HELP! I got cockroaches or something in my flat

Discussion in 'U.K.' started by J0hn, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. J0hn

    J0hn Phantom

    Last night saw the return of these tiny black beetle type things. On the out side they have a first set of wings. These are like an armour because underneath it has secondary wings. Now they can fly and like the light. They come up from my wooden floor boards and they are quite clumsy sometimes. They fly then land on their backs if landing is badly judged. They struggle to get back on their legs again. Tap them gently and they go still. As though playing dead or something. They are a little bit like ladybirds but are black small beetle things. I have noticed holes in the floor boards but they could have been there already. However five months ago I remember hearing scratching sounds coming from the floor. It would stop and for quite sometimes it would not scratch again.

    My floorboards are wood. Are these wood lice or cochroach? I am relieved that they have not invaded my cupboards with food. They come out at night but occasionally the odd one ventures out.

    Also there is another creature. It is like a maggot. It crawls about in the cracks of the floorboards and when you put water on it, it twists over and dies. I have noticed also what look like rabbit droppings. Whether these are actually eggs? I have a suspicion they may have come from the last owner but whatever, I really don't like them. It is more a case that they are crap flyers and on more than one occasion they have crash landed on me. Can anyone tell me what these things are and if you know or have had this kind of bug in your house? Appreciate the help.
  2. fountains of nay

    fountains of nay Planet Nayhem!

    Sounds like you've got a cockroach infestation: whenever you see one cockroach, there is another million cockroaches hiding nearby!

    Cockroaches are nasty. I'd never really came across any until I went to live in Japan... then I met Eddie, the cockroach that tormented me for a whole week before I got him with death spray (I still feel guilty for that)!
    DON'T whatever you do, squish them! Why?? Because if it's a female cockroach, she'll spray her eggs everywhere once you squish her.
    I tried to catch another cockroach once and split it in half with a glass, by accident. The disturbing thing was that the body crawled off and the decapitated head turned itself over and walked off in the other direction...ewwwwwwwwww!
  3. feral

    feral Member

    They're not cockroaches, they sound very much like the common furniture beetle (Anobium Punctatum), more commonly known as woodworm. The little holes in your floorboards are the exit hole made by the beetles as they come out of the floor (the larvae will have been laid there any time in the last few years). Very common in a lot of UK housing, particularly pre-1970s buildings and anything without pressure treated timbers. They're usually found in damp areas (because that's what they like), so you often find them in bathroom floors and sometimes roofspaces. Sometimes they will only affect a very small area, and you'll never see them again, but since you can see the beetles it's pretty likely you have an active infestation. Also look at the holes in the floorboards, if they're really round and neat (like someone's just thrown a dart in the floor), then they were probably made very recently. It's probably not too much to worry about - since they're a very common problem there are easy ways to get rid of them. The important thing to do is check how much of your house is affected - they could be in floor and ceiling joists,rafters, skirtings, door frames etc, and also furniture (also a common way for them to be imported into the house, hence the name - they can often be found in second hand furniture).
    They can be treated with sprays, although the extent of the infestation will dictate how far you need to go with this (it can sometimes be a good idea to treat all the structural timbers in the house, which often means taking out all your furniture and carpets).
  4. J0hn

    J0hn Phantom

    Thankyou fera for your info. I think that perhaps they are not cokroaches because just did a search on google, the nearest comparison is to a larder beetle in its size and structure. However my invaders are black and probably are wood worm. It is the councils fault for not putting in modern floor boards. I still have the original floorboards. Some nights I rarely notice them, but other nights they are very active. I must have a civilisation under my floorboards. My downstairs is fine. All clear.The odd woodworm manages to get downstairs but I think it is about two or three. I will get my council to do something about it. It is their flat, they should have modernised it a long time ago but oh no. I question whether I have good insulation or not. This making homes better thing has so far abandoned my address. I will get the council to pay or to lift up floor boards and lay down some new ones with which are not wood but something else I forget the name. :) During the day they are not around thank goodness.
  5. lithium

    lithium frogboy

    I love your descriptions, it sounds like you're living in a Kafka story!:D

    Sorry not very helpful ... just thought I'd add that...
  6. feral

    feral Member

    No problem...

    If it's a Council property they should definitely do something about it (I know, I used to work with a lot of Council and Housing Association property). To be fair, most Councils (at least around here) seem to be pretty good at sorting these sort of problems, and they usually have a programme of modernisation work to eradicate these problems. Having said that, central government has long since stopped investing so much money in the upkeep of Council properties, so I suppose it's (another) sign of the times....
    Just get on to the Council as soon as you can, and they should be able to sort it reasonably quickly (it's a structural problem with their own property after all). Make sure you check your furniture for any holes too though, if there are any larvae in any of your furniture the problem will return after the treatment's done. The beetles shouldn't be able to affect the floors etc after treatment (it's usually good for 25 years or so), but the beetles are still pretty unpleasant.
    Also make sure they check the integrity and stability of the floor joists, boards etc and replace any that are badly damaged - it's pretty rare for woodworm to do serious damage but there are a few varieties that are very destructive (Deathwatch Beetle, House Longhorn Beetle, Powderpost Beetle). It's worth making sure the Council get someone to survey properly and identify what the exact problem is because the Deathwatch and Longhorn need much more severe treatment.
  7. feral

    feral Member

  8. CrucifiedDreams

    CrucifiedDreams Members

    That just made me cringe. Ick.
  9. Jewmanjii

    Jewmanjii Banned

  10. sentient

    sentient Senior Member

    how big are these beetles you have I mean from your description they sound pretty big.
    we keep getting beet;es in our house, they are definitely not cockroaches we are getting but a sort of metalic dark brown oval shaped beetle, which like yours are clumsy fliers, like the light and tend to hang about in the bathroom for some bizarre reason

    I have sussed that ours may be getting in through the bathroom condensation vent
    which is a fan that is in the glass of the window pane
    Like your beetle these also defy description and I dare say they are the same thing but we definitely do not have woodworm
    our beetles are about 15mm x 6mm dark brownish with sort of 2 darker brown stipes running along their wing covers. They arent cockroaches because they are slow moving, like the light and dont look like any cockroach picture i have seen

    nearest picture ours are like is this flour beetle but apparently the flour beetle is 1/2 the size of what I am describing so its not these but has the same shape but the colour of this is also too light just a little too light

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