How to get rid of Booklice

Booklice, also known as paperlice or psocids, are tiny insects that infest books, papers, and other cellulose-based materials. Despite their name, they are not actually lice and do not pose any direct harm to humans. However, their presence can be a nuisance, as they can damage books, manuscripts, and important documents. If you’re facing a booklice infestation and are seeking effective solutions to eradicate them, this article will provide you with a step-by-step guide to get rid of booklice and prevent their return.

1. Identify the Infestation:

Booklice are small, light-colored insects with soft bodies and a winged or wingless appearance. They are usually 1-2 millimeters in length and tend to gather in areas with high humidity. Look for signs of booklice infestation such as tiny, crawling insects, damage to paper materials, or small brownish spots on books and documents.

2. Create an Unfavorable Environment:

Booklice thrive in moist environments, so the first step is to reduce humidity levels and make your space less hospitable for them. Use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity to below 50% in infested areas. Ensure proper ventilation and circulation by opening windows or using fans.

3. Remove Infested Items:

Identify and remove any infested materials from the affected area. Inspect books, papers, cardboard boxes, and other cellulose-based items. Pay close attention to areas with moisture, such as basements, attics, and storage spaces. Seal infested items in plastic bags to prevent the spread of booklice to other areas.

4. Clean and Vacuum:

Thoroughly clean the infested area to eliminate booklice and their eggs. Vacuum the shelves, carpets, and furniture, paying special attention to cracks and crevices where booklice may hide. Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister outside your living space immediately to prevent reinfestation.

5. Freeze or Heat Treatment:

For valuable or delicate items that cannot be cleaned easily, you can use temperature treatments to eliminate booklice. Place infested books, papers, or other materials in a sealed plastic bag and freeze them for at least 48 hours. Alternatively, you can expose them to high temperatures above 120°F (49°C) for several hours. Both methods kill booklice and their eggs.

6. Seal Entry Points:

Prevent booklice from returning by sealing entry points into your home or storage areas. Use weather stripping around windows and doors, caulk cracks and gaps in walls, and ensure proper insulation to minimize humidity levels and prevent booklice from reinfesting.

7. Maintain a Clean Environment:

Regularly clean and organize your living or storage space to prevent booklice infestations in the future. Keep areas free of clutter and avoid excessive moisture. Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth and mild detergent regularly. Properly store books and papers in dry, well-ventilated areas.

8. Natural Remedies and Insecticides:

If you prefer natural remedies, you can use essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, or eucalyptus oil. Dilute a few drops in water and spray the mixture on infested areas. Additionally, there are insecticide sprays available specifically formulated to eliminate booklice. Read and follow the instructions carefully when using any chemical-based solutions.

9. Seek Professional Help:

If the infestation persists despite your efforts, or if you have a large-scale infestation, it may be necessary to consult a professional pest control service. They have the expertise and resources to effectively eliminate booklice and provide guidance on preventing future infestations.


Getting rid of booklice requires a combination of preventive measures and targeted treatments. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can significantly reduce booklice infestation and protect your books, documents, and other paper-based materials. Remember, the key is to create an inhospitable environment for booklice by controlling humidity levels, practicing regular cleaning and maintenance, and sealing entry points.

While natural remedies and DIY solutions can be effective for smaller infestations, it’s important to know when to seek professional assistance. If the infestation persists or if you have a large-scale problem, contacting a pest control service is recommended. They can provide specialized treatments and expert advice tailored to your specific situation.

Prevention is the best defense against booklice. Once you have successfully eradicated the infestation, maintain a clean and dry environment to discourage their return. Regularly inspect books and paper materials for signs of damage or infestation, and take immediate action if you notice any issues.

Remember, patience and persistence are crucial when dealing with booklice. By following these guidelines and staying proactive, you can reclaim your space from booklice and enjoy your books and documents without the threat of infestation.

Give WTG Pest Control a call. 24/7 Singapore Pest Control Service For Termite, Mosquito, Bedbug And Booklice

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