Finding tiny black bugs in your house can be frustrating.
For starters, no one wants insects crawling around where they live. But also, it can be quite tricky to determine exactly what bug you’re dealing with!
This guide will help you recognize small black bugs that are commonly found in houses. Then, we show you how to get them out!
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What Are The Tiny Black Bugs In Your House?
Everyone has encountered them, but most people don’t know how to identify these pests. Many homeowners use the term “tiny black bugs” as a catch-all descriptor when referring to several household insects. While they look very similar, each one is unique and has a different impact on your domain.
To give you some insight into the many nuisances invading your house, here are some of the most common small black bugs you’ll encounter in your home.
Gnats are small black flies that like to swarm in massive groups. Many people mistake these tiny black bugs for fruit flies, but gnats are only about a quarter of an inch long at most. These flying pests have oval-shaped black bodies and comparatively long legs.
Female gnats are capable of biting. Thanks to their penchant for lying in dense clouds, bites can be plentiful if you’re unlucky enough to walk through them. Fortunately, the flies are nothing more than a nuisance in most cases.
The most common gnat you’ll encounter in your home is a fungus gnat. They like to hang around potted plants, litter boxes, and anything else that holds onto moisture.
2. Fruit Flies
The common fruit fly is a tiny black bug that seems to appear out of nowhere. It’s attracted to sweets, compost, and garbage. These flies are particularly fond of fermenting fruit, so don’t be surprised if you find them around produce you leave out.
Only an eighth of an inch long, fruit flies are very small. They have identifiable antennae and noticeably thick brown wings.
Fruit flies can invade your home at any time if you live in a warmer climate. However, they’re most active in the spring and summer months.
3. Minute Pirate Bugs
The minute pirate bug isn’t as well-known as other tiny black bugs on this list, but it’s slowly gaining notoriety as populations rise in the United States. They’re sometimes called the insidious flower bug.
Fully-grown minute pirate bugs are a mere three to five millimeters long. They’re sporting elongated bodies, clear wings, and six tiny legs.
The unfortunate thing about this pest is that it has a pretty nasty bite. Despite its size, this insect can cause a good amount of pain for humans.
They’re most active in the fall and usually come from large, flower-filled fields. The small bug makes its way into homes searching for food, which can be anything from sap and nectar to other insects.
4. Bat Bugs
Bat bugs are an insect species that can cause a lot of panic in homeowners. At first glance, they look remarkably similar to bed bugs.
These pests have the same oval shape, brown color, and size as bed bugs. They can’t fly, either.
The main differentiator is body hair. Bet bugs have long hair on their heads.
Typically, bat bugs feed on the nocturnal winged creature they’re named after. However, they will also suck the blood of any warm-blooded animal they can find inside your home. Bites aren’t a huge issue, as these tiny black bugs are known to cause infection or spread disease.
That said, the bites can become itchy and uncomfortable.
If you have a pet, there’s a good chance that you’ve encountered fleas before. These small bugs are wingless and have six legs. While they don’t have the power of flight, fleas can jump a distance of around 13 inches!
Fleas are parasitic by nature. They survive by biting mammals and sucking blood for sustenance. Cats and dogs are their primary target, but fleas can bite humans and cause itchiness as well.
These tiny black bugs are notoriously difficult to get out of your house. They spread like the plague and can easily hide in carpets, curtains, and any other soft surface.
The no-see-um is an appropriately named bug that’s difficult to see even when they’re in your house. Fully-grown insects are only one to three millimeters in size. You might also hear people calling them the biting midge.
Technically speaking, no-see-ums belong to the fly family. There are about 5,000 unique species, but most of them look similar and have the same annoying lifestyle.
Males typically feed on flower nectar, making them great pollinators. However, females will bite mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians. They need iron-rich blood to produce healthy offspring, so the females will search for animals or humans to feed on throughout their lives.
These bugs have dark brown bodies, two transparent wings, six legs, and two long antennae.
7. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are one of the more destructive tiny black bugs you can have in your house. Contrary to popular belief, these ants don’t eat wood. However, they will chew through it to create tunnels and nests.
This ant species is about half an inch long on the higher end of the size spectrum. They have a black head and abdomen. The thorax and parts of the legs are red. Swarmers will have two sets of wings, but the primary workers you’ll encounter behind the wall do not.
