Weird marks on wall and sudden influx of flying insects

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    Weird marks on wall and sudden influx of flying insects

    Wasn't sure where else to post this...

    A tenant has reported strange marks on the sitting room wall, and a sudden influx of unidentified flying insects (not flies). One of the UFIs is green, the other two types black. T thinks one is a 'gnat'.

    I am going to inspect this evening, but he has sent a photo of the wall. It has 'drip' marks on it. The only way I can describe it is if you imagine a slightly nicotine coated wall that had a lot of condensation on it, and the condensation then formed drips which were visible due to the nicotine. (This T and previous Ts all non-smokers).

    The UFIs are apparently tending to gather in the ceiling corner of this wall.

    Thing is, the wall is in a completely dry room, - the sitting room. It can't be a leak from the flat upstairs as it's exactly the same layout as the rental flat below, and there is no water source directly above. It's an external wall so it's perhaps possible that there's a leak from the roof down the outside of the building (12 storey block and the rental flat is on the 11th floor).

    Tenancy began nearly 2 years ago and no other problems reported by this T in that time (and nothing like this ever before, in over 10 years).

    Anyone have any idea what might be going on? I'm mystified. I've left a message for the upstairs neighbour to ask if he has the same thing but he hasn't called me back yet.

    #2
    Tenant left window open to let smoke out and rain blew in. Flies took refuge from the rain also.

    Comment


      #3
      The external sitting room wall is set back in an alcove, and the position of the adjacent window is such that no rain could blow in and end up on the wall. The rain would have blow in then turn 180 degrees to blow back into the alcove wall.

      Edit: and the UFIs have been around for several days, I gather.

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        #4
        Possibly a nest in the roof space, the drips might be nectar or even honey, that would be bound to attract flies. They might not be bees or wasps they could be caused by an ants nest and their attendant 'farm animals'
        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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          #5
          I'm not sure there is a roof cavity as it's a concrete block (and the flat isn't on the top floor but the second from the top) but maybe the nest is somewhere on the external wall, not the roof - but how the nectar/honey would get through the concrete wall I've no idea.

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            #6
            'T is an omen.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              #7
              I would try and dab it off with a well wrung cloth
              to try and see if the goo is on the surface or leaching through.

              If it's on the surface clean it off with disinfectant,
              and, I would suggest, one of those mosquito killer plug ins for the gnats.

              It might even be the recent heavy rain that has soaked
              the wall and the wallpaper glue or pva, any construction
              gloop for that matter, has reacted.

              Was the flat owned in the past by say a "brickie" serial killer?

              Or 1 800 ghostbusters
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                Rain + wallpaper glue not a bad theory. The walls are lined with paper I think. Tenant has tried wiping the marks off with a damp cloth but didn't report gloopiness (which doesn't mean anything, of course).

                I will report back with a fuller description of the mystery marks after I've had a look tonight.

                Comment


                  #9
                  If yer brave enuff.........try tasting it.
                  I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The wall is sweating.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by westminster View Post
                      Rain + wallpaper glue not a bad theory. The walls are lined with paper I think. Tenant has tried wiping the marks off with a damp cloth but didn't report gloopiness (which doesn't mean anything, of course).
                      I dont know about gloopiness.

                      "any construction gloop" it could be bonding agents a contaminated filler,expanded foam, pine resin from studs, even any liquid that could have contaminated the plaster.

                      Look forward to reading what you have discovered.

                      I just wouldn't take an ultra violet light ... :O
                      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        (Bloke upstairs replied and no drips upstairs).

                        The drips were dry and look like they've been there for a while (unobserved by T, who last remembers looking at that bit of wall in February when he changed a ceiling bulb). Watery drips as far as I could tell. No gloopiness, stickiness or smell. Only at the top of the wall.

                        T then told me he had mould in his built-in wardrobe (built into an identical alcove). It was a small patch of blackish stuff. I asked whether he ever opened the window. No. He seems to need to sleep in utter, absolute darkness. There's a venetian blind plus a black-out roller blind, but T had also taped a blanket over the window twixt the two blinds. Discovered more black mould at the top of the window frame.

                        So, I'm wondering whether the sitting room drips were perhaps caused by a one-off bit of condensation that just happened to congregate in the alcove above the telly. Perhaps heat from the TV part of it? Or, maybe more likely, because it's an external wall, it's probably slightly cooler so moisture more likely to condense there.

                        But it doesn't explain the UFIs. He'd kept two dead one for me to see. One a tiny speck of green, too small to see properly. He says the green ones hop a well as fly. The other bug was like a very tiny dragonfly, i.e. long thin body. T has been unable to catch one of the larger black UFIs.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Tell him it's extra rent if he wishes to keep pets.

                          Failing that, I suggest he buys a can of 'Raid'.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sleeps in utter darkness and has flies.... is his name Renfield ?

                            I think it's "K.I.S.S." rules; have him clean it up, keep the room aired and open to daylight on a regular basis and buy a good insect spray from say http://www.pestcontroldirect.co.uk/a...Crawling_.html.

                            I have to say that these guys are helpful and knowledgeable and might help you with the identification of the bugs.

                            Quite honestly a dark warm CO2 rich & humid room will, unintentionally, be a host of nasties for bugs and bacteria to grow; sunlight is a great disinfectant.

                            Then sit back and wait.
                            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yes, I am now pretty convinced that all of it's down to lack of ventilation - condensation/drips, mould, insects. It all kind of adds up.

                              I've told T to ventilate regularly, and during/after cooking, and to leave the windows slightly open when he goes out. I reckon the insects will depart once the humidity is under control. And I've told him to buy some wardrobe dehumidifier sachets and mould-zapper spray.

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