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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/is this a carpet beetle or something else

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Tiny Round Black Bug
Tiny Round Black Bug  
I live in the United States in Pittsburgh, Pa.  My cat found this bug and chose not to eat it so I had squashed it. It seemed to me to make a slight crunch sound when I squashed it.  It looks like it is round, maybe 1/16 or 1/32 of an inch or less, has what appears to be two segments one small head and a larger body and appears to have six legs. It may have been slightly smaller than a ladybug in nature.  On closer examination, but barely noticeable it look like it may have had two faint brown stripes on its back.  I could not find a picture online to tell me for sure what it was.

Answer
Dear Michelle - The image quality is not sufficient for me to make a positive identification, but based on your verbal description, it may well have been a carpet beetle. If you encounter any others, please try to get a clear picture of its topside without crunching it. I suggest that you first place it in a small container and then put it in a freezer for a while. That will either kill it, or at least keep it from moving long enough for you to photograph it.

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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