Finding bugs in the kitchen

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have no idea what they are, or where they are coming from.
    They are about 1 mm long. Not round. Have 6 or 8 legs and tiny antenna's. Not a smoothe little shell or body, kind of ridged.
    They appear 2 or three at a time sporatically over the counter.
    I wash the counter off with bleach and 15 minutes later I'll find one or two more (not even together). Wash it again. Same thing. Washed out every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen with bleach. Still a bug will appear in the middle of the counter.
    How can it just appear? I stood there for about 30 minutes staring at the counter last night waiting for one to appear. Walk away and bam...there's a bug.
    Not on the floor or anywhere else. just the kitchen counter. Both sides of the sink. Just one or two or three at a time, and they are never clustered together.

    Any idea's.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Possibility - baby cockroaches. They can look quite different, they're really tiny. Ours are slightly striped, and since they're called the American cockroach, I presume they're a familiar species to you as well. They actually look kind of cute, in a buggy way. Look up American cockroach nymph in Google and see if you can find a picture. You don't want a picture of the older nymph, you want a photo of a hatchling, they look quite different. They're tiny, you could fit several on a matchhead.

    If you can, count the legs. Insects always have six (unless something's pulled off some of the legs). Arachnid adults have 8. Arachnid nymphs (as in lice, ticks) often have 6 when they hatch. Cockroach nymphs do not have wings - not until their final mount and they turn into adults.

    Bleach won't stop them. They can survive on the thin film of grease left behind after you wipe down the kitchen bench. So - wipe it down with detergent and then dry it off thoroughly.

    And to eradicate - hit the place with a cockroach bomb that uses juvenile hormone to knock them down AND interfere with their breeding (often sold as 'eggstoppers'). The hormone bombs basically stop the cockroach moulting properly at the final moult into adult stage, when they would normally breed. Without a successful final moult, they cannot breed.

    And the second thing you have to do - stop bringing cardboard boxes into the house. That's where these tiny babies live and are smuggled inside - deep inside the corrugations of the cardboard. We bought a plastic box instead, we load our groceries from the cart into the plastic box in the car, then carry the plastic box inside when we get home. once emptied, it goes back out to the car.

    And if you've successfully eradicated them from the house, you don't want to be inviting them back in any time soon.

  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Nope. all too big.
  4. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    nope. too big. these are really tiny. About 1mm. No wings. not a smoothe body. When I spray them with a bleach solution they die. But they just keep appearing and I do not see a path as to where they are coming from. Just there in the middle of the counter. Nothing on the counter. Can wash it off and look in 15 minutes and there will be one. Like they are just dropping out of the air.
  6. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Flees maybe? I'd be buying some bug bombs and disappearing for little while why the bombs are set off.
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I was worried about fleas. Even though both dogs have Frontline..religiously they can still come in on the dogs. But, I checked the dogs and see nothing. I have checked other places in the house where the dogs go and nothing. I heard fleas have a little reddish tint. These are black, or maybe very dark brown. I also though a deer tick, but still only on kitchen counter.
  8. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Do they jump at all? I'm not sure what the weather has been like in WI, but TX has been wet wet wet so all the bugs are coming inside. My dog doesn't have fleas, but our newest addition to our family does, our cat. Our dog is an outside dog for the most part, she just doesn't seem to get them though, weird. If not fleas, not sure what else. I was trying to find a bug ID thing online, but couldn't find what I was really hoping for, pictures. Whatever it is, you want to get rid of it before it gets worse. Good luck!
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm no help but I understand. Now the ants are gone and I have
    teeny, tiny little bugs with wings...only on the kitchen table!
    I'm afraid they are termites.

    The plan is to put sample bugs in a disposable plastic bag and
    take them to the exterminators office. Good luck. DDD
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Also not much help, but I too understand. I have gnats. "Noseeums". These things bite, I swear!
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Your description reminds me of bugs I've seen in my garden, but I haven't a clue as to what their called so can't look them up to find a picture for you.

    If they're really tiny you can try the ant or roach hotels/traps you find at wallie world. Maybe they'll also be attracted to the stuff inside.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I didn't know "noseeums" lived up north. I thought the summer
    Southern seashore and woods were the only place they were found.
    Interesting. Yes...absolutely!...they are biting little son of
    a guns. DDD
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm fairly out of my depth here. If I could see it, I might be able to identify it, but I'm also working with an ecosystem I'm not personally familiar with.

    To summarise for the squeamish - I'm wondering if these things are insect larvae, hatchlings, possibly feeding off something on the other side of the ceiling above the kitchen bench. Detailed discussion follows, if this sort of thing really bugs you (ha ha) don't read on. But to fully understand - sorry for the detail. Warning for the squeamish among you - this could get gruesome.

    Kjs, from your description it DOES sound like an insect nymph, probably hatchling, of some sort. Generally ticks and mites closely resemble the adult, even as hatchlings. The only difference between the hatchlings and the adults in these non-spider arachnids are that they often only have 6 legs, not 8. They get the extra paid of legs generally on the first mount. They'll go through several moults before the adult stage is reached.

