Entomology (Study of Bugs)/tiny bugs everywhere


I noticed tiny bugs everywhere on my living room ceiling which is untreated pine. They are even on my table in the books and newspapers. They are visible to the naked eye but about the size of a pin head would be right. What can I do to get rid of them and keep them gone ?

Dear Georges - There are two possibilities: mites of some kind, or booklice (Psocodea: Liposcelidae) - see http://tinyurl.com/cph53kd for an image. In either case, lowering indoor humidity as much as practical should help alleviate the problem. I suggest that you use a moistened toothpick or something similar to transfer some of your 'guests' to a small container of rubbing alcohol, and take them to your county office of the University of New Hampshire's Cooperative Extension Service (see http://tinyurl.com/ceukk7o for contact information) for assistance in identification and any additional control/management advice.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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