Small Black Bugs In Your House: What Could They Be?

You’ve seen small black bugs in your house, scurrying around. What could they be? Of course, many insects are of no concern to people, but some are dangerous.

In this article, I’ll go over several of the most common black bugs that might be found in a house. Here are the most common ones that set up camp in homes:

  • Black ants live in large colonies and groups, making them social insects that love invading homes.
  • Anobiidae is a family of small beetles that are spider beetles or wood-boring beetles. Their appearance is similar to that of a small spider, also commonly found in the home. 
  • Termite bodies are black, and their wings are clear and veined. These bugs will destroy your home.

We’ll examine the various types of black insects that inhabit our homes. Learn how to differentiate between them, what damage they can cause, and how you can prevent them. Do you know how to identify which bugs are harmless and that will cause damage to your home and your health?

Small Black Bugs In House

Let’s take a look at the most common types of small black bugs that might be found in a home.

1. Black House Ants

Ants can be annoying when they invade your home or picnic. However, these critters play an important role in keeping our planet healthy. They live in huge colonies or groups and are social insects. Depending on the species, millions of ants can exist in an ant colony. Ants are commonly found inside homes, with mosquitos and flies.

Argentine Ants

Originally from Argentina and Brazil, imports of this species to the United States probably began in the 1890s via freight ships. In addition to southern states, these ants are found in Oregon, Washington, Illinois, California, Missouri, and Maryland.  

  • The shape is segmented and oval
  • The color ranges from dark brown to black and has a shiny finish
  • Legs: 6
  • Varies depending on the species
  • Yes, there are antennae

Odorous House Ants

Ants of this genus get their name from their strong smell, like rotten coconuts, and their habit of nesting inside or near houses. Originally from the United States, they are highly social ants, forming colonies of 100,000 individuals.

  • The size ranges from 1/16″ to 1/8″
  • An oval-shaped segment
  • Brown or black
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Varies
  • Antennae: Yes

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can seriously damage your home’s structure. Compared to termites, which feed solely on the wood they are chewing, carpenter ants prefer to build nests instead of eating wood. Nests are built by tunneling through beams and pillars systematically. 

This type of ant comes in various species, but you don’t want to see any of them. Ensure the problem is dealt with immediately, or your home could be severely damaged.

These ants do not pose a structural threat to buildings. Regardless, they are still annoying pests that can swarm your home in astonishing numbers. They work in long trails and can infect food stocks. It’s no secret that they also emit a strong rotten smell when they’re crushed and killed. Professional treatment is still necessary for these common and serious infestations.

Why Are They in the House?

Ants enter a home to find food and explore. If your house suddenly gets infested with ants, chances are there is a food source that has attracted them. It doesn’t matter what an ant eats; it’s an opportunistic feeder. However, sweets are usually more appealing to them. Especially sugar and honey. Always keep these two in the fridge or sealed containers.

How Do You Prevent Ants in the Home?

What is the one thing they cannot live without? It’s all about food, of course!  Despite eating, you should avoid leaving traces of your food around the house because ants love this!

Your best defense against ants is to keep your home clean. 

  • Clean up dirty dishes: It takes energy and time to clean up all the dirty dishes after a big tasty meal. It’s, unfortunately, the only thing we can do to combat an ant infestation.  If you don’t clean up your leftovers and dirty dishes promptly, they can attract ants from all over.
  • Vacuum and sweep regularly: Maintaining a swept floor helps prevent food crumbs from going unseen.  The most important thing you can do to prevent those scout ants from finding food is to keep your floors clean in areas where food is consumed.
  • Clean common surfaces: As well as food, they are drawn to sweet/sticky substances that are left on surfaces, say when you make a snack or drink. 
  • Keep foods like cookies and cooking items in sealable containers.

2. Spider Beetles

What Are They?

These insects resemble tiny spiders. They only have six legs, but they have two protrusions near their heads that look like legs, giving the impression that they are spiders rather than beetles. A spider beetle’s body is round and has a smooth carapace, the outer covering, giving it the appearance of a spider. 

Spider beetles are commonly found in North America as Mezium americanum or American Spider Beetle.

Also, there are Smooth spider beetles and Whitemarked spider beetles.

Do They Cause Damage to the Home?

Their presence doesn’t cause damage to your belongings, but they are known for infesting food products. This can be harmful to those products and make them non-ingestible.

Do They Pose a Risk to Humans?

Even though spider beetles bite, they are not harmful or dangerous. Spider beetle bites spread no diseases, nor are they harmful to people or pets.

Why Are Spider Beetles in the House?

There is usually just one reason spider beetles end up inside a home or property, the same as most other insects. Spider beetles can hitch a ride inside on your body or belongings. These beetles come inside to gain access to food sources. Normally, spider beetles don’t come in via screens and foundations, as their habitats and food preferences are very specific.

