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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pseudoscorpions are Curious, Harmless

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist

Bunni Olson, Univ. of MN Extension

Photo 1: Pseudoscorpions look fierce but are harmless to people

A small, 1/5th inch long, reddish or brownish 'bug' with two large 'pinchers' is sometimes found in homes. Although it looks like a tick or scorpion, it is actually a pseudoscorpion. A pseudoscorpion is not an insect but is a type of arachnid, so it is related to spiders, ticks, and true scorpions. Pseudoscorpions have eight legs and pincher-like pedipalps (part of their mouthparts). They lack the stinger that true scorpions possess.

Pseudoscorpions are predators on a variety of small insects and other arthropods, like springtails, booklice, and mites. They are found in a variety of habitats, such as leaf litter, moss, and under stones and tree bark, and occasionally buildings. Despite their appearance, they are harmless to people. If you find a pseudoscorpion in your home, just physically remove it or ignore it. If possible, capture and release it outdoors. Fortunately, we rarely see more than one or two pseudoscorpions at a time. For more information, see Pseudoscorpions in homes.


  1. We just bought a shortsale home with damp, rotting wood siding (that we hope to soon replace) and we have a lot of springtails in the home. I just found a pseudoscorpion in the kitchen sink. After showing it to the kids, I relocated it to a corner of the home where I've seen a lot of springtales. I figure if we've got a lot of springtails, we might as well keep the pseudoscorpions around to keep them in check! Hopefully alleviating our water problems will eventually bring both populations down naturally. Thanks for the info.

  2. Thanks for your comments; glad our publication was useful.


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