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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Tiny bugs surrounding exterior of home

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Question
Single bug
Single bug  

Swarm on deck railing
Swarm on deck railing  
I have tons of tiny bugs all around the foundation of my home. On down spouts, doors, & windows & my children's outdoor plastic toys etc.  They are also all over the railings on my deck & stairs. To me they look reddish & they jump when I try to squish them & the size of a flea. I live in MA. surrounded by pine trees if that means anything.I have never seen this before.

Answer
Sharon,

These appear to be psocids, also called barklice. Psocids feed on fungi and algae so are common in damp areas that support fungal (mold) growth such as under trees and on outdoor furniture. They are basically harmless but cleaning away fungi and algae will discourage them. Insecticidal soap (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/insecticidal_soap.html) would be another option.

Jack DeAngelis  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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