The Q&A Archives: bugs

Question: I have a problem with little black bugs. They are the size of a lady bug but are oval in shape. They have hard cover wings and can fly but only a short distance. They are in my compost pile and now have invaded the house. I think they are comming in from the windows. What are they and hope do I get rid of them? I do not see them swarm. They pretent to be dead but become active when touched.

Answer: I can't tell from your description just what the bugs might be. Beetles are insects with two pairs of wings. Types commonly found in compost piles include the rove beetle, ground beetle, and feather-winged beetle.The feather-winged beetle feeds on fungal spores. Immature grubs feed on decaying vegetables. Adult rove and ground beetles prey on snails, slugs, and other small animals. While it's normal to have bugs in the compost pile, you can discourage them to some degree by consistently turning the pile. I suspect the bugs you are finding are nocturnal which is why they rest during the day and only move when you disturb them. I'd just vacuum them up and dispose of them in the compost pile - where they can do the most good. You might want to collect a few and take them to your local cooperative extension office or well staffed nursery for help with identification. Once you know what you're dealing with you can choose from several control alternatives. Good luck with your compost!

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