How to Identify Booklice in Your Home

a closeup of an insect, presumable booklice

Finding booklice indoors is common, but the pest can become a problem when your home is overrun with them.

Identifying Booklice

Booklice are tiny, measuring about 1/16 inch in size. They are colorless, grey or yellow-brown in color. If you took a magnifying glass to examine them, you would see that their soft bodies appear bulbous due to large heads and abdomens attached to a narrow midsection. Booklice also have long antennae and mouths made for chewing.

Booklice are not Harmful

Booklice are a nuisance, but they are not harmful to humans. They don’t bite and aren’t parasitic. Outside booklice live in bird’s nests, on leaves and under tree bark, but they are drawn indoors by damp conditions where they can thrive.

Why are Booklice Found in Homes?

Booklice like dark, humid places because they can find mold and mildew to feed on. The mold and mildew is microscopic to humans, but grows on paper, upholstery, rugs and in closets. Food such as grains, cereals and flour can also contain mold if it’s stored in moist areas.

Preventing a Booklice Infestation

In most homes you will come across booklice, but you want to reduce your chances of finding them in large numbers. If precautions aren’t taken, booklice can be prolific especially in locations with high humidity. To prevent a booklice infestation, fix any leaking pipes and discard any unused paper or cardboard. Frequently dust and vacuum furniture and regularly wipe wallpaper. Good ventilation and sunlight will also prohibit the growth of booklice.