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Pest Control/Small insect


I'm hoping you can help me out with a question. We're starting to find a small, caterpillar-like insect in our second story bathroom and I can't figure out where they're coming from or what they are. I've attached an image to this request and was hoping you could take a look. We're not finding this insect anywhere else in our entire house except for one bathroom. They are extremely slow moving and primarily seem to be on the floor. Any guidance you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Robert

ANSWER: Robert,

This is a carpet beetle larva, see for photos of the adult beetle and larva. Larvae feed on a wide variety of foods but often are found in stored foods such as dry pet food. See the webpage cited above for more suggestions.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much for your quick answer and helpful information. In reading over the information, I'm trying to figure out why we'd have them in that one bathroom only. We literally take zero food upstairs, so I'm trying to figure out why they're showing up there. The web page seems to mention dryed food multiple times. For us, I'm thinking it must be something else. We don't have pets and have laminate floor in that bathroom, but my wife has long hair and does shed like crazy. I noticed the article mentioned they could feed on hair. Could that be a possibility? I just can't figure out where they're coming from. The only possibilities seems to be somewhere around the base of the toilet or behind a built in vanity. Would you happen to have any suggestions? Thanks again!

Almost anything organic can be a food source, including hair. Occasionally the beetles are found inside walls feeding on rodent caches but I'd expect this to be more common on the ground floor. If the house is older or if you've had a mouse problem perhaps they are inside the wall. Also, are you certain that no food is being brought upstairs? Any teenagers in the house? I once saw a significant number of beetles from a single discarded cookie under a bed. Just a few suggestions, keep looking you'll eventually find the source.

Jack DeAngelis  

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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