What Are These Tiny Black Bugs in My House?

What Are These Tiny Black Bugs in My House?

Here is how to identify and control carpet beetles

PhotoLibrary / Dr Larry Jernigan / Getty Images

  • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

If you find tiny black bugs crawling around your home, don’t panic. If you and your pets aren’t suffering from bites, the pests probably aren’t bed bugs or fleas. If they launch themselves into the air, you might have an infestation of springtails.

Did You Know?

Although carpet beetles have the unusual ability to digest keratin, a type of protein, and might eat wool, silk, or cereals, they don’t bite and won’t cause structural damage to your home.

Do the mystery bugs crunch when you squash them? While unnecessary bug squashing isn’t recommended, that’s one way to identify these nuisance pests. If they leave a black or brown smear when you crush them, you likely have carpet beetles.

What Are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are common in homes though not often in large numbers, so they don’t usually attract attention. Carpet beetles feed on carpets and similar products and reproduce slowly.

Carpet beetles have the unusual ability to digest keratin, the structural proteins in animal or human hair, skin, or fur. In your home, they might be eating items made of wool or silk or feeding on cereals stored in your pantry. They tend to wander from their food source, so people usually notice them on walls or floors.

What Do They Look Like?

Carpet beetles measure just 1/16 to 1/8 inches long—about the size of a pinhead—and vary in color.   Some are black, or dark enough to appear black when observed with the human eye. Others might be mottled, with spots of brown and black on a lighter background. Like many other beetles, they are round or oval and convex, like ladybugs. Carpet beetles are covered in tiny hairs, which are difficult to see unless you look at them under magnification.

Carpet beetle larvae are elongated and appear to be fuzzy or hairy. They leave their molted skins behind, so you might find small piles of fuzzy skins in infested pantries, closets, or drawers.

It’s a good idea to identify insect pests correctly before you try to treat or control them. If you aren’t sure if the tiny black bugs are carpet beetles, take a specimen to your local cooperative extension office for identification.

How to Get Rid of Them

In large numbers, carpet beetles can do significant damage to sweaters and other clothing and might infest pantry items. Using a bug bomb to rid your home of carpet beetles will be ineffective, but professional extermination is rarely necessary. You just need to thoroughly clean the areas where carpet beetles tend to live.

First, clean your pantry. Check all food storage areas—cabinets and pantries and garage and basement storage areas—for live carpet beetle adults and larvae and for shed skins. If you find signs of the tiny black bugs around your food, discard cereals, grains, flour, and other items from the locations where you see an infestation. Wipe down shelves and cabinets with your regular household cleaner. Don’t spray insecticides into your food storage areas; it’s unnecessary and will cause more harm than the insects will. When you replace the food items, store them in airtight containers made of plastic or glass.

Next, clean out your closets and dressers. Carpet beetles love wool sweaters and blankets. If you find signs of carpet beetles—adults, larvae, or shed skins—take items that can’t be laundered in water to a dry cleaner. Wash anything else as you normally do. Wipe down the insides of drawers and closet shelves with a household cleaner, not a pesticide. Thoroughly vacuum the floor of your closet, using a crevice tool on baseboards and in corners. If you can, store clothing you aren’t using in airtight containers.

Finally, thoroughly vacuum upholstered furniture and all carpets. Carpet beetles tend to hide under furniture legs, so move furniture and vacuum thoroughly underneath.


small brown bugs in my house

I’m finding these little brown bugs everywhere in my house, wood floors, carpet, granite I’ve seen them everywhere. I have no idea what they are or how to get rid of them, we just built last year so I’m not sure if it’s something to do with that or what.

