Who knew that Minnesota had a species of a scorpion?

I was minding my own business, scrolling through Facebook over the weekend when a photo was posted to a group I'm part of, seeking help identifying a bug that looked like a baby scorpion, or some sort of wood tick with scorpion arms.

Panic mode activated. Especially since the poster said they found it in the tank of their home humidifier.

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Comments on the post pointed to it being a pseudoscorpion.

Pseudoscorpions are arachnids and are related to spiders, ticks, mites and scorpions. They have oval or teardrop shaped, flattened bodies with two conspicuous pedipalps (pincers).

The University of Minnesota Extension shared that these creepy crawlies are often found in cracks and crevices, and they like high humidity. They make their way into homes by hitching rides on larger insects like flies and beetles, and like damp rooms like bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Pseudoscorpions use their pincers to find prey, and have poison glands in them to help to paralyze the prey. They inject saliva into their victim and then feed on the liquefied contents.

Luckily that poison is harmless to people and pets, and they can not bite or sting you. The UofM Extension also made note that they aren't destructive to food, clothes or property. Here is what you should do if you find one in your home:

You should not see more than one or a few pseudoscorpions indoors.

  • Physical removal is the only necessary control.
  • If possible, slide a piece of paper underneath them and release them outdoors.
  • Insecticides are never necessary.

I'd like to think I could handle the sliding a piece of paper method if I found one of these in my house, but I don't handle bugs well. My first instinct is to always squish things that I find alarming. If you can handle the paper method I applaud you and your courage.

Here's hoping I don't cross paths with one of these pseudoscorpions.

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