Bay Area Bug ID
October 15, 2016 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Woke up to an infestation of these things -- maybe 30 or 40 around the apartment. Thought they might be ants but my boyfriend doesnt think so. What's really weird is that they don't seem to have come from outside -- they're not near doors or windows, not clustering near food. They're in the middle of the living room and on the interior stairs.

I'm in West Oakland and think they might have something to do with the recent rain? Maybe they're some sort of earwig?

The only other bugs I've ever seen in this apartment are silverfish.
posted by pocketfullofrye to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
Looks like a termite.
posted by cecic at 1:29 PM on October 15, 2016

Hard to say, pretty blurry, but it could be a termite, if a bit on the small/dark side. Look for sawdust- rains can indeed make them move. Here is a brief guide termite species in your region.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:30 PM on October 15, 2016

termites, sorry.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:45 PM on October 15, 2016

Termite colonies spawn virgin queens and kings, called alates, which leave the colonies in swarms, often after it rains. The alates leave the nest, shed their wings, mate, and start new colonies. Finding swarming alates inside means your house probably contains has a termite colony that is several years old.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:47 PM on October 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yikes, never have I been so glad to be a renter.

Anyway, thank you all so much, I never would have figured it out myself. With the search term "termite" I even found this link that talks about alates coming out in this part of California in October when it rains.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 1:55 PM on October 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

If it makes you feel better, everyone in California has some amount of termites which is why you see houses tented all the time. (According to my mom, who owns a few properties in SoCal.) Tell your landlord and then don't worry. The worst is that you'll have to leave while it gets tented.
posted by dame at 1:58 PM on October 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

This morning a girlfriend met me at our local farmers market in Northern California and said she had seen a swarm of young termites emerging from a colony near a little urban creek. So yeah, it's a thing!
posted by Bella Donna at 2:09 PM on October 15, 2016

We just sold our house in Long Beach, Ca, and those little bastages would turn up inside the house every October. Relentless, but we'll see, or actually the new owner will see, how much they liked getting a dose of the tent during escrow.

In the East Bay now, and haven't seen any here.
posted by notyou at 4:17 PM on October 15, 2016

Termites. They push through the wall or ceiling so can crop up anywhere.
posted by w0mbat at 5:21 PM on October 15, 2016

Termites swarm fairly reliably on the warm day (or morning) after the first cold autumn rain. I spotted several outdoor swarms in the South Bay this morning.
posted by dws at 10:08 PM on October 15, 2016

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