Carpenter ants eat protein-based foods and sugars. They prefer to feed on honeydew and other popular ant food sources.
Ticks are another parasitic insect that can cause a lot of trouble in your home. They’re small, oval-shaped, and have a dark-brown or black color. At first, they can be pretty tricky to spot.
However, ticks can grow several times their size as they fill with blood. The insect can latch onto dogs, cats, humans, and any other warm-blooded animal. The bites are subtle.
Most people don’t even feel it at first. Thanks to their ability to latch tight, these small bugs can go unnoticed for quite some time as they feed.
In-home tick infestations are pretty rare, but they can be found outside in rural areas with a lot of brush. The bugs are most prevalent in locations with high humidity.
9. Spider Beetles
Spider beetles aren’t technically black, but their deep reddish-brown coloration certainly looks black at first glance. The insect is also quite small, measuring in at only about three millimeters long at most.
It has a similar profile to ticks. The body is round and oval-shaped. It’s covered in fine hair, which makes it easy to differentiate from ticks and bed bugs. The six legs and antennae are also needle-thin.
Spider beetles are successful scavengers that will eat just about anything they can get ahold of. If you have these tiny black bugs in your house you can find them living in wooden furniture or baseboards. They also gravitate towards untidy rooms with plenty of places to hide.
Should You Be Worried About Them?
Any type of bug infestation should be a cause for concern.
Tiny black bugs in your house have the potential to attract bigger bugs and make your home filthy. Not only that, but many of them can actually cause discomfort. Any species that bites will become a nuisance.
They can disrupt your way of life and wreak havoc on your home’s overall comfort levels. If you suffer from allergies, you can end up suffering from pretty serious rashes and inflammation. Who wants that?
To make matters worse, some bug species can be downright dangerous.
Quick Tip: Fleas and ticks are the worst offenders. Fleas are pretty standard, but they act as intermittent carriers for tapeworms. All it takes is for you, your child, or your pet to accidentally consume an infected flea. Months later, you might end up with an internal parasite that severely impacts your health.
Ticks can transmit a wide variety of diseases. The most common is Lyme disease. Even if you don’t get Lyme disease, the pathogens that you encounter from ticks can lead to fevers, muscle pains, and a host of other uncomfortable issues.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that tiny black bugs in your house don’t need to be dealt with. Sure, gnats and fruit flies are virtually harmless. But if you have those pests, it’s only a matter of time before you get the more nefarious ones!
It’s better to address bug problems as soon as possible to prevent things from getting out of hand.
What Attracts Them?
Common little black bugs in your house are attracted to many different things.
The blood-sucking varieties like ticks and fleas usually enter your home by hitchhiking off of a mammal. They need warm bodies to survive, so they tend to gravitate towards populated areas with many food sources.
Other small black bugs get into your home in search of food and safe places to nest.
Quick Tip: Many of the insects we mentioned above actively search for stagnant bodies of water. That could be a birdbath, a consistent puddle from a leaking pipe, or a non-circulating pool. The water provides hydration and also serves as a spot to lay eggs.
Some bugs are attracted to plant overgrowth, yard debris, and general untidiness. Those areas provide plenty of hiding places and will often house some food.
It all depends on the kind of insects you’re tacklings. Every bug has its own unique attractor, so learning to identify the small black bugs in your house is paramount.
Ways To Get Rid Of Tiny Black Bugs
Once you identify what kinds of tiny black bugs are in your home, you can get to work exterminating them. Despite being much smaller than roaches or ants, little black bugs can be tricky to eradicate. They’re elusive and can flee at the drop of a hat.
Luckily, some tried and true methods can get rid of them and free yourself from potential bites.
Apply Insecticides & Repellents
You can’t go wrong with commercial repellents. Chemical-based products are easy to find and usually don’t cost that much.
We recommend getting fine-mist sprays. Tiny black bugs have a knack for evading beefier spray nozzles. With a fine mist, you have a better chance of making contact with the bug and killing them.
Insecticides usually work by disrupting the nervous system or destroying the exoskeleton. It all depends on the formula. Either way, most should work just fine for the black bugs you’ll encounter.
To be on the safe side, use a repellent as well. The repellent will keep the bugs from coming out. Plus, they’ll create an invisible barrier of protection and entice any insects you missed to flee the scene.
