Finding tiny black beetles in your home can be disconcerting. 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.
One variety of household pest that can fit the "tiny black beetle" description is the common carpet beetle. Because they feed on natural cloth fibers, cereals and pet food, most homes contain at least a few carpet beetles. They reproduce very slowly, so rarely do they become noticeable or a great nuisance. Carpet beetles do not bite, carry diseases or damage the structure of the home.
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.
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 literally hundreds of insects can live in a box of grain. It is 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. Pesticides are not necessary.
You do not 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 are not recommended to get rid of these pests. Once an infestation has been discovered, dispose of all grain products that are not 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.