Hitchhikers in the Bathroom!
By: Liana Mahoney
Everyone has a bathroom, so this is something that you can relate to. Read the following short story by Liana Mahoney. Then do the comprehension sheet.
Imagine this. You step up to the sink, wet your toothbrush, and begin cleaning your pearly
whites. Out of the corner of your eye, you see something moving on the wall. Suddenly, you
realize you’re not alone in the bathroom. Your heart pounding, you turn toward the tiny intruder
to get a better look.
You’re horrified to see that it has eight legs, and a pair of oversized pincers on its front end.
Is it some kind of miniature octopus, or a bizarre crab? Is it going to sting you?
Actually, it’s a bug, and it’s no more harmful to you than a housefly. This tiny bathroom bug is
called a pseudoscorpion (SOO-doh-SCOR-peeuhn). But don’t be fooled by its name. It’s not
really a scorpion; it’s just a relative. The pseudoscorpion is a kind of arachnid (uh-RAKnid),
which means it is closely related to spiders, scorpions, and mites. Like scorpions, pseudoscorpions have a segmented body and two enormous pincers. But pseudoscorpions
lack the curved stinger that all true scorpions have.
Pseudoscorpions usually live outside in mulch, under tree bark, and in leaf litter. So how do
they end up in the bathroom? They use those pincer-like claws to hitch a ride on other bugs,
such as flies and beetles. When these insects come in, so do the pseudoscorpions - attached
to their legs!
These tiny arachnids prefer moist places. Since the bathroom tends to be humid after
bathing and showering, it’s a likely place to find them. But they are easily overlooked. Most
pseudoscorpions are only about two to eight millimeters long.
Pseudoscorpions don’t bite or sting humans, and they can even be helpful. These bugs feed
on common household pests, such as carpet beetle larvae, ants, mites, and small flies.
Welcoming this hitchhiker into your home may mean there are fewer household pests to