Where Do Pseudoscorpions Live: Unveiling Their Secret Habitats

Pseudoscorpions are fascinating little arachnids that might make you wonder where they live. These tiny creatures, despite their intimidating appearance, are usually harmless to humans. In fact, you might be surprised at where they choose to call home.

You can often find pseudoscorpions hiding in various environments, ranging from leaf litter and soil to tree barks and even inside your own home. They prefer damp, hidden spots where they can hunt for their prey, like small insects and mites. No need to worry, though, as their presence usually proves beneficial by keeping the population of other pests in check.

So next time you come across pseudoscorpions in your garden or house, remember that they’re just looking for a cozy place to carry on with their natural activities. They can be considered helpful neighbors rather than unwanted intruders.

Understanding Pseudoscorpions

Physical Characteristics

Pseudoscorpions are small arachnids, ranging from 2 to 8 millimeters in length. They have oval or pear-shaped bodies, often reddish or brown in color. Their most noticeable features are their eight walking legs and two long, armlike pedipalps ending in pincers, similar to a scorpion’s (but without the stinger). Their eyes are usually indistinct or absent, relying more on other senses for navigation and predation.

Biology and Life Cycle

These tiny arthropods reproduce by depositing a spermatophore—a packet of sperm—on a surface, which the female then picks up and uses to fertilize her eggs. After fertilization, she will carry her eggs in a brood pouch on her abdomen. The larvae, which are born fully formed but smaller and with fewer body segments, will molt multiple times before reaching adulthood. The life cycle of a pseudoscorpion usually lasts around one year.

The Pseudoscorpion and its Similarities to Scorpions

Pseudoscorpions share various characteristics with true scorpions, including their general shape and the presence of pincer-like pedipalps. However, they lack the elongated, segmented tail and stinger found in scorpions. Their size is also much smaller compared to most scorpion species.

The Uniqueness of Pseudoscorpions

These arachnids are distinct from other members of their class, such as spiders, mites, and ticks. Pseudoscorpions differ in size, appearance, and behavior. Also called false scorpions, they have unique adaptations, like their venomous pedipalps, which allow them to immobilize their prey, and the absence of silk-spinning abilities.

Predators and Prey

Pseudoscorpions are predators of small insects and arthropods like booklice, ants, small flies, and dust mites. They use their venom-filled pedipalps to subdue their prey. In turn, they can fall prey to larger arthropods, as well as some bird and mammal species.

Benefits of Pseudoscorpions

These creatures are beneficial for various reasons, including:

  • Pest control: They keep the populations of some pests, like dust mites and booklice, in check.
  • Indirect protection of belongings: Pseudoscorpions will hunt clothes moth larvae and carpet beetle larvae, which can damage clothing and textiles.
  • Harmless to humans: Despite their venomous pedipalps, pseudoscorpions are not harmful to humans, as their venom is not potent enough to affect us.

Potential Pseudoscorpion Problems

While not a significant issue, pseudoscorpions can sometimes be accidentally transported into homes on objects like firewood or potted plants. However, they rarely cause problems, as they prefer damp, undisturbed environments, and typically remain hidden from human sight. If populations in a home become noticeable, it may indicate an abundance of their prey species, potentially warranting some pest control measures.

Unique Species of Pseudoscorpions

Pseudoscorpions are fascinating little creatures that belong to the Arachnida class. They can be found in various habitats, both indoors and outdoors, and have a diverse range of species, each with unique characteristics.

One example is the Chelifer cancroides, commonly known as the house pseudoscorpion or book scorpion. This tiny arachnid can be found indoors around books or hidden in small spaces. Its dark, teardrop-shaped body has impressive pincers and can live for two years or more source.

Another intriguing species is Garypus titanius, one of the world’s smallest pseudoscorpions around 1/16 to 1/8 inch long. They have a distinct appearance and unique habitat preferences. However, more information on this species needs to be uncovered.

Let’s compare the male and female pseudoscorpions:

  • Female Pseudoscorpions: Larger in size compared to the males.
  • Male Pseudoscorpions: Smaller but often have larger and more prominent pincers.

To better understand these creatures, here’s a comparison table of some unique species:

Species Habitat Size Other Features
Chelifer cancroides Indoors 0.2″ Dark teardrop body
Garypus titanius Outdoors 1/16 to 1/8″ Smallest species

Whether you find these tiny arachnids in your home or outdoor adventures, remember that pseudoscorpions are an important part of our natural world. They help control pests and provide a fascinating glimpse into the lesser-known aspects of the arachnid family.

