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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bug identification help


Un identified bug
Un identified bug  

Underside of bug
Underside of bug  
Hi! I just found this teeny tiny bug in my bathroom. It is very dark in color (lighter on the underside,) segmented, tapers to a point at the end, is extremely small (less than 1/4 inch perhaps?,) and has what looks like a couple of hairs for a tail. I'm wondering whether I should be worried, I have cats. Thank you!

Hi, Timnah:

Your images are of the larva of one of the black carpet beetles, genus Attagenus .  I wrote this blog post about them:

The above link includes control measures as well as links to resources for even more information.  Basically, these creatures feed on all manner of dried animal products, including the shed hair and skin particles of pets and people.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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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.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 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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