Home » Outdoor Gardening » Bugs That Look Like Chia Seeds: Identify and Eliminate

Bugs That Look Like Chia Seeds: Identify and Eliminate

Many bugs look like chia seeds and can affect houseplants, humans, and pets. Some of these small insects only affect plants without causing any harm to humans and pets. Throughout this article, I will describe in detail all about bugs that look like chia seeds. In addition, I will explain simple methods to get rid of these annoying insects.

Some bugs that look like chia seeds, such as fungus gnats, are entirely harmless to humans and plants. Other insects, like ticks, carry diseases affecting humans and pets. Don’t worry. I will teach you how to identify each of these insects. Throughout the article, you will find high-resolution images to identify these small insects correctly.

What Bugs Look Like Chia Seeds

What Bugs Look Like Chia Seeds? Many bugs look like chia seeds. Some of these insects affect only home and garden plants without causing any harm to humans and pets. However, some small bugs, such as ticks, harm humans and pets. These are the most common bugs that look like chia seeds due to their size and color:

  • Aphids
  • Spider Mites
  • Fungus Gnats
  • Thrips
  • Bed Bugs
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Black Vine Weevil

The pictures you will see throughout the article will help you identify each of these little bugs that look like chia seeds.


Aphids are one of the most common little bugs that look like chia seeds that can be found in plants. Many different aphids come in different colors, but the most common ones are dark and look like chia seeds. Fortunately, aphids cannot bite humans and pets, but they can do a lot of damage to plants. You may be interested in our article Are Aphids Harmful to Humans?

In addition, aphids secrete honeydew that attracts ants, which would be another extra problem in the garden. An excellent insect ally to eliminate aphids is ladybugs. A single ladybug can eat many aphids in a few days. As a natural and environmentally friendly method, I recommend releasing ladybugs. For more information, please read our article Are Ladybugs Good for the Garden? to fight aphids.

aphids bugs that look like chia seeds

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny arachnids that belong to the family Tetranychidae. They are not true insects but are often considered pests because they feed on the sap of plants, which can damage and even kill the plants if left unchecked. These pests come in various colors, including red, green, yellow, black, and brown.

Spider mites are not harmful to humans and pets, but they can do a lot of damage to plants. I recommend using neem oil to eliminate these annoying mites from plants and prevent them from spreading easily. Learn more about how to mix neem oil for plants.

spider mites bugs
Spider mites.

Fungus Gnats

Other little bugs that look like chia seeds are fungus gnats. These fungus gnats are entirely harmless to plants, humans, and pets. They are annoying because they reproduce fast and fly around us and the plants where they grow.

These small bugs that look like chia seeds grow in very humid substrates. They lay their eggs in the substrate, and the larvae feed on the organic matter in the substrate. You can easily eliminate fungus gnats with diatomaceous earth and sticky traps. I recommend you read our article on how to get rid of gnats in plants to learn more about it.

fungus gnats bugs that look like chia seeds


Thrips can cause a lot of damage to plants but not to humans and pets. These tiny bugs that look like chia seeds are quite difficult to eradicate from plants, but not impossible. The first thing you should do when you notice thrips on your plants is to isolate the plant from the rest (if possible) to prevent them from spreading to other plants.

I recommend applying neem oil and sticky traps to get rid of thrips. It would be best to prune the leaves infected with these insects and not use them in the compost bin to throw them away.

thrips insects bugs

Bed Bugs

One of the bugs that look like chia seeds are bed bugs. These tiny insects feed on the blood of humans and pets. Adult bed bugs are about the size of a chia seed, roughly 4-5 millimeters long. They have a flat, oval-shaped body with a reddish-brown color. After feeding, their bodies become engorged and appear redder and more elongated.

Bed bug bites can cause itchy, red welts on the skin. They are often arranged in a line or cluster and commonly found on exposed body areas, such as the arms, neck, face, and hands.

Isolate the infested area to prevent bed bugs from spreading. That may involve moving infested items away from non-infested areas. The University of Kentucky mentions that it may sometimes work to use a vacuum cleaner and then remove the bag. In many cases, hiring a licensed pest control professional with experience in treating bed bugs is advisable.

bed bugs bugs that look like chia seeds
Bed bugs.


Fleas are common pests that can infest various warm-blooded animals, including dogs, cats, rodents, and sometimes humans. These bugs that look like chia seeds are carriers of various diseases and should be eradicated soon. Fleas are tiny, usually about 1-2 millimeters in length.

Fleas feed by piercing the skin of their host and sucking their blood. Their bites can cause itching, redness, and skin irritation in animals and humans. Regularly groom and bathe pets to check for fleas and use flea prevention products recommended by veterinarians.

Use flea control products such as insecticides and flea traps in infested areas. Suppose you suspect a flea infestation in your home or on your pets. In that case, it is essential to take prompt action to eliminate them and prevent their return.

fleas insects bugs
Flea on the fur of a dog.


Ticks are another kind of bug that looks like chia seeds. They are known for transmitting various diseases to humans and animals. Some diseases transmitted by ticks are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. The specific diseases a tick can transmit depend on its species and geographic location.

An excellent way to prevent or at least reduce the number of ticks in the garden is to keep the grass short and remove dry leaves. Ticks hide in long grasses and foliage. After returning from the garden, always check your clothing for ticks.

I recommend using a tick repellent when you do outdoor activities, especially if you go somewhere with very long grasses. Whenever we go hiking in the woods with my wife Julia, we put on repellent to prevent tick bites.

Black Vine Weevil

Black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) is another bug resembling chia seeds. Adult Black Vine Weevils are typically small, ranging from 8 to 12 millimeters in length. These weevils are harmful to plants but utterly harmless to humans and pets. These tiny bugs that look like chia seeds feed on plant roots and leaves.

Black vine weevil adults feed primarily at night on leaves. While the adults can cause some damage, the larvae are the most destructive. The larvae feed on plant roots, particularly those of ornamental plants and shrubs, causing stunted growth and sometimes plant death.

To get rid of these weevils, I recommend using neem oil on the plant and diatomaceous earth in the soil to get rid of the larvae. If possible, separate the plant from the others to prevent these insects from spreading to the other plants in the garden. Learn more about how to use diatomaceous earth.

Final Conclusions

Many bugs look like chia seeds, some harmful to humans and some not. For example, if you find fungus gnats, it will be nothing to worry about. Still, if you find bed bugs or ticks, it is something to be concerned about, and act quickly to eliminate those types of insects.

Generally, the best thing is prevention, so whenever we go hiking, we always use tick repellents. Inspecting a plant you bring from a store to verify that it does not contain bugs is also advisable. You can isolate it for a few days from the rest.

If you look at the pictures in the article, it will not be difficult to identify the bugs that look like chia seeds. Suppose you cannot identify the insect with the ones mentioned here. In that case, I recommend you send us a picture through the contact form, and we will be happy to help you identify the insect.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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