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14 Tiny Black Bugs that Look Like Poppy Seeds

14 Tiny Black Bugs that Look Like Poppy Seeds

Have you ever noticed strange small bugs in your home or outside in the yard or garden that look like poppy seeds and wondered what they are?

If you have, there are several possibilities as to what they could be – so to help, in this post, we talk about tiny black bugs that look like poppy seeds and what you can do about them.

Tiny Black Bugs that Look Like Poppy Seeds

1. Moss mites

Moss mites

Moss mites, also known as oribatid mites, armored mites, moss beetles and beetle mites, are among the bugs that most closely resemble poppy seeds.

They are tiny black insects with a round shape and a length of about 1-2mm (0.04-0.08 inches). They are usually found outside in shaded areas of gardens and yards, and you are most likely to see them under plant leaves as well as in the soil or on compost piles.

  • Are they dangerous?

Moss mites are not harmful in any way.

They only eat dead organic matter, so they won’t damage your ornamental plants or vegetables. In fact, they are beneficial since they help break down and decompose dead organic matter, enriching your soil with nutrients.

Sometimes, they may attach themselves to pets – especially dogs – and they may be mistaken for fleas. However, they remain on the outside of an animal’s fur and don’t bite, so they pose no risk to you or your pets.

  • How can you get rid of them?

If you have moss mites in your garden, there’s no need to get rid of them since they are beneficial to the soil. If you notice them on your pet’s fur, you can simply remove them with a comb.

 

2. Black aphids

Black aphids

Most aphid species are white, but black ones also exist – and at around 1-2mm in length (0.04-0.08 inches), they can look very similar to poppy seeds.

Aphids are generally dormant during the coldest months, becoming active in spring and summer.

The two species of black aphids you are most likely to encounter are citrus aphids and peach aphids – and the names should give a hint as to their preferred choice of food.

  • Are they dangerous?

Black aphids are not harmful to humans but are pests that can damage plants or trees. Citrus aphids feast on citrus trees, and peach aphids are particularly drawn to young peach plants since it’s easier to suck out the sap.

Aphids also produce honeydew, a sticky, sugar-rich secretion that causes leaves to develop mold.

Furthermore, they are a food source for ants, including fire ants, which they attract. Fire ants may attack your plants and can give you a painful bite if they get on your skin.

  • How can you get rid of them?

To deal with an aphid infestation, mix up a solution of water and dish-washing liquid and spray it on the infected plant or tree. You may need to repeat this several times for a few days to ensure that all the aphids have been eliminated.

 

3. Fleas

Fleas

Most people are familiar with fleas – they’re jumping parasitic insects that infest our pets to feed on their blood – and they can sometimes bite us too.

Fleas are very specialized. There are around 2,500 known species, and most prefer to feed on one particular animal or group of animals – although they can usually feed on other animals when their preferred host is unavailable.

They can grow up to 3mm (0.12 inches) and look a bit like a poppy seed standing on its side – so if that’s what you see on your pet, you’re probably looking at a flea. You may also suspect fleas if you notice excessive scratching in your furry companion.

  • Are they dangerous?

Most of the time, flea bites are not too serious, but fleas can carry diseases.

Oriental rat fleas are carriers of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague. This is the disease responsible for the 14th-century Black Death pandemic that killed over a third of the population of Europe as well as various other outbreaks of plague throughout history.

This means the flea has played a significant role in the spread of one of the most feared diseases in the history of mankind.

  • How can you get rid of them?

If you find fleas in your home or on your pets, you should adopt a combined approach that includes vacuuming your home, washing all bedding, using flea treatments on your pets and using flea repellents to prevent them from returning.

 

4. Flea beetles

Flea beetles

Flea beetles are small insects with shiny black oval bodies that are around 1-3mm (0.04-0.12 inches) in length. They look a bit like poppy seeds – and also resemble fleas, hence the name.

However, they don’t feed on people or animals – rather, they enjoy devouring leaves.

The larvae of flea beetles also eat leaves, and due to their ravenous appetites, they can cause extensive damage to ornamental plants or vegetable gardens once they become established.

Flea beetles can also enter your home through open windows to attack indoor plants if a window is located near a plant where they are feeding.

  • Are they dangerous?

Although they can cause significant damage to anything you’re trying to grow, they aren’t dangerous, either to humans or animals, since they don’t bite and don’t carry any diseases.

  • How can you get rid of them?

You can get rid of flea beetles by using commercial insecticides – but soapy water mixed with olive oil is also effective.

 

5. Bed bugs

Bed bugs

Bed bugs look like dark brown poppy seeds before they feed – but after they’ve eaten, they swell up and turn a blackish-red color.

A single bed bug with eggs entering your home is enough to start an infestation, and before you know it, they’ll be everywhere. During the day, they hide inside your mattress as well as in any other cracks or crevices they can find.

Then, at night, they emerge to dine on your blood while you sleep!

  • Are they dangerous?

Bed bugs are pretty gross, and they leave you covered in irritating itches, but they don’t carry any diseases, so they’re not considered dangerous – just annoying.

  • How can you get rid of them?

The best weapon against bed bugs is a steam cleaner, which will kill them at all stages of their life cycle.

Since you can pick them up by sleeping in a hotel with a bed bug infestation, one trick to get them out of your luggage is to empty your bags, gives them a good wash under the shower and then leave them out in the hot sun. This will cause all the bugs to jump ship.

