Alien Bugs

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  #1  
Old 08-16-20, 12:46 PM
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Alien Bugs

If I hadn't seen this with my own eyes I would never have believed it.

Dont know if this was related but we had a good rain last night and this morning, went out and opened the garage door and back door and found these piles of dirt, but it wasnt dirt it was piles of very small bugs/mites?

If you touched it the pile would quiver, I vacuumed them up assumed they had to be coming out of the foundation or walls but in one area near the back door where the cement steps up the floor is sealed tight from the epoxy floor and these things were simply multiplying before my eyes. After 10 minutes the piles were just as big.

After vacuuming them up 3-4 times they simply vanished, there isn't a trace of them anywhere!

Ive googled but haven't found anything that comes close, anybody got an idea?

https://imgur.com/v7R1fMG

https://imgur.com/YskPcu5

https://imgur.com/Zer7qbl
 
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Old 08-17-20, 06:34 AM
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The close up pic resembles termite swarmers (reproductives). They swarm in a large mass, males and females find each other to mate, crawl back to the ground to lay eggs and die. They do nothing else. The worker termites would be in or under the structure and underground. They may swarm several times. Here in the east, springtime swarming does occur after a rainstorm followed by sunshine.

The timing is off though, as termite swarms are in the spring. By the middle of May, here in PA, the swarming season is over.

Also, after swarming they lose their wings which are left behind. You didn't mention finding lots and lots of wings in the floor.

I've only ever seen one subterranean termite swarm that wasn't on the "spring" schedule and that was because of below slab heating system which when turned on, made the termite colony think it was "spring time".

Hopefully you saved specimens, so they can be taken to the local county agricultural extension agent for an objective identification. If you can get some close-ups on a neutral background that could also help us here. Since it could possibly be termites, I believe that you should pursue a proper ID, just in case.

Whether termites or not, I think we'll find that this is related to a reproductive/biological behavior.
 
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Old 08-17-20, 07:27 AM
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after a rainstorm followed by sunshine.
Thats exactly the conditions we had!

I may be able to find some dead ones laying around or possible pull some from the vacuum, I should have grabbed samples. I've reached out to our State DNR and metropark for any help identifying.

Only comment, size, very tiny, sharpen a pencil to a sharp point, tap a paper and that represents their size, hard to see individual "bugs".

A couple hours after the pictures, everything was gone!
 
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Old 08-21-20, 11:46 AM
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Got feedback from our Michigan State University Extension Center, Bark Lice, harmless!
 
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Old 08-21-20, 12:59 PM
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Good job Marq1! I've heard of bark lice but never encountered them. Reading up on them just now I see that "en masse" behavior and leaving quickly is common behavior. They are also considered beneficial to trees. Gotta store this one in the memory banks for later.
 
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Old 08-21-20, 05:28 PM
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But why did they mistake my garage doors for a tree, who the heck knows! Brought a little excitement to the day!
 
 

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