Types of house beetles: pictures, identification and control (2023)


House bugs are more than pesky bugs scurrying around your home. Bugs in the home can be destructive pests that contaminate food, destroy upholstery and carpets, and become a real nuisance. Knowing how to identify house bugs is key to getting rid of them for good.

Bugs get into your home via soil, food, used furniture, or even fly in through open windows. Therefore, identifying the beetle's habits and habitat can help prevent a bug infestation in your home.

This article is a identification guide to spotting types of tiny bugs and flying bugs in your home. You'll also get excellent tips on how to get rid of house bugs if they're in your pantry, on carpets, furniture, or in your laundry.

What are the most common house bugs?

Carpet beetles, woodworm beetles and dust beetles are the mostcommon bugs in the house. The tiny six-legged insects typically have a recognizable oval-shaped body. They can be found in cotton and natural fabrics, they burrow into wooden furniture or live in dried foods.

What are the most common small flying bugs in the house?

Some beetle species have wings and can fly around your house. For example, storage beetles and drugstore beetles are two common flight beetles. Although less common in homes, flying click beetles can sometimes get into your kitchen, living room, or bedroom through open doors or windows.

Types of house beetles

House beetles cause great damage to homes. If you know how to recognize them, you will know how to control them. It's also important to know what attracts those pesky bugs.

carpet beetle (Anthrenus)

Carpet beetles are small spherical insects that appear brown or mottledbrown ladybugs. The tiny beetles are typically 5mm long and have a rounded body, six legs and two antennae. There are three common types of carpet beetles found in the home - the variegated carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle, and the black carpet beetle.

Carpet beetles are also a type of small flying bug. The annoying, destructive pests fly into homes.

Here are identifying features of carpet beetles in the home:

Varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus is a verb): Oval body with mottled black, brown, and yellowish patterns measuring 0.1 in (0.25 mm).

Types of house beetles: pictures, identification and control (1)

Varied carpet beetle (upper image) and larva (lower image)

furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes):Rounded body with dark yellow to orange markings and black and white spots on the elytra. Measures 0.06" to 0.12" (1.5 - 3mm).

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Anthrenus flavipes larva (left) and adult (right)

Black carpet beetle (Attagenus monochromatic): Little Black Beetlewith shiny body and dark brown legs. Measures 0.12" to 0.18" (3 - 4.7mm).

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The black carpet beetle is a tiny bug that infests carpets and fabrics in the home

Usually, a few carpet beetles in the house are nothing to worry about. However, damage to carpets and upholstery does occur when they lay eggs and hatch larvae. The tiny, tiny white and brown worms can do tremendous damage by chewing on fabric.

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Signs of carpet beetles include dander, feces that look like pepper, and a musty smell.

Identification of the house beetle

Carpet beetles are identified as tiny plump flying insects with oval bodies.

How to get rid of the house bug

The best way to get rid of carpet beetles is to use sticky traps. These can help identify the origin of the beetles.

To kill carpet beetles, you can wash or dry-clean infected fabrics at high temperatures. Using hot steam to clean carpets and upholstery also kills carpet beetles in all stages – egg, larva and adult.

common gnat beetle (Anobium spotted)

The common nail beetle is an insect with a dark brown, elongated body and a ribbed and pitted appearance. Thesmall brown beetlehas six legs and two segmented antennae. Furniture beetles measure 0.11" to 0.18" (2.7 - 4.5 mm).

Woodworm beetle larvae damage wood by burrowing into wood. The tiny white larvae are 1mm in size and make tiny holes in wood that look like woodworms.

Identification of the house beetle

The common woodcarid beetle can be recognized by its oval shape and dark brown, almost black color.

How to get rid of the house bug

The best way to get rid of and prevent furniture beetles is to reduce indoor humidity levels. However, it is difficult to kill larvae that live in the wood.

Powderpost Beetle

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Powder beetles can vary in color depending on the species. From left to right: European Lyctus beetle (Lyctus linearis), Southern Lyctus beetle (Lyctus planicollis) and Hornspot beetle (Lichenophanes bicornis)

The powder beetle is a common small house beetle. The small reddish-brown or brownish-black beetles burrow into wood, weakening structures and leaving tiny holes. The small, destructive pests are 3 to 6 mm long. The small shiny brown beetles have a slender oval body and a rounded thorax.

Like most home bug damage, the pit-like larvae cause the most damage. The white beetles tunnel through wood, turning it into a mealy powder. Signs of dust beetle damage include a powdery substance of sawdust next to the wood and tiny holes in the wood.

Identification of the house beetle

Powder beetles can be recognized by their dark brown body, which has an elongated oval shape.