    So, the 'ridged' description you give, plus 'not round' leads me to think it's an insect nymph os some sort. You were quite definite that it's not American cockroach nymph - they were much larger in the photo, though, with no scale given. A freshly hatched American cockroach can be as small as 2 mm but wouldn't be less. They also look a bit like they have a slight bend in the middle, which makes them look a bit like they're stretching up to look at things, like an inquisitive puppy.

    But you're sure it's not that. The American cockroach is quite big as an adult - several inches long - and there are many other species which are a lot smaller. The German, for example. We get both - not impressed. The American ones are easier to get rid of, you really need nukes to shift the Germans.
    If there's no way it's fallen from the ceiling it's still possibly a cockroach nymph, but a much smaller species. But there are other possibilities...

    I doubt very much it's flea, tick or louse.
    I'm told that flea nymphs look very much like the adults, so the ridged appearance doesn't fit. With ticks, fleas and lice, we can get misled and expect the bloodspots or darker colouring but if they've not yet had a blood meal, they won't have any blood spots, of course. But without a blood meal, they look paler, almost white - which doesn't fit your description.

    Another not very pleasant thought - they keep reappearing in the middle of your bench so soon after you've wiped it, with no apparent trace of a trail - could they be dropping from the ceiling? Is there the possibility you have something dead on the other side of the ceiling, and it's dropping bits? We had a dead rat in a crawlway in our ceiling, right where we couldn't get to it, up against the bedroom wall. (You know how they eat the poison and 'crawl away to die'? Well this one crawled right where we couldn't do a darn thing). And the good old Aussie blowfly COULD reach it.
    We had maggots dropping onto our bed, through the join where the ceiling meets the wall. And all we could do was wait until they'd finished their job. If we'd sprayed them, they wouldn't have finished their meal and once the poison blew away, more maggots would move in. So we moved out until they'd finished their meal. We let them get on with it, to get it over and done with sooner.
    I can cope with most insects but I really do not like maggots.

    So - is there something breeding a different kind of larvae (not maggot) on the other side of your ceiling, above the kitchen bench?
    If there is, chances are it's not carrying any nasty diseases. It's just the gross-out factor. And hitting just about anything with bleach will kill it. So will hitting them with a shoe. The smell of bleach won't prevent it, especially if they're simply dropping. They may have no choice about it (gravity...)

    Can you take a digital photo of the bugs? Then take the photo to a pest exterminator and see if they can identify it. There are a number of very small insects which are actually used by museum curators to clean up old bones.

    I really have no idea where you are compared to Texas, but chances are you should have the same or similar insects in your area, I don't think there are many migratory barriers in the US, other than climate.

    It could be this particular beastie, or it could be something that looks quite different but does the same sort of job.
    There are other similar beetle larvae which aren't after carrion, they'll eat grain, or paper. You may have a box of papers up in the ceiling which are slowly being munched to nothing.

    If they're insects (which I suspect) you can get rid of them with pyrethrin-type sprays. Don't bother spraying the bench - it's not the source, it's just where they're ending up. The 'trail' is only of use when dealing with social insects such as ants or termites. It's unlikely to be a termite - they're white, not dark and can't stand the light. They're also bigger.

    I'd be checking upstairs. If you have another floor to the house up there, I'm betting it's difficult child's room? Try and pinpoint EXACTLY what's directly above the kitchen bench where these things are turning up, see if there's a corresponding box or container, or something unpleasant (such as a six-week-old forgotten burger) in the area. Remove whatever the source is, then spray it and the surrounding area.

    Good luck. Here's hoping you can find the problem. But I doubt this is a health problem, apart from telling you there could be a health hazard somewhere upstairs.

  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You should snap a picture of one. There are places online to send them for help with identification.

    Also, you might want to hang out and see if you can see where they are coming from the next time after you spray. I bet that they are coming from below the cabinets. If you can find what they are feeding upon and get rid of it (not an easy task if it is wood) you can get rid of them.
  15. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    OMG, Marg, I was trying to make it through and I just couldn't. I certainly appreciate the warning, I should have listened to it! I think I just spit up in my mouth, bleeecchh. hehehe

    witzend-you're so smart! I've actually done that before with a huge bug that was white with brown spots. Sent it off to a school in Indiana I think.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Do they curl up in a ball when disturbed? If so, it could be a pillbug, commonly called a rolly polly.

    Here's a website where you can upload a picture of the bug for help in identifying it:
  17. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Well, I was tempted to take a picture of it and post it so you guys could help me out!!! The only thing on the counter was the toaster and hot pads. I took the toaster outside and blew it out with the blower. LOL. Then put it on with no bread. I washed the Hot Pads. No new bugs today. Now I wonder if the bugs were in the material of the Hot Pads. I'll keep watching for them. They have no wings. They do not have a smooth shape. Do not jump. Not on the floor, stove, table. Even checked the garbage and that area. No bugs there.