This guide reveals the eight tiny black round bugs that infest gardens and homes in the spring and summer months.
You’ll find out where do these bugs come from, the risks they bring, and how to get rid of these small circular black bugs without much of effort.
Spoiler alert – One of these small round bugs can inflict serious damage inside your house!
List Of 8 Little Black Round Bugs
- Black Carpet Beetle
- Black Bean Bugs
- Ebony Bugs
- Flea Beetles
- Engorged Ticks
- Willow Leaf Beetle
- White Margined Burrower
- Whirligig Beetle
All these bugs are black and circular. Some of these bugs can enter homes too when their numbers in your yard and garden increase.
Let’s get into each of these bugs in detail and find out how can you eliminate them.
Black Carpet Beetles
Black carpet beetles are tiny black beetles that sneak inside homes to lay their eggs.
Black carpet beetles are not typically round. They’re roundish-oval, and their size ranges from 1/8th of an inch to 3/16th of an inch.
Outdoor, the black carpet beetles feed on the pollen of the flowers.
Adult carpet beetles sneak or fly inside your home starting from the late spring when the temperature starts to get warm.
These beetles are attracted to products made of animal matter like wool, silk, leather, and feathers. It’s in these products the adult carpet beetle will lay their eggs.
However, the adult carpet beetles are also attracted to the stored food in your kitchen pantry.
They’ll try to sneak inside jars and containers storing food to lay their eggs.
The reason is that the larvae of carpet beetles eat them.
The protein in animal products forms the major portion of the carpet beetle larvae’s diet.
On products made of animal matter (like wool and silk clothes, expensive fur and feather coats, woolen carpets, rugs, leather shoes) the larvae will create holes by chewing on them.
Presence of these clothes in your closet also draws the carpet beetle larvae, and many other closet bugs, to your closet and wardrobe too.
Food stains on bed sheets, couch covers, and dirty clothes piling up in laundry baskets also attracts the carpet beetles to larvae.
That’s the reason these larvae are one of the bed worms that you might come across on your bed if your bed sheet has food stains.
The larvae of carpet beetles look like tiny worms with bristles on their body.
The larvae are brownish-black and grow only up to 5/16th of an inch in size.
The bristles on the larvae can trigger allergic reactions in people who’re sensitive.
And if the larvae crawl on your body, the bristles can cause itching too.
To prevent the damage, you need to ensure that the adult carpet beetles don’t enter your home.
If they do, then they’ll lay eggs in your bed.
Carpet beetles in bed is also common especially when their numbers in your home are high, and you haven’t done enough to stop them from entering your home.
To stop them, install window shields with fine mesh so that the adult carpet beetles can’t fly inside.
Also, seal the gaps and cracks on the window frames, door frames, and on the walls facing your yard or garden.
Ensure that you don’t let dirty fabric pile up for days.
To remove the larvae, steam cleaning the infested products with a handheld steam cleaner.
Steam cleaners produce heat which not only kills the larvae but also remove the stains from bed sheets and other soft furnishings that attract the carpet beetle larvae.
Carpet beetles can also sneak inside your car to lay their eggs. Cars with floor carpets and leather interiors are a perfect egg laying ground for carpet beetles.
Point to note here that not all carpet beetles are black.
Carpet beetles can be brown and with white spots too.
The spotted carpet beetles are known as variegated carpet beetles.
Black Bean Bugs
Black bean bugs, also known as black bean aphids, are tiny round black bugs that typically garden pests.
Black bean bugs are common pests on ornamental plants and crops, especially legumes.
Some black bean bugs damage plants are corn, hemp, potato, sweet potato, common beans, and cowpeas.
These bugs are tiny, growing only up to 5 mm in size.
Black bean bugs have a shiny round black body with light yellow markings on their pronotum.
Black bean bugs typically feed on plants in groups on the stems of the plants. Black bean bugs suck the sap of the plants depriving the plants of essential nutrients.
That causes the stems of the plants to wither and fall off the plants.
If not treated, these black bean bugs can spread rapidly in your garden, especially in vegetable gardens.
The female black bean bugs produce up to 400 eggs that she lays in several months in a row.
