There are some highly venomous arachnid species that are prone to invading indoor habitats where they can pose a serious health threat to humans. Scorpions could certainly be considered unwanted and potentially dangerous arachnid pests that have no place within homes. Luckily, most scorpion species prefer to dwell outdoors only, but one particular species that is native to the southwest, the striped-bark scorpion, is not only a common home-invader, but it is also the most venomous scorpion species in North America. Of course, residents of the northeast US do not need to worry about scorpion pests, as it is well known that not one single species dwells within the region. That being said, there does exist one arachnid species that is closely related to scorpions that is found within homes and buildings in the northeast frequently. This particular arachnid pest species is a type of pseudoscorpion that is officially known as Chelifer cancroides.
Much like normal scorpion species, the Chelifer cancroides species possesses two prominent pincers, but luckily, this species does not possess a stinger. In fact, the Chelifer cancroides pseudoscorpion species does not transmit venom to humans, and they are far too small to inflict bites on human skin. While the Chelifer cancroides species may not be the most intimidating arachnid pest within northeastern homes, these arachnids can become a nuisance when large numbers gather indoors.
More than 2,000 pseudoscorpion species have been documented around the world, and most live within natural tropical habitats. However, the Chelifer cancroides species is unique in that it is a common urban pest that thrives within temperate northern environments for periods lasting several years. This species, is more commonly known as the “house pseudoscorpion” and they are commonly found in high-moisture areas within a home, such as bathroom and kitchen sinks. Although this species closely resembles a typical scorpion, they are often mistaken for ticks or bed bugs due to their minute size.
Strangely, the house pseudoscorpion is notable for infesting bookshelves and they are often found in large numbers in between the pages of closed books. These pests prefer to dwell within moist leaf-litter around homes, but they often wander indoors and they are even known for hitchhiking into homes by latching onto other insect pests and even humans.
Were you aware that pseudoscorpions infest homes in the northeast US?