Habitats of Pseudoscorpions

Common Habitats

Pseudoscorpions can be found in various environments. Some common habitats where you may encounter them include:

  • Home: They may reside in your home, often hiding in damp or dark places like basements.
  • Garden: Pseudoscorpions are often spotted in gardens, mingling in the soil or leaf litter.
  • Debris: You can also find these tiny creatures beneath tree bark or choosing to linger among humus.

Unique and Uncommon Habitats

Pseudoscorpions also inhabit some less common and unique places:

  • Books: Yes, you might find them in your library! They are sometimes found hiding in the bindings of old books to prey on booklice.
  • Caves: Pseudoscorpions like dim, humid environments, so caves can serve as suitable homes for them.
  • Seashore: They aren’t afraid of water! You can find these creatures on the seashore, residing in cracks or crevices among rocks.

Conditions Affecting Habitats

What drives a pseudoscorpion to choose a particular habitat? Let’s explore a few conditions that influence their selection:

  • Humidity: Humidity plays a crucial role in determining the suitability of a habitat for pseudoscorpions. They thrive in damp and moist places.
  • Shelter: Pseudoscorpions search for safe havens like tree hollows, cracks, and crevices, where they would be protected from predators.
  • Prey Availability: An abundance of prey such as small insects (e.g., mites or springtails) attracts pseudoscorpions to a particular habitat.

As you can see, pseudoscorpions adapt to a wide range of habitats, from common indoor spaces like your home to unique environments like books and seashores. Their preferred locations are often affected by factors such as humidity, suitable shelters, and prey availability. So next time you come across a pseudoscorpion, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the diverse habitats they call home!

Interactions of Pseudoscorpions with Humans

Pseudoscorpions are small arachnids, related to spiders, ticks, and mites. Despite their name and appearance, they aren’t harmful to humans or destructive to our belongings [^1^]. In fact, they can even be beneficial in some cases, such as controlling other pests like booklice and dust mites [^2^].

You might find pseudoscorpions living in various environments, often in places where their preferred prey is abundant. For example, they can be found in dusty books, where they feed on booklice and dust mites [^3^]. Although their presence can be surprising, they pose no threat to you or your belongings.

Some advantages of having pseudoscorpions around include:

  • Pest control: They feed on other pests like mites and booklice, which can help prevent infestations.
  • Harmless: They pose no harm to humans, so you don’t need to worry about them causing any health problems [^4^].

However, the presence of pseudoscorpions might indicate a potential infestation of other pests, like booklice or mites. If you notice an increase in the number of these tiny arachnids, it’s a good idea to check for other parasites in your environment and take appropriate measures to control them if necessary.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Spined Oak Borer with Pseudoscorpion

 

Subject: What is this? Is it poisoness?
Location: Found it in Ohio
June 30, 2017 7:44 pm
Found this on a pillow next to my 2 year old son with something attached to it’s leg. Is this thing dangerous and what is it?
Signature: Alicia

Spined Oak Borer with Pseudoscorpion

Dear Alicia,
This is a Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and members of this family are not poisonous.  The hitch-hiker is a Pseudoscorpion, and as a flightless creature, it is taking advantage of the flying beetle to move from location to location, an act known as phoresy.  We found an image of
Anelaphus pumilus on BugGuide  that is also transporting a Pseudoscorpion and we have an image in our archive of a Spined Oak Borer, Elaphidion mucronatum, with a Pseudoscorpion.  Your Longicorn appears to have spines on the tips of the wing covers and according to Eric Eaton, the Spined Oak Borer can be identified by a “pair of spines at the tip of each wing cover.”  We believe your Longicorn is a Spined Oak Borer.

Letter 2 – Pseudoscorpion from Canada

 

Subject: What is this thing
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
March 16, 2016 5:27 am
Found this on the floor in my kids room. We has all hardwood floors and it stood out for such a small thing.
Signature: Mike

Pseudoscorpion
Pseudoscorpion

Dear Mike,
This is a harmless, predatory Pseudoscorpion.  Though it has a venomous namesake, the Pseudoscorpion does not have any venom and it poses no threat to humans.

