Entomology (Study of Bugs)/2nd try

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small brown bug
small brown bug  

another view
another view  
Hey Eric,
Sorry to have to ask my question again.  I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to bugs.  We are experiencing these small brown bugs.  They can fly, but generally don't.  I'm attaching a pic because I don't know how best to describe them.

They are about 1/16 inch long.  The one in the pic is on a piece of masking tape.  They seem to like moisture, but I don't think that is their only motivator.

We find them on the bathroom floor and walls.  We find them on bedroom walls.  On the floor.  They occasionally land on us.  Sometimes I find them on an outlet plate.  They fly, but usually crawl.  

I found three in my hand lotion cap.  I found some between blank pieces of xerox paper.

We started seeing them about two weeks ago.  We see them all hours of the day and night.  We live in New York State.

They are about the size and shape of a chocolate sprinkle.

If you can offer any insight on what they are and the easiest way to get rid of them, it would be greatly appreciated.

~laura

Answer
Laura:

No apologies necessary....and the images are conclusive evidence, thank you for those.

The insects are "flour beetles," Tribolium sp.  As the name suggests, they infest flour and other grain products in the pantry.  Here are some links to help you figure out a plan of control:

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/beetles/red_flour_beetle.htm

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/flour-beetle

http://www.pestid.msu.edu/insects-and-arthropods/flour-beetle/

As far as I know, the beetles pose no health threat, but I would not want to eat damaged food products, either.  You find them places other than the kitchen because adult insects tend to disperse themselves to find unrelated individuals to mate with, and additional food to infest.

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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