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Tiiiiny bugs in upstairs bath, bedroom, closet - HELP!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
They are so tiny, they look like a fleck of dirt until you see them move. I'd say they're only about 2 mm long, if that. So, it's a bit hard to take a picture of them (haven't played around with macro). They seem to have a head part with small antennae, and an elongated egg shaped torso. Looks like their legs are up higher (maybe 6?). They don't disintegrate when you smush 'em, they just get flat unless you really dig in and pulverize them. They don't hop like fleas do. I thought they were wingless for a while because they just crawl, but I stared at one long enough and saw it flit its wing; also saw one "fly" about 4 inches far by the window. I wouldn't normally be bothered by them, but I went to take a bath with my son and mid bath found about 10 of them in the bath water with us! *faint*

I had seen about 1 or 2 a day around the sink, later in the bath, more along the tile floor, next day a few on the carpeted bedroom floor, I've only seen two total on the bed (please God, no more!), only today, I found a fair amount along the windows and some (sob!) in my closet. My cats are bug free & we don't seem to have any bites on our bodies. I'm worried that they will turn into a problem. I'm particularly pissed off about my clothes. I didn't start pulling them out to inspect them since it was night time and I'd probably miss them. I've got a ton of clothes and can't bear the thought of having to wash all the clothes in my closet!!

Anyone have any idea what they might be? The pictures on the web just don't seem to match, unless maybe if I had a microscope! I kind of doubt they're fleas because my cats don't have signs of them, and I don't think they're bedbugs because all the pics I've found of those have much rounder bodies. They kind of resemble the weevils you find in flour only smaller, I think. Any help would be greatly appreciated! (note: although I would love to find a "natural" way to eliminate them, at this point I just want them gone - by any means necessary!)
post #2 of 17
Google "Cigarette Beetle." Little bastards are everywhere, especially in summer/early fall.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Nope. Not that
post #4 of 17
Could they be thrips? They are apparently a garden pest normally, but can come inside. We got a used couch that seems to have thrips in it (possible crumbs down the side of the couch, or maybe it was stored in a garage?) that we are getting rid of tomorrow, and I'm going to steam clean our carpets. I'm hopeing that will work.

Good luck, any pest is unpleasant to have in your home.
post #5 of 17
are you sure they aren't termites?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I took some photos, though they still don't resemble what I've found online: Bugs - yech!

Any guesses as to what they are? Suggestions as to how to eliminate them?
post #7 of 17
no idea, but maybe put down some sort of bait/trap to get rid of them? (If you're not averse to using poison, you could set out those little roach motel/ant trap things and see if the bugs disappear, or just put little dishes of sugar mixed with borax (out of reach of kids and pets) as a homemade/less toxic solution...) Since you don't know what they are or where they're coming from, it may or may not work, but it's worth a try!

or if there's an exterminator in your area that will give a free estimate, maybe you could have them come and id the bugs? Or bring one to your local university extension office....
post #8 of 17
My FIL is an entemologist - I've asked him and will let you know what he says!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Eliotsmum View Post
My FIL is an entemologist - I've asked him and will let you know what he says!

Oooh, thanks! Looks like I've eliminated quite a few, but I'm fearful that more will come out of the woodworks since they're so small. It would be nice to know what I need to do to get rid of them for good. I've been sleeping on the couch the last few days and would like to return to my bedroom soon!
post #10 of 17
Well, it looks like fleas and a beatle.

"If you want my "expert" opinion, you have pictures of two different insects. The pictures are pretty fuzzy so I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure one of the insects is Ctenocephalides felis, otherwise known as the cat flea. It looks like you found a spot where the cats lounge around and while they are there, the flea eggs drop off, hatch, and eventually turn into adult fleas. You need to get a good flea control product on the cats, plus clean up the environment where they sleep/lounge. One of the pictures is a beetle, because it definitely has antennae. Flea antennae are not all that visible. Is this more information than you wanted? If you can get some better pictures, I can be sure. Frontline Combo is the best product for them, because it contains an ingredient that will kill the eggs and larvae, plus kill the adult fleas on the cat. This is peak flea season in Europe; believe me on that."

Not sure about the beatle, but looks like fleas are the main problem. At least they won't eat your woodwork!
post #11 of 17
Your pics are too blurry for me to identify. Please compare to these bed bug pics to be sure that they aren't bed bugs! Have you had any bites? Hopefully they are not, but you are better off finding out sooner rather than later! I think I'd be on the phone with a reputable pest control company stat to find out for sure what they are! Good luck!
post #12 of 17
I was going to suggest bed bugs, too, from the description.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
No, it's not a bedbug (thank goodness!). My fear was fleas too, but they're just not shaped the same way. I even watched some youtube videos to observe them in action and they don't even move the same way. Mine don't jump or move really fast like fleas (ugh! I get the creeps just thinking about fleas. I was eaten alive a few years ago at my MIL's so I have somewhat first hand experience with those ) I know the antennae are not visible in the pictures, but they do have microscopic ones. Plus, those photos were taken after I sprayed the heck out of those areas, so they're all dead. I'm guessing their bodies and antennae shriveled a bit in the process.

It's very frustrating. I called the exterminator for a return visit (he came last week to spray for citrus ants that were swarming in the yard), but he won't be here until Monday morning. We'll see. I grew up as a child in an apartment with roach infestation so I guess I'm a bit paranoid. Honestly, if I saw a few of these on a normal day, I'd squish them and forget about it, but after seeing a group of them, I can't help but stress.

Thanks for any ideas & suggestions! Keep 'em coming.

Any ideas for less toxic overall pest control?
post #14 of 17
They might be mites. But, looking at your pic my thought was weevils, too. Which would make them a beetle of some kind. That fits with the wings. There are about ten thousand species of beetle.
post #15 of 17
Confused Flour Beetles? We had them when we bought the house.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, I was reminded of DE for pest control. I will try that for sure. I feel uncomfortable leaving the bathroom & closet coated in poison (though I know I won't be able to clean it all up), so hopefully after a thorough cleaning, I can sprinkle some DE everywhere for any remaining critters / new hatchlings. Anyone use this product? Where can I get it? I'm in Chicago if that helps.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, looks like MrsMike was closest of all. According to the terminix guy, they were cigar beetles. Harmless, but an annoyance nonetheless. They are attracted to moisture, which would explain why they went in the bathroom, although we haven't had them at all in 7 years, so that might mean that I now have a dampness problem . Makes sense since our central air conditioning went out a couple of weeks back, so I'm sure the air in the house wasn't as dry as it should be.

Mystery solved, bugs dead, DE sprinkled, now I just have to hold my breath to get through mouse season!
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