Use Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are rudimentary but effective. These products come in cardboard tubes, rolled tape, and large sheets. Regardless of the shape, traps feature a thick layer of sticky glue.
They work by physically preventing tiny black bugs from escaping. The ones that are unlucky enough to land on the trap will slowly starve to death surrounded by a prison of sticky glue!
Place several traps around high-traffic areas. Put them wherever you notice the bugs the most.
Make sure to keep the traps away from kids and pets. While made to eradicate insects, the traps can also get stuck in hair and skin!
Sometimes, fumigation is your best bet.
Many homeowners view this as a last-ditch effort, but it’s a great way to kill large numbers of small black bugs at once. Fumigation is a professional service that involves dispersing chemical gases into your home.
It’s an arduous process that requires a lot of preparation. However, the results are well worth it.
Fumigation can eliminate pretty much every little bug in your home. It’s a fantastic choice for large-scale pest issues or nests that you’re unable to locate.
Treat & Protect Pets
Do you have pets in the home? They’re just as affected by tiny black bugs as you are!
Many of these insects like to burrow in your cat or dog’s fur before they start biting and feeding. That’s one of the most common ways that fleas and ticks get into your house. As long as you have pets, there’s always a risk that infestations will occur.
However, that won’t be an issue if you treat them for bugs.
Flea and tick treatments actively prevent bites. They will not prevent all tiny black bugs from getting into your house, but they will keep the most dangerous ones away from your furry friend.
Quick Tip: You can also consider using prescription pills, topical products, or insecticide-infused collars. They can work wonders to protect your pet in the long run.
How To Prevent Them From Coming Back
Insect prevention is an ongoing war. While you might win the battle and eradicate tiny black bugs for the time being, those pests can come back at any time.
The key is to adopt a strict preventative plan that keeps little bugs out all year long. Here are some steps you can take to maintain a bug-free home.
Fix Leaks & Remove Standing Water
We mentioned earlier that standing water was a big cause for ending up with tiny black bugs in your house. Naturally, getting rid of those pools of water will do a lot to keep insects out!
Try to remove or relocate anything around your home that could collect water. We’re talking about empty pots, birdbaths, or even rain collectors. Eliminating those pools of standing water will give bugs fewer chances to lay eggs and establish a colony.
Consider doing a thorough inspection for leaks, too. An unknown leak in the basement or attic might be providing bugs with a reliable source of sustenance right under your nose!
Keep Your Home Clean
Here’s a good tip that can help you avoid all kinds of small black bugs.
Cluttered and dingy spaces are natural insect attractors. Piles of clothes, loose trash, and even dusty corners offer lots of protection.
Stick to a regular cleaning routine. Try to dust and vacuum every week to keep messes to a minimum. You’d be surprised by how much of a difference that can make!
Maintain Your Yard
Like your home’s interior, your yard needs to stay tidy. Messy landscaping can act as a breeding ground for pests.
Keep all plants trimmed and proper. Then, pick up yard debris to prevent decomposition. If you have any flowers or fruiting trees, pick and harvest them before the bugs move in.
Many homeowners like to plant cedar mulch around the perimeter of the home, too. The cedar oils deter insects, so it offers that extra boost of protection you need to keep tiny black bugs out of your home.
Use Natural Repellents
We’ve already talked about how well commercial insecticides and repellents work. You can incorporate them into your preventative maintenance routine for some extra protection. However, natural alternatives work, too.
Most small black bugs hate the smell of essential oils like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, citronella, and lemongrass. Mix several drops of the oil with some water, and you have a potent deterrent. Just spray it around your home and yard to make your property as unappealing as possible!
Alternatively, you can use whole plants. Try planting aromatic herbs and spices around your garden. Like essential oils, the smell is enough to keep those tiny black bugs far away.
Invest In Regular Pest Control
Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in routine pest control services.
Professional care is a significant investment, but it can make a monumental difference in the comfort of your property. Exterminators can fine-tune their efforts to cater to your needs. That means adopting targeted prevention techniques that are effective against the bugs you encounter most.
Most of the tiny black bugs you can find in your house aren’t too difficult to get rid of. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and effort.
If you’re having some trouble with small black bugs that you can’t seem to handle on your own, we’re more than happy to give you some advice. Just send over a message!