What Kind of Bugs Look Like Sesame Seeds? Identification Help

Have you recently encountered small bugs in or around your home, or maybe your workplace? While many kinds of bugs are harmless, others are destructive or even dangerous pests, so it’s important to know what you’re looking at.

Some kinds of bugs that look like sesame seeds include small beetles, weevils, aphids, ticks, and bed bugs. Many bugs lay eggs that can look like seeds as well.

There are a lot of different bugs that look like seeds, too many to count. Since many of them are so small, it can be hard to identify them. In this guide, I’ll list some of the more common ones and how to identify them, so read on if you want to figure out what that pesky bug is!

Bugs That Look Like Brown Sesame Seeds

drugstore bread beetle on a plant

The Drugstore Beetle

One common brown bug that can look like a sesame seed is the drugstore beetle, also known as a bread beetle or biscuit beetle. These small, brown beetles are harmless to people but enjoy living in buildings and eating anything they can.

While they might prefer your pantry, they will infest and eat pretty much anything (including some poisons) and aren’t picky about where they live.

Drugstore beetles are brown and small, averaging a few mm in length when fully grown. They are oval-shaped with grooves along the length of their wing covers, and yes, they can fly (source: Orkin Pest Control).

adult rice weevils on rice

Rice or Grain Weevils

Rice and grain weevils are similar bugs that are likely to be found in your pantry. They love grain and seeds of all kinds, including everything from grains of rice to beans, which their larvae live in and feed off of.

Aside from their eating habits, they aren’t harmful or disease-carrying and won’t damage your property.

These weevils are about 3 mm (1/8th inch) long as adults and oval-shaped, with a reddish-brown color. They’re easily identified by their long snout, almost like an elephant’s trunk. Rice weevils also have four pale, yellow dots on their back, but grain weevils do not (source: Iowa State University).

sawtooth grain beetle on grains

Grain Beetles

Grain beetles, like the sawtooth grain beetle, are another pantry pest to look out for. Despite their name, they will eat pretty much anything vaguely resembling food.

Adults measure 2.5 mm (1/10th inch) with a long, flat body and a spiked sawlike thorax. Their coloration is brown or reddish (source: Purdue University).

brown dog ticks on dog's ear

Brown Dog Ticks

If you have pets or just spend a lot of time outside, brown dog ticks are another critter to look out for. Ticks are usually very small, flat, and oval-shaped, but one that has fed recently can bloat to exponential size and take on a more round, swollen appearance.

Brown dog ticks are named for their brown appearance and preference for canine hosts. They can usually be found outside, but if one has made its way into your house, you’ll most likely find it latched onto your pets or yourself, hiding somewhere warm like under an armpit.

You can distinguish these ticks from most bugs by their paper-flat appearance when unengorged. Adult ticks also have eight legs, whereas insects like beetles only have six, and this is because ticks are actually arachnids.

Other signs of ticks are itchy bite marks on you or your pets from where they have been feeding. In the case of brown dog ticks, you should focus more on your dogs since they are the likely targets (source: PestWorld.org).

brown aphids on plant


On the topic of outdoor pests, aphids are another that look seedlike. They range from 2-4 mm (1/16th-1/18th inch) long and can be a wide variety of colors, including brown. These pests are typically found outside in gardens and feed on sap from a variety of plants, causing damage.

It can be difficult to identify aphids by appearance due to how small they are and how much variety there can be in their appearance. Some mature aphids have wings, but some don’t.

The best way to consistently identify them is through the two cornicles protruding from the back of their abdomen, which look like small spikes.

Another way to identify aphids is by location and behavior. If you have an infestation, they will usually be found in large groups all over plants, feeding from the stems or leaves. You will see their shed exoskeletons on plants as well (source: University of Minnesota).

Little Black Bugs That Look Like Sesame Seeds 

There are also a lot of black bugs that can look like seeds, and many of them are just varieties of some of the bugs previously mentioned. To save some time, I’ll go over a few of those first.

black aphid with orange legs


Aphids, as noted earlier, come in a wide variety of colors. White, yellow, red, pink, brown, and black are among the colors you might find aphids in, which is why it’s a good idea to factor location and behavior into identifying them.

If you have aphids in your home, you’ll want to read our article on whether aphids are harmful to humans.

black deer tick

Black Ticks

Some species of ticks are also black, such as the deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick. They look pretty similar to brown dog ticks, with a notable difference in coloration. Most of their body is black, save for the back of the abdomen, which is brown or grayish when engorged.

These ticks usually choose deer as their hosts, but with none around, they will happily latch onto you as well (source: University of Rhode Island).

small carpet beetle

Carpet Beetles

If you’re seeing tiny black bugs primarily inside of your home, they could be carpet beetles. Most carpet beetles are black in color, with some having patterns of brown and white on their shells.

They can be circular or oval in shape, often resembling ladybugs but much smaller, with adult carpet beetles ranging from 2.5 to 3 mm (1/8th-1/10th inch) long.

These beetles usually prefer to live outside and feed off of organic matter like plants. Still, they will sometimes attack carpets and other fabrics if they are made of non-synthetic material.

bed bug looks like sesame seeds

Do Bed Bugs Look Like Sesame Seeds? 

If you’re seeing bugs that look like sesame seeds in your bed, they could be bed bugs. 

Bed bugs look like sesame seeds. They are reddish-brown in color, oval-shaped, and flat when unengorged, similar to ticks. Adults are 5-7 mm (3/16 – 1/4 inch) long, and an easy way to tell them apart from ticks is that they only have six legs.

Another good way to tell that you have bed bugs is where you’re finding them. They feed on humans, and unlike ticks, these bloodsuckers actually prefer us over other animals. They will be found primarily in and around the furniture you frequently use, including your bed.

Bed bugs are nocturnal, meaning you won’t see many during the day. If you’re seeing them, it indicates either a bed bug infestation or that one will occur very soon, so seek professional pest control immediately.

These bugs aren’t known to spread disease but are notorious for causing itchy bumps and sleepless nights (source: United States Environmental Protection Agency).

bugs on a leaf with eggs

Which Bug Eggs Look Like Sesame Seeds? 

Put simply, a lot of bugs lay eggs that look like sesame seeds. Some of the bugs already listed lay eggs that can look an awful lot like sesame seeds, including the infamous bed bug.

There are really too many different candidates to list here. Most bugs lay eggs that are small and shaped similar to seeds, some of which may look like actual sesame seeds. However, there is one notable bug that seems to specialize in this aesthetic: the stick insect.

Also known as stick bugs or walking sticks, these bugs are known for their uncanny ability to imitate sticks or leaves of plants, both in appearance and movement.

They’re apparently so evolutionarily committed to mimicking plants that even their eggs seem hand-crafted to look nearly identical to various seeds.

aphids on an apple tree branch

Stick insects are completely harmless, and many people even find them interesting to watch or keep as pets, so don’t panic if you find some eggs that look suspiciously similar to seeds. 

These things might look a little crazy when fully grown, but they won’t hurt you or your home, and neither will their babies. They might snack on your plants a little but aren’t nearly the threat to vegetation that something like aphids can be (source: JSTOR Daily).

In the world of bugs, there are a lot of small creatures that can resemble seeds. To identify them properly, you have to take into account things like location and habits, as well as have a very good eye for small details.