Booklice are tiny, pale-brown colored lice that mostly eat up old and moldy books. Even though they are similar in appearance, size, and shape to typical lice, they aren't categorized as real lice. You will mostly find them in ordinary households, and it is easy to control them. They cause extensive damages to books only when they are left alone for extended periods. Sometimes the booklice show up in food with molds and fungus, under carpets, upholstery, or on the bed.
It is a bit disturbing to see one anytime you flip open your old textbook, but you don't have to worry; they're harmless towards humans and pets. They only have interest in folds, molds, algae's, lichens, and detritus found from spores.
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What are booklice inveigled to?
They prefer two things:
• High humidity environments
• Paper products and indoor surfaces with fungus, mold and mildew
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In case your home has any of these, then the booklice will thrive as both are a suitable environment for them. Most US homes also provide a perfect environment where these lice breed and establish a place to stay. Newspapers, magazines, old books are the main elements that add fuel to the fire and provides an efficient place for booklice to live. Once papers and high humidity combine, the process leads to the growth of molds. And since booklice love molds, they will undoubtedly invade your home.
How to Naturally Get Rid of Booklice
There are natural techniques that don't require chemical compounds you can easily use to eradicate booklice. Below are some of the most effective natural ways you can implement to get rid of all booklice on your property. Check the most suitable technique that will work best for you.
1. Vacuuming Them
To quickly get rid of the booklice from your properties without smashing them, you can vacuum them. By doing this, you prevent them from staining your books with their bug buts. A handheld shop vacuum does excellent work on any booklice you come across.
2. Remove Plants Near Windows
Potted plants are common attractive sites for booklice due to constant water supply and a plentiful food supply. Mostly, these organisms like to live in places where the humidity is high. The best way to avoid the booklice is to remove or relocate the plants if you have any in your home.
3. Seal Up Your Home
You can minimize booklice at your home by replacing or fixing any cracks and crevices in your walls and floor. Make sure you properly seal all the areas where these organisms infest. Also, replace any damaged windscreens and seal up the cracks in your foundation. When things become worse, hire a professional to carry out the activities you aren't sure of. A simple caulk gun does the trick of making your seal hence keeping bugs out.
4. Use Talcum Powder
Talcum powder is a natural mineral that helps in keeping booklice away. For better results, you sprinkle it in places where you find the booklice in plenty. The organisms despise the powder, and it instantly repels them. Also, the powder controls Psocid mites and other small insects.
5. Clean With Soapy Water
Soapy water does wonder when it comes to controlling pests the natural way. To make the solution, mix a few drops of dish detergent with water, then get a sponge and use it to wipe the bookshelves and the most invaded areas. After drying, wipe the areas again with warm water till no until traces of soap are left. When your solution is clear, use a sprayer as it is more effective and it enables you to spray in hard to reach areas.
6. Remove Paper Products
Booklice gets attracted by anything paper-based, most especially papers placed in high humidity environments. Make sure you throw out any paper with some moisture content before molds attack them, thereby forming attractive sites for these small organisms.
You can also use a dehumidifier in rooms with high humidity, but there is no need to remove the paper-based materials. To circulate some air in your rooms, open all the windows, doors, and use a box fan to lower the humidity.
7. Control Humidity
Any leakage in your home from drains, sinks, or pipes significantly contributes to humidity buildup. It most particularly applies in areas with low airflow, i.e., in basements and attics. Pipes that constantly drip allows mold and fungus to grow on the wood. You will notice a severe infestation when you pair up all this with the booklice that could be getting into your room through the cracks.
The booklice wean their way to the water source, just like subterranean termites. The only thing they eat up usually eat up spores growing on your property. Never ignore this, as it can lead to serious mold growth that may require a professional to remove.
8. Store Food Safely
Anytime you see booklice in your kitchen drawers, cupboards, or in the pantry, do not attempt to consume the food you store there. Even though booklice do not eat your food, they only eat paper fabrics and aren't healthy for one's hygiene.
Therefore, it's elementary to get confused when you mistakenly assume that booklice consume human food whereas they don't. Anytime that you open up a pack of cereal that's been sitting in your cupboard for several months and you will notice that they eat the mold that grows on grains and not the food itself. That's is the reason why it is essential to store all dry foods in airtight containers.
9. Use Airtight Storage
It is easy to prevent booklice from noticing where the food is by merely keeping your books, newspapers, and different paper documents in airtight receptacle. By doing this, you will lock out humidity hence preventing the bugs from eating your books. Also, never place your storage containers on the ground unless you are sure the boxes are airtight.
10. Use Neem Oil
Neem oil is an essential oil that naturally protects your properties from bugs' attack. Using neem oil is a very effective way to manage and control booklice at your home naturally. You can easily find the oil from the neem plant, and it is used for various purposes.
To get rid of booklice, mix the neem oil with a few drops of water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the oil directly onto the booklice or spray-on wallpapers and later wipe off with a clean microfiber cloth. Never use neem oil on walls with paint as it will damage the finishes. If you are sensitive to neem oil, stay some distance away from where it is sprayed. Always use the neem oil as instructed on the manual or as directed by the product label.
11. Reduce Moisture Content
Mold grows in places where moisture is present., most especially on papers and cardboards. When you have documents somewhere in your home, always ensure that water doesn't collect anywhere near that place. For efficient air circulation, keep your windows still open.
By doing this, you will significantly reduce the levels of humidity. You can use a fan or an air calculator to remove moisture in areas with no windows. You only need to set up the fan and point it towards the outside. A fan conveniently blows any excess water out of your room and ensures the humidity level is down.
By Zachary Nyaga. Goodhometime.com
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