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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identification of small bug in home.

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Hi Eric,

I have spotted this creature in multiple locations in my home; in the entrance way, on some exposed studs and on the bathroom floor at different times of the day, mostly commonly during the evening - when I am actually home. The one in the picture is one of several that was located on a UPS cardboard package that I received. The creature is very small, is less than 1/16th of an inch, is relatively flat and crawls relatively fast for its size. It has 6 legs and antennae. Its movement can be characterized by using its antennae to "sniff" out its environment. I was able to capture one of them in a container and was able to take some pictures (attached).

What kind of creature is this and is it's presence a threat to my family or home?

Thanks much in a advance. Please let me know if you need more info.

Answer
Caleb:

The tiny creature in question is a non-insect hexapod known as a "springtail."  Here is a blog post I wrote about them:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2014/11/springtails.html

That story should answer all your questions, but no, they pose no health threat whatsoever, nor do they damage property or pets.  At worst they are a nuisance.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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