Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Insect identification


Unidentified insect
Unidentified insect  
Hello, I was wondering if you know what type of insect this is and how to remove them from a household.They are really tiny bugs with distinctive antennas. They only come out at night (approximately 8pm), and they are mainly hovering on our ceiling next to our family room window. They also are found around our kitchen window. We've had our house exterminated twice and they are still coming out, even more now! I noticed some were coming our of the cracks from our window seal. So we sealed the areas and we thought all was good. A few minutes later we saw a couple back on the ceiling again! Now I'm confused and need fast assistance. I attached a picture, please help!

Dear Shari - This is nothing that would require chemical control. It is a springtail, a primitive arthropod in the order Collembola closely related to true insects. The vast majority of these are harmless scavengers on decomposing organic matter and are at worst nuisance pests when they occur in large numbers indoors (a few species occasionally cause damage to very tender seedlings/young plants). They are very susceptible to desiccation, so moisture management will go a long way in keeping their numbers down. See http://tinyurl.com/kbrt8or for more detailed information on this subject.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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