1 Response

Hi, thanks for using Ask an Expert!
While a certain ID is tough with such a small insect and just a picture, it looks like you have Tooth-necked fungus beetle (you did a great job on photo and dime for size reference). Please check out this page of images to try to confirm your insect matches:

You will see in the second document that there are several species that look very similar: in most cases management will be the same and will consist primarily of drying things out so your home is no longer a suitable habitat. This is a fairly common problem in recently built homes — please let me know if you have any questions after checking out the attached links.
I hope you find this information helpful,
Sincerely, Nicole


how do you get rid of little bugs in the kitchen

I have these tiny little brown bugs crawling in my kitchen. They seem to be hiding in the walls they have six legs, and they don’t fly they are very small.. I put away all the open food and sealed it but every time I clean I move something and there they are.. I spray bleach everywhere.. it very agitating and I really need some help THANK YOU.

I also have to be careful because I have a kitten and a bird. Also my apartment complex claims they spray this gel stuff but it isn’t helping.

4 Answers

You can get some do it yourself pest control spray at your local Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc. Spray around the base boards, around the kitchen counters, just make a total perimeter. If you still see them, then plan to go somewhere for a day or two but right before you leave spray again and put fumigant bombs in the house according to the instructions, set them off and leave. When you come home clean things that may have gotten insecticide on them and you should not have any more critters.

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They aren’t roaches, they’re mealy bugs. They get in the house in noodles, rice, dry dog food, etc. You can kill em by sprinkling some borax powder around where they crawl. You get Borax from the Laundry section of the grocery store, it’s a detergent booster.. It works good on fleas too. You can also kill the little mealy bugs you can see if you drench them in Lysol. Diatomaceous Earth is another alternative. You can get it at Lowes and home depot, or online. It’s organic, comes in food grade dust from some type of shell. It also kills fleas and bugs in the yard safely, just sprinkle it around. People use it on dogs for fleas but it cuts the hard shell on bugs when they crawl through it, I personally wouldn’t want to breathe Diatomaceous Earth.

Bleach can injure your lungs, be careful! A Bug Bomb is overkill. You can dose yourself and your family. The Poison leaves a residue all over everything that isn’t covered up. I don’t even like to use raid around the house when there is so many safe, non toxic ways to go. Do any of the above and check the dry foods, you’ll find em and throw the stuff out, vacuum and they’ll be gone, until the next time.

I know this is an old thread. Hope someone finds it useful.

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Sounds like you have roaches. nothing much you can do since you live in an apartment complex. I’ve lived in one place and thought I could exterminate just my place but it only took on night and they were back. Best to find a new place to live or speak with other tenets and see if collectively they can complain to the owner or management about possibly tenting the complex.

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you can always try a can of raid or call an exterminator


I keep finding these little brown bugs in my apartment

They are brown and can fly, for at least a short time. They also curl up into a ball when touched.

I have also found their larva all over the apartment.

What are they, where do they usually come from, and how do I get rid of them?

I had some dried flowers that I just threw out because I thought that it may have been their source. I also just purchased a royal palm plant.

Image too small and fuzzy for a good i.d. — on the chance that it could be a pantry pest like a drugstore or cigarette beetle, check dry stored products (flour, pasta, mixes, spices, pet food, etc.) for signs of infestation.

Here is another picture to help identify this bug.


How to Get Rid of Flying Brown Bugs in House

About the Author:

James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree in political science.

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The best way to get rid of flying brown bugs in a house depends on the severity of the problem. An infestation of flying insects should be treated differently than three to four errant bugs. To borrow a military metaphor, don’t drop a bomb when a rifle will do. Because many winged insects can be accurately described as flying brown bugs, it is also a good idea to find out what species you are dealing with.


Why Are There Bugs In My Bathroom?

The main reason that you see bugs in your bathroom is easy to remember: moisture. Bugs love moisture and are attracted to any areas where it exists.

The best case scenario for an insect is somewhere that has moisture or humidity, and food. With that, they aren’t likely to move out any time soon, even if it means sharing space with you. Some bugs end up in sinks or tubs because they simply fell in and can’t get back out. Others came in on their own accord and avoided these traps all together. Let’s go through common bathroom bugs; what they are and why they’re there.

What are the tiny black bugs on the bathroom floor?

