Please help us identify and eradicate these bugs
June 21, 2014 3:15 AM   Subscribe

Here is a picture of them. Things we know: no one has gotten bites from them, they are always dead or dying when we find them, seems like there are more of them now that the weather is getting warmer, seem to be found near the walls although no obvious holes (we recently got new windows and doors and skirting). What are they and how do we get rid of them because they are grossing me out.
posted by like_neon to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Oh and we live in a basement flat in London.
posted by like_neon at 3:17 AM on June 21, 2014

Springtails? (Ah, cycle of Ask MeFi, someone id'd those for me years back....)
posted by dreamphone at 3:49 AM on June 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

That sounds about right dreamphone. Aw man, I don't think there's much we can do about it then. Inside is nice and dry (which I guess explains why they're always dead when we find them) but outside is a bit damp and not much we can do about it.
posted by like_neon at 4:59 AM on June 21, 2014

Those look bigger, darker, and crunchier than springtails to me. Springtails are so tiny you can't really see their legs, just a tear-shaped body smaller than a pinhead and two very teeny antennae. Do they crunch when you smoosh them? If so, not springtails... springtails are so small they don't make any crunch sound or feeling. (Unless there is some larger, crunchier springtail found in London and not Massachusetts.)
posted by dayintoday at 6:19 AM on June 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had those in an old flat that I used top live in. They kept to the bathroom probably because of the moisture. Or were usually alive when we found them and the treatment I found to work was pyrethin coated diatomacous earth. Still not sure if it works or if they just all die in the autumn. Good luck getting rid of them.
posted by koolkat at 6:36 AM on June 21, 2014

They are about the size of half a grain of rice maybe? Really small. I can't really see their legs unless I bend in really close and squint. I think the camera is better at picking up the details than I am.
They are a tad crunchy (ugh ew ew ew) but like I said they are all dead and not sure for how long - I sweep every 4-5 days and that's when I collect the most.
posted by like_neon at 6:57 AM on June 21, 2014

Those are waaaaay too big to be springtails. What you've got there are some grain weevils. They're probably in your cereal or some grain you've got in your cupboards. This site gives some info on how to get rid of them and prevent further infestation.
posted by Specklet at 8:39 AM on June 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

They are not grain weevils. Shape is all wrong and the legs too apparent. They are nowhere near our cereal (I actually haven't found a single one in the kitchen). Still going with springtail!
posted by like_neon at 7:06 AM on June 23, 2014

They may not be grain weevils (I think they are because of their snouts), but they're not springtails. Springtails are this tiny, nowhere near the size of half a grain of rice. You'd be able to see the legs on a weevil but not on a springtail.
posted by Specklet at 11:06 AM on June 23, 2014

Ok my bad, they are not half a grain of rice. Specklet, the pic you posted much more accurately shows what I am also experiencing. (also, eponysterical?)
posted by like_neon at 4:04 AM on June 24, 2014

Ha ha!
posted by Specklet at 8:38 PM on June 24, 2014

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