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Entomology Questions and Answers

Q: I live on the second floor of a two-story condo, and for the past few weeks, I've had tiny brown bugs crawling out of drains in the bathroom sink and tub. They're also swimming around in my toilets. Some of them are very small, half the size of a pin head. Others are a bit bigger. I'm guessing that they're the same species, maybe just in different stages of growth. The bigger ones can fly.

I've read everything I can online. Drain flies fit the description, but not the appearance. These little critters in my sink do not have the triangular shape of the drain flies.

I've put out some gnat traps with apple cider vinegar, but they haven't gone for it.

In the drains, I've tried Drano, bleach, ammonia, white vinegar w/ baking soda & salt, and dish washing liquid. Nothing has worked.

I'm getting desperate, as their numbers are growing. Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks for your help!


A: Bill, This sounds like it could be Springtails or Clover Mites.  Without seeing the actual specimens this would be my best guess based upon your description and where you are seeing them.

Neither one of these would be coming out of your drains.  In fact, just the opposite, they would be trying to get to the drains or any other source of moisture they could find.  They cannot live indoors for very long as it is too dry.  They come in from the outside sometimes in very large numbers but soon die.  No treatment is necessary on the inside as the source of the problem is outside.  An exterior treatment around the perimeter of the building, landscape, and other shaded areas may reduce their number sufficiently and stop them from coming in.  They are harmless and pose no threat to your home or health.

Thank you for your inquiry and please feel free to contact me should you have any other questions or concerns.

John Moore
M.S. Entomology
Quality Assurance Manager


Q: About 6 months ago we noticed on the ceilings in our kitchen white larvae, which later turn into small moths if we didn’t kill them all. I did some research on them and saw that one of the things they are attracted to is bird cages/seed. Well we have a bird which is in the same area where we are spotting the larvae. We had the bird for a while and never noticed the larvae until 6 months ago. Is there a solution to getting rid of these larvae? Also we have a 13 month old and if we decided to get our house treated, is it safe for children and pets too! Thanks!

A: Sounds like you are seeing the larva of the Indian Meal Moth. This moth is found world wide and will infest a variety of food products including bird seed. You should have a Royal Pest Professional come to your home and locate the source of the infestation. This type of problem in the home can usually be solved with little or no pesticide application.


Q: Is there anything you can do about Cicadia Killers, they have invaded my yard.

A: The Cicada Killer is a solitary wasp, meaning there is no single nest or colony to remove. Each wasp is a queen and has her own hole in the ground. One of our Royal Pest Professionals can work with you to explore options like habitat modification as well as targeted chemical applications to reduce their numbers and discourage re infestation next year.

Q: Good Morning, I had a snake in my bathroom yesterday, and I do have mice. I also have pets and feed the birds and squirrels outdoors. Do you have a product that you can use that would NOT be harmful to the animals?? Thank you.

A: Consider a thorough inspection of your home and the area outside your home. Our FREE inspection will check for entrance points such as vents, foundation cracks, and an un-capped chimney. We can effectively control the rodent and snakes without harm to any non-target animals including your pets. When treating your home for any pest, our Pest Professionals find out about your pets and we’ll design our application accordingly. After treatment, we will warn you of any areas your pet may need to avoid and for what period of time. Royal’s use of tamper-proof stations around your home cannot be accessed by children or pets.

We’re just a click away…ready to help protect your home and family from pests.


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