Letter 3 – Pseudoscorpion from Canada

 

Subject: Small bug in Canada
Location: Canada
December 31, 2012 2:45 pm
Hello,
I just spotted this bug crawling on my shirt (ugh). My shirt was just taken out of my closet. I’m located in Ontario, Canada where the temperatures are quite cold right now. Never seen a bug like this before, so am hoping you can help identify it. Sorry for the low-quality pictures…we took the bug off and it crawled onto bubble wrap.
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!
Signature: An

Pseudoscorpion

Dear An,
We just finished posting another Pseudoscorpion submission and you can read about this harmless and beneficial predator in that posting.

Letter 4 – Second Pseudoscorpion Today!!!

 

Tiny Mystery Insect
Hello there,
First off, I have to say I love the site. Great work. I also appreciate the unnecessary carnage page. I have a little insect that has me absolutely baffled… I found him one afternoon when I picked up a half-damp wash rag off the bathroom counter. He was under it… he was so tiny, I thought he was a little spider at first. I snapped a few pictures of him, which was difficult due to his size. When he sits bunched up with all of his legs together, he’s only about 2mm wide and long. With his pincers out and extended, he’s about 5mm wide and 3mm long. He has eight small legs and obviously, the two pincers like a scorpion. I’m located in Howard City, Michigan (which is just North of Grand Rapids a bit). We don’t have very many insects with pinchers up here, which is why I’m so fascinated with this little bugger. I currently have him in a large plastic freezer bag filled with air and pieces of paper towel for him to walk on. Thank you in advance for any help you might provide.
Elizabeth A. Fisher

Hi Elizabeth,
Your photo of a Pseudoscorpion is wonderfully detailed. These are harmless predators that can capture winged insects much larger than their own diminutive size. They can even capture houseflies.

Letter 5 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Subject: Bug that crawled out of Madrone wood
Location: Woodside, California
December 9, 2012 4:37 pm
We gave a friend some Madrone firewood in November 2012 from a Madrone that fell on our property approximately 5 years ago. She sent us the attached picture of some bugs that crawled out of the wood. We’d like to know what these are. Our location is a wooded property in Northern California bordering on open space, Santa Cruz mountain range, mainly redwoods, some oaks, bay and madrone.
Signature: Hans

Pseudoscorpions

Hi Hans,
These are harmless Pseudoscorpions.  Typically, we get photos of Pseudoscorpions from people who find them in the home and we allay their fears by telling them that they are harmless predators that feed on many undesirable household intruders.  If this pair of Pseudoscorpions crawled out of the wood, they were most likely hiding under the bark or in cracks.

Thank you so much Daniel for identifying these bugs.
I am happy to learn that they are not only harmless but
useful as well.
Have a nice day
Hans

Letter 6 – Pseudoscorpion Killed Unnecessarily

 

Tiny Crab Like Bug
I was sitting at my computer when i noticed this little thing crawling across my desk. It has long crab like pinchers, and 6 little legs, teardrop shaped body that was extremely flat with stripes brown in color. Sorry my first instinct was eww bug kill it. I did take a picture after its death. Its next to one of my hairs to show relation to size. What is it? Do I need to worry? Thank You
Matthew

Hi Matthew,
We are so busy right now that we can only answer and post a small fraction of the numerous letters we are sent. Were it not for your very descriptive letter with good search terms including crab-like and your wonder image with the open claws on your Pseudoscorpion, it might have gone unanswered. Pseudoscorpions are quite harmless, but they are fierce predators if the prey is small enough for them to capture. They are known to catch and eat house flies much larger than themselves. We also hope the next Pseudoscorpion that crosses you path will continue unharmed as this is truly unnecessary carnage.

Letter 7 – Pseudoscorpion in Denmark

 


Thanks, Your website helped us identify this pseudoscorpion found in our apartement
in Copenhagen. We are relieved they are harmless! Buggy regards,
Michael Sears

Hi Michael,
Many of our readers who encounter Pseudoscorpions erroneously believe them to ticks.

Letter 8 – Pseudoscorpion on the scanner

 

a little creepy
I already wrote you and asked you about mites. When i finished the first e-mail i decided to scan the bug that i was wondering about. I hope the picture is good enough to tell what it is. It is really small and i have never seen such a bug in the 21 years i have lived in Ontario. I just don’t like the fact that it had claws and i want to make sure i don’t have mites. So if you could get back to me it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much
Melisa
p.s. awesome website

Hi Melisa,
You can rest assured you don’t have mites. You have a harmless Pseudoscorpion.

