This guide reveals nine tiny black bugs on kitchen countertops. You’ll find out what these bugs are, where they come from, and what risks they bring.
Also, you’ll learn proven ways to eliminate these bugs and secure your kitchen from further invasion from these bugs.
The best part?
You can do it on your own, safely, without spending a dime or without hiring a pest controller.
9 Tiny Black Bugs In Kitchen Countertops That You Can Ignore
- Carpet beetles
- Larder beetles
- Pantry beetles
- Drain flies
- Fungus gnats
- Cockroach nymphs
Most of these tiny black bugs on kitchen countertops are pantry pests.
However, a few of them are invasive pests that can spread to the rest of your home.
Bugs invade the kitchen for two reasons – moisture and food.
Your kitchen has high dampness because of consistent water usage. And moisture is essential for these bugs to survive.
Then there’s stored food in your kitchen shelves and pantry.
Bugs eat the stored food, and some of them also lay eggs on them because their larvae feed on the food.
Initially, they can be hard to spot when their numbers are low.
Over time, their numbers shoot up if you don’t get rid of them. And that happens fast.
That’s the time when these tiny bugs spill over onto places like kitchen countertops, kitchen sinks, kitchen shelves, and even on the kitchen floor.
They spread in other home areas from your kitchen, like your bedroom.
Pantry pests are not just crawlies.
There are flying bugs too that can hide in your kitchen and secretly breed and damage your food.
Later in the post, you’ll find out how to get rid of them.
Let’s dig deeper into each of these bugs to discover why and how they enter kitchens.
Carpet Beetles On Kitchen Countertops
Carpet beetles are bed bug look-alikes. They’re pantry pests and fabric pests.
Carpet beetles are tiny oval-shaped black bugs that sneak inside the kitchen and homes to lay eggs in the stored food and natural fabrics.
These beetles can also be brown bugs with white spots on them. That’s their colors when they’re young.
Over time, carpet beetles turn black or dark brown.
Carpet beetles target foods like stored grains and cereals to lay their eggs.
However, they prefer to lay eggs on natural fabrics like leather, fur, silk, feathers, and wool.
Woolen and silk carpets, rugs, and leather couches are common products where adult carpet beetles lay their eggs.
But they can also sneak inside your closet and dresser drawers to lay eggs if they can figure out leather, silk, and fur clothing inside them.
The stored food and natural fabrics are food for the carpet beetle larvae.
That’s the reason adult carpet beetles lay eggs in these products.
Carpet beetle larvae damage looks like chewed holes in different areas of the fabric.
The carpet beetle larvae are tiny brownish hairy worms with bristles. It also has yellowish patches.
Sightings of carpet beetles and their larvae on kitchen countertops become standard if too many of them have invaded your home.
The larvae will venture out from the food storage jars looking for alternative food sources.
Food stains and food crumbs on the kitchen countertop will draw the carpet beetle larva to the kitchen countertop.
That’s the same reason for the carpet beetle larvae to be on your bed.
The dirt and stains on the bed attract them and many other bed worms.
When the adult carpet beetles are scouting for places to lay their eggs in your kitchen, you’ll find them on places like kitchen countertops and cabinets.
Larder Beetles – Tiny Black Beetles On Kitchen Countertops
Larder beetles are like carpet beetles with similar infestation habits. They even belong to the same family, the Dermestidae family.
Larder beetles are tiny black beetles with a brown stripe on their back. The stripe on their thorax has six black spots.
But larder beetles are more destructive than carpet beetles.
The larder beetles can also target protein-rich foods like meat and dairy in your kitchen to lay their eggs and feed on them.
They’re a damaging fabric pest too.
The larder beetle larvae can damage natural and synthetic fabrics blended with natural fibers.
Both larder beetles and carpet beetles can sneak inside your closet, wardrobe, and drawers to lay their eggs.
That makes them a potentially damaging closet bug.
So, if your closet and wardrobe are in or near your bedroom, sightings of larder beetles in bedroom can be possible.
Larder beetles also have strong jaws.
So, they can chew through the thin storage jars on your kitchen shelves to access the stored food.
Spotting larder beetles on the kitchen countertop is quite standard in the spring months when they’re active.
That’s the time when both larder beetles and carpet beetles invade homes and the kitchen to lay eggs.
Weevils – The Dark Brown Or Blackish Beetles On Your Kitchen Countertop
Weevils are beetles with a difference. Unlike other beetles, they’re not typically oval.
They’re oblong and have a visible snout on their mouth.
Weevils prefer to infest grains and cereals. However, they can also infest flour of all types.
Weevils are also pantry pests that rely on your stored food and moisture for their survival.
These pantry bugs will fly inside your kitchen through the open windows and crawl through the thin gaps and cracks on the walls.