How to get rid of the house bug

The best way to prevent powder beetles from causing damage is to treat wooden objects to prevent the beetles from burrowing into the wood. In addition, it is necessary to reduce humidity to a minimum.

pantry beetle (Dermestes Lardarius)

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The small brown-black food beetle is anative beetle pest, thefeeds on dried foods

Pantry beetles are black or dark brown, oval-shaped insects. The tiny beetles are brownish to black in color with a brown or yellowish band across the elytra. There are also dark spots on the light band. Pantry beetles measure 0.33" to 0.37" (8 - 9.5mm).

Pantry bugs infest processed foods in your pantry. They look for foods like charcuterie, cheese, and pet food that are stored in dark places like kitchen cabinets. The dark-colored beetles can also feed on fur, feathers, insects, and dead animals.

Identification of the house beetle

Pantry beetles are identified as black and brown beetles with a recognizable beige-yellowish band down their backs.

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How to get rid of the house bug

The best way to eliminate food bugs is to store food in airtight containers. Even freezing food for a week can kill those pesky house bugs.

flour beetle

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Flour beetles (Tribolium confusum left and Tribolium castaneum right) are small brown house storage bugs commonly found in flour and kitchen cupboards

flour beetles arefrequent storage bugswith a reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped body, two short, club-shaped antennae, and six legs. The russet beetles are typically 3 to 5 mm long. The two main types of flour beetle—Tribolium chestnutAndTribolium confused– look practically identical.

Flour beetles enter households with dried grain products, especially flour. Signs of mealworms are small white worms in grains, flour, pasta, dried legumes and nuts.

Identification of the house beetle

Flour beetles are easily identified by their elongated russet bodies and short, blunt, segmented club antennae.

How to get rid of the house bug

The best way to eradicate flour beetles is to seal infested produce in a plastic bag and throw it in the bin outside. Then it's important to thoroughly clean any cabinets where you suspect flour beetles are lurking.

plaster cast (Cartodere was restricted)

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The tiny cleaning beetle is found indoors in humid environments

Cleaner beetles are tiny six-legged insects with a tan, oval body and small head and thorax. In addition, the tiny brown scavenger beetle has an identifiable grooved back with rows of pits. Other identifying features are its segmented, club-shaped antennae and its six legs, two of which are attached to the thorax.

Plaster beetles thrive in moist environments and feed on mold and mildew. Unfortunately, this trait means the tiny brown bugs can contaminate food by spreading mold spores — which is why they're also called mushroom beetles.

Identification of the house beetle

Gypsum beetles typically have an elongated body of various shades of brown with pits and grooves along their backs. They are between 0.05" and 0.08" (1.2 - 2mm) long.

How to get rid of the house bug

To prevent plaster beetles from infesting your home, it is crucial to reduce humidity and keep stacked lumber away from the house perimeter.

grain weevil

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A closeup of grain weevils: Oryzaephilus surinamensis (above) and Oryzaephilus mercator (below)

Grain weevils are tiny brown insects that are brown or dark red in color, have an oblong-oval, flattened body, prominent eyes, and two segmented antennae. An identifiable feature of grain weevils are the six pointed projections on either side of the thorax. Brown grain weevils also have yellowish hairs on their elytra.

The small brown beetles measure between 0.07" and 0.11" (2 - 3 mm).

The two most common grain weevils are the commercial grain weevil (Oryzaephilus mercator) and the sawtooth beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis). However, there are some differences between the two beetle species. For example, the grain weevil flies while the sawtooth beetle is a non-flying insect.

Identification of the house beetle

Grain weevils are easily identified under a microscope by the pointed projections on their breasts, their light brown to dark brown color, and rows of fine yellowish hairs.

How to get rid of the house bug

Eradication of the grain weevil is similar to killing all species of panty bugs. First, it is important to discard any infected food. These are typically cereals, pasta, chocolate, nuts, and cake mixes. Then disinfect the areas where you have noticed grain weevil activity.


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Close-ups of spider beetles: Above: Smooth spider beetle (Gibbium equinoctial). Below: American spider beetle (Mezium americanum)

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Spinner beetles are an unusual species of small brown beetle due to their shiny reddish brown or chocolate brown bulbous body. Also, the tiny bugs typically have furry legs, antennae, and heads. The pesky storage bugs tend to inhabit moist, damp areas and are most active at night, making them difficult to spot.

Spider beetles typically measure 0.04" to 0.19" (1 - 5mm). They can infest all types of dried foods such as grains, barley, wheat, spices, seeds, and dried fruits. It's important to get rid of the pesky bugs as they also feed on dead bugs and droppings.