Letter 9 – thanks for identifying our pseudoscorpion!

 

Hi Bugman,
We just want to say THANKS! We found a most unusual-looking tiny bug while vacuuming our living room wood floor. It looked like a tick, but with crab-claws! Afraid it was some sort of parasite, we killed it. Then I searched in Google for "bug that looks like a crab or scorpion" and found your site – THANK YOU for putting our minds at ease, though now I feel guilty for killing it, since I found it’s a harmless Pseudoscorpion! We have a very old house with a stone foundation; we aren’t going to be bug-free so we keep spiders in our unfinished basement as a peaceful co-existence. We know they eat smaller disease-carrying insects, so they are good bugs. While we killed this little guy out of fear, we won’t kill any others we see. We’ll just relegate them to the basement.
Very cool site; thanks again.
Regards,
Donna

Dear Donna,
I’m happy we could be of service.

Letter 10 – Pseudoscorpions

 

I need to have this identified!!
Hi! I live in Minnesota and yesterday my husband found a really strange bug inour shower wall. He saved it in a cup for me….it is really SMALL. I do not have a digital camera, so I will describe it was best as I can.
It is very small, dark brown. It resembles a tick, but not that flat. The body shape is round and oval, it has 4 small legs on each side of its body. The really wierd thing is the rest of it’s body. It has these REALLY long front legs (in addition to the 4 legs on each side) with these scorpion -like claws/pinchers. There are no antennae. I have been keeping in it a saline solution, but it will not die!!! We have never seen anything like this before and hope there are no more where it came from! HA!
This is how big it is: — That is the total length of the body.
Thank you!!! Anne Wallman
Stewartville, MN

Hi Anne,
You have a Pseudoscorpion.

Letter 11 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Hi,
I was cleaning my washroom today, and come to think of it I have seen one of these in my living room previously (crawling on my couch). These bugs are brown about the size of a grain of rice (but thinner), they look like they have 6 legs, and perhaps wings ( I have never seen them fly before). They are flat, and it looks like they have a shell, but they squish quite easily. Here’s the part that scared me, when I was cleaning the washroom, I sprayed some cleaner in the tub, got a drink and when I cam back, the bug was laying in the bottom of the tub, upon closer looking it had little claws or pinchers (kind of like a lobster). After doing some research I thought it was a pantry beetle, but I have never seen pictures of pantry beetles with pinchers.
I have attached a couple of pictures, hopefully they help.
Many thanks in advance,
Ben

Dear Ben,
You have killed a harmless Pseudoscorpion which belongs to the order Chelonethida or Pseudoscorpionida. They are also called Book Scorpions. They are small arachnids. They eat small insects hence are beneficial.

Letter 12 – Pseudoscorpions

 

hi
I live in Minnesota and have had a bit of a shock when I discovered pseudoscorpions visiting my home. At first we didn’t have a clue what they were and looked up all sorts of possibilities before finally stumbling on their true identity.I know that they are harmless but my mom goes CRAAAAZY at the site of any sort of insect in the house. So, I was wondering if regular anti-bug chemicals would work such as bugbombs, sprays, etc.. the reasons that we want to go to these extremes is because I have found 3 of them in my room(2 of which were in my bed) and can’t figure out how they got there besides grabbing a ride with the laundry which is done in the basement. And from reading on them they apparently like damp places, which would explain a lot since water leaks into the basement whenever it rains. Problem is this can’t be helped or prevented at the moment. And like I said my mom is going nuts (I can’t say that I’m too enthusiastic at the thought of them being in my bed either). We were also wondering why they became so prevalent all of the sudden since we have never seen them in our house before and have now found 4 in the past month (3 in my room, 2 in my bed, 1 dead one caught in a cobweb). Any info on the extermination of these bugs would be greatly appreciated!
Th

Sorry Th,
Your best source for any erradication decision is a local exterminator, though that sounds like extreme measures to me. We promote coexistance with the lower beasts.

Letter 13 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Hi Mr. Bugman,
We found this on our daughter’s wall in her bedroom and of course think the worst. We thought it was a tick. My husband says it’s "pinchers" were open. Can’t find it on the net anywhere. Any ideas???
Thanks,
Itchy in Syracuse, NY

Dear Itchy,
It is a harmless pseudoscorpion.

