Small black bugs on my bedroom floor.

Asked September 22, 2019, 5:17 PM EDT

Can someone tell me what these bugs are and how to get rid of them? Are they harmful?

Bergen County New Jersey

1 Response

Those are grain beetles in the genus Oryzaephilus.

Two of species of Oryzaephilus are common in the US - the sawtooth grain beetle (O. surinamensis) and the merchant grain beetle (O. mercator). Grain beetles are stored product pests that are generally found in pantries. The best solution is to locate and dispose of infested products. Many beetles are able to chew through plastic and paper, so you should also freeze seemingly uninfested products for 7-10 days. Additionally, make sure to clean up any spilled flour or other food products in the pantry, as these spills can support beetles and allow a reinfestation.

If you're seeing beetles in other areas, you might consider checking similar products as well. For example, I've seen beetles infest bird seed and heard of them getting into homemade Christmas ornaments made from real food (e.g., noodles, etc). The biggest difference between the species is that merchant grain beetles can fly, so may be found in areas of the house far from the infestation, while sawtooth grain beetles can't fly and are typically restricted to the infested product.

For more information, please see this fact sheet.