Tiny black beetles invade homes during a specific time of the year.
Their main target?
The food that you store in your kitchen.
Some of these beetles also damage your expensive clothing made of fur, leather, wool, and silk.
This guide reveals five tiny black beetles in the house that sneak inside your home and can contaminate your stored food and cause damage.
You’ll learn how these beetles enter homes, their infestation habits, and most importantly, how to get rid of these tiny beetles.
Here Are The 5 Tiny Black Beetles In The House
The tiny black beetles that sneak inside homes are –
- Carpet beetles
- Larder beetles
- Flea beetles
- Click beetles
Except for the flea beetle and click beetle, each beetle enters homes for a specific reason.
Their numbers in your home will shoot up in weeks if you don’t get rid of them and don’t secure your home from them.
You’ll find out later in the post how to do that.
Let’s focus on the reasons for these beetles invading your home.
That’ll put you ahead of them while treating your home to get rid of them.
Black Carpet Beetle – The Most Common Tiny Black Beetle In Homes
Carpet beetles are tiny flying beetles that invade homes during the spring and summer months and remain active till late fall.
These beetles are oval-shaped and grow only up to 1/8th of an inch. They have a pair of wings, six legs, and a pair of antennae.
Initially, carpet beetles were tiny brown and white striped beetles.
But over time, they lose those patches, and they become dark brown or black.
Outdoors, the carpet beetles feed on the pollen and nectar of flowers. They’re beneficial pollinators that play an essential role in nature.
However, inside your home, they aren’t so friendly.
The primary purpose for carpet beetles to sneak inside your home is to lay eggs.
And there are two types of things carpet beetles target to lay their eggs –
- Food stored in kitchen pantry
- Products made of natural animal fabrics like fur, wool, silk, and leather
And they do that because the larvae that hatch out of the eggs feed on these things.
The carpet beetle larvae feed on the stored food.
The larvae are also a damaging fabric pest that feeds on natural animal fabrics and things like taxidermies and animal trophies.
Ironically, the adult carpet beetles don’t cause any damage to your home.
It’s their larvae that cause the damage.
The larvae of carpet beetles look like a tiny blackish worms with yellowish patches.
They’ve got visible hairy bristles on their bodies too.
The adult carpet beetles will target stored food like grains, chocolate, cereals, spaghetti, flour, and even edibles like cookies and biscuits to lay eggs.
The larvae will feed on these food products. That turns the food stale.
The larvae also defecate on the stored food. That makes the food reek of a stench.
You’ll also notice tiny lumps on the food. Those lumps are the larvae’s feces.
The larvae chew on the natural animal fabrics, leading to holes in the clothing.
The keratin in the animal fabric forms a vital part of the larvae’s diet.
Their favorites are the soft floor furnishings like woolen and silk carpets and upholstery furnishings like leather sofas.
That’s how they got their name as carpet beetles.
The larvae can also be a damaging fabric pest.
While searching for food, the larvae will sneak inside your closet and wardrobe.
If there is clothing made of wool, silk, fur, and leather in your storage, these larvae will sneak inside your clothing storage.
That’s why, along with the clothes moths, the carpet beetle is one of the damaging closet bugs.
Dirty clothing and fabric stained with food stains, human sweat, and grease marks also draw the carpet beetle larvae.
Dirty fabric in the laundry basket can attract adult carpet beetles to lay their eggs.
They attract the carpet beetle larvae too.
If your bedsheet is dirty or you haven’t washed it for weeks, it will also draw the carpet beetle to your bed.
The carpet beetle larvae are also typical bed worms that many homeowners encounter on their beds.
They’ll chew on the stained portion of the fabric to feed on the stains.
Result? Permanent, irreparable holes in the fabric.
How Do Carpet Beetles Enter Homes?
Carpet beetles fly inside your home through open doors, windows, and vents.
They can also crawl.
So, carpet beetles can also crawl through the thin gaps and cracks on the walls, windows, and door frames.
Light from the light bulbs also attracts carpet beetles.
And if there are flower plants close to the windows and doors, then carpet beetles can also accidentally sneak inside your home.
Carpet beetles can also get inside your car to lay their eggs.
The leather upholstery in the car attract carpet beetles.
The adult carpet beetles are one of the tiny black bugs that sneak inside cars to lay their eggs.
Later in the post, you’ll find out how to prevent the tiny black beetles from entering your home.
Let’s get into the second type of tiny black beetle in the house, the larder beetle.
Larder Beetles – The Tiny Black Beetle In The House That Also Targets Stored Food
Larder beetles are cousins of carpet beetles. Both belong to the same Desmitidae family.
Larder beetles are tiny black beetles with a brown stripe on their thorax. The brown stripe has six visible black spots.
Larder beetles can fly too. They’ve two pairs of wings that make them strong fliers.
The infestation and damaging habits of larder beetles and their purpose are the same as the carpet beetles.
Larder beetles also enter homes to lay eggs on the stored food and natural animal fabrics because it’s the food for their larvae.
So, the larder beetle is both a pantry pest and a fabric pest.
However, the larder beetle is more damaging than the carpet beetle.