Letter 14 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Help! I have crabs! Well, at least it looks like crabs… Actually, I’m kidding. I found a tiny little crawler in my shower today and I’ve never seen one before. I’m hoping you might tell me what the heck it is. It appeared to be crab-like, more like a scorpion without a tail but it was only about a millimeter long with two longer "pincer" type arms in the front. Am I being invaded? I live in western Alberta, Canada, if that helps at all…
D

Letter 15 – Pseudoscorpion in the shower

 

UBER-TINY tick/scorpion/spider-ish bug
April 7, 2010
When my husband called me into the shower, this isn’t what I expected. This little guy hiding in the corner just looked like a spider at first but he (she?) definitely has claws/pincers. His body is extremely flat like a tick and he is various shades of brown. Sorry the photos aren’t very clear, I don’t have a good close-up camera. Between the focus and the flash, I hope you can see enough to identify this awesome little bug!
Cooper
Central, PA

Pseudoscorpion

Dear Cooper,
We can’t imagine any other reason your husband would call you to the shower but to point out the Pseudoscorpion he found there.  Pseudoscorpions are harmless predators that, despite their diminutive size, are capable of killing larger prey.  Unlike either scorpions or spider which they resemble, Pseudoscorpions have no venom.

Pseudoscorpion

Thanks for the quick reply and ID, I never thought to look him up under “P” for pseudo! I use your website all the time, keep it up!
Cooper

Letter 16 – Pseudoscorpion from Portugal

 

Subject: Unknown Bug – Portugal
Location: Lourinhã, Portugal
March 6, 2017 12:39 pm
Hi,
I moved an old wardrobe from my laundry room to the street. When I was dismantling the wardrobe I noticed this very little bug on the place that I was using to put the old screws on.
I don’t know if it was on the wardrobe or already outside…
For the record, I live in the contryside, so bugs in and outsider the house are common (very few inside the house 😉 ) but I never saw one like these.
Can you help me?
P.S.: I let it go 😉
Signature: David Marcos

Pseudoscorpion

Dear David,
This is a harmless, beneficial Pseudoscorpion, a nocturnal predator that will help keep your place free of small, unwanted critters.

Letter 17 – Pseudoscorpion from Czech Republic

 

Subject:  Odd bug / spider with long front legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Czech Republic, South Moravia, Brno
Date: 12/19/2018
Time: 12:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This scary looking thing was crawling in my bathtub, and I have no idea what it is!
How you want your letter signed:  Really bugged about this

Pseudoscorpion

Dear Really bugged about this,
We suspected correctly when we read your subject line that you encountered a harmless, predatory Pseudoscorpion, a group of Arachnids that are frequently encountered in homes.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Spined Oak Borer with Pseudoscorpion

 

Subject: What is this? Is it poisoness?
Location: Found it in Ohio
June 30, 2017 7:44 pm
Found this on a pillow next to my 2 year old son with something attached to it’s leg. Is this thing dangerous and what is it?
Signature: Alicia

Spined Oak Borer with Pseudoscorpion

Dear Alicia,
This is a Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and members of this family are not poisonous.  The hitch-hiker is a Pseudoscorpion, and as a flightless creature, it is taking advantage of the flying beetle to move from location to location, an act known as phoresy.  We found an image of
Anelaphus pumilus on BugGuide  that is also transporting a Pseudoscorpion and we have an image in our archive of a Spined Oak Borer, Elaphidion mucronatum, with a Pseudoscorpion.  Your Longicorn appears to have spines on the tips of the wing covers and according to Eric Eaton, the Spined Oak Borer can be identified by a “pair of spines at the tip of each wing cover.”  We believe your Longicorn is a Spined Oak Borer.

Letter 2 – Pseudoscorpion from Canada

 

Subject: What is this thing
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
March 16, 2016 5:27 am
Found this on the floor in my kids room. We has all hardwood floors and it stood out for such a small thing.
Signature: Mike

Pseudoscorpion
Pseudoscorpion

Dear Mike,
This is a harmless, predatory Pseudoscorpion.  Though it has a venomous namesake, the Pseudoscorpion does not have any venom and it poses no threat to humans.