They can also be present in the grain packets you buy from the grocery store.
Weevils multiply fast. And they also mature from larvae to adult weevils quickly.
So, when their numbers shoot up, they come out of the food storage boxes and jars.
You notice them on kitchen countertops, shelves, and even the kitchen sink.
Weevils in the bathroom are also a common sighting if too many of them are in your home.
These grain bugs can spill over to your bathroom in search of moisture. They can also enter your bathroom through the vents and windows.
However, weevils are not poisonous, and they don’t contaminate your food. They don’t bite either.
Putting the grains with weevils inside the freezer or under direct sunlight eliminates them.
Pantry Beetles – Brown Bugs On Kitchen Countertops
There can be multiple pantry beetles in your kitchen countertop and kitchen storage.
These beetles are pantry beetles that infest your stored food.
Pantry beetles are also food contaminators because they discharge their feces on the stored food.
The most common pantry beetles are drugstore, biscuit, and flour beetles.
They all infest a range of stored food in your kitchen pantry and kitchen cabinets, starting from stored grains, flour, biscuits, cookies, and dry fruits.
Pet food is also vulnerable to these beetle infestations.
They make their way into your kitchen by being present in the food packets and grain bags you buy from grocery stores.
Believe it or not, grocery stores and grain houses are full of these pantry pests.
These beetles will chew through the plastic and cardboard packaging and go inside the packets to access the food.
But there’s a catch.
Pantry beetles aren’t typically black. They’re reddish-brown or dark brown. So, they can appear as black.
But pantry beetles are not poisonous. They don’t bite either.
However, they can spoil your stored food. Food that pantry beetles spoil reeks of a mild stench, and the food turns stale.
Ants On Kitchen Countertops
You’re no stranger to tiny black or blackish ants on the kitchen countertops.
These ants are sugar ants that feed on the food stains on the kitchen countertops.
They’ll also not spare the stored food inside the kitchen cabinets and pantries if they can access them.
Sugary stuff and protein-rich food draw these ants.
Your kitchen is their go-to place to find food and moisture sources that sustain these ants.
However, different types of ants can infest your kitchen.
A few of them are Carpenter ants, grease ants, and even the menacing red fire ants.
Ants in the kitchen make their nests and hide in the cracks and crevices on the kitchen floor, walls, kitchen countertops, and kitchen storage.
It all begins when a random ant sneaks inside your kitchen, looking for a place to hide or food.
On finding any, it releases pheromones, a type of scent that other ants pick up and trace to the source.
Ant invasion begins in the summer when the temperature outdoors starts to go north and sources of moisture dry up.
Ants sneak inside the home, looking for a damp place and a food source. Hence, your kitchen becomes the go-to place for them.
However, with the arrival of winters, these ants, especially carpenter ants, suddenly disappear.
They go under hibernation. Ants hibernate by entering the gaps and cracks on the walls, furniture, and floor.
So, many homeowners notice the sudden appearance of ants in their homes during the late fall and winter months.
But with the arrival of spring, these ants suddenly appear when they come out of overwintering.
Ants carry pathogens that they can pass onto the stored food. These pathogens can cause diseases.
Ants never go on their own. You’ll need to eliminate ants from their source in your kitchen to get rid of them.
Drain Flies – The Tiny Black Flies On Kitchen Countertops
Drain flies tiny black moth-like fuzzy flies that can be everywhere in your kitchen if there’s a drain fly infestation.
There are four primary sources of drain flies in the kitchen –
- Choked kitchen sink drains
- Trash bins
- Organic wastes in your yard
- Choked sewer lines and catch basins
Choked drains, sewer lines, and catch basins can also be the sources of drain roaches and mosquitoes in your home.
Drain flies will lay eggs on the scum and gunk that chokes the drains.
These damp wastes are food for their larvae. And the larvae mature into adult drain flies rapidly.
That makes their numbers spike up in your home within a few weeks.
Drain flies are weak fliers. They’re always on the lookout for the source of moisture and waste to eat.
That’s the time you notice them on the kitchen countertops, cabinets, shelves, kitchen sink, and even in places like the bathroom and laundry room.
However, there are other types of flies too that can be in your kitchen.
Some are fungus gnats, cluster flies, house flies, and fruit flies.
All these flies feed on the wastes that a kitchen generates.
The real problem with drain flies is that they can sneak inside appliances like fridges and dishwashers.
Your fridge is also a food storage section that emits a smell that alerts these flies and bugs.
They can get inside the fridge through the thin vents and disposal pipe.
The extreme cold in the fridge kills these flies and bugs. And that’s why you notice many tiny dead bugs in the fridge.
