Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Unidentifiable bug


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I have been noticing these bugs in my home and I would like to identify them so that I can find the source and how to eradicate them. They bugs that seem only to be on fabrics or in things like baskets. I don't generally see them crawling around out in the open, but I do see them when I take clothes from the bottom corner or a closet or if I leave an item of clothing on the ground for awhile or at the bottom of a basket or if I pull out a box from under my couch. If u can identify them then that would be much appreciated. Thanks

ANSWER: Dear Kristan - These look most like larvae of a carpet beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae); likely in the genus Attagenus (black carpet beetles and allies) - see http://tinyurl.com/m244kzw
for an image. These larvae will feed on a wide variety of materials, including fabrics containing wool, silk, or other animal-derived proteins (fur, feathers, etc.) Because of this, complete control can be difficult; see http://tinyurl.com/3jwyyt9 for a fact sheet that included control recommendations.

Hope this helps,

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I have one more big that I would like identified   This one I find only in food cupboards.


Dear Kristan - These are one of the grain beetles in the genus Oryzaephilus, either a saw-toothed (O. surinamensis) or merchant (O. mercator) grain beetle. They feed primarily on damaged grains or grain-derived dry stored food products, and can become pantry pests. They often enter homes via products such as flour, baking mixes, dry cereals, pasta, etc. that contain eggs or young larvae. These are so small and pale as to escape detection through casual visual observation. See http://tinyurl.com/m99jkh4 for more detailed information, including control recommendations.

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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