Letter 3 – Pseudoscorpion from Canada

 

Subject: Small bug in Canada
Location: Canada
December 31, 2012 2:45 pm
Hello,
I just spotted this bug crawling on my shirt (ugh). My shirt was just taken out of my closet. I’m located in Ontario, Canada where the temperatures are quite cold right now. Never seen a bug like this before, so am hoping you can help identify it. Sorry for the low-quality pictures…we took the bug off and it crawled onto bubble wrap.
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!
Signature: An

Pseudoscorpion

Dear An,
We just finished posting another Pseudoscorpion submission and you can read about this harmless and beneficial predator in that posting.

Letter 4 – Second Pseudoscorpion Today!!!

 

Tiny Mystery Insect
Hello there,
First off, I have to say I love the site. Great work. I also appreciate the unnecessary carnage page. I have a little insect that has me absolutely baffled… I found him one afternoon when I picked up a half-damp wash rag off the bathroom counter. He was under it… he was so tiny, I thought he was a little spider at first. I snapped a few pictures of him, which was difficult due to his size. When he sits bunched up with all of his legs together, he’s only about 2mm wide and long. With his pincers out and extended, he’s about 5mm wide and 3mm long. He has eight small legs and obviously, the two pincers like a scorpion. I’m located in Howard City, Michigan (which is just North of Grand Rapids a bit). We don’t have very many insects with pinchers up here, which is why I’m so fascinated with this little bugger. I currently have him in a large plastic freezer bag filled with air and pieces of paper towel for him to walk on. Thank you in advance for any help you might provide.
Elizabeth A. Fisher

Hi Elizabeth,
Your photo of a Pseudoscorpion is wonderfully detailed. These are harmless predators that can capture winged insects much larger than their own diminutive size. They can even capture houseflies.

Letter 5 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Subject: Bug that crawled out of Madrone wood
Location: Woodside, California
December 9, 2012 4:37 pm
We gave a friend some Madrone firewood in November 2012 from a Madrone that fell on our property approximately 5 years ago. She sent us the attached picture of some bugs that crawled out of the wood. We’d like to know what these are. Our location is a wooded property in Northern California bordering on open space, Santa Cruz mountain range, mainly redwoods, some oaks, bay and madrone.
Signature: Hans

Pseudoscorpions

Hi Hans,
These are harmless Pseudoscorpions.  Typically, we get photos of Pseudoscorpions from people who find them in the home and we allay their fears by telling them that they are harmless predators that feed on many undesirable household intruders.  If this pair of Pseudoscorpions crawled out of the wood, they were most likely hiding under the bark or in cracks.

Thank you so much Daniel for identifying these bugs.
I am happy to learn that they are not only harmless but
useful as well.
Have a nice day
Hans

Letter 6 – Pseudoscorpion Killed Unnecessarily

 

Tiny Crab Like Bug
I was sitting at my computer when i noticed this little thing crawling across my desk. It has long crab like pinchers, and 6 little legs, teardrop shaped body that was extremely flat with stripes brown in color. Sorry my first instinct was eww bug kill it. I did take a picture after its death. Its next to one of my hairs to show relation to size. What is it? Do I need to worry? Thank You
Matthew

Hi Matthew,
We are so busy right now that we can only answer and post a small fraction of the numerous letters we are sent. Were it not for your very descriptive letter with good search terms including crab-like and your wonder image with the open claws on your Pseudoscorpion, it might have gone unanswered. Pseudoscorpions are quite harmless, but they are fierce predators if the prey is small enough for them to capture. They are known to catch and eat house flies much larger than themselves. We also hope the next Pseudoscorpion that crosses you path will continue unharmed as this is truly unnecessary carnage.

Letter 7 – Pseudoscorpion in Denmark

 


Thanks, Your website helped us identify this pseudoscorpion found in our apartement
in Copenhagen. We are relieved they are harmless! Buggy regards,
Michael Sears

Hi Michael,
Many of our readers who encounter Pseudoscorpions erroneously believe them to ticks.

Letter 8 – Pseudoscorpion on the scanner

 

a little creepy
I already wrote you and asked you about mites. When i finished the first e-mail i decided to scan the bug that i was wondering about. I hope the picture is good enough to tell what it is. It is really small and i have never seen such a bug in the 21 years i have lived in Ontario. I just don’t like the fact that it had claws and i want to make sure i don’t have mites. So if you could get back to me it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much
Melisa
p.s. awesome website

Hi Melisa,
You can rest assured you don’t have mites. You have a harmless Pseudoscorpion.

