These beetles are on our windowsills, wooden blinds, skirting boards, wooden floors and I'd like to know if they are harmful and also how to get rid. You can easily find 3 or 4 in every room and I suspect if you search hard you'd find 10 or 20 - or more!! I have been hoovering them up but this does not seem to affect their numbers. I have only ever seen them inside the house and not outside. Our house is in Ireland and is a new build and central-heated but nevertheless quite damp. I first noticed the beetles about a year ago on windowsills but now they are in all sorts of places. Aaargh. I have looked for small holes in the wood and I cannot find any. I do not hear a ticking noise at night.
They are 1mm in length max, black with no visible markings. Smaller ones are a grey colour. They have a small head with two long wispy feelers. Their body is the shape of a sesame seed and is quite humped in shape - in this respect they remind me a little of ladybirds, with their humped back and small head. The body is shiny. They have 6 legs that are joined to the body from just behind the head - the front two pairs are shorter than the back pair. They can move quite fast when threatened with the hoover. When squished, they leave a black smudge.
I have also seen one on the wall of a friends house. She did not know what they were either. Really hope someone can identify these little monsters, I have trawled the web for months without finding any that seem to match their appearance. I attach a photo, not very clear I'm afraid - they are tiny and my camera is not up to much. Thanks!
We have exactly the same creatures all over our ground floor flat in Devon. Our flat is very damp, old and cold - as well as being dusty and prone to mould. I usually only find them on hard surfaces like book shelves, walls, in cupboards, on / in books etc. They seem to like wood, paper and card - but they also seem to like our bathroom and the odd tiled windowsill. The only time I've found them near our food was in a box of cornflour - not sure why. I've never found them in any other foods.
They're definitely not weevils. The closest thing I can find to them using Google is book lice - but our ones don't have any markings. Ours look black from a distance, but are actually a very dark brown. They don't have wings and they match your description and photo exactly. Their young are sandy coloured / greyish / almost transparent. No holes in the wood, no ticking noise.
I've also spent months trawling Google trying to identify them, to no avail.
I've attached some pictures - the red lines are the millimetre markings on a tape measure - for scale.
I would very much like to get rid of them from our home and would also appreciate anyone's help in identifying them.
Your insects (Rosie's and Laura's) are booklice, Psocoptera. They can be pests in some circumstances but I think it best to read up about them and try and find out what they're feeding on. You'll find plenty of information, for example see -
Yay! I also posted my question to Bugclub and got the very same answer, now confirmed here. Thank you jaguarondi for your expertise and thank you Rosie for the great photos. I am very happy book lice are not harmful.