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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/little black/brown beetles

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QUESTION: I have read several posts about these little bug(gers).  I have not seen any of them since last summer and now, about a week ago when the weather warmed up outside they have come back.  I see them on the outside of my window screens but today they were in my dirty laundry basket and I am finding them in my drains, under the area rugs, and flying around.  The cats try to catch them.
Are these the same bugs?
I remember as a kid, when we would picnic a lot, they would always land in our potato salad. ;)

ANSWER: Cheryl,

Can you post a picture? There are lots of insects that can be described "little black/brown beetles".

Jack DeAngelis


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Little Beetle
Little Beetle  

Little Beetle
Little Beetle  
QUESTION: These pics were taken on the outside of my screen door.  Are theses the same as the larder beetle and why do they only appear when it is warm out?

Answer
Yes, these appear to be larder beetles. These beetles feed on a wide variety of animal based protein. There's an excellent bulletin from Penn State that describes this beetles life cycle at http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/larder-beetle that I think will answer your questions.

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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