Bugged in Seattle
These miniscule little buggers have infested my flour and grain boxes, getting into the new boxes of corn flour, wheat flour, and oatmeal within days of bringing them home. Also they liked to hid under the spice bottles, but didn’t seem to get inside any of them. They are 1mm long and look like ants under a 10X hand scope. Attached are photos, sorry they are not great, but they are tiny little rascals. What are these bugs? And more importantly, how do we get rid of them? Please find attached 10X microscope photos of the bugs mentioned below. I do not believe they are springtails, although you are right that they do resemble them. They are definately not immmature cockroaches, as they never get bigger than 1.0mm long. I have attached a photomicrograph of a springtail as well for direct comparison. These are one milimeter long and slightly less than 0.5mm across and resemble little ants. When disturbed they appear to fall on their backs and "play dead". At times they appear to "jump" but not very far 1-2cm, almost like a piece of small plastic being repelled by static electricity. We live in Seattle and they have attacked all our grains and interestingly, when I visited my parents in Ohio, they also had the same bugs in their oatmeal and grain boxes. Hope this additional info and photos help you to identify these bugs.
Hi again Kyle,
Thank you for sending the much improved images. These are Booklice, also known as Psocids. According to Hogue: “The most common [species] is the true Book Louse, Liposcelis bostrychophila, a cosmopolitan pset for the food industry, households, museums, and libraries.”