Help me identify these bugs in our bathtub.
May 17, 2017 7:45 PM   Subscribe

What are these bugs in our bathtub (that we never use)?

We have a cleaning lady who comes every 2 weeks, and she cleans the tub. In between her cleanings, the tub is dusty since we never use it. There isn't any food in the bathroom, but I do fix my hair there, so there's a good amount of dust/hairspray in the area. We keep the tub drain closed except for when she cleans it. Occasionally I see one of these bugs on our master vanity as well. The vanity is right next to the tub. We haven't seen the bugs anywhere else in the house. Though they are so tiny that there's a chance that they are there and we haven't noticed them. We have no pets in our home. If you know what they are, can you help me figure out how we got them and/or how we can get rid of them?
posted by allison00 to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They might be springtails. Interestingly, they are not currently considered insects, but experts still disagree on where they fit in to the family tree!

See e.g. second photo here , where the central bottom figure looks much like your guy.

How do they respond if you poke at them or blow on them? If they scatter and jump, it's almost certainly springtails. Hard to say for sure, but springtails like to to hang around in damp places like leaf litter, duff, or maybe drainage systems.

If the bugs are in your bathtub sometimes, and elsewhere rarely, I'd personally advise ignoring them. They are so tiny they are hard to photograph, and they don't damage anything in your house.

Otherwise, standard bug-proofing applies: plug up all cracks including tiny ones, using appropriate sealant, possibly silicone. Dehumidify area, using machines or air flow. Prevent or clean all detritus, including skin flakes, stray hair, soap residue, etc etc. These practices will help keep your bathroom clear of most arthropods.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:00 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]

Thank you, Salty! They do jump when I try to smush them, so I'm sure you are right! Thank you for all of the helpful hints for cleaning and such! I'm just really happy to know they aren't destructive!
posted by allison00 at 6:46 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]

if you are not using the tub you should run water once a week to fill the "P" trap. this might stop the bugs from getting in.
posted by patnok at 1:35 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

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