I'm in Lincoln CA, and my wife found some small bugs on the floor in the
shop. The floor is concrete, and at first we thought maybe they were
feeding on some sawdust on the floor, but I can't find them anywhere
else in the shop. In the area we found them there were maybe 50 of
them. They are up to the size of ordinary black ants, but their legs
are much smaller. They squash easily, appear to be black or very dark
brown, and kinda fuzzy. They are up to a little over 1/8" long, 1/32"
or so wide, and thicker at one end than the other. Two little antennae
at the narrower end. I thought at first they didn't have legs, but we
looked at one under a magnifier, and can see little tiny legs on the
under side at the narrower end. They also appear to have little pincers
at the opposite end from the antennae, and they can jump an inch or two.
Any idea what these critters are?
no idea what they are, Steve, but it would scare me seeing that many small ones
at once.. indicates a hatch to me..
Maybe try getting a few in a jar and showing them to some neighbors?
We try to do that with anything we're not familiar with here...
Please remove splinters before emailing
Your local cooperative extension service should be happy to identify the insects for you. An entomology student will probably recognize what they are right away.
Also, if you can get a good pic, or put one in a baggie and scan it, there are on-line sites that will help to identify.
Doesn't sound like any of the borers - they all have complete metamorphosis and are caterpillar-like while boring, and the adults are either beetles, moths, or horntail wasps.
The fact that they hop & perhaps have cerci on the butt makes one think of cricket nymphs, but I'm not familiar with any fuzzy ones.
Pincers on the butt indicate earwigs, but I've never heard of them hopping, or seen fuzzy ones.
Small legs & hopping bring to mind springtails - OK - I'm going with springtails: small, short legs, hop, some fuzz, can be blackish brown, would appear on a basement floor, the spring could look like pincers, maybe. DAGS springtails and see if that's them.
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