Not only can they come up the drain, but insects found in your bathroom can also enter simply through cracks and crevices, open windows, and from other parts of your home where they already existed.

Photo Credit: https://woodfinandmah.wordpress.com/

This is one of the most commonly asked questions about pests in bathrooms, although it may be hard to find answers on Google. Small black bugs found in bathrooms are usually sewer flies or drain flies. They look like tiny black bugs with wings and tend to appear around drains in tubs and sinks. The presence of these flies is usually an indicator that a plumbing problem exists. Drain flies can surface in very large numbers when they make their way indoors. They breed in organic matter that is in a late stage of decay and is often found breeding inside of sewers and drains. They often enter the structure by escaping them from the sewer main through a break in the lie or through dry drain taps associated with drains that are infrequently used. These flies can also breed inside of drains that have accumulations of organic matter or any other area where water and organic decay exist.

Of course, you could be seeing small nuisance ants, but when clients have difficulties identifying this type of pest, it’s usually a drain fly.

If you have ants in your bathroom, you can schedule service online today for same day or next day technician dispatch. Simply enter your problem and preferred time.

If you need help differentiating small nuisance ants from drain flies, please give our office a call, and we can help you.

Why do cockroaches come up the drains?

Cockroaches prefer to live in moist, dark, and non-freezing areas including sewers and piping. Apartments and rowhomes have shared walls between units as opposed to residential standalone homes that are not connected, which makes them more likely to have problems with cockroaches. Cockroach infestations occur in both, but can spread in different ways.


Cockroaches usually get into apartments not only through the drains, but through entry points around the structure and on boxes that are carried in from elsewhere. Something that makes cockroach infestations especially different within apartments and row homes is that they have the ability to travel between units. Because their eggs are very small, they can travel through walls, small openings between units, electrical outlets, vents, and under doors with ease. Even a perfectly clean apartment can be susceptible to cockroach activity.

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Residential Standalone Homes

Most types of cockroaches live outdoors when it’s warm, foraging for food and living in dark areas such as mulch and wood piles. When it’s cold, cockroaches enter homes to find food and moisture that disappears in New Jersey and Pennsyvlania. They can slip into homes through small openings around your home, by stowing away in a bag that you bring into your home, or coming up through drains when there is heavy rain or very large populations looking to relocate and expand.

The particles and sludge that builds up in sewers are their preferred food sources, making easy to access plumbing a cockroach paradise. In our area, you will mostly find American and German cockroaches. They are not pests that get trapped in sinks and bathtubs. In bathrooms, you can find them pretty much anywhere from cabinets to toilets and under sinks or vanities. In addition to debris, cockroaches love human food and toothpaste.

How did stink bugs get in my bathroom?

Stink bugs are another common invader within residential homes in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Similar to the behavior of ladybugs and boxelder bugs, they make their way into humanmade structures by hibernating or what is called “overwintering,” within wall voids seeking out warmth in the fall. They find entry points between cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home that may not be visible at first glance.

The brown marmorated stink bug is the most abundant in our area and is what you will see in your bathroom. As you can see above, they are about the size of a penny so they don’t need a giant hole to enter homes. They are not destructive so they aren’t an immediate threat to your home. However, many clients call in about stink bug treatments because they simply don’t like seeing pests in their home.

Why do bugs come to my bathtub at night?

Several types of crawling pests find refuge in sewers and piping because it’s wet and full of food sources. The main problem clients experiencing is when they surface into bathrooms by way of drains and connecting pipes in areas such as your bathtub in search of food. Because they lack wings, these insects become trapped and end up staying in the bathtub until you go to clean or take a shower. This is also true for any other pest that is drawn in by the lure of moisture, falling in and not being able to get back out.

How can I stop bugs from coming into my bathroom?

