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Fellow New Yorkers! I don't think it's a roach...but what is it?
April 27, 2014 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Just moved to New York City to a clean, small apartment. I've been here a month and in the past few days have found several, small, brown bugs. My first thought, roaches! But these guys are really, really slow and come out in the daylight a lot. I've had roaches before and you can't catch them with your hands, these guys I can just swoop down and snag.

They also have small antennae. It's hard to tell if they have wings though...The first one was tear drop shaped, more like a spider beetle, the next was more thin, like a rectangle. I'm really clean and see them in my room where I don't keep food (aside from an occasional snack or soda bottle). I have, however, had the windows open lately and live on the third floor of an apartment complex, so they could have easily flown in, and I do shop from street vendors for groceries a lot, so whatever it is could have hitched a ride on some produce.

Any ideas? They're not bad, it's just bothering me. If its a roach species, I don't want it around, if its just like, a normal beetle, I'm not as upset.
posted by Rosengeist to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
 
I think we're going to need photos here.
posted by bswinburn at 10:24 PM on April 27


Blah...sorry, no photos yet. I kind of have not had the foresight to photograph one when I've caught them. Next time I do, I'll snap a pic.
posted by Rosengeist at 10:29 PM on April 27


How big are they?
posted by KogeLiz at 12:55 AM on April 28


Box elder bug?
posted by professor plum with a rope at 1:11 AM on April 28


Your description is making me think that they're stink bugs.

My folks get them down in New Jersey (the brown marmorated kind). Stink bugs are slow and dumb as bricks.

If what you have are in fact stink bugs, you can just catch them and throw them out in a plastic bag. They're an invasive species, so don't feel too bad about it. Don't crush them, though (they're called stink bugs for a reason).
posted by topoisomerase at 1:24 AM on April 28


Yes, they sound like stink bugs to me. They're all over the place here in NJ, and I agree with topoisomerase that as these things go, they aren't so bad. They don't bite, and as far as I can tell, they're not interested in invading my pantry. They're slow and easy to catch.
posted by katie at 2:51 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Stink bugs were my first thought, too. We had a hatch of them a week or so ago when four or five invaded the living room during the same day, but none since then. In previous years we've had many more, but last summer I read that they lay eggs in crevices around windows so in the fall I opened all the casement windows, removed the screens and cleaned around the edges of all the parts. That seems to have helped.
posted by jon1270 at 3:41 AM on April 28


There are about a zillion different types of insects in NYC in addition to roaches, and like anywhere else, sometimes insects find their way inside of buildings. It sounds like maybe two totally different insects, if one was teardrop-shaped and one was a thin rectangle.

Spider beetles, have teardrop shaped bodies, which doesn't sound much like stink bugs at all, with their flat bodies. Stink bugs are slow and easy to scoop up, but you'd be well aware that they have wings, because they will fly (albeit clumsily) when disturbed. Also, I don't know about NYC, but here in Philly we don't actually get a lot of stink bugs in the more densely-urban areas of the city, despite their ubiquitousness as soon as you get into the semi-suburban areas.

Anyway, it's really hard to speculate without a picture.
posted by desuetude at 8:29 AM on April 28


As a Brooklyn native, I can tell you that you have no idea the variety of roaches you will find in our fair city (topped only by the flying roaches (aka Palmetto bugs) in Miami.

Boric acid lining any open entry ways always got rid of most of the varieties I saw growing up.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 9:53 AM on April 28


Nthing stink bug.
posted by ravioli at 11:03 AM on April 28


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