What are these small, round, brown bugs in my house?

Question: I have these little tiny round bugs. They have black and brown stripes on the back. I have only seen two of them. I have seen them on the walls. Can you help identify them for me?

Carpet Beetle Larva Illustration
Carpet Beetle Larva Illustration

ANSWER: Probably what you have found is one of the several carpet beetle species that can occur in houses. The most common of these is the furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes).  This is a small beetle (a little larger than the head of a pin), that is somewhat oval in shape and has a mixture of black and gray patches.  It is characterized by moving very slowly and rolling over as if dead when touched. The larvae of these beetles have brown bands and long ”hairs” at the end of their body.  The adults are most often seen on walls moving very slowly. They are active in summer and relatively inactive in the winter.

Carpet beetles are common household pests. They can feed on a wide variety of things, from wool, leather and other animal products to noodles and flour, meal and other stored food and plant products. This feeding habit also makes them difficult to control. They can infest almost any part of a house.

The best control strategy is to do a thorough vacuuming of the suspected sites. Then do a thorough cleaning, which includes looking for all the material that could be infested. In the kitchen, discard all infested food packages. In the bedroom, if there are infested woolen garments, dry clean them and store them carefully.

Make sure exterior doors close securely—weatherstrip if necessary.

Contact your local Orkin Branch Office to set up an inspection of your home by a highly trained Orkin Pest Specialist. The specialist will develop a comprehensive and customized, backed by science, pet control program that best fits your needs.

Related Questions: The Orkin Man used the information above to also answer the following questions submitted by Orkin.com users:

  • Question: Trying to get rid of a small dark brown bug … approximately the size of the head of needle or small gnat … slow crawler often remains motionless.
  • Question: I have a bug in my house, and I do not know what kind it is. It is light brown with black spots on its shell. It looks like a tick. It has a hard beetlelike shell and has wings under it. And it has a small head. They are about the size of a pencil eraser. They are crawling on the couch that is built into the wall. I can’t find anything that looks like it. We have sprayed twice and some of them are still alive. The bigger ones are about the same, but they have bigger heads and the shell is black with the little bit of light brown on it. If you could please help me to figure this out. And I live by woods if that helps any.
  • Question: All of a sudden we have very small, black, hard-shell beetles getting into everything. They are maybe 1/16 of and inch, very small. They look like miniature ground beetles.
  • Question: I have these tiny reddish-brown, oval-shaped beetlelike bugs. They fly and are mainly around light fixtures and window sills. They seem to be more prevalent in the evening hours. I have tried to identify it, but the closest I can come is a plaster beetle. Please help.
  • Question: I have small brown bugs with hard shells on my light bulbs, and they fly like gnats. What are they?


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