How to identify house bugs

Updated February 21, 2017

Most people know what a fly, centipede, flea or ant look like. These are all common bugs that can make it into your house and annoy you, with some capable of causing damage. The majority of homeowners, however, have no idea what several other types of bugs that wantonly invade their home look like. These bugs are after different things inside your abode and by having the ability to identify them, you can head them off before they achieve their goals.

Tell the cigarette beetle apart from other bugs by its humpbacked appearance. This small oval beetle is a shade of red and only about a tenth of an inch long. Notice that its head is at such an angle to its body that if you look at one from a side position it will look as if it has a humped back. This bug attacks tobacco, eating it where you store it. It can also eat such things as spices and drugs.

Differentiate the drugstore beetle by its quick movements. The same size as the cigarette beetle, this bug is light brown and has a slight hump on the back as well. Notice, though, that when you do see these beetles on a countertop or in a cupboard, they will scatter with amazing speed. Drugstore beetles can eat anything they find and are partial to grains such as rice and oats.

Discern the larder beetle by its markings. An annoying bug that can get into your pantry, the larder beetle is about a third of an inch long, dark brown but with a yellow slot on its upper wings that contains six darker spots. Notice upon close examination of a larder beetle that it has yellow hairs on the underside of its body and on its legs.

Recognise a black carpet beetle by its shape and colour. The beetle is oval and it is black or a dark red-brown colour. Only about a quarter inch long, this bug will eat silk, wool, leather and many other things, making it an undesirable companion in your house.

Identify the carpenter bee by its colours and by where you find it. The insect takes its name from its ability to chew up wood and tunnel into places such as the shingles, eaves and windowsills of your house, where it will nest. It resembles a bumblebee but instead of a hairy abdomen it has a black one that shines as if it is metallic. It can reach an inch long and although the males lack stingers, they will try to buzz around you if you get too close to their nest. The girls have stingers but need lots of provocation to use them.

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About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.