How to Prevent Spider Beetles

1. Remove Food Sources

It is difficult to prevent pests, yet it’s not impossible when employing the right approach. Getting rid of their food sources is the first step.

The result will be starvation, resulting in them leaving or dying. You can use plastic containers to store your food. Another great option is to keep them in the refrigerator.

2. Vacuum

Vacuuming is also an excellent option. This device will help you remove every little food particle and crumb you’d otherwise overlook. You can capture every last beetle, along with eggs and nests.

3. Dehumidify

Most insects are attracted to humid spaces, and so are spider beetles. There is usually a bit more humidity in the kitchen than in other areas of the house. It’s because of the sink and the fact there is less ventilation.

By building up humidity, beetles can thrive. Your first step should be to dehumidify the room. You can use dehumidifiers or fans to remove the moisture.

3. Pill Bugs

What Are They?

The Armadillidiidae, terrestrial crustaceans of the order Isopoda, are among the woodlice family. As opposed to some families of woodlice, this family’s members can roll into balls, a trait they share with closely similar but unrelated pill millipede species.

Do They Cause Damage to the Home?

There is no danger associated with pill bugs. They cause no health problems, and they do not contaminate food sources. There are, however, large numbers of pill bugs that can infest homes. Making them an enormous nuisance you must eradicate from your home to prevent their infestation.

Do They Pose a Risk to Humans?

Pill bugs transmit no bites, stings, or diseases.

Why Are They in the House?

Mmany people refer to the pillbug as an occasional invader because it enters buildings when the weather changes and becomes drier, wetter, or colder.

Pillbugs tend to move inside looking for moisture but die quickly due to drier air. If pill bugs survive for long periods indoors, you need to address a moisture issue in your house.

How to Prevent Them

  • There should be no more than 2 inches of mulch in flower beds. Keeping mulch away from the foundation of the house is a good idea for homeowners. To discourage pill bugs and other pests, create a “dry zone” around the foundation of 6 to 12 inches.
  • Firewood: Store it off the ground. A safe distance from the house is ideal.
  • Set your flowerpots on a rack or stand, not on the ground.
  • Gutters or downspouts should not block the foundation.
  • A damp shady area near the home may be caused by tree limbs that need to be trimmed.
  • Ensure that all crawl space vents are free of clutter so that air can circulate. As a result, dampness can be reduced. Basements with high humidity may need a dehumidifier.

3. Termites

What Are They?

Swarmers of termites can be black. It is common to see swarmers of subterranean termites, which are black with veined wings. Your pest management professional can identify termites for you; it’s not an easy task. If you suspect you have termites, seek professional help as they damage your home.

Do They Cause Damage to the Home?

Oh, yes.

Structural damage caused by termites can be extensive in your home, to the point where your home becomes structurally unsound. During their feeding period, the pests feed upon internal structures, such as beams and posts — even pressure-treated wood. Termites can be undetectable for extended periods. In such cases, a home often becomes unsafe and uninhabitable until repaired.

Do They Pose a Risk to Humans?

As far as we know, termites do not carry diseases that are dangerous to humans. Termites can cause allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people who live in homes infested with this pest.

Termite nests can spread dust and irritating particles, especially on heating and ventilation systems.

But they pose a risk by destroying your dwelling and eating all of your money.

Why Are They in the House?

Poor airflow, leaking pipes, and insufficient drainage contribute to termite infestations. Humid environments are especially conducive to damp wood and subterranean termites. A damp wood termite prefers water-damaged wood, but a subterranean termite cannot survive without enough moisture.

Termite Prevention

  1. Keep your gutters clean regularly
  2. Do not store firewood, mulch, or debris near your home
  3. You need to prune trees and bushes against the house. Make sure you clear the yard of dead trees
  4. You need to repair water lines and leaky taps immediately to prevent moisture buildup
  5. Make sure wood, cardboard, and paper are not left on the ground
  6. Plant your garden away from the house, and don’t place your garden beds against it
  7. Keep your yard free of timber

4. Bat Bugs

What Are They?

These bugs have oval-shaped brown bodies about three-eighths of an inch long.

Bat bugs and bed bugs share a close resemblance and are often confused as a result.

Do They Cause Damage to the Home?

These bugs don’t damage plants and landscaping because their food source is blood. They don’t chew wood or furniture, for that matter.

When it comes to damage to the home, they are very much like bed bugs. They want a host to feed on and shelter; they are not interested in wrecking the structure of your home.

Do They Pose a Risk to Humans? 

Bat bugs feed primarily on the blood of bats. But in the absence of bats, they will also feed on human blood. Even though this feeding is a nuisance, it does not cause harm. There is no evidence that bat bugs transmit any type of disease.

Bites from bat bugs are almost painless, but they cause inflammation on the skin. When bitten, a burning, itching sensation occurs.

Why Are They in the House?