Letter 9 – thanks for identifying our pseudoscorpion!

 

Hi Bugman,
We just want to say THANKS! We found a most unusual-looking tiny bug while vacuuming our living room wood floor. It looked like a tick, but with crab-claws! Afraid it was some sort of parasite, we killed it. Then I searched in Google for "bug that looks like a crab or scorpion" and found your site – THANK YOU for putting our minds at ease, though now I feel guilty for killing it, since I found it’s a harmless Pseudoscorpion! We have a very old house with a stone foundation; we aren’t going to be bug-free so we keep spiders in our unfinished basement as a peaceful co-existence. We know they eat smaller disease-carrying insects, so they are good bugs. While we killed this little guy out of fear, we won’t kill any others we see. We’ll just relegate them to the basement.
Very cool site; thanks again.
Regards,
Donna

Dear Donna,
I’m happy we could be of service.

Letter 10 – Pseudoscorpions

 

I need to have this identified!!
Hi! I live in Minnesota and yesterday my husband found a really strange bug inour shower wall. He saved it in a cup for me….it is really SMALL. I do not have a digital camera, so I will describe it was best as I can.
It is very small, dark brown. It resembles a tick, but not that flat. The body shape is round and oval, it has 4 small legs on each side of its body. The really wierd thing is the rest of it’s body. It has these REALLY long front legs (in addition to the 4 legs on each side) with these scorpion -like claws/pinchers. There are no antennae. I have been keeping in it a saline solution, but it will not die!!! We have never seen anything like this before and hope there are no more where it came from! HA!
This is how big it is: — That is the total length of the body.
Thank you!!! Anne Wallman
Stewartville, MN

Hi Anne,
You have a Pseudoscorpion.

Letter 11 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Hi,
I was cleaning my washroom today, and come to think of it I have seen one of these in my living room previously (crawling on my couch). These bugs are brown about the size of a grain of rice (but thinner), they look like they have 6 legs, and perhaps wings ( I have never seen them fly before). They are flat, and it looks like they have a shell, but they squish quite easily. Here’s the part that scared me, when I was cleaning the washroom, I sprayed some cleaner in the tub, got a drink and when I cam back, the bug was laying in the bottom of the tub, upon closer looking it had little claws or pinchers (kind of like a lobster). After doing some research I thought it was a pantry beetle, but I have never seen pictures of pantry beetles with pinchers.
I have attached a couple of pictures, hopefully they help.
Many thanks in advance,
Ben

Dear Ben,
You have killed a harmless Pseudoscorpion which belongs to the order Chelonethida or Pseudoscorpionida. They are also called Book Scorpions. They are small arachnids. They eat small insects hence are beneficial.

Letter 12 – Pseudoscorpions

 

hi
I live in Minnesota and have had a bit of a shock when I discovered pseudoscorpions visiting my home. At first we didn’t have a clue what they were and looked up all sorts of possibilities before finally stumbling on their true identity.I know that they are harmless but my mom goes CRAAAAZY at the site of any sort of insect in the house. So, I was wondering if regular anti-bug chemicals would work such as bugbombs, sprays, etc.. the reasons that we want to go to these extremes is because I have found 3 of them in my room(2 of which were in my bed) and can’t figure out how they got there besides grabbing a ride with the laundry which is done in the basement. And from reading on them they apparently like damp places, which would explain a lot since water leaks into the basement whenever it rains. Problem is this can’t be helped or prevented at the moment. And like I said my mom is going nuts (I can’t say that I’m too enthusiastic at the thought of them being in my bed either). We were also wondering why they became so prevalent all of the sudden since we have never seen them in our house before and have now found 4 in the past month (3 in my room, 2 in my bed, 1 dead one caught in a cobweb). Any info on the extermination of these bugs would be greatly appreciated!
Th

Sorry Th,
Your best source for any erradication decision is a local exterminator, though that sounds like extreme measures to me. We promote coexistance with the lower beasts.

Letter 13 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Hi Mr. Bugman,
We found this on our daughter’s wall in her bedroom and of course think the worst. We thought it was a tick. My husband says it’s "pinchers" were open. Can’t find it on the net anywhere. Any ideas???
Thanks,
Itchy in Syracuse, NY

Dear Itchy,
It is a harmless pseudoscorpion.

