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Psocids


Summary: Psocids are very small insects measuring 1 to 4 mm. They are more commonly called booklice and their presence may be a sign of a mold problem in your home.

The oldest psocid fossil was found in Kansas and was thought to have lived about 290 million years ago, or 284 million years before man made his first appearance. So, no matter what you do, you cannot expect to totally defeat the psocid.

Recommended pesticides are Demand CS, Tri-Die aerosol and PT 565 Plus XLO aerosol.

The psocid (pronounced so-sid) is a tiny insect measuring 1 to 4 millimeter in length. Its most outstanding feature is its long schnozola, or as it is better known, beak. Psocids are almost always gray, clear, or white and have long antennae. Some species have four wings, while others are wingless. Just when you thought you knew of all the flying pests, you learn about another one you want to avoid.

psocid.jpg
booklice

The bad news is that psocids procreate in large numbers. Booklice are always females and they lay between 50-100 eggs during their lives. The psocid covers its eggs with a silky thread that resembles a web. Psocids live about six months.

If you imagine a small critter, you probably think of lice, right? Then it is quite appropriate that some species of psocids are called barklice. This species clings to bark on trees and logs, and occasionally camps out under rocks.
The psocid feasts on pollen, decaying plants, and fungi, and even flakes of dead skin from humans and other animals. At least some something is profiting off of your sunburn and peeling skin from your vacation in Cancun. The psocid usually does not eat human food, but it will if mold is growing on it. Yet another reason to throw out the three-weeks-past-expiration-date cheese sitting in your fridge.

The smaller species of psocid, booklice, are commonly found around paper and books. They enjoy munching on the glue that binds books together. This psocid cannot hurt humans or animals, but they can become a problem because they tend to congregate in large numbers. In fact, they may gather by the hundreds or even thousands.

Besides paper products, booklice also feed on mold and fungi, especially in warm, moist places. So, if you discover booklice creeping around your house, it may be a sign that you have mold growing in your basement, bathrooms, or any other location with excessive moisture.

psocidbark.jpg
barklice

If you do happen to have a psocid infestation, the best way to get rid of them is to eliminate moisture in your home. Sometimes a fan will work, but a dehumidifier is your best bet. They thrive in relative humidities of 75 to 90 percent. Your goal is to lower the humidity to 50%. To avoid psocids or many other bug infestations, stack any boxes or storage containers off of the floor and away from dark corners. Fix that leaky hot water heater and eliminate any standing water.

Psocids can also become a problem during the summer months because they thrive in warm temperatures. In the winter, the mature psocids will die, but their eggs will hatch in the spring. As temperatures turn colder, be sure the firewood you bring inside is nice and dry. Moist firewood is sure to have psocid infestations.

Getting rid of mildew or mold problems will greatly increase your chance of killing psocids. If you have an infestation, you can't procrastinate about disinfecting your bathroom any longer. Insect sprays are deadly to psocids, so try using these on your new visitors. (Follow label instructions.) If barklice are living on your trees, a strong hose should do the trick to wash them away.





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Comments

heather
28 Jun 2009, 11:44
hi. i just noticed a couple of weeks ago tiny brownish bugs around my toilet seat. i wipe them off and then when i look again there a whole bunch more. they are incredibly tiny and look round. they don't jump at all. could you tell me what you think they are. the amount of them im seeing seems to be more everyday. how can i get rid of them? (.) they are about the size of the period.
Wyatt
28 Sep 2011, 17:59
I am not sure if this is what Ive recently seen but looks similar. Do these tend to jerk backwards almost like a jump but never leaving the surface when you put something near them?
alice noriega
12 Nov 2011, 11:20

living in a senior dwelling of 155 units psocids were discovered in my studio.................i had no idea what these so called booklice were about.

yes we had an exterminator in with his little catching cards,left here for 2 weeks? have no idea what the manager and this exterminator had going on...........but across the hall from me a party moved back in after they cleaned up and remodled his studion..............with his large cased of old books,,(many books),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and now I again feel the bugs.....have a cat that had guard on her...........will ask monday to locate to another apt..as I have my name in many other senior homes but must wait for the waiting list.
ALICE NORIEGA
27 Nov 2011, 12:24

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A PICTURE OF THESE PESTY LICE PLEASE.....I WAS ABLE TO SEE SOME LONG MOLDY LOOKING CHAIN NEST BEING SWEPT FROM AN APT: THAT WAS BEING CLEANED UP .....................PLEASE ANSWER.............THESE BUGS ARE IN MY BED ALSO ..WALKING ON MY FACE..EARS...NOSE.PLEASE HELP.............FIRST EXTERMINATOR....FAILD....NEW ON COMING IN MONDAY FOR THE LITTLE CARDS THAT WHERE PUT AROUND THE ROOM TO HELP THEM FIND OUT WHAT THIS BUG IS? THANK YOU ALICE NORIEGA
Ask the Exterminator
27 Nov 2011, 21:33
A picture of a book louse is on this page.
Lauren
19 Jul 2012, 00:57
Heather, sounds like you have an infestation of bird lice. They probably came in through a window where pigeons or something built a nest. Once the hatchlings take off, the bird lice have nothing else to feed. Since they feed on blood they look for other animals. Humans fit their bill.
karan
09 Sep 2012, 01:16
Hi I live in a place that is humid all the time (above 70 %) and the psocids are beind a kick board I can't move. I currently have sealed off that bathroom and bedroom and placed a dehumidifier in there (can only run it for 3 days). What are my best options for complete erradication.(only pesticides available are ant and cockroach sprays) Done all you have advised above but they are in a bathroom with no outside walls and a weak fan. How would they grow in a bedroom cupboard? can't figure what would set them off.
Ask the Exterminator
10 Sep 2012, 12:10
If you cannot get the humidity down you are going to continue to have the problem. Pesticides alone will not control them.
Dana
31 Jan 2013, 15:55
Do they like to crawl across computer screens, or bedroom mirrors? Psocids? Or is my house infested with something else. The mold,the webbing,I have that in some rooms. So just by lowering humidity will get rid of them?
Sarah Flippo
10 Jul 2014, 23:09
I found some TEENY TINY!!! they almost looked squished or flattened between the glass and cardboard sections of a frame i had sitting in my floor. could those be the "book lice"?? but i also had one crawling on me the other day in my car though??
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