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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/mystery bug on sticky traps


I am finding tons of these on several sticky traps around the house meant to catch brown recluses, any idea what they could be?

Dear Adonis - Other than the lone ant, these creatures appear to be springtails, primitive arthropods in the order Collembola. They are closely related to true insects, and are extremely abundant and widespread. They require the presence of moisture/high humidity to persist indoors, as they are very susceptible to desiccation. Fortunately, they are only nuisance pests that do no real harm indoors; the vast majority of species are scavengers on bits of decomposing organic matter. You can cut sown on their numbers by eliminating as many unnecessary sources of moisture (leaky/dripping pipes and taps, condensate from refrigeration/air-handling units, etc.) and lowering indoor humidity levels as much as practical (we keep a dehumidifier running in our basement).

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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