Booklice (Barklice)

Identification

  • Colour Translucent or pale white to grey or brown
  • Size Up to 2 mm long
  • Also known as Psocids
  • Description Small, soft-bodied insects with a distinctive bulgy clypeus, an area above the mouthparts
  • Notes Indoor species are usually wingless, while outdoor species do have wings.

General Facts

Why do I have booklice?

There are more than 70 different species of booklice, also called psocids, in Canada. They all like to live in warm environments with plenty of moisture and humidity. They prefer undisturbed spaces and are often found around books and papers, in furniture, under wallpaper, along the sides of windows, and in damp areas that support the growth of mould. Certain species of booklice will attack stored grains and infest household pantries, as well as granaries, warehouses, and commercial food processing facilities. Booklice eat microscopic spores of moulds so are attracted to any mouldy plant-based material, including cereals, grains, and furniture. They also feed on starchy materials, including the starch-filled paste of book bindings and wallpaper, as well as any mould found there.

How worried should I be about booklice?

Booklice are mostly an annoyance when munching through books, but can contaminate household food with their carcasses and excrement. They also reproduce rapidly in warm weather, with females able to lay about 60 eggs in the summer. This means a booklouse infestation needs to be addressed early on to prevent it getting out of control, but store bought products are mostly ineffective and insecticides do nothing if moisture remains. For truly effective booklouse eradication you need a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent booklice invading?

Eliminate moisture and mould, Use dehumidifiers or fans, Ventilate bathrooms and attics, Keep books and paper off the floor

Other pests related to Booklice (Barklice)

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