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BugFilter: Unbeknownst to us, water got under our kitchen flooring. The bad section has been pulled up and cleaned but I'm seeing some small bugs in that general area. Help!
August 1, 2009 12:24 PM   Subscribe

BugFilter: Unbeknownst to us, water got under our kitchen flooring. The bad section has been pulled up and cleaned but I'm seeing some small bugs in that general area. Help!

Water got under our kitchen flooring and the floor buckled up. (Very old kitchen that has a layer of peel and stick tile, then old laminate flooring and then the sub flooring.)

I pulled up that area this morning because I smelled faint mildew and was worried about mold. I cleaned the area with a diluted bleach solution and have a fan blowing on the area to help it dry out.

What I'm really worried about is the small bugs that keep popping up around that area. I've only seen/killed about 10-12 of them since this morning. They are small and flea like. One or two flew when I disturbed them but for the most part they just see to jump to try and get away from me.

What are these? Are they fleas? Springtails? Something else that was just attracted to the moisture under the floor? (I haven't seen them anywhere else in the house, just specific to that area.) What should I do before they get any worse?
posted by pghjezebel to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
Call an exterminator, you'll want to have them inspect for termites. You should also check the subfloor and joists for dry rot which will encourage termites.
posted by iamabot at 1:21 PM on August 1, 2009


I actually had an exterminator here a few months back for an ant problem in the bathroom. He did check the whole house (including for termites at the time) but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have him come back sooner than the next scheduled spray in Sept. Thanks.
posted by pghjezebel at 1:37 PM on August 1, 2009


Well springtails have long antennae and fleas don't (I can see the antennae on a springtail if I look at it closely with my naked eye). Springtails have a very soft body; if you crush one you'll hardly even feel it. Fleas have a harder body. If you have springtails it seems most sources say that they are pretty harmless and will not survive once the place is dried out. I don't know about fleas though, but it also seems unusual for fleas to appear out of nowhere in flooring. Termites are typically closer in size to a small ant, whereas springtails and fleas are like 1-2 mm. But IANAExterminator
posted by bread-eater at 2:12 PM on August 1, 2009


I'm fairly sure they aren't termites. Waaay too small. And yes, they pretty much feel like nothing when you kill them.
posted by pghjezebel at 2:17 PM on August 1, 2009


That sounds like springtails. They don't actually fly, but they're really good jumpers. They should go away once you get things dried out, and aren't serious pests, so no need for an exterminator.
posted by Tsuga at 10:50 PM on August 1, 2009


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