10 Awful Tiny Black Bugs That Look Like Poppy Seeds

Bugs’ body shape, size, and color can make them appear as harmless and lifeless poppy seeds.

Big mistake!

In this guide, you’ll find out 10 tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds.

You’ll find out their sources, why they enter homes, and the reasons behind their resemblance to black seeds.

Plus, you’ll also learn the risks they bring, the damage they can cause, and the most effective ways to get rid of these seed-like bugs.

Let’s dive in.

Tiny Black Bugs That Look Like Poppy Seeds

  1. Bed bugs
  2. Engorged ticks
  3. Moss mites
  4. Flea beetles
  5. Black aphids
  6. Black carpet beetles
  7. Drugstore beetles
  8. Spider beetles
  9. Fungus gnats
  10. Oriental cockroach nymphs

All these bugs are less than half-an-inch in size, oval-shaped, and black or dark brown with shiny bodies.

So, at the first look, these bugs look like poppy seeds.

Let’s find out why and how these bugs show up in your home and property.

Bed Bugs

If one room has bed bugs, do they all

Bed bugs need no introduction. These are a nightmare that any home can have.

Bed bugs are dark brown. They look black, especially when they have had their blood meals.

Bed bugs are flat when they haven’t had their blood meals. That’s the time when they look like flat apple seeds.

When they had their blood meals, bed bugs slightly bloat, making them look like poppy seeds.

Bed bug infestation in homes begins when a single bed bug carrying eggs enters your home.

Bed bugs spread from one home to another by hitchhiking on things like clothes, furniture, luggage, and cardboard boxes that you bring in from infested places.

Initially, they can be hard to spot when their numbers are low.

They follow you to your bedroom by using the carbon dioxide and the smell of your sweat as a guide. 

And they hide in your bed. 

Bed bugs like beds because they’re closest to their hosts in your bed, which is you.

They’ll come out of hiding during the night when you’re asleep to feed on your blood. 

During the day, bed bugs hide in the thin gaps and cracks in the bed frame and nearby furniture. 

When their numbers increase, bed bugs will spread all over your home from one room to another.

And they can even hide in the unlikeliest places, like crevices in the walls and floor

You can get rid of bed bugs when their numbers are down. 

The best way to get rid of bed bugs in your bed mattress, couch, rugs, and carpets are by cleaning them with a steam cleaner.

If there’s something that guarantees bed bug removal, it’s the heat. And steam cleaners produce heat.

The heat from the steam cleaner will kill bed bugs belonging to all life stages – adult bed bugs, their eggs, the nymphs, and the pupae.

But if the infestation levels increase, they’ll spread far and wide inside your home.

In that case, you’ll need a professional exterminator.

Engorged Ticks

Tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds - Engorged Ticks

Engorged ticks are ticks that have had their blood meals. They turn brownish-black after the blood meals.

After consuming blood, ticks bloat, and they start to look like poppy seeds.

So, if you’re noticing them in your home, it should be a cause of worry. 

Your pets can be the major carrier of ticks.

They get them from other pets or if they walk through tall grasses in shady and damp locations which are the primary hiding places for ticks.

Ticks carry pathogens that can cause diseases like Lyme disease. 

When ticks are not on a furry animal, then they can bite humans to feed on the human blood.

So, if a tick ever bites you, it’s always best to see a doctor asap.

Also, sightings of ticks in your home should also make you to take your pet to a vet for possible tick infection.

Moss Mites

Tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds - moss mites

Moss mites, also known as oribatid mites, armored mites, moss beetles, or beetle mites, are tiny black mites in your garden or yard. 

They are tiny, circular, grow only 1 mm in size, and look like poppy seeds on plants.

But unlike the previous poppy seeds look-alikes, moss mites are beneficial bugs.

They play a valuable role in decomposing organic matter, soil formation, and making the soil rich in nutrients.

Moss mites have rigid, shiny black bodies to protect themselves from predators like centipedes and ants.

The most common places where you’ll notice moss mites are in the shaded areas of your garden. 

They’ll flock underneath the plants’ leaves and are noticeable on the soil and compost piles.

Unlike spider mites, moss mites don’t target fresh and healthy leaves. Instead, they go for the dying leaves.

The best part is that most mites are harmless bugs. 

They don’t damage plants, and neither they bring any risk to you or your pets.

Moss mites could latch onto your dog’s body if your dog were playing on a surface with moss mites. 

These moss mites are tiny black bugs on dogs that look like poppy seeds.

Unlike fleas, moss mites will not go deep inside your pet’s fur to reach its skin. 