The female black bean bug lays eggs in hard-to-spot places in the plants.
The nymphs, or the baby black bean bugs, gather underneath leaves and steams to feed.
Black bean bugs are active from late summer, and they can remain active until early winter.
It’s during this period that they can cause the most damage to the plants.
How to get rid of black bean bugs in plants?
Getting rid of them is straightforward. Use a garden-safe insecticidal soap and spray it directly on the black bean bugs.
That’ll help eliminate the black bean bugs and other aphids hiding underneath the plants’ leaves and gathered on the stems.
It’s essential that spray in all the plants, especially in your vegetable garden.
That’ll stop them from spreading into other plants.
Spray the insecticidal twice a week every week for better results.
Black bean bugs don’t enter homes unless you introduce a plant inside your home that already has black bean bugs on it.
Outdoors is the ideal habitat for these bugs. Inside your home, black bean bugs don’t bring in any infestation risks.
And black bugs are soft-bodied bugs that don’t pose any threat to humans. They don’t bite either.
With looks like the black bean bugs, ebony bugs, also known as negro bugs, are tiny glossy black bugs.
Ebony bugs grow up to 0.125 inches or 3 mm in length, and they belong to the family of shied bugs (Thyreocoridae).
They’ve got a pair of antennae with five segments and a straw-like beak segmented into four sections.
Ebony bugs are partly oval-shaped, resembling tiny black beetles.
But when observed from a distance, they appear as little round black bugs.
Ebony bugs feed on tiny seedlings growing on the soil beds and the flower’s nectar.
They’ll insert their straw-like bike into the flowers and seedlings to suck nectar and the sap out of them.
Like the black bean bugs, you’ll find the ebony bugs feeding in groups.
They target flowers the sprout in clusters a few feet above the ground.
The common places where you’ll find ebony bugs are grassy areas such as pastures, fields, and even on your grass lawns.
You may confuse ebony bugs as black bean bugs. But there are some minute differences that only an expert can spot.
The black bean bugs’ head is at least twice as wide as long and has yellow markings.
In contrast, ebony bugs’ head isn’t wide and doesn’t have any yellow markings.
Like the black bean bugs, ebony, to are outdoor garden bugs. They rarely enter homes unless brought inside homes.
To get rid of ebony bugs, spraying a plant-safe insecticide spray on them does the job.
You can also spray peppermint oil insecticide spray on your plants to get rid of them.
Ebony bugs don’t bite humans, and neither do they carry any diseases.
They’re also food to their natural predators like dragonflies, frogs, and praying mantises.
Another tiny black round bug on the list is a garden pest. It’s the flea beetles.
Flea beetles are plant-damaging pests. And they come in different colors like bronze, bluish, brown, gray, and of course, most of them are black.
Some species of flea beetles have stripes on their back too.
Flea beetles are more oval-shaped than round, and adult flea beetles grow only up to 1/8th of an inch long.
They got their names because of their ability to hop like fleas.
Flea beetles have long legs that help them to jump from one place to another.
Flea beetles target plants like sunflowers, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, radishes, spinach, and many ornamental and flower plants.
When their numbers increase, flea beetles also get inside your home.
Flea beetles are active starting from the early spring till early winter.
During the winters, flea beetles will overwinter in foliage and organic debris.
The flea beetles cause damage in plants in the form of tiny holes in the leaves and stems.
The holes have a yellowish border them which is a tell-tale sign of flea beetle damage.
Flea beetles are also harmful to seedlings.
The growing and little plants can’t withstand the flea beetle infestation.
The bigger ones can, but they face heavy damage because of the flea beetles.
The female flea beetles will lay their eggs in the soil or on the plant’s leaves.
The small white larvae that hatch out from these eggs feed on the roots of newly planted seedlings.
How To Get Rid Of Flea Beetles In Your Garden?
Unless controlled, fleas beetles will cause severe damages to your plants. Flea beetles cause the most damage to plants to plants in the spring months.
When their numbers increase, flea beetles can also get inside your home.
Here are the steps that you can use right now to get rid of flea beetles in your garden –
Keep Sticky Bug Traps To Check If There Are Flea Beetles
The sticky bug traps are a great way to ensure their presence. Place them underneath plants and near seedlings.
