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How to Get Rid of Booklice - Book Lice Control Guide [2023]

how to get rid of booklice

Many people do not realize they have booklice problems before finding the infestations in their homes. Booklice have not been formally tested for lice and are not allowed in hairs.

But it seems that they can still cause problems in the house. Booklice are tiny parasitic insects that devour mold and mildew in humid environments.

Below is our handy guide to learn all you want in regard to booklice and how to get rid of booklice.

What are Booklice?


Booklice are tiny dark blue flies that often eat older, moldy books. So it's where the name comes from. Though not considered true, they look like lice in size and shape.

These lice are typical in typical homes but can not be controlled. These can damage books incredibly quickly if the book remains in storage longer than expected.

This could happen in foods that contain mold/fungi or furniture, carpets, or even bed.

Booklice life cycle

Booklice can have an easily manageable life cycle. During the warmer months, the females may deposit as many as sixty eggs. When the egg is laid, it hatches as a nymph.

They eat mold the same way as their adult counterpart and continue to eat. The nymphs reach adulthood within 30 days.

The pace will vary based on the temperatures, the availability of food, and the conditions. During the cold seasons, growth from nymph to adult takes three to three times longer than 90 days.

Books are grown at different temperatures depending on their elasticity. Adult birds lay fewer eggs in the winter if the weather drops.

How Does Booklice Look Like?

Booklice is a small parasite whose length varies from about 1/8 inch. It has 4-6 pairs of legs. Despite their back legs being thinner than their front legs, Booklice cannot jump.

Instead, the men run swiftly and hide very easily in the dark. It has no wings and it has a very thin exoskeleton. The books are born in 3 stages: embryos, nymphs, or adults.

Baby birds appear to be miniature versions of adults but mature easily. Most books become adults within about one month.

Each woman is capable of producing 60 eggs a summer, making booklice reproduce fast.

What attracts Book Lice?

Booklice likes molding on old books. Booklice attract moisture more than anything else. It is essential not only for their survival, but it is also advisable to maintain an adequate moisture level.

The Southern part of the US has the most known book lice problems because of the more humid weather. Instead, they eat molds that grow on the book covers as well as glue them together.

Are Booklice Dangerous?

Booklice are harmful, but they're susceptible to a moldy atmosphere in your home. Despite booklice not actually being dangerous for humans and pets, they may indicate a particular risk — the presence of mold in homes.

Because booklice generally eat mold, they tend to attract areas of moisture, so a large accumulation of booklice can cause mold to appear in your home.

Mold is extremely toxic and can cause many health complications including allergies, a rash, or respiratory problems.

In addition, there are signs in food that booklice have gone bad indicating they are no longer dangerous.

Do Booklice Bite Humans?

Booklice are not toxic to the environment. They do not sting and do not care about human skin. Its primary fuel is mold and sabotages humankind.

If they eat the food, they will be eating the contaminated food. You will need to dispose of the contaminated items in a clean place.

Can They Fly?

No, the book is flying in a plane. It's wingless and resembles normal lice. However, these can be extremely large population breeders which could cause homeowners problems.

Signs of a Booklice Infestation

Booklice spread where there is moisture, so any place that's dark, warm, and humid could have an infestation.

Although it may be difficult to tell, there are a couple of signs that indicate you have a booklice infestation:

  • Eggs — Booklice eggs are sticky. They can be laid alone or in groups and will stick to damp, moist surfaces. In some areas — kitchen cupboards, for instance — eggs may be laid near food sources, such as flour, and they may be concealed under debris or scraps of food if available.
  • Food — you might find evidence of booklouse activity on different kinds of food, or notice that some foods are going bad more quickly. Flour, cereals, and dried meats are all common targets for them to eat, so look out for signs of white powder near these; as clues go, this is the most obvious thing a booklouse will leave behind.
  • Movement — Even if you don't have an infestation, booklice can be really difficult to get rid of. You'll often find them on damp surfaces like wood, furniture, and walls. They're small and hard to see, but you can usually identify them by their quick movements.

How to Get Rid of Booklice Naturally

If you've ever found tiny, wingless insects crawling around your books or paper products, you may have had a run-in with booklice.