Fleas do that to put their mouthparts inside your pet’s skin to draw their blood.

Moss mites will be on the upper layer of your pet’s fur, making it easy to spot them. 

You can effortlessly remove the moss mites from your dog’s fur with a comb or pincher.

Unlike fleas, moss mites won’t bite your dog or drink your dog’s blood.  

Many people confuse moss mites with flea beetles. 

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles - little black round bugs

Flea beetles are oval and have shiny black bodies.

Their size varies between 1/16 and 1/8 inches and because of their shiny bodies and oval shape, they look like poppy seeds.

Flea beetles are plant pests that feed on the plant leaves and stems. They’re more prone to infest vegetable gardens than ornamental plants.

The flea beetle larvae are also a damaging plant pests. The larvae feed on the plant leaves and their feeding process can create tiny holes on the leaves.

Thick vegetation with flea beetles along your home’s perimeter makes it easy for them to jump and get inside your home through the open windows.

Black Aphids

Black Aphids - Tiny Black Bugs That Look Like Poppy Seeds

Most aphids are tiny white dust-like bugs. But there are some species of black aphids on plants that look like poppy seeds.

They’re black citrus aphids and black peach aphids.

Both these aphids overwinter during the winter season. With the arrival of spring, both black citrus aphids and black peach aphids become active. 

As their name suggests, black citrus aphids and black peach aphids infest citrus and peach plants, respectively.

Black aphids are oval and grow up to 1/20″ in size. So, they look like tiny black poppy seeds on the plant leaves.

Black peach aphids feed on tender plant tissue of young plants because easier for them to suck out the sap from them.

Black aphids produce honeydew which can turn into turn into sooty black molds on the plants.

The honeydew and aphids are food sources of ants. So, their presence also attracts ants.

Black aphids can draw the red fire ants to your plants, which can cause more damage to your plants.

Therefore, on noticing these black aphids, it’s always best to get rid of them. 

Soapy water is the easiest solution to get rid of aphids of all types. 

Use 2-3 tbsp of dawn dish soap or any dish soap, and mix it with a gallon of water. 

Stir the mixture well and pour it into a spray bottle.

Then spray the mixture on these black aphids. Soapy water will kill the aphids. 

However, you’ll have to repeat the process a few times because aphids can return.

Continue using the dish soap on the plants for a few days till there’s no reappearance of aphids.

You can also use soapy insecticide sprays if there’s a severe black aphids infestation in your garden.

Black Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetles Look Like Poppy Seeds

Black carpet beetles are one of the tiny black beetles that invade homes.

The adult black carpet beetles size varies between 1/8 and 3/16 inches. Their hard shell-like black bodies, oval shape, and size make them look like poppy seeds.

Carpet beetles sneak inside homes during the spring and summer months.

These beetles invade homes to lay their eggs on natural fibers like wool, silk, fur, feather, and leather so that their larvae can feed on them.

Black carpet beetles will target woolen carpets and silk carpets, and rugs to lay their eggs. 

They can also target synthetic fabrics blended with natural fibers.

The carpet beetle larvae feed on these natural fibers. The larvae look like a tiny hairy black worm on the carpets and clothes that they infest.

The hairy bristles on the larvae can cause itchy welts and intense skin irritation if they make contact with your skin.

Carpet beetles can fly inside homes through open doors and windows during the peak season. 

The light from your home can also attract these beetles. 

So, during the spring months, you’ll notice the black carpet beetles crawling on the window sills, trying to make their way inside your home.

Carpet beetles invade pantries too. They’ll target your stored food in the kitchen pantry to lay their eggs.

They’ll specifically target protein-rich food like nuts and cereals. But carpet beetles can also lay their eggs on foodstuffs like flour and grains.

The carpet beetle larvae that will hatch out from the eggs will feed on these stored foods.

If there are too many of them, they can also sneak inside your bedroom looking for natural fabrics.

That’s one of the reasons for sightings of carpet beetle larva in bed.

Steam cleaning carpets, rugs, and other soft furnishings like leather couches is a reliable way to eliminate the damaging carpet beetle larvae.

Using an insecticide spray like Raid also eliminates the carpet beetle larvae and adult carpet beetles.

However, it’s always best to thoroughly clean your home, kitchen, and closet to eliminate carpet beetles and their larvae.

Drugstore Beetles

Drugstore beetles in Florida homes

Drugstore beetles are pantry bugs that look like brown poppy seeds.

Drugstore beetles feed on the stored food in your kitchen pantry. They target grains, cereals, pasta, and baked foods.

