Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bug identification


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Hi there,

We discovered these tiny bugs all over the carpet in out bedroom and in the living room that is below our bedroom. There were even two on a blanket on our bed. They are very small and brown. Most that we have found have been dead. I vacuum 2 times a week, but not that often under the bed, which is where there was a bigger concentration and where the baseboards are. We haven't had any bites so I'm thinking these ate not bed bugs, but maybe a carpet beetle? They are so small I would have never noticed them had I not gone looking for them after finding 2 on the blanket. We check the bed and it's all clear. I have seen a few dead bugs that I know for a fact are carpet beetles. Could these be baby ones? Thanks so much for any help!


Dear Katy - Your images are too small and blurry for me to be certain of an i.d. but at least I can tell you that they are not bed bugs or carpet beetles. The primary suspects would be either one of the flour beetles in the genus Tribolium (in which case you should check dry stored food items (such as flour, baking mixes, dry cereals, etc.) in your pantry for signs of insect infestation, or foreign grain beetles (aka new house beetles), which basically are nuisance pests that feed primarily on mold spores. See http://tinyurl.com/kl9awo4 for an image of a flour beetle and http://tinyurl.com/m2zowsq for an image of a foreign grain beetle.

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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