Letter 14 – Pseudoscorpions

 

Help! I have crabs! Well, at least it looks like crabs… Actually, I’m kidding. I found a tiny little crawler in my shower today and I’ve never seen one before. I’m hoping you might tell me what the heck it is. It appeared to be crab-like, more like a scorpion without a tail but it was only about a millimeter long with two longer "pincer" type arms in the front. Am I being invaded? I live in western Alberta, Canada, if that helps at all…
D

Letter 15 – Pseudoscorpion in the shower

 

UBER-TINY tick/scorpion/spider-ish bug
April 7, 2010
When my husband called me into the shower, this isn’t what I expected. This little guy hiding in the corner just looked like a spider at first but he (she?) definitely has claws/pincers. His body is extremely flat like a tick and he is various shades of brown. Sorry the photos aren’t very clear, I don’t have a good close-up camera. Between the focus and the flash, I hope you can see enough to identify this awesome little bug!
Cooper
Central, PA

Pseudoscorpion

Dear Cooper,
We can’t imagine any other reason your husband would call you to the shower but to point out the Pseudoscorpion he found there.  Pseudoscorpions are harmless predators that, despite their diminutive size, are capable of killing larger prey.  Unlike either scorpions or spider which they resemble, Pseudoscorpions have no venom.

Pseudoscorpion

Thanks for the quick reply and ID, I never thought to look him up under “P” for pseudo! I use your website all the time, keep it up!
Cooper

Letter 16 – Pseudoscorpion from Portugal

 

Subject: Unknown Bug – Portugal
Location: Lourinhã, Portugal
March 6, 2017 12:39 pm
Hi,
I moved an old wardrobe from my laundry room to the street. When I was dismantling the wardrobe I noticed this very little bug on the place that I was using to put the old screws on.
I don’t know if it was on the wardrobe or already outside…
For the record, I live in the contryside, so bugs in and outsider the house are common (very few inside the house 😉 ) but I never saw one like these.
Can you help me?
P.S.: I let it go 😉
Signature: David Marcos

Pseudoscorpion

Dear David,
This is a harmless, beneficial Pseudoscorpion, a nocturnal predator that will help keep your place free of small, unwanted critters.

Letter 17 – Pseudoscorpion from Czech Republic

 

Subject:  Odd bug / spider with long front legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Czech Republic, South Moravia, Brno
Date: 12/19/2018
Time: 12:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This scary looking thing was crawling in my bathtub, and I have no idea what it is!
How you want your letter signed:  Really bugged about this

Pseudoscorpion

Dear Really bugged about this,
We suspected correctly when we read your subject line that you encountered a harmless, predatory Pseudoscorpion, a group of Arachnids that are frequently encountered in homes.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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9 thoughts on “Where Do Pseudoscorpions Live: Unveiling Their Secret Habitats”

  1. yep i just found one in my bathroom.There pretty freaky seeing em for the first time. apparently they like warm moisturized places. i killed it in fright but couldn’t get a picture because of my cat.he ate it 🙁

    Reply
  2. I found one when I swept and now I have it in a container with holes I put a piece of toilet paper soaked some water on it I don’t know what to feed it or do with it. I don’t like killing things..,,., hmm please help

    Reply
    • If you don’t have any living insects in the home, you can purchase tiny crickets in a local pet store, or possibly fruit flies. You will need small prey, or you can just release the Pseudoscorpion back into your home.

      Reply
  3. hello

    I am a new beekeeper and dealing with varroa mite issues. Tonight, while counting mites on a 72 hour sticky paper test for varroa drop, I saw what I believe is a pseudoscorpion. I had read about this in a posting on a Treatment Free Beekeeping FB page not an hour before. The poster had heard that pseudoscorpions are varroa predators – but can’t verify this any where. I’m in Southern Ontario and we’re experiencing a very mild fall, my bees are still laying eggs instead of preparing for winter. Thoughts/

    Reply
  4. hello

    I am a new beekeeper and dealing with varroa mite issues. Tonight, while counting mites on a 72 hour sticky paper test for varroa drop, I saw what I believe is a pseudoscorpion. I had read about this in a posting on a Treatment Free Beekeeping FB page not an hour before. The poster had heard that pseudoscorpions are varroa predators – but can’t verify this any where. I’m in Southern Ontario and we’re experiencing a very mild fall, my bees are still laying eggs instead of preparing for winter. Thoughts/

    Reply

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