To prevent bugs from coming into your bathroom, you have to create the least ideal environment for their survival. Remove the elements that draw bugs in, and you will be much more likely to keep them out. Try out the following tips:

  • Reduce Moisture— Moisture is one of the main draws into any area where they live. Use a dehumidifier or air ceiling vents during and after showering.
  • Fix Drain & Plumbing Issues- If you are experiencing insect activity in your bathroom, it’s possible that there is an underlying plumbing issue that needs to be resolved. Call your local professional for an assessment.
  • Clean Regularly- Once insects find their way into your bathroom, easy access to food will make them stay. Be diligent in cleaning your bathroom on a regular basis.
  • Seal Openings- Seal cracks and crevices that you find around the walls and window frames. Fix torn window screening.
  • Be Aware- Pests can come into your bathroom from other rooms in your home. Take note of additional entry points or moist areas that need attention.

How can Cooper help?

Cooper Pest Solutions provides both one-time and year-round home programs that target bugs found in bathrooms such as silverfish, cockroaches, drain flies, and more.

Cooper’s One-Time Services use a targeted application to eliminate and control one specific pest. This type of service is implemented when there is an already existing pest problem in your home and not to prevent future infestations. Coverage with all of our One-Time Services is 90 days. During this period, you will have unlimited service calls to ensure that your current pest problem is eliminated. Each One-Time Service targets a single pest. If you have multiple pests, a One-Time Service is not the right program for you.

The Home Traditional Program provides year-round coverage for homeowners who want to keep their home pest free. This service includes 4 technician visits per year, one for each season. During the inspections, a Cooper technician will inspect your home for evidence of pest activity and treat accordingly. Both of our Home Programs ensure that your home is protected against future pest activity. Over 20 common household pests are covered including most common bathroom bugs. If you are experiencing pest activity at any time during the year, you are entitled to unlimited service calls. All services are 100% guaranteed.

The Home Intensive Program is also a year-round preventative pest program that provides homeowners with peace of mind, knowing their home is protected. All pests covered under the Home Traditional Program are included, with the addition of bumble bees, hornets, carpenter ants, yellow jacket nests located above 6 feet high, grain weevils, Indian meal moths, red flour beetles, rice weevils, saw-toothed grain beetles, cicada killers, firebrats, fleas, silverfish, additional services including comprehensive reporting, ladder work up to 24 feet, pruning, sealing of cracks and holes, and coverage for additional structures on your property including mailboxes, play sets, pool houses, and storage sheds.

For fast service, call Cooper at 1-800-949-2667 for a Free No-obligation inspection at your home or fill out the form on our website.


What Kinds of Bugs Live in My Basement?

Your basement can become a spooky place when it’s full of insects that you do not wish to encounter. The mystery of basement bugs in your home can go unsolved due to the strong aversion and fear some people have to pests they can’t identify. If you are too frightened to visit your basement, it will remain untreated and can play host to additional pest infestations. Cooper can help manage the levels of pest activity in your home and basement so you can enjoy every room of your house in peace.

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Basement Bug Identification


Silverfish are about ½ to ¾ of an inch long and can be gray or brown. They can be found in basements, bathrooms, and garages, searching for moisture in a dark space. Since silverfish are nocturnal, they can go for a while without being noticed and unfortunately for homeowners, they can reproduce quickly, which allows them the potential for exponential growth while residing in your home.

Although silverfish don’t pose any harm to humans, they can cause extensive damage to paper products, book bindings, clothing, and even contaminate food. If you search online, you can dig up some home remedies for silverfish control, but unfortunately, without a customized plan to target their breeding source, all you are accomplishing is killing visible silverfish as they appear. Killing them one by one will not resolve the ongoing issue. Professional pest control is needed to completely control silverfish infestations.


Centipedes are easily identified by their multitude of legs and ability to quickly dart around rooms. They are especially drawn to basements because of the moist, dark environment that often exists. Adult centipedes are yellowish to dark brown, often with dark markings, and up to two inches long. The body is flattened with 15-177 body segments which typically have one pair of legs each. They have one pair of slender antennae. Sealing off possible entry points such as cracks and crevices in the foundation of your home, pipes, windows, and doors can prevent infestations.


