15 Awful Tiny Black Bugs That Look Like Poppy Seeds

I always believed that tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds are garden insects like moss mites, black aphids, and flea beetles.

But an experienced entomologist like me can also be wrong at times.

I realized that household pests like bed bugs, drugstore beetles, and parasites like fleas and ticks can also look like poppy seeds and sesame seeds.

So, in this guide, I’ll give you a consolidated list of bugs that resemble poppy seeds. I’ll also reveal the risks these bugs bring and the best ways to protect yourself from these bugs.

Let’s dive in.

Bed Bugs

If one room has bed bugs, do they all

Bed bugs are oval-shaped, brown, flat insects that look like apple seeds when unfed.

These pests are ectoparasites that feed on human blood and enter homes mainly by hitchhiking on infested products such as carpets, clothes, luggage bags, and furniture.

After bloodmeals, bed bugs enlarge and turn dark reddish brown, resembling brown poppy seeds.

Bed bugs infestation in the house can be hard to eliminate, especially when the infestation is severe.

You’ll need to hire a pest control professional to get rid of a bad bed bug infestation in the house.

Fleas

How to get rid of fleas in your apartment without bombing

Another ectoparasite that looks like poppy seeds is fleas. These insects latch onto animals to feed on their blood.

Pets can bring fleas home and transfer them to beds, couches, carpets, and upholstery.

A home without pets can also have fleas. Wildlife like skunks and raccoons can bring fleas. 

You can also bring fleas home if you’ve been to their habitat, such as dense bushes and tall grasses in shaded areas.

The fleas living in these places will latch onto your clothes and luggage and hitch a ride to your home.

Fleas are dark brown but appear black to the naked eye. They’re tiny, growing only up to 1/8 inches (1-3 mm), looking like sesame or tiny poppy seeds.

Fleas in the bed will bite humans to fulfill their bloodthirsty needs.

The best way to eliminate fleas is to treat your pets and a home-wide extensive cleaning and treatment.

Ticks

Ticks

Ticks are parasitic insects that feed on their host’s blood. They’re harmful tiny insects on cats, dogs, and other furry animals, including wild animals.

Ticks are oval-shaped, and their color varies according to the species. Ticks are brown, black, and gray; some tick species, such as dog ticks, can also have white markings on their scutum.

Unfed black ticks are 1/8 inches (3.175 mm) in size. After bloodmeals, ticks become engorged, and they become grayish-blue.

Adult ticks with eight legs look like poppy seeds, and their nymphs are small insects with six legs appearing like sesame seeds.

Ticks can also bite humans to feed on human blood in the absence of a furry host. Their bites cause intense itching and can also cause diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever.

Adult Carpet Beetles

Black Carpet Beetle - Tiny Black Bugs In House Near Windows

Adult carpet beetles are oval-shaped beetles that grow between 1/8 and 3/16 inches in size. They can look like bed bugs, but they’re not flat bugs like the bed bugs.

Three types of carpet beetles enter homes – black carpet beetles, brown carpet beetles, and spotted or varied carpet beetles.

Their size and oval-shaped bodies make them look like poppy seeds. The black carpet beetle can look like black poppy seeds because of its shiny black body.

Interestingly, the adults are harmless bugs, and they don’t cause any damage in the house.

They enter homes to lay eggs on the food sources of the carpet beetle larvae. These sources are natural fibers such as wool, silk, leather, fur, feathers, stored food in the kitchen, and dead insects in the wall voids or places like the attic and basement.

The carpet beetle larvae, tiny black or dark brown worms with tapered bodies, hairy bristles, and yellow or tan patches, are damaging household pests.

The larvae feed on the natural fibers and stored foods, including pet food, causing them damage.

The larvae don’t bite humans. But their hairy bristles can cause allergic reactions, such as skin irritation, if they end up on your bed as worms and come into contact with your skin.

A home-wide extensive cleaning, washing the infested fabric in hot water, and preventing the adults from entering homes eliminate and prevent carpet beetle infestation.

Steam cleaning the soft furnishings such as carpets, rugs, mattresses, curtains, and drapes kills the carpet beetle larvae in these furnishings.

However, severe infestations will need the help of a professional.

American Spider Beetles

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

American spider beetles are pantry bugs that feed on stored food grains such as cereals, flour, and other dry foods. These are also ravenous eaters of animal skin, so if you’ve taxidermies in your home, they can feed on them, too.

