Rusted woodlouse

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The Bug Collection
Rusted Woodlouse
Habitat:Any forested region.
Description:A rusty orange in color and generally so small it can barely be detected by the naked eye, this tiny relative of ticks and mites is eight-legged, each of which ends in a miniscule gripping hook for latching onto hosts.
Notes:Parasitic in nature, the woodlouse lodges in the bark of trees, awaiting passing insects, typically spiders or non-social species. It fastens to its host with miniscule hooks and siphons bodily fluids through a pair of specialized fangs. Ants and bees seem immune to its predation, as their regular grooming habits and particular body chemistry do not seem conducive to its success.

Infestations of this pest are well known amongst lumberjacks, woodland hunters and other denizens of the forest, and they are notoriously prolific in their reproduction. Lye baths, caustic powders and other unseemly home remedies have been used over the centuries to reduce the infestations, but no permanent remedy has ever come to fruition.

Unlike their cousins, the crab lice, these pests infest the folds of skin of unwary passerby. Their bite can cause redness and severe itching.

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