It’s because adult beetles can also damage the fabric. And they also eat the stored food.
Protein-rich food intensely attracts the larder beetles.
That’s why things like stored meat, cheese, and dry fruits like cashew and raisin are highly vulnerable to larder beetles.
Outdoors, larder beetles will lay their eggs in the carcasses of animals, insects, and even in the birds’ nests.
Inside your home, they’ll have more options to lay their eggs if there are dead insects or rodents.
And most of the time, there are dead insects, especially in the spring months.
Many bugs like wasps, kissing bugs, and stink bugs, enter homes during the winter to hibernate.
They hide in the cracks and crevices in the walls, ceiling, and places like the attic and basement.
Many of them die, and their carcasses remain stuck in these crevices.
The larder beetles in your home will find those carcasses to lay their eggs.
The larder beetle larvae will feed on those carcasses. When they run out of food, they’ll look for more food sources.
That’s when you see these hairy worm-like bugs on walls and ceilings.
The larder beetle larvae look like the carpet beetle larvae.
But the larder beetle larvae are dark brown (with no yellowish patches), thinner, and longer than the carpet beetle larvae.
However, like the carpet beetle larvae, the larder beetle larvae also have hairy bristles on their bodies.
How Do Larder Beetles Enter Homes?
Like the carpet beetles, the larder beetles also enter the home from the outdoors.
These beetles are active in the spring months till late fall.
During the spring months, larder beetles mate and look for places to lay eggs.
Light from the light bulbs also draws the larder beetles.
Larder beetles can fly. So, they can be one of the tiny black beetles that fly inside your home.
They’ll fly inside your home through open doors and windows and target stored food, and look for dead bugs to lay their eggs.
Larder beetles spread faster than carpet beetles. It’s because the female larder beetle lays more eggs.
A female larder beetle can lay up to 100 eggs in different places of your home.
That’s the reason their numbers shoot up suddenly inside homes.
And when their numbers increase, presence of larder beetles in bedrooms is also quite common.
Weevils – The Tiny Beetle That Attacks Your Stored Grains
Weevils are grain insects and pantry pests which infest food grains.
Weevils are also beetles but with a difference in their anatomy.
They’ve got a snout-like feature on their mouth, which they insert into the grains to suck its nutrients.
Weevils are of many types. The two most common types are rice weevils and bean weevils.
The rice weevils target grain products like rice, wheat, corn, lentils, and flour.
The bean weevils infest beans, peas, grams, and similar food products.
Weevils are tiny. The ones that infest your stored food grow only up to 3 mm or one-tenth of an inch in size.
Weevils are slender and oval. They’re either black or dark brown.
When weevils infest stored grains like rice, they infest in large numbers.
So, you’ll notice multiple weevils crawling on the stored food.
Weevils don’t contaminate food. They’re only a nuisance.
You can easily remove them by keeping your food under direct sunlight or putting it in the freezer.
However, moisture attracts weevils too.
So, on top of being in your kitchen, these tiny black beetles in the house can also spread in other places like the bathroom, laundry room, and basement.
It’s because weevils are also moisture bugs. Damp areas also attract these beetles.
You’ll notice tiny weevils in the bathroom if their population has shot up in your home.
When their numbers increase in the kitchen, these tiny beetles can also venture out of the stored food.
And you notice these bugs on kitchen countertops, on the kitchen floor, and the kitchen appliances.
The confused flour beetle is another beetle that needed a special mention despite not being black.
Confused flour beetles are tiny flour bugs that infest flour of all types.
They’re dark brown. Some flour beetles are reddish too. So they’re also known as red flour beetles.
These beetles have similar infestation habits to that of weevils. But they’re dark brown.
Flour beetles’ size is more or less the same as that of rice weevils.
But unlike the weevils, flour beetles don’t spread beyond your kitchen.
They limit themselves to the stored food in your pantry shelves and kitchen cabinets.
How Do Weevils Enter Homes?
Like most bugs, weevils too enter homes from outdoor places.
They’ll crawl through the thin gaps and cracks on the walls, doors, and windows.
However, one of the most common ways that weevils enter homes is when you bring in the food packets that already have weevils.
Big grain warehouses and grocery stores always have grain pests and pantry pests no matter what they say.
So, when you buy grain packets or any type of dry foods that you can store, maybe those packs already have grain weevils and flour beetles.
Flea Beetles – The Tiny Black Beetle In Homes That Jump Like Fleas
Before you get into the practical details of flea beetles, let’s make two things clear.
Flea beetles are plant pests, and they’re rare occasional home intruders.
Unlike the larder beetles and carpet beetles, flea beetles don’t infest homes or lay eggs inside your home.
Your home isn’t an ideal habitat for flea beetles. So, they look for a way out if they get inside.
Flea beetles enter homes when they jump off the plants close to your home’s windows.
Flea beetles are black, and they’re strong jumpers like fleas.
And you might find them stuck in the gaps of your couch, on the floor, and on carpets when they get inside your home.
These tiny black beetles won’t cause any damage. You can use a vacuum cleaner on them to remove them.
