Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Unknown Insect

A gentleman brought this insect into my office to be identified. He lives in St. Joseph, MO, I told him I had no idea what it is, but I would photograph it and do my best to figure it out. I have exhausted all my field guides and cannot figure this one out. So I am calling out to all my buggy friends....does anyone know WHAT this is.

The man said it was crawling on his wall in the bedroom. He has seen several more and his concern was bedbugs. I felt pretty certain it wasn't a bedbug, but exactly what it is unknown to me. It is VERY tiny....approximately 1/16th of an inch head to tip of abdomen.

I'm sure this man would appreciate any information he can get on this creature. Thanks in advance.

Belly view


  1. This is the larva of a carpet beetle. Indoors, they will eat wool fabric, and maybe other fibers, I'm not sure. You can find out more on BugGuide.net.

  2. Thanks Cindy for such a quick answer. I was really puzzled over this one. I had a feeling it was a beetle larvae, but really had no idea what kind. I will call the man. How is the best way to deal with these little pests?

  3. I've had them chew holes in my husband's old Pendelton shirts, but other than that, we haven't had much damage, so I never checked out what to do about them! Here's some advice that I just googled from the University of Iowa:

    Carpet Beetles

  4. Yep, Cindy is correct, it's a dermestid larva. The cast exoskeletons are commonly found in poorly maintained insect collections, as they also like to feed on dead insects. Whatever it's infesting (like wool blankets and sweaters), wrap it up and stick in a deep freezer for a week. It'd probably help to vacuum the bedroom, bed, cushions, and window sills thoroughly to get rid of any organic matter. If he wants to go the chemical route, there are 2 kinds of moth balls, naphthalene and PDB. Naphthalene is useless for killing and merely serves as a preventative. PDB is a carcinogen, but it works when in an enclosed space, like a chest or drawers. I'm surprised more entomologists don't bite the dust sooner from lifelong exposure to PDB.

  5. That was quick, hate to have this around.What a great network you have!