Suddenly they are there in the house, maybe even in every room, little brown bugs that cannot be assigned. The kitchen and pantry are particularly popular with these small pests because there are many things here that the beetles particularly like, such as baking ingredients, cereal products and also pasta or rice, but also, depending on the species, textiles. Once the apartment has been infested, it must be cleaned thoroughly. But in order to know what to do, the pest must first be given a name. Small brown beetles include, for example, the brown fur beetle, bread beetle, grain weevil or weevil, all of which like to wreak havoc in the home and in the supplies.

Brown fur beetle

  • between three and five millimeters long
  • affects textiles, especially wool
  • also furs and skins
  • feeds on hair and dust bunnies in cracks

If the brown fur beetle is found in the apartment, action must be taken quickly. Because this affects textiles, usually made of wool, but also skins and furs. In the event of an infestation, woolen carpets, woolen textiles, also in the closet, as well as furs or skins are particularly affected. Especially apartments with parquet floors, which is actually an absurdity, are often visited by the brown fur beetle.

Because the eggs are laid in the cracks, in which the hatched larvae then find their food in fallen hair, which collects in these cracks and crevices and is usually not completely removed even with normal cleaning of the apartment. The brown fur beetle is originally at home in Africa, but it has long since found its way into the local latitudes and thus also into homes. It also has the following features:

  • first discovered in Germany in 1985
  • Females lay between 50 and 60 eggs
  • directly into the food of the later larvae
  • Development from egg to beetle takes six to eighteen months
  • Larvae molt up to 12 times
  • can be found in the apartments all year round
  • Larvae avoid the light and live hidden in cracks
  • Beetles, on the other hand, orient themselves towards the light
  • are often found on window sills
Tip: If even one beetle is found on the window, then there are even more of the pests in the apartment, since up to sixty eggs can be laid by a female. In such a case, do not wait, it is better to act immediately.


In order to recognize which beetles are in the apartment, it has to be examined carefully. Because it’s important to distinguish between the brown bugs that infest such different things. The brown fur beetle in particular can cause great damage in the wardrobe and in the carpets of the entire apartment. The following description shows how to recognize the brown fur beetle:

  • small beetle, oblong-oval, between three and five millimeters
  • Neck and head are dark reddish brown to black, the rest a little lighter
  • Wings are haired light brown to yellow
  • Antennae and legs are reddish-yellow in color
  • the larvae are significantly longer at eight millimeters
  • bronze to gold colored
  • ribbed, lanceolate, close-lying scale bristles


If the house was infested by the brown fur beetle, immediate action must be taken. The first thing to do is to find the infestation. This can be a wool jacket in the closet as well as real fur. The sheepskin from the stroller can also be the cause of an infestation, as can real wool carpets. However, anyone who has parquet in the apartment should check the crack for a possible nest of eggs and larvae, because the larvae also like to hide here, as they find food in the hair and wool residues that have fallen into the cracks. The following steps should be taken to combat this pest:

  • Locate infestation
  • Dispose of heavily infested parts immediately
  • all other textiles can be heated to 60 ° C for at least one hour
  • Dryer or oven are recommended here
  • this kills beetles, pupae, larvae and eggs
  • Vacuum all cracks in the house, for example in the parquet, several times
  • then seal with silicone
  • so no more food, such as lint or hair can accumulate
Note: Especially when there are animals such as dogs, cats or even small rodents in the household, there can be a lot of animal hair in the cracks in the parquet or other gaps, for example between the floor and the carpet strips. Here, too, the larvae find good shelter with plenty of food.

Bread beetle

  • about three millimeters long
  • red-brown, oval body
  • found in dry supplies
  • in damaged building materials made of wood

Bread beetles are also brown beetles that are often found indoors. Because these not only infest the supplies but can also indicate structural damage on and in the house if they occur. The bread beetles prefer dry food in particular.