Bat bugs are usually responsible for bringing them into homes, as they look for places to hang and rest, such as cavities, attics, and cellars with dark spaces.

How to Prevent Them

  • Ensure there are no places in your home where bats can enter
  • Weatherproof and seal off entry points around your home
  • Fix any screens showing the damage
  • Caulk cracks and add screens to attic vents and roofing
  • Keep outside sheds and garages closed without any spots where they can enter

If you are around bat-bug-infested areas, ensure you check your clothing and anything sitting outside before you bring it inside. Bringing bat bugs into your home is possible due to their ability to cling to items.

5. Weevils

What Are They?

Beetles belonging to the Curculionidae family are weevils, distinguished by their long snouts. Most are small, under 6 millimeters. These bugs are herbivorous.

A total of 97,000 species of weevils have been identified so far. Weevils are small blackish bugs that often have a little web-like stickiness around them that they use for their eggs. 

Weevils are often found in rice, grains, and cereals. Most grains and packets of rice can already contain weevil eggs.

Often we just eat the egg unaware before they hatch. If you have rice or grains in the back of your pantry that are over 1 year out of date, they could be housing weevils.

Do Weevils Pose Any Risk to Your Home?

Most of their damage occurs in agriculture and is therefore considered dangerous. It’s their destructive nature that makes farmers hate them. Among the crops damaged by weevils are grain, corn, and cotton.

Weevils can also kill plants.

Are They Dangerous to Humans?

Weevils cannot harm humans. It does not cause any harm if you accidentally eat them with your food. Maybe they just add an unpalatable crunch when eaten. In addition, some weevils wouldn’t make foods look at all appealing.

Why Are Weevils in the Home?

Weevils enter homes from the outside, usually as adults deposit eggs in food sources. Most of the time, however, they come from produce from a processing facility, factory, warehouse, or even directly from the store where you purchased the food.

How to Prevent Weevils

  • You can reduce the number of weevils entering a building by caulking cracks and ensuring screens and doors fit snugly
  • Moist conditions attract weevils, particularly strawberry root weevils. Put shallow water pans along the foundation and walls of your house to trap them
  • The pans are not effective at reducing the number of weevils entering homes as much as they should

6. Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetle

What Are They?

It’s important to control carpet beetles if they are discovered in the home. A carpet beetle’s larvae eat wool, leather, silk, and animal products like pet hair. Pollen, plants, and flowers are the main food sources of adult carpet beetles.

The carpet beetle reaches a maximum length of 4mm as an adult. The bodies of these insects have oval shapes, and the shells are striped with black, orange, yellow, and white.

They are often mistaken for bed bugs, and are much less of a bother than a bed bug infestation would be.

Do They Cause Damage to the Home?

With carpets and rugs, these bugs are devastating as they feed on hair, wool, silk, and other animal fibers. Pollen is the main food source for adults, they do not cause any damage to households, but larvae will breed wherever adults exist! In addition, because of their love of animal hair, carpet beetles are likely to be attracted to your pets. 

Do They Pose a Risk to Humans?

There has been a lot of speculation about carpet beetles biting and causing allergic reactions. People and pets are not at risk of being bitten by an adult beetle. 

Despite this, research has demonstrated that long-term contact with these insects’ larvae can result in hypersensitivity reactions, including itchy or burning eyes, blocked or runny nose, hives, and skin irritation similar to that caused by bedbug bites. This is a rare side effect.

Why Are They in the House?

An open door or window will allow carpet beetles to enter the house, or they can enter the house on items that are already infested – for example, furniture, plants, or fur. Carpet beetles are also commonly found in taxidermied animals.

Fabric and animal products are the favorite foods of the adults, attracting them through open windows where they lay larvae on rugs, furniture, clothes, and carpets. Leaving the area unclean and unsanitized allows bugs to thrive in the home.

How to Prevent Them

  • Before bringing fresh flowers indoors, check them for beetles
  • Ensure that carpets and rugs are regularly vacuumed, especially in dark spots – a quick vacuum around the house may not be effective at picking up pet hair in these places. The carpet should be vacuumed thoroughly, as well as skirting boards, robes, and cabinets
  • Make sure your carpets are cleaned professionally
  • When you suspect your home has carpet beetles, act promptly. It’s important to address the situation as soon as possible to prevent further damage
  • For whatever reason, if your carpet is damp, dry it as soon as possible because it’s where adult beetles lay their eggs

See this article on how to get rid of carpet beetles.


There are so many small black bugs in and around the home, this is obviously just a partial list. Most are harmless, but some can be disastrous to your home when left unaddressed. Some bugs can eat your clothing and bury deep in the carpet fibers. Others can suck your blood.

Identifying and knowing what bugs you are dealing with in your home is important.

I hope you’ve found the bug you came across on this list. If not let me know what you’ve got, and I will add it to the list!