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Booklice (Psocids) are very common in Ireland but harmless household pests. They are not caused by poor hygiene as they are just as common in scrupulously clean homes.
These fast moving, tine, cream-coloured or light brown insects, only 1mm long, occur in small numbers in many domestic and commercial premises.
Booklice stick, pearl-coloured eggs and cement them to damp surfaces. Instead of a larval stage, the insect matures through four recognisable nymphal stages, taking about a fortnight to become an adult.
Booklice are always associated with damp. It could be caused by new plaster drying out, condensation from not having enough ventilation in the kitchen or bathroom, or a leaking water pipe.
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.
Although they are only 1mm in size you may visibly see these white/cream species on your wall, surfaces, or in your cupboards.
The major problem posed by Booklice is the nuisance they cause, especially when found in large numbers throughout the home. They don't spread disease, bite or damage your property and possessions. However, their sheer presence can be enough to cause anguish and distress.
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Tips For Controlling Booklice
Prevention is similar to the cure. Try and keep susceptible rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom well ventilated and dry by opening windows as often possible. Consider using a dehumidifier if humidity is generally a problems or invest in more powerful ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens. Alternatively, heat the room where they occur to a high temperature as they survive poorly in dry heat.
Always keep your dry foodstuffs such as cereals in a cool dry well-ventilated place. Cleaning out your cupboards regularly, ensuring they are completely dry before putting your food back will help. Clean up spilt grains etc.
If you are cooking, boiling the kettle or even just using the washing machine for extended periods of time, then make sure that the kitchen is properly ventilated. Keep thinking about the humidity levels in your property!
Treat mould safely. Wipe away any visible mould, thoroughly ventilate and dry the area where they are found. Don’t forget 90% of mould is invisible, if you can see mould there’s lots of invisible mould. Clean thoroughly with a specialist mould cleaner, using appropriate personal protective equipment.
For a heavy Booklice infestation a trained Exterminate Pest Control Professional will have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use products and equipment which are not available to the public.
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Exterminate Booklice Pest Guide
Booklice Pest Guide Dublin | Kildare | Wicklow
Pest Control Tips For Booklice