Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bugs in new house

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Question
Bug
Bug  
We just moved to a house that is eight years old. we keep it in very clean condition. I have found a couple of these bugs in the pantry and on my counter. we have no carpet in our house. what is this? is it a harm to us or our newborn baby? and what can we do to get rid of it?
Thank you so much!

Answer
Dear Esther - This is a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae); likely a varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci. In spite of their name, carpet beetle larvae will feed on an extremely wide variety of organic materials in addition to an woolen/silk fabrics, such as feathers, dry stored food products (including dry pet food), and any dead insects such as may be found behind baseboards or in light fixtures. The adult beetles themselves are harmless pollen feeders that may be accidentally brought indoors on flowers. See http://tinyurl.com/yun78p for detailed information including control recommendations.

Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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