Trying to identify black ant-like bugs found occasionally in my apartment

Asked December 27, 2013, 10:57 AM EST

As the subject says, I am trying to identify these bugs that showed up maybe 4-6 months ago. I find 2-3 each week, usually crawling up the walls or trapped in the bathtub. I mostly find them in my bathroom or near the cupboards where I store my food.

They are black, between 1/16"-1/8" long with legs that stick out perpendicularly to the body. They have a sort of snout that they occasionally stick up into the air. They're not very fast, seeming to creep along pretty slowly and don't seem to notice me when I creep up on them.

I live on the 20th floor of a 45-story condo tower in downtown Miami, Florida, just adjacent to the Miami River.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Dan

Edit: I've added a new photo of one I caught this morning with a US penny added for scale.

Miami-Dade County Florida

3 Responses

Dan,
Thanks for contacting eXtension with this concern. The insect is a type of beetle, called a weevil. The snout in the front of the head has tiny chewing mouthparts, by which they chew into their food. They are very common and do not harm people or pets.

There are a couple of possibilities of their origin: a stored product pest or a landscape pest. The rice weevil or granary weevil are nearly identical in appearance, one having two faint yellow blotches on its wing covers, the other lacking these markings. The University of Florida has a publication on the rice weevil: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig120
We have a short note on these two pests at Iowa State: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/ricewee.html . The key issue for controlling this type of pest is to go through your food cabinets and check items for the weevils. They will also feed on decorative art made from whole grain kernels...

The strawberry root weevil and black vine weevil are landscape pests that seem to show up inside in the oddest places. Living in Florida, there are undoubtedly more weevil species on landscape materials, but from my perspective in Iowa, here are a couple of short notes on these pests:
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/strawber.html
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/node/142

Control for either of the landscape weevils is to vacuum or sweep up and discard outside.

Hope this information is helpful.
Mark




Thanks very much for your response -- I appreciate it!

Dan,
I hope you can solve this 'mystery' soon!
Mark