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Ask The Entomologist question on spider beetles

Home / Expert Advice / Ask The Entomologist question on spider beetles

Question:
I have been finding TONS of tiny little black bugs in my home. They are mostly in the carpets but end up in the bed, the walls, and the bathroom as well. They are small and round, dark brown- black, have a hard shell like a lady bug and resemsbles something between a beetle, a sprider and a lady bug. Sometime when you look at them real close they roll up into a little ball and pretend to be dead but if you knock it a little the crawl away… what are they, how to i get rid of them?

Answer:
I cant say for sure, but by your description it sounds like you may have spider beetles.  Spider beetles are small beetles belonging to the family Ptinidae. They are called spider beetles because they look somewhat like small spiders (or large mites) due to their long legs and relatively large, rounded abdomens.  They are usually not common pests but can become numerous in certain situations. They are general scavengers and can be found in pan­tries, museums, grain mills, warehouses, and attics that contain bird, rodent, or bat droppings.

They have been reported to feed and reproduce on a wide variety of foodstuffs, including almonds, animal skins, beans, books, bones, brushes, cacao, cereals, chocolate powder, corn meal, dates, dead insects and insect collections, dried fruits, dried mushrooms, dried soup, drugs derived from powdered leaves, excrement (dried), feathers, figs, fish meal, flour, ginger, grains, hair, herbarium specimens, hops, leather, maize, nutmeg, old wood in houses, paprika, rye bread, rye, seeds, silk, stuffed birds, textile fabrics, various spices, wheat, and wool.

Control of spider beetles relies on the discovery and elimination of the infested foodstuff. In many ways, this is similar to the control of all stored-product pests, but is made exceedingly difficult because of the beetles’ ability to feed on so many different items. For instance, although spider beetles may be found in the pantry, the real infestation could be in a rodent nest under the floor, in bat droppings in the attic space, or from dead overwintering insects trapped within an exterior wall.

If you are unable to locate the infested materials, you may want to enlist the help of an experienced pest professional.  You can call 877-958-6811 to schedule a free pest inspection and treatment estimate.