What Bug has Black and White Stripes? Answered

There are several species of bugs that have black and white stripes. The most commonly identified insects with black and white stripes are beetles–four types in particular: Carpet beetles, Banded Alder Borer Beetles, Ten-lined June Beetles, and False Potato Beetles.

These insects are not dangerous to humans, though a couple of them may be considered pests in the home or the garden.

This article will cover the following topics and give you some answers to your black and white bug queries: 

  • What to do if I see carpet beetles in my home
  • Where these four species of beetles can be found in the world
  • Effects of having false potato beetles in my garden 
  • How to identify the different black and white striped bugs 

How do I identify a Carpet Beetle? 

Carpet beetles have an oval shape, almost like a ladybug but without the red color and spots. They have six legs and two antennae.

They have wings underneath their outer shells. They have a stripe-like pattern on their shell that is white and brown-to-black. Carpet beetles can be anywhere from 2mm to 5 mm in length

Are Carpet Beetles dangerous? 

While carpet beetles are not dangerous to a human’s health, they can be very destructive inside of a home. They do not bite humans, but they may eat through your clothes, rugs, furniture, and carpet.

They can sometimes cause an allergic reaction in humans.

What do I do if I have Carpet Beetles in my house? 

If you find carpet beetles in your house, it may be that you have a carpet beetle infestation. You will want to dispose of any infested clothing, blankets, sheets, and other fabric items.

You can take certain things to the dry cleaners if they’re not too badly infested.

If you have smaller fabric items, you can try freeze-treating them by placing them in your home freezer for one week. Vacuuming your carpet regularly and thoroughly after noticing a carpet beetle infestation will help to keep the beetles from reproducing.

You can steam clean your upholstery and carpet, wash your pillows and clothing in hot water and detergent, and use an indoor insecticide to try removing the carpet beetles. 

If these measures prove unsuccessful, you will need to call a professional exterminator to get rid of the carpet beetles.

How do I identify a Banded Alder Borer Beetle?

A Banded Alder Borer Beetle is a narrow insect with long antennae (sometimes the antennae are three times longer than the body of the beetle!)

The head of the beetle is black, the shoulder area is white with a black spot on it, and the body of the beetle has black and white alternating bands across it.

The antennae are also black and white striped. These beetles are typically between 23mm to 40mm in length

The Banded Alder Borer Beetle is usually found hanging out on the trunks and branches of trees. They can be found across Western North America.

Are Banded Alder Borer Beetles dangerous? 

No! These beetles will not bite, sting, or pinch. They may wander into your home by accident, but they cannot harm you or your home.

While they prefer living in wooded trees, they will not infest wood that has been cured, nor firewood. 

What should I do if I see a Banded Alder Borer Beetle? 

If you notice a Banded Alder Borer beetle in your home, the best thing to do is to gently capture it and bring it outside.

If you have a tree nearby, that’s an even better location to leave them in, as that is their preferred habitat. Be sure to return them to nature so that they can live out their lives peacefully. 

If you notice a Banded Alder Borer Beetle outside, the best thing to do is to admire its beauty from afar and leave it alone in its natural habitat.

How do I identify a Ten-lined June Beetle

As the name suggests, a Ten-lined June Beetle will have ten white lines down its back! The background color behind the white stripes is black.

If you get close enough to count the stripes on a Ten-lined June Beetle, make sure to count the middle stripe twice–when the beetle spreads its wings, the middle line splits into two.

This beetle can sometimes be referred to as the Scarab Beetle as well. This is a larger insect–it can be up to 5cm or 2 inches in length. They are typically found in the western United States and Canada.

Are Ten-lined June Beetles harmful? 

Ten-Lined June Beetles are not harmful to humans. They can be intimidating, though–if humans get too close, adult beetles are known to audibly hiss when disturbed or moved. They don’t want to be messed with!

The larvae of a Ten-lined June Beetle can stunt the growth of a tree or even kill it by eating at its roots. This is difficult to detect because it all happens underneath the surface of soil.

The Ten-lined June Beetle is considered an agricultural pest for this reason. 

What do I do if I see a Ten-lined June Beetle? 

If the Ten-lined June Beetle is not bothering you, the best thing to do is just to leave it alone. They are attracted to light, so if you find one in your home or on your porch, you can attract it using a light-source and trap it in a jar.

If you see these insects in your garden or near your trees, you may want to either set up bird-feeders or bird baths in your yard to attract birds–beetles are a tasty treat for most birds

How do I identify a False Potato Beetle?

A False Potato Beetle is more brown and white than black and white, but from afar, it can be mistaken for a black and white striped bug.

Similar to the Ten-lined June Beetle, a False Potato Beetle has 5 black stripes on each wing and a brown stripe down the middle of its back. You may also notice a yellow stripe on the outer edge of the beetle. 

The False Potato Beetle is typically between 9mm and 11mm in length

Where are False Potato Beetles found?

The False Potato Beetle is mostly found in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.

As you might have guessed from the name, the False Potato Beetle is often found on or near potato plants. They are also attracted to horse nettle, a weed. 

What do I do if I find False Potato Beetles in my garden? 

False Potato Beetles are not a major pest in gardens, but they can defoliate certain plants. They are typically attracted to potato plants and eggplants.

A simple way to get rid of potato beetles in your garden is by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap with 1 gallon of water; then, spray it onto the beetles and larvae that you notice in your garden. 


Be sure to read this article closely to be able to identify the next black and white bug you see! While each of these beetles have their patterns in common, they each have different characteristics that are important to identify for your own benefit.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

The Color of Beetles – Blue, Black, Orange and Many More!

Why Am I Finding Beetles In My House?

Everything You Need to Know About Bugs and Your Garden

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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