Booklice, also known as psocids, barklice, and paperlice. The alternative name: barklice (outdoor name) is said to come from the fact that they would gather around the barks of trees.
How do booklice look like? Their size
They are extremely minuscule and their size can range from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long, and eventually will grow to about 1/4 inch.
Lifecycle of a booklice
A booklice has an average lifecycle of about 24 days (including egg incubation).
The females lay eggs in the spring and summer. The immature insects are called nymphs. They look like the adults but have no wings.
– The female booklice will produce the eggs
– The booklice will go through metamorphosis, which means that their nymphs look just like the adults, except much smaller
– The nymphs hatching from the eggs will go through 3 to 4 stages over a period of 10 days before becoming adults
Where do they come from?
They are pests that love to stay in damp and humid environments, where moisture is present as well. They are often found in new homes, and came from construction materials where the house is being built, and stayed on.
However, once the humidity levels of the home has dropped, these tiny insects will find it more difficult to survive. And if they do not die, a simple tip is to turn up the heat levels of your rooms. With increased temperature and decreasing humidity, the likelihood of their survival will be much lesser.
How dangerous are booklice? Do they bite? What do they feed on?
Booklice are not harmful to us, and they have no desire to feed on the blood of humans. Their bites do not contain any kind of poison and thus they do present any real danger to us. They are more of a kind of pest that causes nuisance and psychological discomfort to home owners.
Booklice mainly feed on microscopic mold and mildew that grows in humid areas.
Where do booklice like to hide in your home? Signs of infestation
As mentioned, booklice mainly feed on the mold, and are often found on the binding of pages where mold is present. One tell tale sign (that is difficult to identify) is finding their “shed skin” on the pages of books, which look like a pale brown powder to the human eye.
Unlike other types of pests that leave behind an obvious trail, the main sign of booklice infestation is the sighting of these booklice. The areas which have the most moisture will attract these pests: such as basements, closets, storage areas, cabinets.
If you do find these pests in your food packages (which is rare), it is likely that the packages where you store your food is too humid. Note that high humidity will promote mold growth and it shocking, but mold growth can even be present in your cereals or other stored food products. To protect your stored food, it is suggested that you keep them in sealed plastic containers or areas where it is extremely dry.
Other areas where booklice may lie is in books, fabrics, furniture, and even wallpaper and paintings where mold growth is encouraged. Thus, it is important to check your antique items once in a while to ensure that there is no promotion of mold growth.
They love paper, and thus can be found on bookbindings and even your photographs.
Things you need to have to identify a booklice
* Magnifying Glass
DIY methods to get rid of booklice
The best way to deter booklice is to keep your things dry. The use of dehumidifiers, ventilation, fans, and air conditioning units can help to lower your humidity levels.
Here are some quick DIY methods to get rid of booklice:
– Reduce their food supply by cleaning up your areas with enzymes or borax, and make sure to keep your area free of molds
– Use a dehumidifier in the infested areas and attempt to reduce moisture levels to below 50%. The use of a fan will also help with the air flow and ventilation
– Remove and dispose of all moldy items
– Boric acid or talcum powder can be applied to areas where food is no present – cracks, spaces to help dry out those infected areas
– Use commercial products to help prevent the growth of mold and fungi
– Clean your objects and expose them to sunlight to keep them dry
– For places such as your storeroom, you can open up your windows and let the sunlight and outdoor heat dry the room out
– Apply simply cleaning with chemical solutions on your upholstery
– If this still does not work, use insecticides containing pyrethrins, rotenone, allethrin, chlorpyrifos or propoxur labeled and apply them unto infested areas
– If you find booklice in your food packaging, you can simply microwave the whole thing and throw the packaging item away
All in all, if these DIY methods still do not work for you, it is important that you engage a professional pest control company in Singapore that offers booklice control services, that will help you to identify where these booklice are taking root in, and eradicate