Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What is this??

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QUESTION: Hello! I went to vacuum in my bedroom and noticed in a far corner by the window a ton of dead black ant like creatures. Many were tucked between carpet and baseboard with a sprinkling of them all on the carpet too. I have attached a photo. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER: Christy,

I'm having trouble seeing enough detail to id these critters. Can you possibly get a clearer image? You might try using a flashlight as a light source and see if you camera supports any sort of "macro" mode. Post a follow up and I'll help you figure this out.

Jack DeAngelis


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QUESTION: Here is a better photo of one on its back.....those suckers are hard to flip over and stay! I also took a closer one of the bunch. When I dug in carpet between the baseboard to gather some more I found a freaky larvae casing. Not sure if it is related since NC homes are common to have carpet beetles so might be from that, although I rarely see a carpet beetle.

ANSWER: Christy,

I'm sorry but this one has me stumped. The cast skin you uncovered is indeed from a carpet beetle larva but the rest are not carpet beetles. If you are near NC State they have an insect id clinic where someone could put one of these under a microscope. If you are not near Raleigh then your county Extension office (extension.org) can help you get a sample to them.

Jack DeAngelis


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QUESTION: Sorry to be a pain, but is it safe to say not termites?

Answer
No trouble. They are not termites. In fact I don't think they are anything to be overly concerned about. If you do send a sample to NC State I'd be curious to hear what they (and who) say. I was at NC State many years ago and at least back then (25+ years) they had a good insect id clinic. Sorry again I can be more specific.

Jack DeAngelis  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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