© 2024 Rentokil Initial plc - All Rights Reserved
Booklice feed on mould caused by damp conditions. They are also believed to feed on microscopic moulds that grow on the glue of book-bindings or on damp cardboard, damp food (especially cereals) or on the surfaces close to damp plaster inside buildings, which is very common with brand new houses.
In addition, high humidity promotes mould growth in cereals and other stored food products, and this mould is what draws booklice in.
Booklice are small insects with a relatively generalized body plan. They feed primarily on mould and fungi.
Booklice range from approximately 1–2 millimetres. Some species are wingless and they are easily mistaken for bedbug nymphs and vice versa. Booklouse eggs take two to four weeks to hatch and can reach adulthood approximately two months later. Adult booklice can live for six months. Besides damaging books, they also sometimes infest food storage areas, where they feed on dry, starchy materials. They are scavengers and do not bite humans.
Typically, you can get rid of booklice by disposing of items that are heavily infested, and reducing the humidity in your home and increasing ventilation in storage areas. Reducing the humidity to 50% will eventually kill booklice in your home.
Use a dehumidifier. As booklice need moisture to live, reducing the humidity in your house will eliminate them. Set up dehumidifiers in damp areas like basements and bathrooms.
In addition, protect stored food by keeping them in sealed plastic containers and by keeping stored food areas dry.
Booklice are always associated with damp. It could be caused by new plaster drying out, condensation from not having enough ventilation in the kitchen/ bathroom, or a leaking water pipe.
Booklice infestation is a sign that there is high humidity and moisture in the room, which encourages the mold and mildew to mushroom across the walls and ceiling. As these are microscopic food for these pests, they will rapidly multiply when the underlying mould or moisture problem has not been addressed.
Booklice have an incomplete metamorphosis. After hatching, they go through several moults before becoming and adult, but the immature stages look just like smaller versions of the adult. Both young and adults will eat and cause damage to fabrics.
Once mould has set in, you might require professional help to remediate it before it spreads further and impacts your family’s health.
Rentokil Boecker® has a dedicated team of industry-certified mould remediation experts who can assist in inspecting and treating any mould within your property.
This service reduces over 90% of the pathogens in the air and is applied based on a customized mould control plan, after in-depth inspection of sources, infestation and affected areas.