Poppy-seed-like insects

Asked April 16, 2019, 12:23 AM EDT

Please advise me on how to get rid of poppy-seed-like insects coming in from outdoors. They began appearing about 5 days ago on the floor inside sliding glass doors that lead to rear yard of my house in Odenton. I used wet tissue paper to blot them up and flush them down the toilet. They kept coming and began coming into my laundry room just inside the fire door to my garage. Same treatment, daily, has not made them stop coming. I sprayed the areas inside and outside these doors with ant/roach/spider insecticide but they keep coming back again. This evening, I found several on my kitchen floor (adjacent to laundry room). Help, please? If there is a safe insecticide to handle them, please advise. I'm retired and would like to not have to hire an exterminator. Thank you in advance.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

7 Responses

It would be most helpful if you would be able to send digital photos of what you are finding. You can attach them in response to this answer.
A possibility is clover mites. They leave an orange stain if you smash them.
Please see the following information from our website,
Another possibility is springtails. They are also very tiny,


Hi again, Ms. Deb.
Thank you for your message. I'm attaching a picture of the insect that continues to multiply in my house, despite my twice-daily clean-ups at my patio door and laundry room/garage door.
I've smashed a couple and gotten a blackish smear, not orange, if that helps.
Thank you again.
Sheila LoCastro
PS--I'm "capturing" these persistent tiny devils by picking them up with a wad of wet tissue. I think this photo looks like the Pillsbury doughboy caught them. :)

Your photo is a bit out off focus. Can we try again?
Additionally, how are they moving? Crawling, jumping? Slowly?
Can you make out how many legs they have?

Has anyone or your pets been out of doors lately?
Frankly our entomologist is thinking that they may be newly hatched Lone Star ticks, which can come in attached to peoples clothes or pets and then drop or crawl off. Vacuuming floors, rugs and edges, and washing clothes is the recommended action. No pesticides or exterminators needed.
Here is our page on them: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/ticks-maryland

Another lesser possibility, though larger in size, is carpet beetles, which you can look at here for comparison: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/carpet-beetles


I don't have pets and have been outside a limited amount. They are now showing up on windown sill in an upstairs bedroom, and in the pantry closet near the entry to the garage.
They become browner and oblong shaped as they grow (becoming about 1/4" long) and they do fly at that point. One landed on a paper I was writing on this evening on my kitchen island. Lovely!

Without a clear photo, we cannot give you an exact id. If you can send one, that should solve the mystery.

Otherwise, use a magnifying glass to look closely at its shape, legs, and color. It should match up with the carpet beetle (look at all the photos) or the ticks in the links we gave you.

If you can add any information with clues to the identification, that would be great to hear, but in the case of ticks, you need to take care of this immediately. Carpet beetles is a more likely id. We do not recommend spraying chemicals in the house.


Thank you so much! I stopped spraying in my house and contacted two exterminators because the bugs began showing up on the window sills in my bedroom upstairs two days ago, in addition to continuing to emerge in 3 of the rooms on the first floor of my home. The first exterminator could not identify them but the second company confirmed (without my stating what you had indicated) that they are carpet beetles and I've hired that company to proceed with treatment accordingly. Thank you again!