They invade your kitchen pantry by either being present in the food packets that you buy or by flying inside your home from the outdoors during the spring and summer.

Drugstore are oval-shaped and dark brown with their heads hooked inwards.

So, when you look at them from the above, they resemble poppy seeds.

Cleaning the kitchen and disposing infested foods are the best ways to get rid of drugstore beetles.

However, drugstore beetles are not poisonous and they don’t bite humans.

They also don’t spread any pathogens to the stored food.

Spider Beetles

Spider Beetles - Tiny bugs in bed that are not bed bugs

Another pantry pest or beetle that look like black poppy seeds is the spider beetles.

But spider beetles are not black. They are dark reddish brown that makes them appear as black poppy seeds at a first glance.

Spider beetles resemble tiny spiders with their hunched abdomen and long visible legs.

But unlike spiders, these beetles don’t feed on insects.

Spider beetles will target the stored foods, especially grains and flour. They also eat human hair, dead insects, and rodent droppings inside the house.

Spider beetles can bite humans if they come in contact with your skin. But their bites are harmless and feel like a pinch.

The bite is an interrogatory bite to find out if you’re it’s food. So, they bite only once.

Spider beetles are not poisonous and they don’t bring any disease risks despite being present in your stored food.

However, their increase in numbers in the stored food can make the food stale.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats - tiny black bugs in houses near windows

Fungus gnats are tiny black flies with an erratic flight pattern.

These flies look like black poppy seeds but some may confuse them with biting midges or mosquitoes.

In the outdoors fungus gnats breed in the damp soil layers or in decomposing organic matter.

However, these bugs can also lay their eggs in the soil beds of indoor house plants and in the choked drains of kitchen and bathroom.

Fungus gnats are nuisance bugs. They don’t bite humans.

But these bugs can create a lot of discomfort for you by entering dishwashers, coffee makers, and even inside refrigerator.

Fungus gnats are attracted to light. So, if there’s an infestation in the outdoors, these flies can sneak inside the house through the open doors and windows.

You may also notice them gathering on the window sills trying to make their way inside the house.

But the best part is that getting rid of them is easy.

Scatter diatomaceous earth in the decaying organic matter or in the soil beds where they lay eggs.

Another way to eliminate them is by spraying soapy water or scattering epsom salt in their nesting places.

Keeping sticky traps, preferably yellow traps, near house plants and near appliances and water taps helps a lot in eliminating these bugs from your indoors.

Babies Of Black Oriental Cockroaches

baby cockroach in kitchen sink

Black oriental cockroach babies have shiny black bodies ant they’re 1/8 inches in size.

That makes them appear like poppy seeds.

The baby oriental cockroaches are a sign of a thriving cockroach infestation in your house.

And they’re visible in places like kitchen and bathroom where the water usage is the highest.

Adult oriental roaches can lay eggs and build their nests underneath sinks and even inside the choked drains of sinks.

Feces Of Bugs That Look Like Poppy Seeds

It’s not only specific bugs that look like poppy seeds, but also the feces of some bugs resemble poppy seeds.

Sightings of bugs’ droppings are a clear indication of their presence in your home. 

There are two invasive and damaging pests whose droppings look like poppy seeds – drywood termites and roaches.

Drywood termites discard their feces through the exit holes they create on the infested wood.

Sightings of their fecal pellets, also known as termite frass, clearly indicate drywood termite infestation in your home.

Drywood termite droppings will look like tiny poppy seeds lying over the floor under the infested wooden structure. 

But termite droppings don’t look clean like sawdust. 

If you see sawdust in your home, there’s a wood-boring beetle infestation in your home. 

Cockroach droppings are mostly in the form of smear marks, especially when they’re of roaches like American and oriental roaches.

It’s because these roaches feed on damp wastes and garbage.

However, German roaches can have dry poop resembling tan poppy seeds.

Their fecal deposits are dry because they don’t live and feed on damp wastes.

Dry cockroach poop looks like poppy seeds, but they’re not typically black. They’re brownish.

Sightings of cockroach droppings are common in places where they’ve built their nests or near their nesting places.

Cockroach droppings in your home signify their presence. 

If you’re seeing cockroach droppings but no cockroaches, you must inspect your home for roaches. 

The kitchen, bathroom, basement, garage, and attic are where roaches hide. 

The plumbing area underneath sinks and the tight places below appliances are also common hiding places for roaches.


Bugs can resemble poppy seeds because of their color, shape, and size. This guide revealed the ten bugs that can trick you into thinking they’re poppy seeds if you see them not moving.

Also, fecal deposits of termites and roaches can also resemble poppy seeds.