Summary: Booklice belong to a group of insects known as the psocids. Booklice don't bite, but occasionally infest houses to the point that they become a problem.
Booklice are the nerds of the insect world. They are always reading old, musty tomes that haven't been lifted off the shelf in ages. What makes booklice so fond of old books?
Well, actually it is the microscopic mold or mildew that results when books are not sheltered from moisture that attracts the booklice. This is a great food source for book lice. Booklice like warm, dark, damp environments, so stored books can provide shelter and food for them at the same time. Booklice can also be commonly found in furniture, rugs, cupboards and closet. They will
sometimes be attracted to stored food products like cereals or other grains. The tiny bugs can also live in straw, or the dust that collects on door frames and window sills.
Booklice are very small insects known as psocids. They are usually less than 1/16th of an inch long. They are colorless, grey or light yellow. They have soft bodies, chewing mouthparts and relatively long antennae. The head and abdomen appear large, while their middle section, the thorax, is narrow. This can give them a swollen appearance. Indoor booklice are usually wingless, but outdoor booklice have wings and are often called barklice because they inhabit the bark of trees. They resemble true lice, but booklice are not parasites and they do not live on or bite animals.
Booklice reproduce parthenogenically, which means that the females can produce eggs without ever mating. The eggs are white, oval, and covered with a crusty coating or strands of silk. Booklice live for thirty to sixty days, and their populations grow more quickly during humid weather.
If an outbreak of booklice occurs inside, it is probably due to excessive moisture. Booklice like to feed on mold, so eliminating wet spots created by leaking pipes or air conditioning units can help take away the places the booklice can survive. Adding a fan or dehumidifier to a damp room, along with allowing sunlight in, can help eliminate conditions favorable to booklice. Bring the humidity levels down below 50%.
Booklice will sometimes infest cereals and similar food products that get moldy. If booklice have infested a stored food product you can kill the insects by freezing the product for several days or by heating in the oven at 200 degrees for half an hour. Many pesticides containing pyrethrin or cyfluthrin are available as aerosol sprays, dusts, or emulsifiable concentrates and can be used to kill booklice, as well. Make sure that the pesticide you choose is labeled for crawling insects like booklice, and don't spray or apply pesticides near food or places children play.
Booklice don't damage clothing or furniture, unless those items are moldy, but, nonetheless, a serious infestation can make your skin crawl. Use good hygienic practices like regular dusting and vacuuming to prevent a booklice infestation. For a large infestation that is difficult to control you might want to call a professional pest control service However, if you see just one, perhaps perusing an old copy of Moby Dick, then you might be inspired to pick up and read one of the long-neglected books in your library.
14 May 2012, 16:09
i have the same problem. i had a flood in 2010 and since than this little bugs appeared. Showed 3 pest controll all different answers and finally one of them said Booklice. I have gone mental. I have washed & hovered everyday for 6 months, they have gone down BUT are still around. On the plug window stand even on the tables. I will give you one hint, on the ceilling remove all lighing systems including the white box connected to the bulb and you will see so many there. make sure to wash with bleach, dry than fix connect everything(thats the mystery of how it falls on the bed).If anyone has sloved this problem please let me know and good luck.
12 Jul 2012, 06:35
30 Jul 2012, 16:26
01 Aug 2012, 13:29
01 Aug 2012, 14:05
08 Aug 2012, 22:26
I'm guessing they liked the dark of my closet, and since I rarely open the door there is no air flow. It however isn't humid in the slightest nor damp and is actually fairly chilled so the little monsters did well in what I wouldn't think as "ideal".
It doesn't seem like they have ventured into my room from my closet thank god!
02 Oct 2012, 10:13
P.S. there are no books around the places that they are appearing.
15 Dec 2012, 15:02
Would book lice lay eggs along the inside seam of a paperback book cover/ between pages along the spine? Or is that more likely to be bed bugs? The eggs are very small, nearly invisible to the naked eye, and white/translucent. I saw one actual bug (very tiny, also white/translucent) and it ran off quickly.
Thanks for your help.
23 May 2013, 17:22
28 Aug 2013, 21:18
07 Nov 2013, 12:53