Small bugs can show up in the unlikeliest places. And that includes your home’s walls, floor, and ceiling.
Sightings of tiny bugs on walls and ceiling signify two things.
Either there’s a thriving bug infestation or the cracks on the walls and ceiling are nesting grounds for the bugs.
In this guide you’ll what are these little wall bugs and how to identify them.
Plus, you’ll also find out the hacks to get rid of these tiny insects.
Let’s get into it.
3 Reasons You Have Wall Bugs
- There are bugs living in the walls and ceiling
- There’s an existing bug infestation in your house
- There are food sources in the wall voids.
Let’s get into each of them briefly.
There Are Bugs Living In The Walls And Ceilings
Insects will nest in the wall voids and inside the cracks on the ceiling and floor.
An aging house or a home with dampness problems will develop cracks.
These cracks not only become the entry points for bugs, but also a sought-after hiding place.
Bugs will lay eggs in them. The larvae of these bugs will dwell in the fissures till they molt into adults.
At times, the larvae venture out of these cracks looking for food.
And you notice them crawling on the walls and ceiling.
There’s An Existing Bug Infestation
Certain bugs show up on the walls because they’re too many of them.
They’ll move out of their conventional hiding places and look for alternative places to hide.
That’s when you notice them on the walls.
Bed bugs are one of those bugs that will move out of the beds to hide in the wall cracks because there’s no place left in the bed for them.
There Are Food Sources In The Wall And Ceiling Voids
Some of the wall bugs will scavenge for food on the walls and ceiling.
There can be dead insects inside the wall cracks that attract the bugs to the walls.
Also, dampness in the house will cause molds and fungi on the walls.
The molds are the food source of many wall bugs.
So, what are the most common little bugs on walls and ceiling?
Let’s find them out.
Tiny Ceiling And Wall Bugs
- Wall mites
- Mold mites
- Plaster bagworms or Casebearers
- Baby cockroaches
- Carpet beetle larvae
- Bed bugs
- Dust mites
- Fruit flies
- Fungus gnats
- Drain flies
- Common house fly
- Pavement ants
- Tiny black spiders
Let’s get into how do they look like and how to get rid of them.
Wall mites are the tiny black bugs on walls and ceilings that look like black dots. These wall mites are psocids mites.
Wall mites are tiny moisture bugs that are common in homes during the summer.
Psocids mites live outdoors.
When the weather outdoors become hot and dry, wall mites sneak inside the house looking for damp and moist areas.
These bugs feed on the molds and fungi that develop on the walls, floor, ceiling, books, and even on the stored food.
And the molds develop because of water leakage in the house or high humidity.
So, these tiny bugs are common in places like basement, kitchen, and bathroom where there’s high water usage.
Psocids mites are also book bugs. They feed on the molds that develop on old books.
The glue on the books is also a food source of the bugs.
That’s why psocids mites (wall mites) are also known as booklice.
But unlike lice, booklice don’t bite. And they’re harmless to humans.
Booklice are oval-shaped, slender-bodied, and they grow anywhere between 0.5 mm and 1 mm in size.
Wall mites are gray, brown, or beige. Some of them can also be black.
Like many mold bugs, wall mites’ color also depends on the color of the mold they’re feeding.
Mold Mites On Walls
Like booklice, mold mites also feed on molds and fungi that form on damp surfaces.
Mold mites infest precisely those things that booklice do.
However, they’re tinier than booklice. They’re borderline microscopic bugs, so they can be hard to detect with the naked eye.
They infest the portion of the wall, furniture, paper products, stored food, and even shoes and fabric that has developed molds.
And unless you get rid of the molds, you can’t get rid of the mold mites. Over time, mold mites spread as the molds spread.
Under a microscope or strong magnifying glass, mold mites look like a white, soft-bodied translucent clear bugs with hairy bristles on their bodies.
Some of them are shiny white and these mites can glitter under direct light.
The hairy bristles are receptors that play a role in detecting their food source or other mold mites.
Mold mites spread fast if you don’t remove the molds and address the dampness issues in your home.
Mold mites are harmless to humans. But the hairy bristles on their bodies can cause allergic reactions in many people.
We’re talking about the most damaging bug that your walls and ceilings can ever have.
It’s the termites.
It’s not just the wooden walls and ceilings that termites damage. They’re a serious threat to brick-and-mortar walls too.
Termites in walls are common when subterranean termites invade your homes.
Subterranean termites invade homes from underground by building mud tubes or tunnels on the surface they’re infesting.
