There are many species of booklice found throughout the UK, all of which are harmless to the health of humans and animals. Often found in wa...
Latin Name: Liposcelis corrodens
Months of Activity: January - December
Booklice are tiny grey or brown insects generally found in damp, warm, undisturbed areas in buildings, where they feed on microscopic mold and mildew. Contrary to popular opinion, booklice do not bite humans or animals, spread disease or damage household furnishings, however they can sometimes cause mild skin irritation.
Outdoor species are often referred to as barklice, since they are normally found under tree bark or leaves.
Booklice are all female, with development occuring from unfertilised eggs. Each female is capable of laying in excess of 60 eggs, which are placed either in clusters or laid singly. The young white nymphs then emerge to feed on molds and mildews until they reach adulthood – a process that takes between four to nine months.
Up to eight generations of booklice per year can be produced, with adults dying in cold weather and eggs hatching the following spring. Outbreaks are common when long periods of humid weather is accompanied by warm temperatures.
Booklice avoid light and prefer temperatures of 25°C to 30°C, with relative humidities of 75-90%.
Normally chemical pest control is not needed if strict sanitation is practiced. You should ventilate and dry areas with a dehumidifier or fan, or simply open the doors of a damp room.
Infestations will usually disappear during late autumn when rooms are artificially heated and kept dry, but many people have found that using mothballs or mould-control products will help clear up an infestation more quickly.
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