Liposcelis, Lepinotus and Trogium
So-called booklice, also known as psocids and paperlice, are tiny insects that live in noticeable numbers on papers, books, walls, and furniture. While they are nearly invisible because of their small size, they can become an annoyance to humans, sometimes causing allergic reactions.
Booklice may look like lice, but they are not actually lice and they do not bite people. These tiny insects do not cause structural damage or spread disease. Booklice become a nuisance when they are in your home in large numbers.
Booklice are all females, developing from unfertilized eggs. Females will produce over 60 eggs during their lifespan. These eggs are white, ovular, and coated in crust. They can be laid by themselves or in groups next to a food source. Once hatched, the new booklice will feed on any available mold and mildew.
Booklice will live anywhere from two weeks to four months, depending on the environment in which they find themselves. It is possible that eight generations are produced within the span of one year.
They thrive in warm, humid areas, preferring temperatures from 75 to 85 degrees. If these conditions are present, an outbreak of booklice may occur. Normally, booklice will disappear around late fall when buildings are increasingly heated and dry.
Types of Booklice
Booklice are small with soft bodies, and are only about 1/25 to 1/13 inch long. They are grayish or white in appearance and usually without wings. If they do have wings, they are very weak flyers. Booklice are very flat in appearance and are often found in mold or mildew. Their heads and abdomens are large while their midsections are narrow. Booklice also have threadlike antennae. Their young are almost colorless.
When booklice are disturbed, they will run across open services in a jerky, erratic fashion, almost hopping.
Booklice In The Home & The Apartment
These pests eat microscopic mold, fungi, dead insect fragments, pollen, and starches. They are found anywhere that is heated, such as homes, warehouses, and libraries. In areas where construction with lumber has occurred, water vapor may condense within walls that promote the growth of molds, encouraging more outbreaks. Even in everyday household items, booklice will take up residence. These include: cereal, flour, paste on book bindings, and wallpaper. These can be especially pesky when they are found in offices and museums where paper files and stored.
Frequently Asked Questions About Psocids
How do you control a booklice infestation?
Lowering the humidity of the environment where booklice are present should help reduce their development, as it will literally dry them out. Reducing the humidity by half will substantially dry out any infested areas and eliminate the molds they feed on.
Keeping a clean environment is one of the most effective ways of discouraging booklice from entering your home. Regularly vacuum, clean up spilled foods, and dispose of food stored for more than six months.
To rid your books, papers, and upholstered furniture of booklice, they may be dried out in sunlight. Ventilate and dry areas with a dehumidifier.
Don’t keep paper materials on the floor, repair any leaks in your home, and make sure your rooms are well-ventilated. To prevent booklice from reentering your home, seal any cracks both inside and out.
You should not need any further treatment if your house is properly sanitized. However, it is possible that you might need chemicals to control them. Moth ball flakes may help with infestations in closets or cabinets. Pesticides, if they are necessary, should be selected if they are labeled for “creeping and/or crawling” insects, and should be applied to wall voids or other difficult-to-access areas.
Benefits of Professional Booklice Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address an booklice problem. Finding and treating the booklice can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the booklice infestation.