Tiny crawling bugs in bathroom

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by fizzy, May 22, 2011.

  1. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    I have noticed tiny crawling insects in my bathroom of late.
    They do not fly, and they are not in any particular spot. Instead, I just spot one, or at most 2, here and there. Usually, they are just lying still in the tile grout, in isolated spots. I have also sometimes seen one in the sink or on a window sill.

    Looking closely around the bathroom, I tend to spot 2-3 a day at the moment, usually in the morning. I was spotting 7-8 a day when I first noticed this a week or 2 ago.

    They are really tiny - they just look like specks in the tile grout. I have uploaded pictures here http://s1132.photobucket.com/albums/m563/fizzy_ie/Misc/ showing the size relative to the 14cm square tiles and I have also attached some close up shots where I tried to zoom in on them.

    They are usually lying still, or sometimes crawling quite slowly. They often start to move when you go near them but they are easily caught.

    The bathroom does have ventilation issues. It's an apartment and despite the bathroom having a large window and extraction fan, light mould/black specks build up over time on parts of the ceiling and on the tile grout in some parts. However, the problem has not worsened in the 4 years I have been there and I have only noticed these crawlies recently, although they are very hard to spot on the tile grout so I can't be sure exactly when the issue started. I tend to see them most often in the dry parts of the bathroom (the wall opposite the shower that never gets wet).

    From doing some research here and on other sites, I think they might be book lice / psocids but I really have no idea.
    If anyone could shed any light on how I could get rid of this problem, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
     
  2. Sue Ellen

    Sue Ellen Moderator.

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    IMHO they're not booklice because they look the wrong colour. Have you had a read through the previous threads on booklice.
     
  3. overdraftman

    overdraftman Registered User

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    Bite the bullet and get the exterminator in. You'll go nuts looking for them all the time if you just get rid of them yourself.
     
  4. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Sue Ellen - I read a couple of posts on other sites which sounded like what I had but not sure if there were pics. Going by http://www.rentokil.ie/pest-guides/insects-and-spiders/insects-found-in-food/booklice/index.html, they can be brown too. The ones I see can very in colour from sort of semi transparent to solid brown. But anywhere I read about booklice, it is more about kitchens and food etc, so I was just hoping that someone here may know what they are.

    Overdraftman - I'm not trying to avoid calling out professionals. You're right that I'm already starting to go mad looking for them! It's just that because I see so few of them - 2/3 a day at present - in completely different spots and have no clue where they are coming form, I thought I may need to try and find out more first. I thought an exterminator would need more to go on to be confident of eliminating the problem.

    I'm also a bit concerned about fumes from the stuff they would spray etc. Even treating the bathroom with mould spray tends to affect my throat etc and the bleach smell lingered in the apartment for days.
     
  5. horusd

    horusd Frequent Poster

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    Fizzy why not try blasting the room with fly-killer and seeing if that works? I had tiny little fly like bugs in the bathroom, they were tinchy. I blasted the place with an eco friendly killer and they were history. If that doesn't work call in the heavy mob pro's.
     
  6. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Can you remember the eco friendly killer you got Horus? My local DIY store had an array of sprays but they all had heavy warnings - I got a Rentokil pen instead, which I put around some of the tile grout, but a spray would mean I could just blitz the room. If it was possible to find one that wouldn't knock me out at the same time, that would be great :)
     
  7. overdraftman

    overdraftman Registered User

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    They'll more than likely know exactly what the problem is as soon as they call.

    Might not be a massive problem but if they're local I'd be confident that they'll ave dealt with the situation somewhere close by.
     
  8. thedaras

    thedaras Frequent Poster

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    They look like whats called "silver fish"..they appear in damp areas,where ventilation is lacking and /or damp clothes/towels are left on the floors.
     
    Miakk likes this.
  9. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    I don't *think* they are silverfish, because from what I have read, silverfish move very quickly?
    I think I have seen silverfish on the bathroom floor very rarely - say once a year or so - and it was very hard to catch due to its speed and it was dark and long and skinny.

    These bugs hardly move at all. My close up pictures might not be helping, because the naked eye cannot see them in anything like that detail. Close up to the eye, they look to me like brown ants - with a definite head and body but that's about all you can make out - they are tiny.
     
  10. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    They might be furniture beetles. The movement patterns would certainly match. Any signs of woodworm in the attic timbers?
    Leo
     
  11. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Thanks for the suggestion Leo - it's an apartment so no attic. Only wood around is the floor board and window sill which both look fine. The pics on the furniture beetles wiki page look a bit different, but they are probably close up pics so it's hard to tell.

    Thanks for the replies all. Seems like it is nothing that obvious or common. At least I am only seeing a couple of them a day now. I'll try and contact some exterminators to see if they would have enough to go on to treat it.

    Thanks again
     
  12. horusd

    horusd Frequent Poster

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    Fizzy it's Raid "with natural ingredients".Some stuff from flowers apparently from Johnson & Johnson. I dont suppose a bug killer is entirely eco friendly but it did the trick for me!
     
  13. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Thanks a mill for the name Horus - I'll try and track down some of that.
     
  14. AlbacoreA

    AlbacoreA Frequent Poster

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  15. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

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    Can I hijack this thread a bit fizzy? I have silverfish occasionally in my bathroom, what insecticide do I need to get rid of them?
     
  16. AlbacoreA

    AlbacoreA Frequent Poster

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    Get rid of whats causing damp. Thats the reason you have silver fish. I also found most exterminators who claimed to know how to get rid of them actually didn't as many insecticide don't effect silverfish. They will just keep spraying and charging you. Many of these insecticides are not meant to be used around kids either. You need to find all leaks, and dampness, no matter how small and eliminate them.


    http://www.ehow.com/way_5632118_silverfish-removal.html
    http://www.pestcontroldirect.co.uk/acatalog/Pest_Control_Direct_Silverfish_45.html
     
  17. truthseeker

    truthseeker Frequent Poster

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    I had these when I first moved into my apartment, only in the ensuite which has bad ventilation and would stay 'damp' for ages after a shower. No radiator in the room, it was always freezing in there.

    Shortly after I moved in I got a wall mounted heater installed, it blows hot air out. Since I installed that they disappeared. The heater is used for a few minutes prior to a shower, during and a few minutes after. The room gets very hot very quickly because its tiny. It completely stopped being freezing and damp after I installed the heater (this may also be that the entire building 'dried out' after a few months).

    They were exactly like yours, teeny tiny brown ant like insects that didnt move fast and Id find 2 or 3 of them daily. Usually on the sink, or on a pale shelf Id installed next to the loo - they could have been on the tiles but I didnt notice as the tiles are dark coloured and matt finish. I havent seen them since the heater went in.
     
  18. Construct

    Construct Frequent Poster

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    Try to balance your heating and ventilation. It is not easy to do in winter time. If you own the apartment you might consider a heat recovery unit for the bathroom.
     
  19. fizzy

    fizzy Frequent Poster

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    Truthseeker - many thanks for this info and it is great to hear from someone who seems to have had the same issue. I have a wall heater in bathroom but never use it, so I will give that a go. My bathroom also stays damp after showers etc.
    I seem to be seeing fewer bugs by the day and in a more limited area, so am making progress at least in diagnosing what part of the bathroom they are coming from.

    Thanks for the tip re heat recovery Construct - had not even heard that term before! I need to try and find some sort of consultant to advise on heating/insulation in the apartment in general, so I'll look into that also.
     
  20. truthseeker

    truthseeker Frequent Poster

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    fizzy - I also made a habit of leaving the door of the ensuite open after showers - just so there wasnt a small damp enclosed space with no fresh air getting in.