What kind of bug is this Atlanta, Georgia specimen?
July 4, 2011 6:11 AM   Subscribe

What is this bug, and how do I get rid of them? I have been frequently discovering them, mostly in the sinks (bathroom and kitchen) in an apartment building in Atlanta, Georgia. They are about 1/2" long.

My neighbor (when I asked him) called them "ants", but they look neither like the ants or cockroach pictures I've found online. The closest I could come was a "Flour Beetle", but it doesn't even look entirely like them.

If you know what they are, what is the most effective way of ridding myself of them?

posted by arnicae to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
It's definitely a type of beetle. Boric acid (fine powder) should work on most bugs like this. Grab the stuff made for roach control and apply under the fridge and along paths you normally see these critters go. Another option would be something like a perimeter spray for indoors that has the same effect (dehydrates em)
posted by samsara at 6:42 AM on July 4, 2011

Some kind of ground beetle, maybe?
posted by janepanic at 7:13 AM on July 4, 2011

You might be interested in BugGuide for this and future insect ID's. I agree with janepanic - looks like a ground beetle. It's a longer shot but you also might find What's that Bug helpful. Here's a link to the posts that specifically identify beetles. Good luck!
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 7:25 AM on July 4, 2011

I had very similar bugs in my apartment in Atlanta many years ago. Our landlady called them flour beetles. We got rid of them by watching where they were coming from and putting down boric acid along the paths so they had to walk through the powder on their way in the kitchen, and by packing up all our dry foodstuffs in the pantry in plastic bins for a while. Make sure to check your flour, rice, and pasta for any larvae.
posted by gemmy at 10:15 AM on July 4, 2011

It's a bit hard to tell from the photograph but I would guess either sawtooth grain beetle or red flour beetle depending on the bug's texture.

Not much point getting THAT detailed an ID, though. It's almost certainly one of what are collectively known as pantry pests. My condolences. You'll want to go through all of your kitchen cupboards, and inspect your food carefully.

You will probably find one or more forgotten containers of food that they have infested. It could be anything - popcorn, chocolate, pasta - so give everything a thorough exam before clearing it for your use.

Open all jars and look under the lids. Be very suspicious of any cardboard boxes where the food is loose inside, as with boxes of pasta. Bugs can nibble open plastic bags, though, so check everything even if it appears to still be sealed.

As you go through your kitchen, wipe out every cupboard and drawer and sanitize it to kill any eggs. I like to use 1/4c Pine-Sol in a bucket of warm water. A 50/50 mix of white vinegar and tap water will work well, too.

Then put all your loose food into sturdy plastic tubs or (ideally) glass jars. Watch everything carefully. Avoid buying bulk foods for a while.
posted by ErikaB at 8:12 PM on July 4, 2011

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