Booklice are small pale insects that can be difficult to get rid of and keep away because they will infest parts of your home that can be hard to treat.

Identify the problem Identify the problem

Booklice are also known as Psocids (pronounced sosids). They are a group of tiny pale* insects often referred to as booklice because they are often found associated with books and other paper or cardboard, including packaging. However, they do damage books and other paper products including paper packaging. They do not feed directly on the paper but on microscopic fungi and yeast that grow on the paper where the humidity levels permit. Paper packaging in warehouses is particularly susceptible to psocid infestation as the atmosphere in warehouses is difficult to control and keep very dry.

Products such as flour can be rendered un-saleable by an infestation of psocids. The tiny insects can penetrate the packaging and contaminate the product within. Similarly they can contaminate the flour and other products in your pantry.

*They are usually pale but some species will become dark brown when mature.


To get rid of booklice follow these steps:

  1. Identify > Try and identify possible sources of the infestation. Check your pantry, books, and nooks and crannies around the house and not just where you have seen booklice. You should also check your roof void as psocids can be associated with bird nests.
  2. Remove > If you have found booklice infesting your pantry or kitchen cupboards it may be necessary to check for and discard all contaminated products. Then remove all food stuffs and lightly spray the empty pantry or cupboards with NO Bugs Indoor or NO Bugs Super. Leave the cupboard empty for at least 24 hours then wipe down, leave to dry and replace your food stuffs.
  3. Save > If you have found booklice on books or other items that you do not wish to dispose of they can be given a light spray with NO Spider Total ProtectionNO Bugs Indoor or NO Bugs Super but ensure the books are thoroughly dried. If the items are valuable it may be inadvisable to spray them and you should use NO Bugs Super Bug Bomb in the affected room. Books can be sealed in a plastic bag and placed in a freezer for 12-24 hours to kill any insects on them.
  4. Prevention > Spray all the cracks and crevices around your home, even book shelving etc. Spraying areas where they are seen with NO Spider Total ProtectionNO Bugs Indoor or NO Bugs Super will kill the insects that contact those areas, however if the source of the infestation is not treated the appearance of insects may continue. NO Bugs Super Bug Bomb will knock down a lot of the insects and can help to penetrate into the nooks and crannies. However the concentration in the treated rooms needs to be maintained at a high level for an extended period to penetrate well, and the source may not be in the treated room/s. This treatment should eradicate the infestation you have currently. However, the conditions for the growth of the fungi that they feed on may continue and you would still be at risk of a future infestation. After approx. 3 months the treatment will no longer be fully effective.
  5. Ventilate > Reducing the relative humidity in your home is the best way to prevent re-infestation. If possible improve the ventilation in your home and use a de-humidifier.

Did You Know Did You Know

  • There are over 3000 species of booklice to be found across the world, but less than 50 are associated with human activities. They are not related to the true lice and do not bite or harm humans.
  • Booklice are in the order Psocoptera

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