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What Are Booklice?


Have you ever wondered what booklice are? They are actually psocids, which are minute insects that feed on fungi or mold. Although booklice superficially resemble some lice species, they are not true lice. They measure between 1/32 and 1/8 of an inch long; they have soft bodies and resemble termite workers. Booklice often have 4 wings and the front wings are larger than the hind wings. Why do you have booklice in your Mid-Missouri home? The St. Louis pest control professionals at Rottler can explain and offer you a few tips on eliminating the environments that may attract these psocid pests. 

Booklice are attracted to areas of high humidity.  High humidity is also required for the growth of mold, which is the primary food source for most booklice. Booklice require this moist air in order to live and adult booklice will die during the winter or periods of dry, cooler weather. A booklice nymph can survive the winter, quickly becoming an adult in just a few weeks when the warmer weather hits.  In older homes, booklice can be found inside damp books, as the glues used in most books readily support the growth of mold. Booklice aren’t only found in books, however; they have been seen in upholstered furniture, stored products, rugs, paper, cardboard cartons, storage trunks, window and door casing voids, bath traps and other areas where the humidity level is high.  A booklice problem may go unnoticed when the probability is still small since these pests are so tiny, but when the infestation grows there may be thousands of members, quickly causing problems for home and business owners. 

When it comes to booklice vs bed bugs or termites, booklice aren’t nearly as severe a problem. When compared to other pests inside the home, booklice are relatively minor but can become a nuisance when their populations reach large numbers.  Booklice don’t bite people and they are not a threat to the structure of your home, unlike both bed bugs and termites. When considering how to get rid of booklice, the best option is to remove the environment in which they thrive. You can do this by reducing the humidity level to below 50% and keeping it there; at this humidity level booklice will die. If reducing the humidity level to this point and keeping it there proves to be especially challenging or is not an option, calling in professional pest control is the best option.  At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, we can help you get rid of booklice and can offer recommendations on the environmental modifications required to eliminate these pests and keep them from returning. 

For more information on booklice and what our professionals can do to get rid of them, please give us a call. We would be happy to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection so that we can determine what treatment would be best for you. At Rottler, we’ve been providing effective home pest control services in Mid-Missouri since 1956; let us take care of all your pest problems today by giving us a call at 314-426-6100 or 1-877-ROTTLER!

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