Identification of the house beetle

Spinner beetles are easy to spot because of their humpbacked appearance and shiny, reddish-brown color.

How to get rid of the house bug

The best way to rid your pantry of these house bugs is to remove their food sources. After discarding infested food, you should vacuum kitchen cabinets and disinfect all surfaces.

grain weevil (Sitophilus Granarius)

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The small grain weevils are common in houses and can be recognized by their brown body with ridges and a long snout

Grain weevils are a common type of house bug that infest kitchen supplies. The flightless dark brown beetle is 3 - 6 mm long. The distinguishing feature of grain weevils is their long black snout - a feature of all weevils. But the tiny beetles can also be black.

Grain weevils, as the name suggests, are found in dried foods. The red-brown or black beetle can be found in packets of grain, oats, rice,Flour, and wheat. Because the bugs are so tiny, the most common sign of them is a webbing dangling from the inside of the package.

Grain weevils are also called wheat beetles or grain weevils.

Rice weevils (Sitophilus oryzae) and corn weevils (Sitophilus zeamais) are very similar to the grain weevil. One of the differences is that rice weevils are smaller and their reddish-brown bodies have orange markings. On the other hand, corn weevils are larger than grain or rice weevils.

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Close-up photos of rice weevils (above) and corn weevils (below)

Identification of the house beetle

Grain weevils can be recognized by their dark reddish-brown colouror black color, elongated oval body and long snout.

How to get rid of the house bug

Grain, rice, and corn weevil eradication is the same for any type of pantry bug. First, it's important to store dried grains, grains, and legumes in airtight, sealable containers. Then destroy or discard any infected product. Finally, vacuum the inside of the cabinets before disinfecting all surfaces.

Little flying house bugs

House beetles can also be a nuisance when they fly into houses. Here are descriptions and pictures of common flying house beetles.

stock jaws (Variable Trogodermis)

Types of house beetles: pictures, identification and control (13)

The storage beetle is a small storage pest with light and dark brown spots on its oval body

The camp beetle is a species of carpet beetle that can fly. The small brownish beetle has a body in the shape of a coffee bean. The dark brown, reddish brown or black-brown pest grows to about 3.2 mm long.

The destructive larva of the small flight beetle looks like a tousled grain of rice.

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Storage bugs are also serious storage bugs. The larvae feed on all types of dried foods including seeds, corn, flour, oatmeal, spices, peas, grains and fishmeal.

Identification of the house beetle

The storage beetle is a dark brown, oval shaped beetle with a mottled pattern on its elytra.

How to get rid of the house bug

As with most storage beetles, eliminating storage beetles begins with discarding all infested food. Then it is important to disinfect and wipe down all surfaces in your kitchen and clean the inside of the cabinets.

drugstore bug (Stegobium paniceum)

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The small brown drugstore bug has a hard shell and is often found in packages of dried food in the kitchen

The drugstore bug is a tiny, brown, oval-shaped bug that can fly. Images of the tiny house beetle show a fuzzy reddish-brown body with ridged and holey elytra. In addition, the small beetle has yellowish segmented antennae. Drugstore bugs measure 0.08" to 0.13" (2.25 - 3.5mm).

Drugstore bugs are often found near prescription drugs. But dried foods also contaminate the miniature flight house beetles, which turn them into annoying storage bugs. You can find the tiny white wormlike maggots in dried beans, cereal, teas, and pet foods.

Drugstore beetles look like another common flying storage beetle - cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne). The most noticeable difference is the shape of their antennae.

Types of house beetles: pictures, identification and control (15)

The small brown cigarette beetle is attracted to dried tobacco products and dry foods

Identification of the house beetle

The drugstore beetle can be recognized by its fuzzy, brown, oval body and short, segmented, pale yellow antennae.

How to get rid of the house bug

In order to get rid of the flying house bugs, it is important to remove their food source. This means storing all dried food in sealable containers and not leaving pet food out overnight.

Click Beetle (Elateridae)

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Denticollis linearis (pictured) is a species of small brown beetle in the family Elateridae

Click beetles are large flying beetles with an elongated black or tan body. Click beetles are easily identified by the distinctive clicking sound they make when threatened. The dark brown flying beetles can be 13 to 25 mm long.

The nocturnal flying bugs are attracted to light. Although click beetles are relatively rare to find indoors, they can enter through open windows in the evening. In general, you don't have to worry about finding a bug making clicking noises in your house.

Related articles:

  • Black Beetles - Identification
  • House bugs - guide to identification
  • Small flying bugs in the house

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