What Are These Tiny Black Bugs in My House?

Don’t panic if you find tiny black bugs crawling around your home. Bed bugs and fleas aren’t likely to bite you or your pets if you don’t suffer from bites. An infestation of springtails could be evidenced by their launch into the air.

Did You Know?

Despite their unusual ability to digest keratin, a type of protein, and the fact that they may eat wool, silk, or cereals, carpet beetles will not bite or cause structural damage to your home.

When you squash the mystery bugs, do they crunch? Despite the fact that unnecessary bug squashing is not recommended, it can be used to identify these nuisance pests. You probably have carpet beetles if they leave a black or brown smear when crushed.

What Are Carpet Beetles?

There are carpet beetles in homes, but they are not often in large numbers, so they rarely attract attention. Beetles feed on carpets and similar products and reproduce slowly.

It is unusual for carpet beetles to digest keratin, the structural protein in hair, skin, or fur. You might find them eating wool or silk items in your home or feeding on cereals in your pantry. Since they wander from their food source, people usually notice them on walls or floors.

What Do They Look Like?

The carpet beetle measures 1/16 to 1/8 inches long and varies in color. Some are black or dark enough to appear black to the naked eye. Some may have brown and black spots on a lighter background. As ladybugs, they are round or oval and convex, like many other beetles. If you look at carpet beetles under magnification, you can see their tiny hairs. 

Larvae of carpet beetles appear fuzzy or hairy and are elongated. As a result, you might find small piles of fuzzy skins in infested pantries, closets, or drawers.

Identifying insect pests correctly is crucial before treating or controlling them. Take a specimen to your local cooperative extension office if you’re unsure if the tiny black bugs are carpet beetles.

How to Get Rid of Them

If carpet beetles are in large numbers, they can cause significant damage to sweaters and other clothing, as well as infest pantry items. Carpet beetles cannot be eradicated with a bug bomb, but professional extermination is rarely required. There is only one thing you need to do to get rid of carpet beetles: clean the area where they usually reside thoroughly.

Make sure your pantry is clean first. Be sure to check all food storage areas, including cabinets, pantries, garages, and basements, for carpet beetle adults and larvae as well as shed skins. Discard cereals, grains, flour, and other items from areas where you see an infestation if you find signs of these tiny black bugs around your food. Clean shelves and cabinets with your regular household cleaner. Food storage areas shouldn’t be sprayed with insecticides; it’s unnecessary and will cause more harm than good. You should store food items in airtight containers made of plastic or glass when you replace them.

The next step is to clean out your closets and dressers. Wool sweaters and blankets are a favorite of carpet beetles. If you find signs of carpet beetles, such as adults, larvae, or shed skins, take items that can’t be laundered in water to a dry cleaner. Everything else can be washed as usual. Clean drawers and closet shelves with a household cleaner, not pesticides. Use a crevice tool to clean the baseboards and corners of your closet. Store clothing you aren’t using in airtight containers if possible.

Lastly, vacuum all carpets and upholstered furniture thoroughly. Beetles tend to hide under furniture legs, so move furniture and vacuum thoroughly underneath.

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