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Pest Control/Flour Beetle and No-See-Ums?

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QUESTION: Hello, thanks for taking the time to read my question. We live in a new construction townhouse, which was never completely finished. There are gaps in the woodwork especially in the kitchen and garage. Last year we had a major spider problem resulting from the apartments being left completely open during a year of construction - we dealt with that using store bought sprays. A couple of months ago we suddenly had an invasion of these small flying insects that were concentrated on the ceiling of the third floor our apartment. When we finally got our landlord to send an exterminator. They claimed it was a flour beetle, and that we must have had food laying around in boxes. We did not and do not each much flour so we have no idea where these bugs came from and why all of a sudden?

They eventually sprayed an "environmentally friendly" product that was supposed to take a couple of weeks to work. It has now been a couple of months, and I have used Raid foggers twice. The bugs just laugh and keep flying when the air clears. I also put borax around the house which seems to work but only when a bug contacts it, which is rarely. I will say that the bugs seem to have gotten smaller so I am not sure if it is still the flour beetle or some other bug too. We usually do not see them until they are lying dead - I was able to see a bunch flying around under a light last night.

Living with these bugs is like mental warfare - they get into our hair constantly so that we are washing our hair at least twice a day, and are constantly swatting at our faces and legs. They fly around more after it rains and at night. I sleep with my head covered and earplugs in. The bugs are now in our car, and the only reprieve from them was when we rented a car to go out of town a week ago. We are moving asap, but in the meantime my question is: is there anything I can do to get rid of these bugs as nothing seems to work? Are we going to need to get rid our our belongings when we move so as not to ring these bugs along? Thank you.

ANSWER: Krystal,

Can you post a picture of the bugs because it is not clear from your description what you are dealing with? Flour beetles don't behave the way you describe. If you can post a good picture of the bug we may be able to sort this out.

Jack DeAngelis

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Pest Problem
Pest Problem  
QUESTION: Hi, I tried in vain to take a good picture. The spot below was the best resolution I could get. I was able to save a few on scotch tape though. This one is a reddish color. The smaller ones appear to be black and much smaller than this. I haven't notice that any are biters.

Answer
This is not a flour beetle but I can't see any detail in the photo. Your best option may be to collect a few in alcohol and take them to your county Extension office (www.extension.org) so that they can be examined under a microscope. One we get a good id I'd be glad to discuss control options.

Jack DeAngelis  

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.

Experience

I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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