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Bedbugs, no… booklice, yes.

By Chris Williams on April 2, 2015.
3 booklice

My wife is not really fond of insects, and on our recent trip I was reminded of this fact once again. After I tore apart our room at the resort and pronounced the all clear for bedbugs, that didn’t mean there were not insects in the room. There were some, but I just didn’t care about them. I probably saw maybe one mosquito inside the entire week, and a black two-spotted lady beetle (aka the Montezuma Lady Beetle, Thalassa montezumae).

Now these were “occasional invaders” because we had the sliding door open and were enjoying the warm breezes coming off the water. Oddly, the sliding door was not equipped with a screened panel to allow the air in but keep insects out, but that wasn’t a problem in my mind because there was very little around to fly in. One afternoon we were enjoying the balcony and my wife slides the door completely closed, and I’m baffled as to why, so I asked her. “It’s to keep the bugs out.” Turns out closing the slider all the way did more than just keep the bugs out and we had to yell down to some hotel staff to help us get back into our room!!

So what was living in the room that I didn’t care about? During my initial room inspection, while I was checking the closet, I found some psocids or “booklice.” There were actually quite a few of them on the inside walls of the closet. What are they doing? Not much. They were simply scavenging off microscopic molds, other fungi and maybe the starch from the wall covering. These booklice were pretty small at maybe 2mm or less in length and yellowish brown in color. I gave them a good long look because their color and size was very similar to juvenile bedbugs that have not yet taken a blood meal.

I did not tell my wife about the booklice in the closet.

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