American spider beetles grow between 1.5 and 3.5 mm. They’ve got a bulbous body shape with six legs. These beetles look like tiny spiders because of their body shape and long legs covered with yellowish hairy bristles.

American spider beetle is shiny, reddish brown to black. It, especially the black spider beetle, looks like poppy seeds in the kitchen.

These beetles extend beyond your kitchen or pantry. When their population explodes, they can appear in your bed and bathroom.

These beetles don’t purposefully bite humans. But they can bite if they get pressed against your skin.

Cleaning the kitchen and disposing of the infested food eliminate these beetles.

Drugstore Beetles

Drugstore beetle

Drugstore beetles are also pantry bugs that infest human foods like cereals, pasta, spices, dried fruits, pet food, seeds, and tobacco products.

They are infamous for infesting medicines in drug stores. And that’s why they got their name as drugstore beetles.

These pantry beetles are cylindrical in shape, brown in color, and their heads hook inwards, giving them the look of brown poppy seeds. Drugstore beetle sizes vary from 2.25 to 3.5 mm (1/10 to 1/7 inches).

You get these beetles by buying infested food packets from the grocery stores. These beetles feed on the stored food. They damage the food by laying eggs and leaving behind their fecal deposits.

Extensive kitchen cleaning and treating or disposing of the infested foods eliminate these beetles and their larvae.

Black Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats On Windowsill

Fungus gnats are tiny black flies that look like black sesame seeds. Many people confuse them with mosquitoes because of their black color. But fungus gnats don’t bite.

Fungus gnats are nuisance bugs in the house. They lay eggs on the damp soil beds of the houseplants and in the decaying organic matter outdoors.

The eggs hatch and produce fungus gnat larvae that feed on the molds and fungi on the soil beds and wastes. The larvae also feed on the plant’s roots and can harm the plants.

Fungus gnats grow between 1/16 and 1/8 inches (1.5 – 2.5 mm), and they’ve distinctive features like long legs, a pair of long antennae, and a pair of transparent wings with veins.

These flies are attracted to light. You may also see them on the windows, trying to enter the house.

The fungus gnats’ tiny size and infestation habits are like fruit flies, but these small flies are not fruit flies.

Black Oriental Cockroaches Babies

Bugs that look like baby roaches

Black oriental cockroach babies have shiny black bodies that grow up to 1/8 inch or 3.2 mm. The glossy dark brown body and oval shape of the baby oriental roach make it look kike a poppy seed.

These roach babies, or nymphs, are commonly found near the sink drains and in the bathroom and kitchen.

The sighting of roach nymphs is a clear sign of a roach nest in the house. In other words, it means there’s a cockroach infestation.

Cockroaches are challenging pests to eliminate. I’d recommend hiring a pest control company to eradicate the infestation.

Black Weevils or Granary Weevils

Granary Weevils

Granary weevils are tiny black weevils that feed on stored grains such as wheat, cereal, pasta, and rice.

Granary weevils are different from rice weevils. Unlike the rice weevils, they don’t have yellowish spots on their back.

Also, the granary weevil is darker than the rice weevil. Its color ranges from dark brown to black, resembling a sesame seed.

Weevils have long snouts in their mouth. They use it to pierce holes in the grains to suck out the nutrients and to lay eggs in the grains.

The weevil larvae feed on the grains, causing damage by chewing on them, leaving behind their fecal matter, and shed skin.

Confused Flour Beetles

Little Bugs In Flour - Confused Flour Beetle

Confused flour beetles are also pantry bugs that look like poppy seeds. They’ve dark reddish brown flat oval-shaped bodies that grow up to 1/8 inches.

These pantry beetles have a pair of wings, but they rarely. There are longitudinal ridges that run on their backs, and they look like their close cousins, the red flour beetles.

It’s tricky to differentiate between these two beetles. The primary differences are their body colors and their antennae.

The red flour beetles are cherry red. Their antennae are clubbed with three segments.

The confused flour beetles also have clubbed antennae, but the antennae have four segments.

Both flour beetles are common flour bugs. But they can also infest other stored foods, such as grains and cereals.

Cleaning the kitchen pantry, disposing of the infested items, and storing foods in airtight containers are keys to eliminating these beetles.

