Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information about the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Entomologists: These bugs are so tiny they are specks that move really fast. Are they baby roaches?

These bugs have maybe the thickness of an eyelash hair and the length of 1/16 of an inch. They are like specks constantly probing and moving. The first five photos are of one bug and the next one is of another. They both exhibited the same behavior and I assume are the same. I bought a 400x usb microscope to examine them but remarkably that's as detailed as I can get. I figured I'd get closer but no.

Several years ago my newspaper was covered in them one day after I brought it in. They were inside the double wrap and I'm sure they came from the newspaper facility. I didn't think much of it. Since then, for the last few years, every summer I see these things in my room scurrying around any piece of paper in my room. They haven't infected the rest of the house but this is the first year I saw them in my shower. They love newspaper and apparently water. There was a little crevice in the grout and I saw one of typical size (as described above) with one even smaller and without color. They scurried together. I don't know what they are. I've put down boric acid in my room and now I don't see as many. I saw one running across my monitor and I used some scotch tape to lightly stick it. That is the one in pictures 1-5.

I realize the pictures are not detailed but I don't know what to do. If you look at them in a photo viewer you can zoom in. The first picture it looks like a roach to me. I don't see any roaches though and I've never had a roach problem. I'm very vigilant to kill any moving specks I see. I usually see them in 75 degrees and above about.

I have a limited budget and the microscope cost me $40. If you are aware of anything that I can use to get better and more detailed magnification for a reasonable price I'm game. I can't get rid of these things and I'm freaking out these weird things are going to grow into roaches and migrate to the rest of the house and takeover.

I forgot to add I live in New York.

Guys thanks for the identification. What in the picture was distinct enough to identify it as a springtail? I wonder why they stay. I read they are attracted to decaying material. I don't have any of that in my room though. They love paper. Why is that? Paper is not decaying.
As far as getting rid of them it looks unlikely. Everything is pretty dry already. I wonder if they're camping out somewhere I don't know of but I can't think of where.

more info on springtails
More details on springtails are available on this Information tab. I like the quote "Springtails are probably the most abundant hexapods on Earth, with up to 250 million individuals per acre" so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of around no matter how vigilant one is about keeping them out.

Thanks again!
OK. That was interesting. I'm going to stay away from that diatomaceous earth. The reviews on amazon have some horror stories when it gets in the lungs.
Anyway I suppose I can live with them as long as they aren't roaches.

okeller is right, they are springtails.
They are a harmless nuisance. According the the Guide, "Springtails indoors should be ignored, as they cause no health threat whatsoever and will quickly die or disperse as the areas they frequent dry out. If you simply cannot stand their presence, then the only way to control them is to thoroughly dry the areas where you find them. Chemical treatments are not effective."

Those are springtails (Colembola). They will not develop into baby roaches.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.