week. No larger than one centimeter They seem to be everywhere, in my bathroom, bedrooms, floors, mirrors etc. They don't seem to bite. I saw that a few went onto one of my scented candles and died after ingesting the wax. I noticed the first one about a week ago and now there seem to be hundreds! They crawl on me when I sleep and I can't find where they're coming from! I have two small dogs and we spend a great deal of time out of doors & there was a huge storm recently, right before i began to notice them. What are they & how can I get rid of them?

Hi, Mo:

Thank you for including the nice images with your question.  I know how tiny these are!

They are indeed beetles, probably the "Drugstore Beetle,"  Stegobium paniceum :

but the "Cigarette Beetle" is also a possibility:

The above links also have links to additional fact sheets.  Both beetle species are considered "stored product pests" that infest all manner of dried goods.  I'd search the pantry thoroughly, and don't forget the dry pet food.

There isn't much you can do about products you purchase that may already be infested, but it is a good idea to store vulnerable foodstuffs in glass, metal, or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids to discourage potential future infestations.  Plastic bags and cardboard boxes offer no barrier, and even plastic vials can be compromised by these beetles.

Discarding any infested items should end the problem.  I recommend NOT using any chemical controls, especially in the kitchen.

Hope this helps get you started.


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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.

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

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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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