Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bugs on Ceiling


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The roof of my 69 year old house started leaking with all the rain we have had in the last three weeks and a crack had appeared in the drywall.  I don't know if this is related, but I discovered a patch, on my ceiling, that looked like a patch of mildew, so it would've made since.  Then, I noticed that it wasn't a patch, but it was breaking up and these 1/4 inch long things were moving.  I had seen this one other time in my life in a 7 year old house that I had lived in, but had questioned myself at the time as to whether I really saw these things moving because I got rid of it quicker, but it is the same thing as what I am seeing now.  What are these bugs?  I'm in process of selling my house.  Thank you!


Huh, I got one view of one of the images and then lost the ability to "click to enlarge" the other one....

I believe these are probably "springtails," which thrive in damp situations, and graze on mold spores, decaying organic matter, etc.  They are not harmful, but can be a nuisance in *any* home.  Using a dehumidifier in the room might help.  Here's a blog post I wrote about them:


I would be more concerned about mold and mildew than these insects.  Best wishes for a successful sale of your home. :-)



Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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