Cellar Spider Pictured Above

Spiders are usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think about bugs in your basement. There are several types of spiders that are commonly found in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which include the wolf spider, brown recluse spider, and cellar spider. Spiders are drawn to basements due to the dark, damp conditions that exist. In general, spiders have 8 legs (four pairs). They have two body regions: a cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and an abdomen, which are joined together by a narrow waist. Most spiders have six or eight simple eyes in various arrangements. Spiders spin their webs by producing silk secreted as a liquid that hardens on contact. They are actually beneficial because they eat almost every other tiny bug in your basement. If you are creeped out and cannot stand their presence, Cooper can eliminate and control spider populations within your basement and home.


Camel crickets (cave crickets), house crickets, and spider crickets are among some of the most prominent basement bugs. Most clients can easily identify cricket infestations by hearing the loud chirping at night time that is unique to crickets alone. Generally, crickets range between 1/2 – 2 inches long, with black or brown coloring, some with banded patterns across their abdomen. Crickets can cause damage to clothing by creating large holes in fabric and synthetic materials. This type of activity can exponentially increase as the weather changes from warm to cold. Crickets migrate indoors to seek shelter and most importantly, moisture, in potentially very large groups in the thousands. You are most likely to find these pests hiding in dark, damp environments such as basements and crawl spaces.


Millipede Photo Credit: Hilton Pond Center

Millipedes are usually misidentified as centipedes. Unlike centipedes, millipedes have legs in pairs except for their first three legs which are not paired. They are slow moving and tend to curl up into a spiral when disturbed. Millipedes need a lot of moisture so they can usually be found in hiding under objects during the day and in areas where there is decaying plant life—like compost—which is their primary food. Millipedes tend to enter structures accidentally and are completely harmless.

How can I get rid of bugs in my basement?

Getting rid of bugs in your basement means taking each pest into account individually. Each pest needs their own sort of basement bug repellent plan to target their particular habits. Sean McGuire, Cooper Pest Solutions Director of Sales, suggests, “Reducing clutter and storage of cardboard boxes and reducing humidity and moisture levels throughout the home can help deter silverfish.” In regards to crickets, he states “Camel crickets are typically found in basements and crawlspaces, so the recommendation we make since they prefer a cool, damp area is using a dehumidifier.” However, if you want to remove pests and stop the breeding cycle from continuing, professional pest control is the best option.

Why do I have bugs in my house?

Bugs find their way into your basement by finding small cracks and crevices in the foundation of your home. If there are exposed pipes, windows, and doors in your basement, small entry points can exist if they are not properly sealed. Bugs can also make their way indoors if they are attached to or inside items that are brought into your home such as jackets, boxes, and bags.

Does humidity attract bugs?

Yes. A moist, dark environment is where basement bugs thrive. Bugs are attracted to moisture, so maintaining a balanced atmosphere in your home can dissuade them from infesting. Try using a dehumidifier and cleaning up wet spots from rain intrusion on a regular basis to remedy this situation.

Cooper can help

Cooper provides One-Time Services to target individual existing pest problems. Coverage under this program is 90 days. During this time frame, service calls are unlimited to ensure that we meet your expectations and control the pest activity in your home. One-Time Services target one single pest, as opposed to the home plans that target several bugs that you are likely to find in your basement.

The Home Traditional Plan is ideal for clients who have several pests in their basement such as centipedes, spiders, crickets, earwigs, and pill bugs. This plan provides year-round pest management with quarterly visits by our state certified technicians. If you find that you are seeing pest activity at any time during the year, you can call Cooper for unlimited, fast technician dispatch.

The Home Intensive Plan also provides year-round coverage against over 20 common household pests. Centipedes, spiders, crickets, earwigs, pill bugs, and silverfish. Silverfish are not covered under the Home Traditional Plan. Quarterly visits are performed and unlimited service calls are available in between.

Are you ready to protect your basement from bugs? Call us today at 1-800-949-2667 or fill out the contact for to the right for more information and to schedule a free, no-obligation pest evaluation.


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