That’s why furniture and walls can have veins on their surfaces if there are termites.
The mud tubes one the walls is a telltale signs of termites in walls.
There’s another species of termite that infest wooden walls, ceilings, joists, and beams. It’s the drywood termites.
Drywood termites enter homes in swarms when they’re in the reproductive stage.
And they’re the biggest threat to the structural integrity of your home.
It’s because they can attack the joists and beams that hold your home and the home’s ceiling too.
One of the most bizarre sign of drywood termite in homes is termite droppings falling from the ceiling.
The subterranean termites will look brownish-white on the abdomen and have a big brownish head with visible mandibles.
However, the drywood termites, which are very hard to detect, will look like tiny white ants.
These drywood termites appear as tiny white bugs on your home’s drywalls or sheetrock, wooden baseboards, walls, doors, structural lumber, ceiling, and window sills.
Termites can even consume and damage books because, like wood, paper also contain cellulose which is an integral part of termites’ nutrition.
They pop out from the holes they create on them. And there’s also termite dust underneath the holes on the floor.
Termites are hardy pests. They are not easy to get rid of, as many people think.
DIY ways always fail to eliminate a massive termite infestation in your home.
So, if there’s a termite infestation in your home, then it’ll be best to hire a pest controller to do the job.
Plaster Bagworms Or Casebearers
Plaster bagworms and casebearers fall under dust worms on the walls and ceilings.
Plaster bagworms or casebearers are tiny greyish-white bugs that you might have noticed crawling on the walls and ceilings of your home.
They drag a cocoon-like case on their abdomen, which resembles a shell they can withdraw into.
The bagworms and casebearers are the larval stages of the Indian meal moths.
Indian meal moths are pantry pests that fly into your home to lay their eggs on the stored food in your kitchen pantry.
When the larvae hatch out of the eggs, they’ll spin a cocoon into which they’ll lock themselves before they mature out of it as an adult.
While foraging for food, the bagworm or the household casebearer will drag the cocoon.
The cocoon also acts like a shield protecting the moth larvae from potential predators like ants.
Many casebearers reinforce the cocoon with the help of tiny twigs, leaves, and even household wastes.
These dust worms scavenge for food on the walls and ceilings. The thing that they look for to eat is spider cobwebs.
They’ll also feed on the carcasses of dead insects and even on human hair and nails.
Bagworms are a threat to wool and silk fabrics. They’ll chew on the carpets and clothes made of these two animal products.
The keratin in the fabrics made from animal products forms an integral part of their nutrition.
Bagworms will cause damage to these expensive fabrics in the form of chewed-up holes, which can be hard to repair.
However, bagworms don’t damage polyester, nylon, and cotton fabrics.
Don’t get scared of them if you see the bagworms or the household casebearers. They’re harmless and don’t bite humans.
The wall voids, especially on the damp walls, are nesting sites for cockroaches.
Cockroaches will sneak inside the cracks and deposit their eggs.
The cockroach nymphs, which are oval-shaped, dark brown, and with visible antennae, venture out of the wall cracks looking for food.
You’ll notice these baby roaches crawling on walls of damp areas of your home like bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
Carpet Beetle Larvae
Despite being one of the bed worms, the carpet beetle larvae needed a special mention.
Your home’s walls can be the source of the carpet beetles’ larvae.
Adult carpet beetles invade homes to lay eggs inside your home.
They target things made of animal products because the larvae feed on wool, leather, and silk materials.
They can also target stored food in your kitchen pantry and pet food.
That’s why the carpet beetle larvae are also one of the nuisance pantry pests.
But there’s a catch.
Adult carpet beetles can lay eggs in your home’s walls, ceilings, and places like the attic, basement, and garage.
The cracks in the walls and ceilings can have carcasses of bugs.
The adult carpet beetles will lay eggs on the carcasses so that the larvae from the egg will have a reliable food source.
The carpet beetle larvae will eat the dead bugs inside the wall cavities. When they finish the dead bugs off, the larva will look for other food sources.
You see them crawling on the walls and even on ceilings.
The carpet beetle larvae are blackish or brownish-yellow, oval, and have hairy bristles on their bodies.
If you see a carpet beetle larva on your home’s walls and ceilings, it’s sure that the larva has emerged out of a crack on the wall.
And the wall had dead bugs too.
Maggots are tiny white, legless worms that are larvae of flies.
Over time, crevices that develop on damp walls become the perfect egg-laying grounds for these flies.
