Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Brown bug on bed


Brown bug
Brown bug  
I live in Ohio.  I found this bug on my bedsheets at 1:00 pm this afternoon 2/29/16.  It is dark brown and it crawls.    I am afraid it is a bed bug, although I don't think it has the shape of one.  I do not see any signs of bed bugs in my bed.  We are having a horrible time right now as my daughter got head lice for the first time last week. I am just getting past that.   I at first was afraid this was lice on my bed, but we cleared the lice up last week.  It does not look like the lice bugs I found on her.  So my next fear was bed bugs.  My daughter seems to think it looks like a beetle.  Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am so stressed.

Hi, Deanna:

Relax; and give my praise to your daughter, for she is correct.  It is a beetle!

The image depicts one of the "deathwatch" beetles in the family Ptinidae (formerly Anobiidae).  Most likely suspect is the "Drugstore Beetle" or the "Cigarette Beetle," both of which feed on a variety of pantry products.  Here is more information on them:



Pantry Pests in general:


I'd look and see if I can find the item(s) the beetles are infesting, then toss them.  Store all vulnerable foodstuffs in glass, metal, or durable plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.

There is a slight possibility this is a "furniture beetle," same family, that emerged from firewood, a baseboard, or some other wooden object, in which case it would not re-infest.  Their would be a round hole and  small pile of sawdust under it in that event.

Take care.  Here is a link to my blog post on bed bugs so you can learn how to prevent them:




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Eric R. Eaton


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.


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.

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.

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

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

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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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