Click Beetles – A Garden Beetle That Is An Accidental Intruder In Homes
The black click beetle is another garden beetle that accidentally intrudes on your home.
Their shape isn’t round.
Instead, they’ve got an oblong-shaped and bigger than the other beetles on the list.
An adult click beetle is 1.5 inches long. It’s black, and it has a visible thorax with a pair of antennae.
The adult click beetle is harmless.
And unlike the other beetles on the list, you won’t find them entering your home in large numbers.
However, the larvae of click beetles, known as wireworms, are damaging garden bugs.
They damage vegetable plants and ornamental plants.
The adult click beetles make a clicking sound with their feet. That’s how they got their name.
How To Get Rid Of Tiny Black Beetles In The House?
Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert pest controller to get rid of these tiny black beetles in your home.
And you can do it by using home products without hiring professional pest control.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting rid of tiny black beetles.
Step#1 – Clean Your Kitchen To Remove The Food Sources
There’s no better way than extensive kitchen cleaning when it comes to getting rid of small black beetles.
Weevils, flour beetles, larder beetles, and carpet beetles are pantry pests. Their primary food source lies in your kitchen.
Vacuum clean the kitchen pantry shelves, kitchen cupboard, cabinets, and other storage areas.
Food crumbs and grains spill over into these places making your kitchen attractive for these food bugs.
And ensure that you dispose of the garbage from the kitchen trash bins daily.
Food waste in the trash bins attracts bugs like fruit flies, cluster flies, ants, and roaches.
Step#2 – Store Your Food In Sturdy Airtight Jars
Larder beetles have strong mouthparts. They can chew through thin plastic jars, food packets, and cardboard boxes to access the food stored in them.
So, you must store your food in robust airtight jars and containers.
And close the lid of the food storage jars properly.
Do not forget to store pet food too in airtight jars.
Step#3 – Check Packaged Food, Especially Grains, For Weevils And Flour Beetles
Weevils and flour beetles can be present in packaged grains and food.
So, before you pour them into the food storage jars, check if there are any weevils or flour beetles in them.
If you find any, then put the food inside the freezer.
The cold temperature kills those beetles.
Remove the dead weevils and flour beetles from the grains and store them in the airtight food storage jars.
Step#4 – Seal The Gaps And Cracks On The Home’s Walls, Windows, And Doors
The tiny black beetles can sneak inside your home through the gaps and crevices on the walls, windows, and door frames.
Seal those gaps with a silicone-based sealant. Silicone-based sealants are strong, and bugs can’t chew through them.
These beetles, and many other tiny black bugs, can also fly and jump inside your home through open doors and windows.
So, it’ll be best to install window screens with fine mesh on your window to prevent these beetles from flying or jumping inside your home.
Pro Tip: Install a bug zapper on your patio deck or near the window facing your yard or garden. The bug zapper will draw and electrocute any larder beetle or carpet beetle trying to fly inside your home.
Bug zappers also help reduce tiny biting flies trying to get inside your home.
Step#5 – Trim The Vegetation Around Your Home’s Perimeter And Near Windows
The fifth step is specifically helpful in preventing click beetles and flea beetles from entering your home.
If the bushes and shrubs are touching the windows, it’s easy for these beetles to accidentally sneak inside your home.
So, trim them.
Step#6 – Use Peppermint Oil Spray To Keep These Tiny Black Bugs Away
There are some scents that these tiny beetles and many other bugs hate.
The most common one is the odor of peppermint.
So, use a peppermint oil spray in your kitchen, on the food storage areas, and in places where you store your clothes.
The smell of peppermint repels these beetles. And it immensely helps in making your kitchen and home smell fresh and your stored food safe.
You can also use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to spray in your kitchen.
Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a bottle. Shake it well and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Then spray the mixture in your food storage areas in your kitchen.
Keeping cinnamon sticks and bay leaves on the pantry shelves also helps in keeping food bugs and beetles away.
But to protect your clothes from the larvae of carpet beetles, larder beetles, and clothes moths, it’s better not to use any sprays.
It’s because the spray might stain your clothes.
Instead, use cedarwood blocks.
Keep cedarwood blocks in your closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers to prevent the carpet beetles and larder beetles from laying eggs in these places.
The smell of cedarwood also repels bugs.
The cedarwood blocks are better than mothballs to protect your clothes from fabric pests and closet bugs.
Step#7 – Keep Pantry Pest Traps In Your Kitchen
Pantry pest traps are cheap and practical.
They’re sticky glue traps that attract any hiding pantry bug-like carpet beetles, larder beetles, and Indian meal moths.
When these bugs land on these traps, they get stuck.
Keep these traps in your kitchen, kitchen cabinet, and kitchen pantry overnight.
Throw away the traps with the bugs stuck on these traps.
The five common tiny black beetles in the house are –
- Carpet beetles
- Larder beetles
- Flea beetles
- Click beetles
The carpet beetles and the larder beetles are the most damaging beetles out of these five beetles.
They damage your stored food in the kitchen pantry, clothes, and furnishings made of natural fibers.
This guide revealed how these tiny beetles enter homes.
There’s also a seven-step guide that you can use right away to get rid of them and prevent them from entering your home.