Damp walls and ceilings can draw flies like cluster flies and fruit flies, and drain flies. Why?
It’s because of the high moisture levels in the walls.
And high moisture levels can also lead to the development of mold, gunk, and fungi on the walls, which the larvae eat.
That’s why you see maggots on the ceiling and the walls because they ventured out of the cracks to feed on the molds that develop on damp walls.
That’s one of the reasons you see tiny whitish worms on your bathroom floor and on the shower grouts.
The larvae feed on the wastes that get stuck on the cracks that develop on the shower grouts.
Now you’re getting into the bloodsuckers and biters category.
And the most notorious of them is bed bugs.
Bed bugs can crawl on the walls too. But under one condition.
And the condition is that the bed bug infestation has become too severe.
They’re now moving out of your bed and looking for other hiding places.
That’s what happens when bed bug numbers increase.
Bed bugs on walls are a terrible sign and demand professional intervention at the earliest.
You’ll notice bed bugs even trying to sneak inside the gaps between the wall cavities and electrical outlets.
So, if you’re noticing bed bugs on the walls, do not think it over. Call a pest controller asap.
Fleas On Walls
The case for fleas on walls is the same as with bed bugs.
Their numbers have shot up, so you notice them hopping around on the wall.
They won’t reach till your ceiling. But seeing fleas on the walls is also a bad sign.
And sightings of fleas on the walls are mostly in your bedroom.
In your bedroom, fleas infest your bed and get their blood meals from you.
When their numbers are low, it’s hard to detect them because they’re also tiny.
Also, on a white bedsheet, fleas easily camouflage.
Some fleas can also drop off from your pets’ bodies and hop onto the walls.
We always recommend checking your pet first if you’ve got fleas in your home.
You can get rid of fleas on your own by treating your pet first for fleas.
And then with steam cleaning your bed, mattresses, carpets, and thoroughly cleaning your home.
The heat from the steam cleaner kills nastiest of bugs like bed bugs, fleas, their larvae, and even destroys their eggs.
One of the most nuisance bugs that you can have on your home’s walls and ceilings is dust mites.
Dust mites are one of the tiny white bugs that look like dust, and their presence in the home can be very annoying.
Dust mites appear in homes out of nowhere in the spring and summer.
They are microscopic. But when dust mites’ numbers increase, they become apparent in chunks of white clusters on walls, couches, tapestries and curtains, beds, and even on the furniture and floor.
Dust mites are harmful to your health.
They trigger allergic attacks even in healthy people. Not to mention, they cause allergies in sensitive people like children and the elderly.
For people with asthma, dust mites can be even more dangerous
The hairy bristles on their bodies trigger allergic attacks and cause serious discomfort to asthmatic patients, causing breathing problems.
Dust mites also bite humans. They feed on the dead and dry skin cells on the human skin.
The hairy bristles on their bodies and the mouth part they insert into the skin to liquefy and consume the dry skin cause red welts and itching.
Fruit flies are tiny brownish flies with red eyes that breed in the organic wastes of your home.
If your kitchen has too much of food wastes, or your outdoor has rotting organic wastes, then you’ll have a fruit fly problem in the house.
Damp walls, choked drains, and too much waste in your home and property are three of the most pressing reasons these flies are in your home.
Some flies will lay eggs on the walls, crevices that will lead to the appearance of maggots on the walls and ceilings.
To get rid of these, you can spray an insecticide spray for flies.
But maintaining cleanliness in your home and kitchen, keeping the drains unclogged, and reducing the dampness in your home by fixing water leakages are also vital.
Fungus gnats are small black flies in the house that look like fruit flies or mosquitoes.
They are black, grow up to 1/8th of an inch in size, and they’ve got translucent wings and long legs.
Fungus gnats on the walls and ceiling are a clear sign of severe damp waste problem in your home and yard.
As these flies feed on the molds, so, you might have a mold problem on your walls and ceiling if fungus gnats are there.
Also, there are damp soil beds of your indoor houseplants where fungus gnats are laying their eggs.
Outdoors, fungus gnats will lay their eggs on decaying organic wastes, wet soil beds, and inside the garbage cans.
These gnats will fly inside the house through the open doors and windows. They’ll also crawl through the thin gaps and cracks on the walls, windowsills, and doors.
Fungus gnats are also attracted to light.
So, you’ll notice fungus gnats as tiny black bugs near windows or on the window screens trying to make their way inside the house to reach the light source.
But the worst part is fungus gnats are also capable of breeding indoors.
