Summary: Book lice populations can build up quickly in stored food products that have been left and forgotten at the back of your pantry shelves. You'll find yourself throwing away a lot of never-used food if you don't use some precautions.
Nathan; BC Canada asks:
I have found tiny bugs in my cupboards so small that they look like dust partials, but they move. I have removed everything from my cupboards and have cleaned with bleach, but even after 5 weeks I still keep finding them on the counter. How do I get rid of these little bugs? I believe they are called Liposcelis bostrychophila but I'm not totally sure.
Book lice are tough little guys to get rid of, but it can be done without pesticides. Somehow, your cabinets have a high humidity level that needs to be reduced. Here's the information you are seeking.
Liposcelis bostrychophila, also known as book lice, are part of the psocid family. There are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on mold, fungi found in grains and other starchy materials. Book lice usually avoid light and like to live in cracks and crevices where the humidity is fairly high such as enclosed spaces like cabinets. You don't often find them inside unopened packages of products shipped from the manufacturer, but they do have a habit of getting into broken or opened packages and containers.
Reducing the humidity below 50% will eliminate most infestations of book lice. Try to ventilate high moisture areas using a dehumidifier or a fan. Be sure to use a crack and crevic attachment on a vacuum cleaner to remove bits of food from the cracks of storage shelves. Don't overlook spilled foods like cereals and flour.
We are all guilty of pushing containers of food to the back of the shelf and forgetting about it. Foods stored for six months or more sometimes become infested especially in damp, dark, warm, undisturbed places. Try to rotate food products so that older items are used first. Check the manufacturing dates when you are going through your cabinets. Adult book lice populations tend to build up in greater numbers as the infestation ages. Put grain and cereal products in containers with tight fitting lids if the contents are not used within one week after opening. Place infested products inside plastic bags prior to disposal to reduce the spread of adult insects.
17 Feb 2014, 07:13
Thanks in advance
17 Feb 2014, 11:31
28 Mar 2014, 23:26
28 May 2014, 07:19
I have psocids that live in a TV! They used to hang around window sills as well before I cleaned those areas. Sometimes I see them crawling around my computer and landline too. This is ridiculous.
We barely had any mold and I have eliminated any all mold sources possible, yet these shitlings still find something to feed on. When fed the insides of their bellies turn white. In contrast, if you have black mildew for them to feed on their bellies will go black when fed. I have absolutely no idea what they could be eating unless it's the white wall paint or something.
So far, we've only seen them in a living room corner where the TV is. No crevices there, no mold under the carpet, nothing been spilt on the TV either. Besides, it's almost always dry in my place, yet they have somehow been breeding over the past year (even though not in large amounts I must admit).
These things are pretty smart for what they are. They easily spot humans and then quickly run back to their crevices (backside of the TV in my case). I guess I'll have to disassemble my TV to see what's up otherwise I am crap creek without a paddle.
04 Aug 2014, 19:41
We found them in tortillas [where we think we got the critters from as we have never bought flour tortillas before and never had these critters till now].
We recently had a carpenter ant problem this spring, so the idea of high humidity in walls is a real potential. but we have had hear record high temperatures for the past few weeks. Current outdoor temp and humidity is 26C and 55% so reducing the humidity to below 50% is not a possible solution.
We have removed everything from cupboards including shelves and sprayed a mixture of 0.25% Pyrethrins & 1.01% Piperonyl Butoxide into all cabinets and crevases. We have disposed of all flour products in packages. We are washing all dishes, utensils, and cooking equipment. The microwave, hood fan, dishwasher, and fridge have been sprayed but are not so easy to disassemble. We plan to wash all containers with food in them with bleach and remove lids to clean the cap and threads with 8% sodium hypoclorite bleach mixture.
How do kill the eggs, larvae, live bugs?
Do I need to freeze them to some particular temp for a certain amount of time? The freezer would accomplish this.
Will exposure to heat, sunlight, ... cause them to die? ? The sunny climate right now would help with this.
Without food how long can they live? Can we just quarantine everything for a specific period of time without a food source to kill the colony?
25 Aug 2014, 16:42
06 Sep 2014, 18:56
What I would like to ask you is, in the English climate are psocids likely to live on the outside walls and come in through the windows if I leave them open at night?
06 Sep 2014, 20:23
03 Feb 2015, 14:44
Thanks! ....A sufferer of booklice!
03 Feb 2015, 18:46
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14 Mar 2015, 23:43