This includes provisions such as rice, pasta, hard bread such as crispbread, dog biscuits and other dried foods, as well as plant-based building materials such as wood. The pests are in the home all year round and mostly live in secret. But the adult beetles also like to appear in the light and can often be found on the windows. The bread beetle also has the following characteristics:

  • In the past, bread beetles were often found on ships
  • belongs to the beetle family
  • specializing in starchy foods
  • originally native to Africa
  • can survive the winter outdoors
  • often in abandoned bird nests
  • Bugs can often be found in bakeries, spice shops or pharmacies
  • They can be introduced via bread products or spice mixtures
  • Females lay up to 100 small, white eggs
  • usually found in small clusters in crevices or on stockpiles

Since the females lay so many eggs and the interval in the generation cycle can be shortened from seven months to one to two months under favorable conditions, a mass infestation can quickly emerge from just a few beetles.

Tip: bread beetles often live unnoticed for a long time, for example in the pantry, because the beetles rarely come out into the open. Therefore, it makes sense to regularly inspect stocks for larval webs or a pile of eggs before the undetected infestation becomes too large.


Also, bread beetles are small brown bugs that are commonly found indoors. They can also be brought in with various foods, but they can also find their way from outside through the open window. If they find food, they settle down. It is true that the larvae in particular, but also the beetles are often found in the dark. But the adult animals are also often found on window sills and windows. In this way, an infestation by brown beetles can be detected. The bread beetles look like this:

  • reddish brown color
  • two to three millimeters
  • physique oval
  • Top covered with hairs
  • The head is surrounded by the breastplate like a hood
  • the tentacles are thicker on the last three segments
  • white, up to 100 eggs in small clusters
  • Larvae spin webs
  • three millimeters long with six legs
  • pupate in a cocoon of food parts and their own faeces
Note: An infestation is often not discovered on the beetles sitting by the window, but rather through the spun small larvae, for example in the flour, in spices and even in dried bouquets on the table.


Ideally, supplies are protected from the voracious pests, because if an infestation is present, all infested food must be disposed of. But even with such disposal via household waste, the pests can spread further, so the infested food should be stored at 60 ° C for at least one hour before disposal or in the freezer at -18 ° C. Otherwise, in the event of an infestation by bread beetles, which can be found as small brown beetles, the following procedure must be followed:

  • Clear out all cupboards and shelves
  • clean thoroughly
  • Don’t forget cracks and joints
  • Beetles and larvae also like to hide under cupboard paper
  • Definitely replace it or omit it entirely
  • pure vinegar can also be used for this
  • Allow cupboards and shelves to dry thoroughly after cleaning
  • also wipe off the outside of all unaffected cans and containers

However, since the brown beetle also nests in damaged wood, it is quite possible that in the event of an infestation it will sit in the beams. This can be the case if beetles are spotted in the house, but there are no larvae or webs in stock. In such a case, a pest controller should be called in. For example, fungi in the infested beams, on wooden beams or in false ceilings can be the cause of a mass infestation. In such a case, only professionals can take action against the pests, the damaged wood should also be replaced.

Tip: Always keep all dry supplies in well-closable cans and containers. From experience, however, this is unfortunately only a small protection, because the beetles lay their eggs in the cracks between the lid and the container. From here, the small larvae can often penetrate the food. The best protection is therefore still regular checks.

Barley beetles

  • three to five millimeters in size
  • uniformly dark brown
  • are in the grain
  • can also infest muesli, for example

Grain weevils are also brown beetles that like to stay in living spaces. Here, in addition to grain types such as barley, oats or corn, they also attack dried pasta and dried fruit. The white, soft larvae grow up to two millimeters in size. Because they spend their entire life in a grain or maize kernel, or in a noodle, for example, they are rarely seen during the larval stage unless the infestation is discovered in this way. The larvae feed on grain and dried food from the inside, while the weevils feed on the outside. More facts about the grain weevil:

  • Females lay up to 200 eggs
  • a single grain is drilled into for each egg
  • this is where the egg is laid
  • the hole is closed again from the outside with a secretion
  • the overall growth cycle is about a month
Note: Instead of the grain weevil, its direct relatives, who are very similar to it, can also infest the apartment. These are the rice weevil and the corn weevil. Both are fought in the same way and behave similarly to the grain weevil. The only difference is that the grain weevil, unlike its close relatives, cannot fly.