 

6. Ticks

Ticks

Ticks are another type of bug that look a bit like poppy seeds – and like bed bugs, after they’ve had a meal, they swell up, turning brownish black.

Pets such as dogs may pick them up when walking in long grass in shady, damp areas. They may then bite the pet – or transfer to you and bite you instead.

You can identify one on your skin as a small insect that refuses to budge if you touch it or try to brush it off.

  • Are they dangerous?

As carriers of various diseases such as Lyme disease, ticks are arguably the most dangerous bug on our list.

  • How can you get rid of them?

Ticks are unlikely to infest your home, but individual ticks may be brought in by pets or even humans after walks in tall grass.

If a tick bites you, never pull it off since the mouth parts will become detached and remain in your body, causing an infection.

Special twisting tick removal tools exist – but if you don’t have one, just let the tick finish it’s meal, and it will drop off by itself.

 

7. Black carpet beetles

Black carpet beetles

These insects are about 2-3mm in length (0.08-0.12 inches) in length and arrive in homes in spring and summer when they lay their eggs.

Adult carpet beetles and especially carpet beetle larvae love eating all kinds of natural fibers, including wool, silk, cotton, leather and more. They also eat blended synthetic and natural fibers in carpets and rugs, which is how they get their name.

Furthermore, they can also invade pantries, laying eggs in food and feasting on things like cereals and flour.

  • Are they dangerous?

Carpet beetles are not dangerous, but in the larval form, they appear as tiny black worms with bristles that can cause significant skin irritation.

  • How can you get rid of them?

A black carpet beetle infestation can be beaten through the use of steam cleaning and insecticide as well as by throwing out any affected food.

 

8. American spider beetles

American spider beetles

Among the more bizarre creatures on our list, American spider beetles are reminiscent of small poppy seeds, and on closer inspection, they look like small spiders – minus one pair of legs. They are found throughout the US but are most common in northeastern states.

These insects like to eat things like grain and flour along with dead insects and rodent droppings.

  • Are they dangerous?

Spider beetles can bite you, but the bite is largely painless and is exploratory in nature – once they realize you aren’t food, they won’t bite you again. They carry no diseases, so they aren’t considered dangerous.

  • How can you get rid of them?

The best way to get rid of spider beetles is through steam cleaning.

 

9. Drugstore beetles

Drugstore beetles

These critters like to infest bread products and will also eat things like books, hair, and leather – along with herbs and spices, which is where their name comes from. They look like small brown poppy seeds.

  • Are they dangerous?

These bugs aren’t dangerous, but in the larval phase, they can cause significant damage to whatever they eat.

  • How can you get rid of them?

Infestations can be tackled through steam cleaning, the use of insecticides and throwing out infected food.

 

10. Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are annoying little flies that look like poppy seeds when they land. They can sometimes be mistaken for mosquitoes or midges but don’t bite. They lay their eggs in damp soil and may appear in your home if you have houseplants.

  • Are they dangerous?

These bugs might drive you crazy by flying around in front of your face, but they aren’t dangerous.

  • How can you get rid of them?

You can kill fungus gnats and their eggs by spraying your plants and the soil they are in with a mixture of washing-up soap and water.

 

11. Baby black oriental cockroaches

Baby black oriental cockroaches

Everyone knows what cockroaches look like, but the babies of the black oriental species are tiny and look like poppy seeds about 1-2mm (0.04-0.08 inches) in length.

If you see babies, it indicates a healthy population of adults is also present, so you should take steps to eradicate them.

  • Are they dangerous?

Cockroaches aren’t dangerous, but they are unhygienic and may transmit diseases.

  • How can you get rid of them?

Roach infestations are notoriously hard to deal with. You can try tackling them with a range of commercial bug killers or roach traps.

 

12. Black weevils

Black weevils

Black weevils – also known as pantry bugs – are unwelcome guests since they can infest all kinds of food like flour, pasta, bread and more. They look superficially like poppy seeds, and on closer inspection, you will see an elongated snout.

  • Are they dangerous?

These insects aren’t dangerous, but they can easily ruin your stores of food.

  • How can you get rid of them?

The best way to deal with black weevils is to throw out all infected food and to make sure you keep anything they like to eat in sealed plastic containers.

 

13. Spider mites

Spider mites

Spider mites are tiny bugs that get their names from their trick of spinning fine webs that look like spider webs. However, they are insects and not related to spiders at all.

  • Are they dangerous?

These bugs aren’t dangerous, but if they infest your plants, they will keep multiplying and spinning webs until the plants die.

  • How can you get rid of them?

A solution of water mixed with dish soap and olive oil sprayed on the plants over several days will usually do the trick.

 

14. Poop

Poop

As well as the insects themselves, the excrement of some bugs can also look like poppy seeds.

If you see a collection of small pellets on the floor next to something made of wood, it may indicate you have a problem with drywood termites – these critters push their feces out of the holes they create when they feed.

Another possibility is a problem with German cockroaches, which leave dry droppings that resemble brown poppy seeds.

In either case, you should take steps to eradicate them – and in the case of termites, you may need to call in a professional exterminator.

 

Several possibilities

As we have seen, small black bugs that look like poppy seeds can belong to several different species – but now, with this guide, you should have a good idea about how to identify them and what to do if you find an infestation in your home.

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