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles - little black round bugs

Flea beetles are garden bugs with shiny black oval-shaped bodies, making them look like black poppy seeds.

These beetles are 1/16 to 1/8 inches (1.6 mm to 3.2 mm) in size and feed on the leaves of plants in vegetable gardens.

They cause damage to plant leaves by creating holes and craters on the feeding sites.

Flea beetles are jumping bugs. They got their names because of their similar appearance to fleas and flea-like jumping ability.

Flea beetles don’t bite humans and pets. The flea beetles can sometimes enter homes from the plants near the windows.

Applying diatomaceous earth or spraying soapy water on them eliminates these beetles.

Black Peach Aphids

Black Peach Aphids

Black peach aphids are smooth, shiny black aphids that look like black poppy seeds.

These insects are plant pests that grow up to 0.1 inches or 2.5 mm in size with pear-shaped bodies. There can be black peach aphids with or without wings.

They feed on the sap from plant leaves, which leads to the leaf curling, yellowing, and premature drop of leaves.

These aphids target a variety of plants, including ornamental plants, during the spring and summer months. They become dormant in their overwintering sites near the plant’s roots when winter arrives.

These bugs are harmless to humans. And you don’t need to use any insecticides to get rid of them.

Pour soapy water into a spray bottle and spray it on these aphids to dislodge and eliminate them from the plants.

Black Bean Aphids

Black Bean Aphids resemble tiny black poppy seeds on plants

The black bean aphid is a close relative of the black peach aphid with the same eating habits.

It sucks out the plant’s sap from the undersides of the leaves or the new offshoots on the plants.

Black bean aphids are tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds on plant leaves because of their oval body shape. They grow up to 1/4 inch (7 mm) or less.

These aphids have whitish legs and antennae that distinguish them from other aphids.

Black bean aphids’ population explodes if you don’t eliminate them. Too many of these aphids on plants can cause them to lose vitality, wither, and die.

Neem oil spray or other herbal plant-safe insecticide spray works well on these aphids.

Black Citrus Aphids

Citrus Aphids

Another aphid species which are plant pests and look like poppy seeds are the black citrus aphids. As their name suggests, these aphids primarily target citrus plants such as grapefruit, lime, lemon, and orange trees.

These aphids are vectors for citrus sadness, a fatal disease for citrus plants.

Black citrus aphids feed on the plant’s sap and secrete honeydew, leading to sooty mold formation that attract ants to plants.

Like all aphids, the citrus aphids also cause stunted growth in plants by blocking their ability to do photosynthesis.

Curling of leaves and the plant losing it’s vitality are also the signs of citrus aphids infestation on plants.

Citrus aphids are black and can also be brown, appearing as brown seeds on the citrus plants. They’re 1-2 mm in size, oval-shaped, and some can also have white-banded antennae.

Moss Mites

Tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds - moss mites

Moss mites are small bugs that look like black seeds on the soil. They’ve different names, such as moss beetles, armored mites (because of their beetle-like hard shiny bodies), beetle mites, and moss beetles.

Moss mites are abundant in the mosses, a plant that grows close to the soil’s surface during summer.

These mites are not plant-damaging mites like the spider mites. They’re beneficial insects that help decompose organic matter.

These tiny bugs are shiny black, resembling little black sesame seeds, and their sizes range from 0.2 mm – 1 mm. But many moss mites are reddish-brown, yellow, and white.

Moss mites cause no harm to plants and humans. And you don’t need to eliminate them.

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. 

Drywood Termite Droppings Look Like Poppy Seeds

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.

Summary of Tiny Black Bugs That Resemble Poppy Seeds

A tiny black bug appears as a tiny black seed, such as a poppy seed or sesame seed, because of its body shape, size, and color.

However, tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds aren’t typically black in many cases. They can be dark brown or reddish brown that appear as black.

Not all bugs that look like poppy seeds are harmful or cause damage. Some harmless yet pesky insects, such as fungus gnats, can also look like poppy seeds.

Bug eggs and bug fecal deposits can look like poppy or sesame seeds.

The hardest part is to identify these bugs. But I’ve made it easy by laying out their anatomical descriptions in the post.

The places of their sightings also play a significant role in identifying these bugs. 

So, what other bugs that look like poppy seeds or sesame seeds and they’re not on the list? And where did you see them?

Let me know in the comments section below.

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