I hope you can help me solve this mystery.
Over the last two weeks, black dots have appeared on many surfaces in
my apartment: in the sink, counters, on some walls, and heavily on the
kitchen and bathroom floors, which are linoleum and tile respectively.
When I've swept the floor, half of what I pick up are these dots,
there will be hundreds. the rest of the apartment is hardwood, so they
may be there and I just don't see them. I've wiped them off and they
keep coming back.
They are all the same size (about a mm in diameter) and are perfectly
round. They don't appear to dissolve in water, and are very flat, and
very black. They will adhere to the surface, but will come off in one
piece with scrubbing. They are not evenly distributed, they will
appear in clumps. I assumed they were insect related, and from reading
other posts, it could be left by flies, but I'm puzzled in that I
haven't seen any evidence of flies, moths, or any other pest. And
there are so many dots, seems that I have an infestation.
Did they begin appearing about the same time you started using your
heating system for the heating season?
In other words, can they be coming out from the ductwork?
Are they oily and/or smear, or do they remain intact like paper punch
Try this on some that are in the sink:
Drop a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on one, does it turn white?
Drop a few drops of chlorine bleach on one, does it disappear?
Or did it stay black and appear unchanged?
If it stayed black, it's probably soot from the furnace.
If it turned white, it's probably an organic (airborne) mold, like the
type that attacks damp clothes in a hamper.
If it disappeared, it's probably a fungal type (surface) mold, similar
to the moss that grows on the north side of house or tree.
If it's the latter two, a good dehumidifier will help keep it away
after it is eradicated.
I suppose anything is possible, but I find this highly unlikely, since
I live in a dry environment, and it's popping up on surfaces that
don't otherwise touch water. I swept my hardwood floor and there were
lots. Thanks for the reply!
In article ,
Outdoors in spring and fall, cars and walls can get covered with what
look like spots of black paint about 1 mm in diameter. They come from
the artillery fungus. It grows in composting matter such as leaves.
The spots are spores mixed with glue. The fungus can throw these spots
Are there potted plants nearby that might have this fungus in the soil?
I tried your chemical test, and by your prescription, it's soot. But
I've not turned on the heat (I live in so cal). In my initial online
search of information, I came across the artillery fungus, which is
fascinating, but I think some people refer to the tarlike consistency
of the dots, and I think someone mentioned they are blobby, while
these dots are not tarlike, they do not smear, and they are wahfer
thin. I do have house plants though. Some dots are not in direct line
of sight of plants, but, I'll research this source some more.
There are no other obvious sources I can think of in my environment.
But I am beginning to wonder if I'm wasting your time and that it's
something incredibly mundane right under my nose. My neighbor thought
it looked like glitter, and my memory of how they appeared makes that
unlikely, but maybe my interpretation of it all is faulty. I did have
people over the day before they appeared, and I don't remember anyone
wearing glitter, but hey, could have happened, and by now my feet
would have tracked them everywhere. A friend has a steam cleaner, so
I'm hoping to borrow it and attack the apartment. If I do a thorough
clean of the apartment and they still show up, then it may be
something funny, otherwise, if they don't come back, I've probably
been a silly goose. I'll let you know what happens.
thanks for all your input.
I did forget to state that soot would smear in my original response to
Because of the uniformity of size of whatever it is you have there, it
does seem like it must be something man made.
Now that you mentioned you did have guests visit. Could it be
possible one of them had a sweater or dress with some type of
ornamentation that used these flat disks as a part of that decoration?
Or perhaps even an evening purse that is going to pieces on them.
Whenever you do figure out where they came from, we would like to
learn of your discovery!
In article ,
I think Penn State described the spots as tarlike and others repeated
it. They must have been thinking of the spots that sometimes harden on
your car if a machine has just applied liquid asphalt to a road you
drive on. Those dots don't smear.
On the siding of a house they remind me of spattered paint. They look
like flat stains but can be felt with the thumbnail.
The fungus fires toward bright areas. Indoors it might aim toward a
window, a ceiling, a light fixture, or an appliance, for example. Maybe
it was in a basket of leaves that was briefly in the kitchen.
I have been getting them on my kitchen floor and sometimes the bathroom, too.
Like tonight, I just mopped the floor. My husband came home from work, took off
his shoes before going in the kitchen. After he ate, I went in and there they
were! And they are sort of like stuck on there. They don't come off with the
mop, I have to bend down (which is painful with my bad back) and scrape it off
with my fingernail!! We don't have anything on our socks or slippers. I am so
frustrated I could scream!!!!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! (LOL)
To Loretta who has them on the floor when the husband comes home.... it sounds
like his shoes are the problem. My husband used to have black soled shoes that
left marks like that. Try different shoes. :)
Bird mites maybe. They are white, beige color not seen by the naked eye usually
but when they bite and consume blood from their host, they turn black. Probably
why you see them in the bathroom where you might change or take off your
My name is Rose I have been living with these things for way too long, these
black dots Don't go away you can mash some some will flatten and if you keep
mashing them you can change what was one into many! Some are hard and will not
I have them in my skin and my cat has them! These things hurt like hell when I
try to pull them out which does not happen and they borrow deeper! I have never
felt such pain! They fall I really don't know how they move but my shoes have
holes in them it's like any thing they land on! I have found them in the bottom
of pan's where now it has round holes in the damn bottom of the pan ! I have
tried everything bleach peroxide tea tree oil if you don't get these things when
you see them you may not get them out! I been to Dr's no help! I'm crazy don't
pick at them yeah right these damn dots sting! I have linoleum floors, I find
one if I take my finger nail and push forward some times I will get the dot but
if you look closely some of the dot is still on the floor, I have found bumps
under painted walls when I scape at it well guess what's under the paint Freak
me out! 6 yrs now and no relief it's constant, I was looking at my cat 4 months
old he has one in his cheek it's getting deeper and I noticed in his long hair
his feet are covered! Where ever he walks they stick to his toes in his hair his
ears! These things are every where I have them in my head you can feel them
sting the more you try to pick around them hoping to pull them out they don't!
The hole gets bigger if you do this look under your finger nails because you may
have gotten some of it clean your nails if you have any thing under your nails
take a toothpick and clean under your nails and if you look closely you will
find alittte black dots! I have found that one has been in my head for yrs I was
once again trying to go around this painful dot I had some little flakes fall
leaving dots going into my skin and had more sores! They don't stop it's like
they spread out in your body, I have pooped them and on the toilet paper I see
them if I take and flip to tissue the black dots will fall to the other side
like it was when out of your body!!I have seen these damn things go through
plates, cups, metal pan, my clothes, shoes, my 1800 moving chest!! No thing
stops these things!!! Please if any one can help please come my way !! These
things are killing me HELP