Drain flies live and dwell in filthy places, so they carry pathogens. And they can transfer those pathogens to your food if they sit on them.
There are also pantry moths, like the Indian meal moths, that you’ll notice on your kitchen countertop.
But they’re not tiny and black. Pantry moths are quite significant in size and brownish.
Booklice On Kitchen Countertops
Booklice are tiny moisture bugs that look like tiny black specks of dirt on hard surfaces like kitchen countertop, kitchen sink, and kitchen storage.
Booklice, also known as psocids mites, can show up in homes in humid places.
They can also sneak inside homes during the summer months, looking for a milder hiding place.
Booklice feed on the molds and fungi that develop on damp surfaces.
So, if there are molds in your kitchen walls, floors, furniture, storage, and countertops, then their sightings in your kitchen are standard.
Booklice are one of the most common mites in the kitchen. They also target stored food grains, especially rice, to feed on the molds that form on the grains because of excessive humidity.
Booklice also spreads rapidly inside your home.
They’re hard to spot when they’re in small numbers in your home.
But when their numbers increase, they’ll get inside other sections of your home and furniture like bookshelves.
Booklice can also infest books. They feed on the molds that develop on the bindings of the old damp books.
However, booklice are nuisance bugs, and they’re not poisonous. They also don’t spread any diseases.
Fungus Gnats – The Tiny Black Flying Bug That Look Like Mosquitoes
Fungus gnats are tiny greyish-black flies with transparent wings that look like mosquitoes.
However, they’re much smaller than mosquitoes.
Like the drain flies, fungus gnats are also moisture bugs that dwell in places like damp soil beds, compost piles, and organic wastes.
They’re not the flies that will thrive in the filth and slime that chokes the drains and other wastewater disposal systems.
Fungus gnats can be in your kitchen too.
They feed on food waste and ripe fruits and vegetables.
The source of fungus gnats can be on the soil beds of your indoor plants.
But most of the time, these tiny black flies will fly through open doors and windows.
The light from your home draws them. And they try to make their way inside your home through your windows.
That’s why these are the most common small black flies near windows.
Fungus gnats are not strong fliers. Instead, they hop.
These tiny black flies can also get inside your appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators.
They don’t bite humans and pets.
However, the fungus gnat look-alike, known as the biting midges, bites humans.
Cockroach Nymphs On Kitchen Countertops
Cockroach nymphs are baby roaches that invade kitchen countertops to have a feed on the food stains and food crumbs on the countertop.
The presence of roach nymphs on the kitchen countertop indicates one thing – there’s a roach infestation in your home.
The worst part?
These cockroach nymphs can get inside into your electrical appliances likes coffee makers, microwaves, and toasters.
Roaches inside your home have built their nests, laid their eggs, and reproduced baby roaches.
These baby roaches can have multiple sources depending on the species.
Roaches that depend on moisture to survive, like the American and Oriental roaches, will make kitchen sink drains and the crevices underneath the kitchen sink their nesting place.
It’s because both these roaches rely heavily on moisture to stay alive. And they consume the damp filth.
The color of baby roaches of American and Oriental roaches is dark reddish-brown.
But if there are German roaches in your kitchen, their babies will be black.
German roaches hide in dry areas of your kitchen and home.
So, they can build their nests in the crevices of the kitchen storage, kitchen cabinets, shelves, and even in gaps in the kitchen floor and walls.
Sightings of cockroach nymphs on the kitchen countertop should make you look for roaches in your kitchen and other home areas, like your bathroom.
That is to ascertain if there’s a roach infestation in your home and if you’ll need a pest controller to get rid of them.
How To Get Rid Of Bugs In Kitchen Countertops?
Sightings of bugs on your kitchen countertop, shelves, cabinets, and pantries tell you that your kitchen has a big problem.
You’ll need to eliminate those bugs from your entire kitchen and home.
However, there are steps that you can take to eliminate these bugs from the kitchen countertop and kitchen.
Step#1 – Clean The Kitchen Countertop
Clean the kitchen countertop with soapy water made out of a reliable laundry powder.
Ensure that you remove all the food stains on the kitchen countertop. These food stains can draw bugs.
Step#2 – Clean Your Entire Kitchen
Thoroughly clean your kitchen with a vacuum cleaner.
Ensure that you clean the kitchen shelves and pantry. And there’s no spilled over food in these places.
These spilled foods attract bugs like roaches, ants, and pantry pests.
Also, remove any food stains on the hard surfaces like the floor, kitchen sink, appliances, walls, and kitchen storage.
You can use soapy water to eliminate those stains.
Also, don’t let wastes lie in your kitchen trash bins for days.
Those wastes get stale, rot, and emit a smell that draws bugs and rodents.
