What is this bug?

Asked April 17, 2020, 8:24 PM EDT

So I live in New Mexico but the page said that that group wasn't accepting questions. I was helping my grandmother-in-law clean and we discovered these small brownish beetle looking bugs in the kitchen. She has a mobile home and it has a "bar" in the kitchen that also servers as cabinet space and that's where they are primarily located. It seems like they are between the wood panels, at first I thought they were a type of grain weevil but they just don't look the same. They look like a beetle but I haven't seen anything like this before. They are pretty small and vary in size, the one in the picture is one of the bigger ones. I cleaned the cabinets and sprayed Raid Bug Barrier, its seems to be working but I would still really like to know what I'm dealing with.

Taos County New Mexico

1 Response

Hi---I am teleworking on a different email system and have been unable to receive askanexpert mail since mid March.

Your small beetle looks like a 'dermestid beetle'----a stored product pest. They're all about the same size, shape and color as the one in the photo. Adults are looking for more food---and mates---outside of where they were (and what they were in); insecticides can reduce their numbers but not eliminate the damage they do to your food supply as well as to other kitchen items. I'm showing a Trogoderma species here----very common kitchen and pantry pest throughout much of the U.S.

Your best bet in controlling these pests unfortunately involves more 'housework' on your part. Start with the 'dry groceries' on your shelves and in storage----cereal, oatmeal, cookies, dry mixes for various things, etc. Look for larvae and their shed skins in packages, on the shelves, etc. Bag those infested items and throw them away---you can have stomach upsets with infested food---not good. Wipe all of your shelves with a good 'dust rag' and follow up with whatever cleaning sprays you have for the kitchen. Pay attention to cracks and crannies; that's where these pests transition from larvae to adult beetles.

Look at the pictures of the larvae and their case skins. As you clean shelves, you might find the skins, too. Keep cleaning---and look for skins in the silverware drawer, dish cabinet and wherever your store your dish towels and rags. The skins indicate where the pests have been---and chances are, they have been all over.

You're not the only one to see these beetles. They are super common and almost everyone will have them sooner or later. Just don't neglect them. They can be annoying biters, too.
, Ia