What are these bugs?
May 10, 2013 12:37 AM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this guy. I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area. For the past several months, these guys have been around my house. I typically see about one per day, never swarming or anything like that, never more than one.

They can fly. I usually see them flying relatively slowly in front of me as I watch TV, or as I'm sitting on my computer.

There is no standing water. There is no standing trash ('cause that's how you get ants!) We are on the second floor of a condo building with pretty well sealed doors and windows.

They are not mosquitos. They don't appear to bite. They appear rather nondescript to me, but I literally have no clue where they're coming from at this point. I've killed them and gotten a closer look, to no avail, but this is the first time one jumped on my monitor as I was reading something with a white background.

(Bonus points if you can figure out what I'm "applying" for...)
posted by disillusioned to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
Foreign Grain Beetle? It definitely looks like a beetle. What color is it?
posted by JujuB at 1:06 AM on May 10, 2013

Best answer: It looks like a cigar beetle to me, but that's probably because we had a mystifying infestation that we eventually traced back to some bulk spices and now all random mystery beetles of that size and shape = cigar beetle to me.

We discovered our source by digging through our pantries with a bright flashlight and no mercy, until we found the affected bottle of paprika and all of the other things they'd integrated themselves into. We also checked our books, as that's another spot they like to live.

If it's not a cigar beetle, it could be a carpet beetle. They do similar things to cigar and grain beetles, but have a fondness for carpet (generally just those with natural fibers, though).

It looks like you're applying for Survivor...?

Good luck on all counts!
posted by batmonkey at 1:16 AM on May 10, 2013

Response by poster: Huh, he's definitely the color of a cigar beetle. Interesting. Could definitely be in our spice rack or something. Thanks!

(Not Survivor. That would be a comic misstep in judgment on my part.)
posted by disillusioned at 1:41 AM on May 10, 2013

Response by poster: Just found a few more in the container the wife keeps... what appears to be breadcrumbs, for some reason? So I'm guessing yeah, definitely cigarette beetle.

Now to try to decontaminate. (And it's Jeopardy!)
posted by disillusioned at 3:16 AM on May 10, 2013

If you ever have this problem again, go to What's That Bug. FYI they have a strict no-kill policy.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

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