Step#3 – Fix Water Leakages
Water leakages underneath sinks and in faucets increase the dampness levels of your kitchen.
That attracts bugs and roaches too.
Water leakages also increase the dampness levels of walls and floors.
It weakens them, and hence it becomes easy for the bugs to dig into these places and build their nests.
So, fix the leaky pipes.
Step#4 – Remove The Molds
High moisture creates molds on the kitchen walls, floor, kitchen countertop, and furniture. That attracts booklice and mold mites too.
Remove the molds on walls and floor using bleach or a mold cleaner.
But don’t use bleach to remove molds on the kitchen countertop and furniture.
It’s because bleach is corrosive and can cause damage on the surface. It’ll be best to use mold cleaner to remove molds in these places.
Step#5 – Seal The Gaps And Cracks
Sealing the gaps in the walls, floor, storage, shelves, windows, and kitchen countertop is vital to eliminating bugs in the kitchen.
Like ants, roaches, and many others, pantry bugs use these gaps to hide and even build their nests.
Caulk these gaps with a quality sealant. Using silicone-based sealant is the best idea to seal these gaps.
Silicone-based sealants are durable, strong, and waterproof, and bugs can’t chew through them.
Step#6 – Use Proper Food Storage Jars
Storing your food, including pet food, is critical to preventing pantry pests.
And if there are no pantry pests in your kitchen, they won’t show up on places like kitchen countertops.
And one of the ways to do it is to use strong airtight food storage jars and containers to store your food.
Bugs won’t be able to chew through them.
Also, close the lid of the food storage jars properly. Don’t leave it loosely shut, as it can allow the bugs to sneak inside.
Step#7 – Clean The Kitchen Drains
A proper discharge of wastewater from the kitchen drain is essential to keep away drain roaches and drain flies.
The wastes that choke the drains are breeding grounds for bugs.
Clean those drains with a drain cleaner.
You can also mix ammonia with hot water and pour the mixture inside the drain.
You can pour white vinegar mixed with hot water into the drain too.
Both will unclog the drains. They’ll also kill any bugs, eggs, and larvae in the waste choking the drain.
You can also pour bleach. But be cautious.
Using bleach often to clean the drains will corrode the drains from the inside. It’ll damage the sink drains.
Also, when you use bleach, ensure that you don’t use any other type of cleaner or products like ammonia and white vinegar.
Bleach reacts with these elements and emits fumes harmful to your health.
Step#8 – Use Repellants And Traps To Keep These Tiny Black Bugs Away
The best way to keep these bugs away is by using smells that repel them.
And one of that smells is peppermint smell.
Spray a peppermint oil spray in your kitchen storage, kitchen countertop, and in the nooks and corners of your kitchen.
You can also keep spices like bay leaves and cinnamon sticks on your kitchen countertop and in the food storage section.
Both repel bugs.
Another way to deal with the flies in the kitchen is by using pantry pest traps.
Keep a few in the corners of your kitchen, inside kitchen storage, and near the kitchen sink.
Also, keeping one or two near appliances like refrigerator and dishwasher helps because these appliances draw these bugs.
Some of these traps have pheromones that attract bugs. And when the bugs land on them, they get stuck.
Keep the traps overnight. And dispose of these traps outside of your property the next morning.
Should You Use Insecticide Sprays To Get Rid Of Bugs In Your Kitchen?
Yes, but sparingly.
Insecticide sprays like Raid kills carpet beetles, roaches, ants, and many other bugs.
But you’ve to be careful while using them in your kitchen.
We don’t recommend using insecticide sprays on your food storage sections and the kitchen countertops.
Insecticides are poisonous, and the poison will pass onto your stored food.
The best way to use insecticide sprays is to empty the kitchen shelves, kitchen cabinets, and kitchen countertops and then to use.
Wait for an hour before you restock these places.
The nine tiny black bugs on kitchen countertops are –
- Carpet beetles
- Larder beetles
- Pantry beetles
- Drain flies
- Fungus gnats
- Cockroach nymphs
This guide revealed how these bugs end up on your kitchen countertop and why the presence of some of these bugs should ring your alarm bells.
There’s also an 8-step guide that you can use right now to get rid of these bugs naturally.
Remember, if these bugs are showing on your kitchen countertop, they’re in your kitchen.
You’ll need to inspect your kitchen, especially the food storage sections, and take the necessary steps to eliminate them from their source.
Dr. Thomas Orbert, the Microbial Maestro, dances with the tiniest of creatures as an entomologist extraordinaire! With a PhD in entomology, his passion lies in unraveling the secret symphonies of insect-microbe interactions. From minuscule marvels to captivating complexities, Dr. Orbert unveils the hidden world of bugs, igniting curiosity one buzz at a time!