If there are any flea beetles, then the bug traps will attract them. Once in the trap, the flea beetles will get stuck.
Remove Tiny Weeds In Your Garden
Flea beetles feed on seedlings, and their larvae feed on the roots of tiny plants and weeds.
Removing the weeds from your garden will deny the food supply to the flea beetles.
Get Rid Of Organic Debris From Your Yard And Garden
Flea beetles overwinter in the debris. Removing the debris will ensure that they don’t have any place to hide.
Lacking protection from the winter, the flea beetles won’t survive.
Invite Natural Predators Of Flea Beetles
Some species of wasps, like the Braconid wasps, feed on flea beetles.
Frogs, centipedes, and spiders, which are not harmful to your garden, also feed on flea beetles.
However, if you can’t attract natural predators, then you might choose to use insecticide sprays.
Spray Insecticide Sprays To Eliminate Flea Beetles
Many insecticide sprays are plant safe and get rid of flea beetles.
On purchasing any, ensure that they’ve got the right ingredients.
Look for any one of the following ingredients in the flea beetle spray –
Please read the safety instructions on the label before using these insecticides. And keep them away from children and pets.
Some natural products also help in getting rid of garden pests, including flea beetles.
They’re peppermint oil, soapy water, and neem oil sprays.
But you’ve to use them more often (thrice a week) than insecticide sprays to get rid of flea beetles.
There are instances when flea beetles can get inside your house.
That happens when flea beetles hop into your home from the shrubs and bushes planted near your windows and doors.
Flea beetles jump inside your home through the open windows and may even sneak inside your home through the thin gaps and cracks.
Inside your home, they’ll hide in places like underneath furniture, carpet, and the gaps of soft furnishing like the couch.
Fleas beetles are plant-eating bugs, and they do not bite humans.
Engorged ticks aren’t a separate breed of ticks. Engorged ticks are a state of ticks that have fed on blood.
When ticks have their blood meals, they become inflated, round, and their color turns into blackish grey.
Some species of ticks feed on human blood. Deer ticks, which spread the dreaded lime disease, are one of them.
These ticks latch onto your clothing when you walk through tall grasses.
And when they get access to your skin, they bite and feed on your blood.
Among other bugs in grasses, ticks are the ones that most lethal.
Without the blood meals, ticks look like tiny black bugs.
Many ticks are brown too and have dark black legs that make them appear as blacks.
To prevent tick bites while you’re outdoors, wear clothing covering the lower half of your body and forearms.
You can also wear bug-repellent sprays to prevent ticks other biting bugs from landing on you.
Imported Willow Leaf Beetle
Imported willow leaf beetles are small shiny circular black beetles that feed on the willow plants.
These bugs are active during the summer months.
During winters, they overwinter under leaf litter or organic waste.
Imported willow leaf beetles are either iridescent dark blue or black with a glossy shell. They’re tiny. The willow leaf beetles grow only up to 1/4th of an inch in size.
The imported willow leaf beetles lay their eggs in corners of stems and debris during winters.
Their eggs are yellow and look like ladybug eggs.
When willow leaf beetles emerge out of their overwintering during the spring, they’ll feed on the fresh leaves of willow plants.
At the same time, the eggs hatch. The larvae from the eggs are gray, brown, or army green, and they’re oblong-shaped.
Both the adult willow leaf beetles and their larvae start to feed on the leaves during the spring.
They’ll skeletonize the leaves by chewing up the entire leaves and leaving behind the thicker veins of leaves.
Willow leaf beetles can damage the entire willow tree. From a distance, the damaged willow tree looks brownish and appears as dead.
But willow leaf beetles don’t kill the tree. They eat the leaves that give the tree a defoliated look.
Though it’s not dangerous for the tree, it’s not good for the tree either.
Apart from willow trees, the imported willow leaf beetle also damages cottonwood and poplar trees.
To get rid of willow leaf beetle, use any beetle spray with permethrin and pyrethrin as ingredients.
But ensure that you also get rid of the willow leaf beetles’ eggs.
These beetles will show up again the following year despite spraying the beetle spray if you don’t.
