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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Any idea what this is?

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Compared to a penny
Compared to a penny  

One of the 4
One of the 4  
So last night I killed 3 tiny bugs on my bed! They were all right on top of my bed/comforter and I worried they were bed bugs but looked under the sheets and all around the books of the mattress and didn't see anymore! Tonight, again right on the top of my comforter, I've found 4 total and this time I took pictures and with the last one captured him in tape so I could show someone if needed! My mom menrioned cockroaches, which I'm REALLY hoping they're not cause I have a huge fear of those!!! They're tiny, I've only seen them on top of my bed/comforter, they crawl slowly, are tiny, have a shell of sorts that makes them harder to squish... I feel like the pictures don't look accurate but I think it's just because they're too small to see much detail until you see them close up in a picture! Any ideas?

Answer
Hi, Amy:

Thank you for including the images with your question.  I can assure you they are NOT cockroaches OR bed bugs.

These are beetles of some kind, likely in the family Silvanidae, of which several species are common, widespread "stored product pests," mostly of grains and their derivatives (cereals, etc).  Here's more:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2011/01/merchant-grain-beetle.html

and

http://bru.gmprc.ksu.edu/db/insect/search_results.asp

The second link is a database of images of common stored product pest insects.  Unfortunately, there is precious little information about silvanid beetles that is readily accessible to the public.  Most of our collective knowledge is tied up in scientific journals, and publications aimed at industrial food storage enterprises.

Hope this sets your mind at ease.  I suggest going through the pantry and trying to find the source of the infestation.  This includes dry pet food, bird seed, etc.  Simply discard the infested item(s) and store vulnerable foodstuffs in glass, metal, or durable plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.  Cardboard boxes and cellophane packaging offers no barrier to hungry insects.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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