They’ll lay their eggs in the choked drains of your kitchen, bathroom, and basement.
And they can also get inside appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, and coffee machines to lay eggs.
But fungus gnats can’t survive in the fridge because of the extreme cold. So, if they sneak inside the fridge, you’ll notice dead black bugs in the fridge.
Fungus gnats are harmless. But their numbers inside the house rise quickly.
These flies appear in areas of your home as utter nuisance. And they show up in places like bedroom and living room where there’s no food wastes.
Drain flies, also known as moth flies or sewer flies, are little brownish or gray flies that appear as tiny black dots on the ceiling and walls.
They’ve got V-shaped hairy wings that give them the appearance of tiny moths. They grow up to 1/8 inches in size.
These flies breed in decaying wastes, sink drains, and in the filth of sewer lines.
The presence of drain flies indicates that theirs is a clogged drain problem in the house. Or there is waste in your backyard or garden that is causing them.
Not to mention, stagnant waters with wastes in them is also a breeding ground for drain flies.
Drain flies in the house are a complete nuisance. Despite being harmless, drain flies can transmit bacteria and pathogens that they carry to your food.
Like the fungus gnats, drain flies can also cause infestation indoors by laying their eggs in the slime and sludge that block the sink drains.
When these eggs hatch, the drain fly larvae appear. The larvae look like tiny blackish legless worms.
The larvae feed on the thin film of waste that forms inside the drains. They can also venture out of the drains searching for food.
In many cases, if you notice tiny black worms on the shower grout or sink drains, then chances are they’re drain fly larvae.
If you don’t clean the drains, the drain fly larva will proceed further in the lifecycle stages and mature into an adult.
That’s the reason you see drain flies coming out of the sink drain holes. They appear as tiny black bugs on the sinks.
The Common House Fly
The common house fly is a tiny gray fly that invades home if there’s a waste problem.
These flies live and breed in the filthiest of places that you can ever imagine.
House flies lay their eggs, and feed on, not only on decaying organic wastes but also on the feces.
Like most flies in your home, the house flies are attracted to your food.
And they will transfer the pathogens and bacteria that they carry from the filthy breeding grounds to your food.
The bacteria that house flies carry can cause diseases like salmonella, cholera, and food poisoning.
The house flies appear as tiny black flies on in the walls and ceiling of basement, kitchen, and bathroom.
There are many species of ants that can make their homes in the concrete.
One of them is the pavement ants.
Pavement ants are tiny black or dark brown.
They’ll drill into the fissures of the concrete pavements, walls, and ceilings to build their colonies.
And when they do, you’ll notice tiny ants coming out holes and cracks on the walls.
Tiny Black Spiders
The tiny black spiders that you see crawling on the ceiling and walls are the spiderlings that have hatched out from the spider eggs.
Adult spiders will lay their eggs in the crevices of the walls and ceiling.
These little spiders can be the spiderlings of any spider species. If they’re black or brown, then they’re babies of the common house spider.
If they’re having long legs, then they’re babies of daddy long legs. Daddy long legs are also common house spider species.
The presence of black spiders on walls and ceiling is a clear sign that there’s a spider infestation in the house which is growing.
And it also indicates that there are adult spiders and spider egg sacs in the other areas of your home.
How To Get Rid Of Wall Bugs
Eliminating some of the wall bugs like psocids mites, flies, and maggots is quite straightforward.
But ants like termites, roaches, ants, bed bugs, and fleas might need a professional to remove them.
It’s because the source of these bugs is spread across your home, not just in your home’s walls.
However, if you follow the steps below, you’ll eliminate most bugs infesting the walls and ceiling.
Use An Insecticide Spray On The Walls
Spraying an insecticide directly on the bugs crawling on the walls is a good old fashioned way to eliminate bugs.
So, why shouldn’t you do it as well!
Use the spray on any bug crawling on the walls and ceiling.
If you see any cracks on the walls, use the spray on the cracks too.
Chances are there are bugs hiding in the cracks.
So, spraying on the cracks is your best bet to eliminate the bugs hiding in there.
Repair The Damage Walls And Ceilings
Damaged walls with cracks are the home for many little bugs on the walls and ceilings.
The first step to getting rid of these bugs is to ensure you deny them their coveted hiding places in your home’s walls and ceilings.
So, repair the damaged walls and ceilings.
Also, check out your home’s exterior walls.
If they’re damaged and soaking rainwater, the water will eventually cause dampness in the home’s interior walls.
