Finding tiny black beetles in your home can be disconcerting, whether you find them crawling around in your carpet or munching on your grains. Because these insects are fairly common and represent numerous different varieties, one type or another can be found in many North American residences. Fortunately, most tiny black beetles typically found in homes can be controlled without much ado.
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Carpet Beetle Details
One variety of household pest that can fit the "tiny black beetle" description is the common carpet beetle. Oval-shaped adults measure about 1/8 to 3/16 inch long and have a dark brown or black appearance. Because they feed on natural cloth fibers, cereals, and pet food, most homes contain at least a few carpet beetles. The carpet beetles reproduce very slowly, so rarely do they become noticeable or a great nuisance. Carpet beetles don't bite, carry diseases, or damage the structure of the home, but they often attack synthetic fabrics, which can cause aesthetic damage to anything that's covered in fabric.
Weevil Insect Details
Weevils or broad-nosed weevils are another variety of common black beetle pests in the home. Unlike rice weevils, these outdoor-based insects feed on plant roots and vines, and take temporary shelter indoors from harsh weather conditions, especially in the summer. They tend to be drawn to moisture. Because their food source cannot be easily found indoors, they will go away on their own.
Grain Insect Details
The most troubling type of tiny black beetles found in the home can be the grain-eating insects, which come in several different varieties. Whether they are flour beetles, red flour beetles, or rice weevils, grain insects tend to enter the home in store-bought grain products. The adults of most varieties can live for more than a year, and hundreds of insects can live in a box of grain. It's common to find this type of pest in pantries or anywhere that flour, cereal, or pet food is stored. They can migrate from box to box and lay many eggs.
Prevention and Removal
The best way to get rid of carpet beetles is by cleaning regularly and storing pantry items and pet food in airtight containers to cut off their food source. They consume animal hair, so vacuuming your home regularly if you have pets can help. Pesticides aren't usually necessary, although a pest control specialist might recommend treatment for a severe infestation.
You don't need pesticides to get rid of weevils either. The best way to prevent them from entering the home is by sealing and caulking all cracks and checking seals around windows and doors. They are easily removed by vacuuming or sweeping them up or by using shallow pans of water as traps around the perimeter of the house.
Because they infest food-storage areas, pesticides aren't recommended to get rid of grain insects. Once an infestation has been discovered, dispose of all grain products that aren't stored in airtight containers. To prevent further infestation and to isolate unhatched larvae, store all grain products and dry goods in airtight containers like jars or plastic tubs. This will keep the pests from migrating through paper boxes or thin plastic bags. Keep pantry and kitchen areas clean after cooking.
Kaitlyn Watkins has been writing and editing professionally since 2005. Her editing work can be found in publications ranging from American Heart Association journals to Sylvan Learning Center's kindergarten "Reading Readiness" workbooks. Watkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Elon University.