Another reason for the reappearance of willow leaf beetles is that many appear late from their overwintering places.
So, remove the organic debris like foliage and rotting pieces of wood to deny them their hiding places.
Willow leaf beetles don’t enter the home, and they don’t pose any threat to you. They don’t bite humans and pets either.
The White-Margined Burrower
Another plant damaging little round black bug, the white-margined burrower, is a beetle that belongs to the true bugs family.
It’s tiny, growing only up to 1/4th of an inch in size, and has shiny black color with the white border running at the edge of its body.
A white-margined burrower is an underground plant damaging bug that sucks the sap out of the plant’s roots.
It doesn’t chew the roots.
If any of these bugs attack a plant, they could kill it.
White-margined burrowers prefer specific plants like lamb’s ear, mint, and nettles.
These bugs are active starting from the spring till late fall.
During this period, you can spot the adult white-margined burrower crawling on the soil around the targeted plants.
White-margined burrower bugs also gather on plants in groups.
The large group can give you the impression that there are a bunch of cockroaches on the plants.
The females dig holes underneath the plant to lay eggs.
At a time, a single white-margined burrower bug can lay up to 200 eggs.
After laying the eggs, the female bug remains close to the eggs. It’s one of the few species of bugs where the mother feeds the hatchlings.
Young white-margined burrower bugs are of a similar shape as the adult ones but tinier than the adults.
And they’re not completely black like the adult ones. They’ve patches of red on them.
The young white-margined burrower bugs will molt at least twice before they appear as adult black white-margined burrower bugs.
These bugs will start to overwinter in foliage and organic debris starting from late fall.
On the arrival of spring, they’ll emerge and be ready to mate.
To get rid of white-margined burrower bugs, you’d need to till the soil around the plants to reach their nests.
And then use a soil insecticide on them to eliminate them and their eggs. If you don’t destroy the eggs, some of them will show up in the next spring.
To get rid of white-margined burrower bugs congregating on the plants, spray a plant-safe insecticide spray on them.
Artificial light attracts the white-margined burrower bugs.
So, if you’ve got these bugs in your yard or garden, you may find them crawling up to your patio deck during the evening hours.
They can even sneak inside your home.
But white-margined burrower bugs are harmless, and they don’t bite humans.
Use a broom to scoop them away if you find them crawling inside your home.
Or you can also use a vacuum cleaner on them to get rid of them inside your home.
Whirligig beetles are water beetles that are common in yards with ponds. They can also be in the swimming pool, but it’s when the swimming pool is dirty.
Whirligig beetles are tiny oval-shaped (almost round) black shiny bugs that float on the water.
They’re metallic black, and some of them can be dark metallic bronze.
The forelegs of whirligig beetles are long and thin.
Whereas the hind legs are short, and they fold it tightly underneath their abdomen.
Whirligig beetles are shorter than other water beetles and water bugs. They grow only up to 3/4th of an inch in size.
Whirligig beetles are aquatic bugs, and they’ll die if they’re out of the water for long.
They’ve got well-developed wings, so these beetles can fly.
Whirligig beetle has inbuilt sonar technology, like bats, which they use to detect water ripples.
That helps them to find new water sources and prey.
Whirligig beetles feed on any insects that fall in the water and other aquatic bugs. They’re also scavengers that eat the dead fish and insects in the water.
These beetles are tiny predators and scavengers that play an important role in keeping the water clean by feeding dead insects.
But they’re also food for fish and other predators.
Whirligig beetles don’t bite humans. They’re not common swimming pool bugs because your pool doesn’t have the ecosystem to sustain them.
The eight small round black bugs that you’re most likely to come across are in your home and garden are –
- Black Carpet Beetle
- Black Bean Bugs
- Ebony Bugs
- Flea Beetles
- Engorged Ticks
- Willow Leaf Beetle
- White Margined Burrower
- Whirligig Beetle
All these bugs are primarily garden bugs. However, black carpet beetles, flea beetles, and ticks can be inside your home too.
Whirligig beetles are aquatic bugs that are common in ponds and rarest of rare cases in swimming pools.
Barring ticks, none of these bugs bite humans. However, the larvae of black carpet beetles cause severe damage to products made of animal matter.