While booklice don't bite or spread disease, they can be a nuisance. If you want to get rid of booklice, there are a few things you can do.

Vacuum them up

vacuum mattress

One of the simplest ways to get rid of booklice is to vacuum them up. Make sure to vacuum any cracks and crevices where they may be hiding, as well as any infested books or paper products. You may have to vacuum a few times to make sure you've gotten all of the booklice.

Apply talcum powder

Talcum powder can also be used to get rid of booklice. Just sprinkle it on any areas where you see the pests, and they should suffocate and die.

You'll need to reapply the talcum powder every few days until the booklice are gone for good.

Use diatomaceous earth

diatomaceous earth

Also referred to as DA, diatomaceous earth is a dust insecticide produced from fossilized algae. It engulfs insects' exoskeletons, dehydrates, and kills them.

DE is safe indoors and outdoors and absolutely harmless to humans, animals, and the environment. Dehydrating is very effective against pests like booklice. It can be found in bookshelves, basements, crawlspaces, or even kitchen pantries.

Remember that DE will work best in dry conditions, so it must always be dried out if the moisture has reached the surface and then cleaned again.

Remove paper products

If your booklice infestation is bad, you may need to remove all paper products from your home, at least temporarily. This includes books, magazines, newspapers, cardboard boxes, and more. Anything made of paper can potentially harbor booklice.

Once you've removed the infested items from your home, vacuum thoroughly and apply talcum powder or another insecticide to prevent the booklice from coming back.

Keep your home clean

Booklice often thrive in dirty environments. To prevent an infestation, or to get rid of one that's already present, make sure to keep your home clean.

Vacuum regularly and dust all surfaces, including baseboards, corners, and crevices where booklice might hide. By keeping your home clean, you'll make it less hospitable for these pests.

Control humidity

One reason why booklice thrive is high humidity levels. To prevent an infestation or get rid of one that's already present, try to keep the humidity in your home below 50%. You can do this by using a dehumidifier or opening windows on dry days.

If possible, try to avoid using humidifiers since they can raise the humidity levels in your home and make it more inviting for booklice.

Store food safely

Another way to prevent booklice is to store food safely. They're often attracted to food that's been left out or stored improperly. Make sure to seal open bags and containers tightly so booklice can't get in.

Don't leave food out on counters or tables overnight since this can attract these pests as well as other insects like ants and cockroaches.

Use neem oil

neem oil

One of the most effective ways to get rid of booklice is to use neem oil. Neem oil is a natural insecticide that comes from the neem tree. It works by preventing booklice from feeding, which eventually kills them.

To use neem oil to get rid of booklice, mix 1 teaspoon of neem oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Then, simply mist the solution onto any areas where you've seen booklice activity.

Hire a pest control professional

pest control expert

If you're not comfortable using pesticides in your home or if you've tried DIY methods without success, your best bet may be to hire a pest control professional.

A professional will be able to identify the extent of your booklice problem and develop a treatment plan accordingly.

They may also use pesticides that are more potent than what's available to consumers, so they'll be able to get rid of your booklice problem quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I permanently get rid of booklice?

There is no definitive answer to this question since booklice infestations can vary in severity. However, some of the most effective methods for getting rid of booklice include using talcum powder, diatomaceous earth, and neem oil, and hiring a pest control professional.

What home remedy kills booklice?

There are a number of home remedies that can kill booklice, including talcum powder, diatomaceous earth, and neem oil.

What kills booklice?

Reduction of humidity in the hidden areas can kill many books of lice. Put the books in the microwave for 40 seconds. Neither the lino flies nor its eggs are destroyed. Place all of the infested parts of the container in the freezer at 0°C and freeze.

Final Thoughts

So finally, hope you have understood how to get rid of booklice. These were some of the most effective methods that can be used to get rid of these tiny pests. But remember, prevention is always better than cure.

If you have tried everything above and nothing seems to be working, the best thing you can do is hire a professional pest control company.

So make sure to keep your home clean and dry to avoid an infestation in the first place! Thanks for reading!​

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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