I read your article on Psocids and found it very telling. A few years back I purchsed a house in a very wooded area, that is also very wet. I have a huge hill less than one foot from the back of the house. However, the yard pans outward and the hill is only that close in a very small section.
The first year I was in the house, there were no problems and I moved my business into my residence. I have many rescued reptiles and small mammals. Then, about two summers ago I see these tiny white bugs around an enclouser for Turtles that were being treated for release back into the wild. Specifically, they were around the water. I cleaned and they were gone. A few days later it was like a Psocid bomb went off in the room. At times they are enclouser specific, targeting one or two then moving onto other pens. As of last summer, they started to pan out into the house more. Why do they do this??? For instance, I found my supply of Super Worms completely infested, I had to discard to. However, 2 small tanks sitting right next to the Super Worms were untouched. Reguardless, they got bleached, soaked in boiling water and the Lizards got a bath. Today was also the first time I have seen them in my attic. Again, in one tank, housing feeder crickets and not anywhere on the feeder fish tank, less than 3 inches away. Again, what’s up with this behavior???
Lastly, are they dangerous to my reptiles??? We had a Staph infection run amok through our collection last year and it killed numerous animals. Can the Staph be linked to the Psocids and their droppings??? Is it possible that there is bacteria in their bite??? What the hell kills these things??? Is there a spray that is reptile and mammal friendly???
Thank you for your time and I appreciate any answers you can give. You can also call me direct at 518-842-8554. Just as a little more info. Last year they came out at the end of July, today is June 11th and my first bout with them this year. They seem to disappear around September. Also, I had an Entomologist (Charles Gohar) classify them as well as Pest Inspectors, just to be sure what they were.
Psocid infestations tend to have “outbreaks” or population surges. This has to do with the timing of when batches of them mature. Seeing them around one pen means there was a nest which matured at the same time and they all choose to migrate right when you were around. This behavior is very common and nothing unusual. As to why they seem to be so focused is related to several variables. Clearly their small size has something to do with this phehomona as well as the fact that slight difference of the light, humidity and temperature will cause them to forego an area just one foot away from where all of them seem to be concentrated.
The good news is that they aren’t “dangerous” to your reptiles. However, populations can get out of control as explained in our PSOCID CONTROL ARTICLE. For this reason it would be wise to treat on a regular basis to make sure this won’t happen.
Since animals can be sensitive to many of the products we sell, it would be best to use one of the non toxic organic products we have like FLYING INSECT KILLER or HOUSEPLANT INSECT KILLER. These aerosols are as gentle as it comes and certified organic so they can be used around sensitive areas without undue danger. I would say to get some of both and see which one works better for you. They are organic which means they won’t last that long once applied. That being said, one might work better for psocids in the environment you’ve created but I can’t tell without testing first. Since both are so cost effective to try, you might get a few cans of each to see and decide if they are equal performing or if one is “better” than the other. Good luck!