Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Help


tiny black round balls
tiny black round balls  

Brown hard sesame seed shaped items
Brown hard sesame seed  
About two years ago a friend gave me a box of baby clothes for my niece. Most of the clothes were too small but very nice. My niece kept the items  stored in the basement of the apartment She was renting until we could find someone who could use them. Recently she brought the clothes over to me to give to someone who needed them. It took the lady two months to pick the clothes up. She called me and told me that she found these in the boxes

Dear Tammie - Unfortunately, I cannot see enough detail in your images to be confident of an identification, but I will say that I doubt that they are insect eggs of any kind. There is a remote chance that the brown objects in the second image could be pupae of a small species of fly, but if that were the case, one should be able see some horizontal striations ('rings') on them, and I do not see any such. The larger object at the upper left center of the second image looks vaguely like a carpet beetle, but again, it is too unclear to be positive. The possibility I'm leaning more towards at this time is that the objects might actually be seeds stashed by a small rodent, such as a mouse, but just in case they might be insect-related in some way, I suggest that you place some of them in a small container having a perforated lid (for air circulation) and see if anything ever emerges from any of them.

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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