If the walls and ceilings need a complete revamp, then it’ll be in your home’s best interest that you do it.
It’s because weak and severely damaged walls are not just home to bugs, but also rats and mice.
Pro Tip: After fixing the walls and ceilings, clean them with a mixture of soap and water.
Soapy water will clean the wall and kill bugs like booklice, fleas, and dust mites on the wall.
Also, seal the cracks and gaps on the windowsills and doors to prevent bugs from outdoors to sneak inside the house.
Repair Leaking Pipes
Most walls in homes get damaged because of excessive moisture.
And leaky pipes running close to walls and around the home’s foundation will cause the walls to get damp.
Pipes leaking in the plumbing area underneath sinks in the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, garage, and basement will also damage the walls.
So, fix any leaking pipes in these areas.
Change them if the pipes have become too old, corroded, and need replacement.
Also, ensure that the drainage system in your home is working well. There’s no clogging in the drains either.
Clogged drains become a breeding ground for flies like drain flies.
Do A Thorough Cleaning Of Your Home
Cleaning your home and it’s furnishings are vital to remove bugs.
Vacuum clean your home’s furnishings like beds, carpets, rugs, and couches.
These are hiding places for bugs like carpet beetles, fleas, and bed bugs.
Clean the your furniture with a mixture of white vinegar and water to remove the molds.
You can also use a mold remover if the molds are too thick.
Removing these molds are essential.
These molds are food sources for many moisture bugs in your house.
Don’t skip cleaning your kitchen, especially the kitchen storage section and pantry.
Keep your stored grains in quality airtight containers.
Pantry pests like carpet beetles, Indian meal moths, food beetles, and roaches can easily chew through weak containers to access the stored food.
Stored grains like rice, cereals, lentils, and flour are at the risk of pantry pest damage if you don’t store them securely.
Also, ensure that the kitchen trash bins don’t hold trash overnight.
The garbage in the kitchen, especially the food waste, draws flies.
These flies lay eggs in the trash bins, which leads to maggots.
Use Essential Oil Sprays And A Dehumidifier
Essential oil sprays, especially peppermint spray, are excellent bug repellents.
Bugs and flies hate the strong smell of peppermint.
Spraying it on all the areas of your home, including the walls, will do a great job of keeping these wall bugs away.
However, if you live in a hot and humid place, installing a dehumidifier in your home will be best.
A dehumidifier will reduce the moisture levels in your home’s air and make your home less appealing to bugs.
Clean The Drains
Many tiny black flies, such as fungus gnats and drain flies, that appear on the walls and ceiling can breed in the slime that blocks the sink drains.
So, it’s important that you clean the drains with a reliable drain cleaner.
Also, ensure that there’s no breakage on the sewer lines. If there’s any catch basin, there’s no waste problem in that either.
Remove Organic Wastes
Decaying organic wastes outdoors are the sources of many bugs that appear inside the house.
Remove leaf litter, decaying wood pieces, trash in the garbage cans and ensure that you follow proper garbage disposal protocols.
Don’t let wastes, both indoors and outdoors, accumulate inside the house.
Keep Sticky Traps
Yellow sticky traps are immensely helpful in trapping the flies and bugs that show up on the walls.
It works well to keep bugs like gnats, fruit flies, and moths away.
The bright color of the trap attract these bugs. And when they land on the traps, they get stuck.
However, the trick is to keep the traps in the right areas where you’ve noticed many bugs.
Keep the traps in those areas for 24 hours. And dispose of the traps with bugs stuck on them the next day.
Call A Pest Controller
For most of the bugs in the list, the above five steps will be good enough to get rid of them.
But you’ll need a pest controller if you see termites, bed bugs, and fleas on the walls and ceilings.
These bugs are impossible to eliminate by solely relying on DIY ways.
And delaying professional help can be expensive, especially when you’ve got a bed bug or termite infestation.
These bugs multiply at a skyrocketing speed.
And termites will indeed cause a lot of damage to your home’s walls, ceiling, and even to the structural lumber of your home.
There are many reasons for wall bugs and mites in your home.
Two of the most common ones are high dampness and an existing infestation that has gone out of control.
This guide revealed the 11 tiny wall bugs.
Some of the wall bugs are easy to eliminate.
But if you’re seeing bugs like bed bugs, fleas, carpet beetles, and termites on your walls, then you’ll need a professional pest controller to remove them.
So, what do you think? Do you notice any bugs on the walls and ceilings that are not on the list?
Mention them in the comments below.