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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bugs on Sun porch


Hi Ed -- We are located in Chicago, IL.  Our sun porch has become covered in these bugs (on floors, crawling on furniture) this week - can you help us identify?  The biggest ones are reddish brown in color, about 1/16" and fairly stationary/slow crawling.  The babies are fairly colorless, much tinier and are faster crawlers.  We can easily pick them up using packing tape -- but would like to know what they are to see if more aggressive pest control is in order. (Picture includes some dog hair.) Thanks!

Dear Chloe - About all that I can tell you from the image you provided is that they are tiny beetles that do not appear to be any of the common pantry pest species. Without being able to see the others you mentioned, I can only guess that they could be mites; they almost certainly are not related to the beetles. As I cannot make out any features that would enable me to attempt a more specific identification, I suggest that you use a moistened toothpick, Q-Tip, or similar object to place some of them in a small container of rubbing alcohol, and submit them to your county office of the University of Illnois' Cooperative Extension Service (see
for contact information). Someone there should be able either to assist in identification and provide any needed control recommendations, or could forward the specimen(s) to the appropriate University office. Extension service offices usually are a good resource when dealing with most home/yard/garden pest problems.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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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.

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