Booklice

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The council does not provide a treatment for booklice, but the information below may help you deal with this type of infestation.

Booklice (psocids) are very common insects that are often found in dried food in the home. They are about 1 millimetre long and grey or brown in colour.

They can infest food cupboards and the first you may notice is when food packaging becomes covered in them

What attracts them?

They like the warmth, damp and darkness of food cupboards. Even dried foods sometimes contain small amounts of moisture and it is in these that psocids can increase rapidly in number.

Do they do any harm?

Psocids are not harmful, although large quantities contaminate food, which should be thrown away. They may also infest areas of fresh damp plaster.

How do I get rid of them?

Psocids are difficult to control with insecticides, because you will contaminate food. The best solution is to remove all contaminated food and place it in a dustbin. Then clean the cupboard thoroughly. A vacuum cleaner will remove any insects that remain. Dry it out completely, using a hairdryer can help.

How can I prevent further infestation?

Keep the cupboard dry and check food and its packaging regularly for signs of re-infestation. Food such as flour, sugar and semolina can be stored in plastic lidded containers.