Pseudoscorpion—Chelifer cancroides

Contrary to what one might think, while pseudoscorpions look like tiny scorpions, they are harmless and do not attack structures or occupants. They spend most of the time outside under leaf litter and mulch, but are sometimes noticed when they wander into homes. They are less than 1/4 inch long and cannot bite or sting. Control of pseudoscorpions is not necessary, as they are actually beneficial for homes and gardens. They are predators, and feed on other arthropods, small insects, and mites.

The large pincers on the front of a pseudoscorpion’s body, resembling those of the true scorpion, are what attract observers’ attention. Unlilke true scorpions, pseudoscorpions do not have a stinger at the end of their abdomen.

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Identification and Control Information

[Photo: Steve Jacobs, PSU Entomology]