The grain weevil also belongs to the genus of small brown beetles that can infest the home. It is about three to five millimeters long and is dark brown overall. Since this beetle cannot fly, it usually stays close to its feeding place. They therefore only appear when the supply is already infested. The grain weevil has the following typical features:

  • belongs to the genus of weevil species
  • therefore a typical trunk mouth can also be seen here
  • likes to stay in crevices near the food source
Note: If infested food was accidentally consumed, this is no longer harmful to health. Because the grain weevils are not carriers of diseases.


If the supplies have been infested by a grain weevil, then countermeasures must be taken. To do this, carefully vacuum the cupboards and the entire room after the infested supplies have already been disposed of. Above all, all cracks should be well vacuumed. Then proceed as follows:

  • Dispose of supplies and vacuum cleaner bags
  • Heat to 60°C for at least one hour before disposal
  • put everything in the oven
  • heat all joints and cracks with a hair dryer after vacuuming
  • in this way further, hidden animals are killed
  • Sprinkle silica or diatomaceous earth in the joints and cracks
  • in this way the last pests are fought
  • if nothing else works, use parasitic wasps
  • this is a solution for a pantry, but not for a kitchen
Idea: If you are not sure whether the supplies are infested, you can use a simple trick. A sufficient amount of cereal grains is placed in a bowl of water. If grains are still floating on the surface of the water after stirring, they are almost certainly infested with a grain weevil.


  • come into the apartment from surrounding trees
  • can live up to two years
  • are between one and twenty millimeters in size, depending on the species
  • feed on plants

The last small light gray to brown beetle that can infest the apartment or the entire house and is presented here is the weevil . This is not after the textiles or stocks. He feeds on the green plants in the house. Since once it has been brought in it can cause a great deal of damage to decorative plants, even dying, this infestation should not be taken lightly either. Especially when new plants move into the apartment, a weevil can quickly be introduced, which can then multiply here unhindered. An infestation can be recognized on the plants as follows:

  • almost all plants are affected
  • like those with underground rhizomes
  • when attacked by larvae, the leaves droop and dry up
  • even with adequate watering
  • rounded signs of eating on the leaves indicate beetles
  • in case of danger the beetles play dead
  • they then fall on their backs
  • female beetles lay up to 1,000 eggs in the ground

Another reason why weevils are so dangerous to plants is that the larvae destroy the roots from underground and the adult beetles eat the leaves. They can also survive for up to two years. But an infestation in the house and thus in mostly closed rooms is easier to fight than in the garden.

Note: Even if the plants are protected in the apartment, there can still be an infestation by weevils in the house. Especially when new green plants have been bought or the house is in the countryside. A city avenue with many trees can also pose the risk of infestation in the house.


As their name suggests, weevils have a clearly recognizable proboscis, even in the smaller species. They are gray to brown or black and are between one and twenty millimeters in size. The larvae, on the other hand, are small and white, but are usually more difficult to detect in the ground than brown beetles, which live above ground around the plant.


If the pests are discovered in the house, then you should act quickly, because the larvae in particular are very dangerous for the plants, as they sit in the ground and eat the roots and can damage them so badly that the plants die. But even small brown beetles themselves must be fought, otherwise more eggs can be laid. The weevils can be easily recognized by the fact that they play dead when threatened and throw themselves on their backs. Then they can simply be picked up and disposed of. Otherwise, in the event of an infestation, proceed as follows:

  • Use commercial nematodes
  • add with the water
  • the nematodes eat the larvae
  • place wooden boards around the plant
  • below, brown bugs go to sleep
  • then just collect and destroy

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