Ew ew bugs ew tiny bugs everywhere.
November 1, 2012 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Oh-ew-bugfilter: My windows are covered in tiny bugs. I have no idea where they are coming from. Send help.

I woke up today to find one of my apartment windows covered in tiny bugs. This isn't a totally new problem - earlier this fall, when the weather was warm enough to have the windows open, I noticed my screens were covered in small (about 3x the size of a pinhead), brownish flying bugs. When I shut the windows for the season, I figured the problem was over, and it was - for about 5 days. Today, I woke up to tiny bugs all over one window - about 100, maybe more? I killed them with all-purpose cleaner, figured I'd dealt with it, but about 5 minutes later - more bugs. You can see here the number that came back in just that short time. Here is a close-up - or, as close as I could get with my phone - of one of the little fuckers.

As I type, the window is gaining more bugs. Other windows in my apartment have this as well, but not to this degree.

I can't think of any change that brought this about - nothing rotting, no fruit flies, nothing of that kind. They could have come through the screens, I suppose? But the biggest question I have now is how on earth do I get rid of them? Killing the ones on the window seems to only be a temporary measure, and I have no idea how to get to where they come from.

Ew ew.
posted by AthenaPolias to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We had a similar problem a month ago, it turns out they had gotten into the cat's litter box when we were away for a few days. To break the cycle we had to dump and scrub the box a few times. If you have cats or other animals that use a litter box, check there?
posted by cabingirl at 10:26 AM on November 1, 2012

Inspect all flour, grains, and pasta in your kitchen.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:19 AM on November 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

nthing qxntpqbbbqxl times one thousand.

I had to throw nearly a whole pantry of food away because bugs had gotten into the dry pasta in boxes.
posted by royalsong at 11:21 AM on November 1, 2012

Response by poster: Flour mites don't fly, though... do they? These are flying all over my windows (and occasionally me, when I'm sitting nearby).

I did have flour mites a few years ago (different apartment), and I remember opening a bag of flour to find a lot of tiny holes in the top where they'd burrowed in. I knew immediately which dry goods had bugs (though I did, of course, chuck it all just in case, and due to extreme disgust). I've just checked my flour, pasta, etc and found nothing. It's all in the freezer, though, just in case.

I do have a cat, cabingirl, though he's purely indoors. Off to go purge the litterbox...

Gee, this is fun.
posted by AthenaPolias at 11:39 AM on November 1, 2012

Lots of things come inside for the winter, because they wanna be warm. Vacuum them up when they aggregate, and see if you can plug any drafts.

Those look too big to be mites, and wrongly shaped to be the other two winter invaders, leaf-footed bugs and lady beetles. But I suspect some kind of beetle or bug. Either way, best thing to do is vacuum the suckers up.

(And freeze them and mail them to meeeeee I still need like, ten families for my collection for this class)
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 5:01 PM on November 1, 2012

Are they box elder bugs?
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:09 PM on November 1, 2012

Response by poster: Made of Star Stuff, you win points for the most unexpected response to this question! Thanks for the tip (and memail me if you're serious about the mailing - they seem to have mostly gone now but I'm sure I can find some of the critters...)!
posted by AthenaPolias at 9:49 AM on November 3, 2012

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