Entomology (Study of Bugs)/small hard to see bug


I was cleaning my coffee table when I noticed something tan and about the size of a well sharpened pencil tip crawling around.  I went to get my phone fror a picture, but it was gone.  I have never seen one before.  I live in Buffalo NY.  If you have any help to offer, I'd appreciate it.  Thank you.

Dear Diona - There are any number of small arthropods that could match this general description. The only ones that would be of any concern would be a bed bug (see http://tinyurl.com/lu8h4ua for an image) or a carpet beetle larva (see http://tinyurl.com/ox6k2d and http://tinyurl.com/ll5544c for examples. If your 'guest' did not look like any of these, I don't think that you need to worry.

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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