We moved into a 1930's house a few months back in the countryside and all was well. However, about 9 days ago, these little bugs appeared in the bathroom on the bathroom window sill.
At first I thought it was just dust, as they are really tiny (about 1mm I'd guess). However I saw them moving slightly so investigated further. They're black (although some (albeit a few only) are very, very white, no other colours I can see, might be two different things, the white ones are impossible to make out), very small, hardly move at all, don't fly and don't jump.
At first I thought they were baby spiders, but not after taking the photograph (attached).
I then found them all over the bath, up the walls, over the ceiling a little and over the tiled shelf and, eventually, the floor. They mostly seem to like the white goods in the bathroom, but also the corners of the room.
As of Saturday-Friday last week, every time I wet a piece of tissue and run it around the bathroom floor along the edges, I would collect about 1000 of them. I'm estimating that based on wetting one sheet of paper, doing a small area and then counting, as best I could, how many were on the sheet of paper. By the time I got only 1/4 of the way round, the paper was almost black. I did this twice a day.
I sprayed a Raid beetle and spider spray but they didn't seem to die (it did seem to kill some, but then some were still happily moving).
However since Saturday I've been clearing the bathroom of about 200-300 a day, rather than a couple of thousand. So their numbers appear to be declining.
We have recently had new windows installed, so they may have been disturbed during that, but that was three weeks ago and they only showed up just over one week ago.
They've also appeared in the next door bedroom, again on the white plastic window sill. I haven't found them anywhere else, but because they're so small, I doubt I would really.
Any help greatly appreciated, as they're getting all over the flannel, hand towels, shaving equipment, bath (at it's worst, they were crawling over both top edges of the bath, to the point that it looked pebbledashed with black paint), etc. etc.
The photo isn't great (especially the one I have zoomed in on), but I can't stress enough how small they are, and I couldn't get a better picture than this.
From the description of your property, can I hazard a guess that you have (or had) swallows or other birds nesting under the eaves or in the attic? If not birds, any rodent, bee or wasps nests?
I would definitely wait for one of our experts to give their opinion but to my untrained eye it looks like it could be a mite. The work performed on your windows could have disturbed a nest in the attic leading to the mites migrating into the house.
E.g. see all the responses to this thread:
And this thread:
Btw the following link that provides information about bird mites is in the second thread in my reply:
I will wait as you suggest to see if somebody can confirm, but what you've suggested does sound right.
Up to about two weeks ago, we had Starlings (spelling?) nesting in the eaves of the bathroom. We could hear them, but we stopped being able to hear them about two weeks ago, so suspect they flew then. It would have been a few days after that that these bugs appeared.
So...that all makes sense. I can't work out where they're coming in from, as I can't even find a crack, so I'm wondering whether they're coming in under the bath behind the bath panel that is sealed on with sealant (not our doing, previous owners). I'll cut around that this weekend to see if that's where the little bug...ers...are coming in.
Any suggestions with what to use to get rid of them? I don't really want to call in pest control and go to all that expense unless I have to.
Really appreciate your response!
I agree with Jonathan - Tropical fowl mite, Ornithonyssus bursa, is a common mite carried by starlings and often infest the nest after the adults and chicks have left/fledged. Fortunately they cannot sustain themselves by feeding on our blood full time but can and will try feeding on us and are more than a nuisance why this occurs. I feel that a dose of mite powder (as sold for chickens) could solve this problem.
Thanks, that helps.
Being a complete newbie to this (used to be a town person, now a newcomer to the countryside) where would I likely find something like Mite Powder? I'm assuming a pets at home or Homebase/supermarket type place is out of the equation?
And would I just dust that all around where I can see them residing. or should I look to discover where they're coming in (I don't really fancy getting up to the eaves...they are VERY high (it's a very tall, old, house).
Should I go to the trouble of cutting the sealant around the bath panel and investigating under there, or just dust it around the bath, window sill and edges of the floor all around the bathroom and leave it at that?
We don't use that room other than to clean teeth at the end of the night, as the shower room downstairs gets used for washing, etc. So not worried about leaving the powder down for days/weeks at a time if need be to get rid of them.
this link will tell you a bit about mite migration - assuming you do have a mite flavoured invasion!! It seems moisture is the key - at least for the house mite because they can't drink - but whatever type of mite you might have, this problem might not clear up so quickly unless you can tackle the steamy moist goodness of a typical bathroom environment. I would thoroughly suggest a strong dehumidifier to counteract the effect if showers, hand and face washing etc. (probably why they like your towels so much!)
But be prepared for them to try and find somewhere else if you bathroom gets drier..