Top 5 Ways to Combat Booklice

Do you know what booklice are? I first became aware of them many years ago when they took up residence in my former basement after a particularly nasty flood. They are tiny insects that like to feed on microscopic bacteria and molds that form on damp paper and cardboard. They are also attracted to damp leather, sheetrock, plants, bricks and woodwork. Here’s what you need to know in order to get rid of them:

Use a Dehumidifier

One of the first things that I did to rid my former home of booklice was to invest in a large capacity dehumidifier. I also made sure that the dehumidifier came with a drain hose connection and a built-in pump. That way, I was also able to run the dehumidifier’s drain hose directly into the basement’s built-in sump pump or outside. It really helped to control the basement’s moisture content, thereby reducing microscopic mold and bacteria formation. Once that happened, the booklice started to disappear.

Increase Ventilation

I also started increasing the basement’s ventilation by opening up its doors and windows on breezy, non-humid days. I even invested in a few large fans to help the process along. Based on my experience, the increased ventilation worked in concert with the dehumidifier to eliminate the basement’s moisture even faster.

Seal Openings and Control Condensation

Once I got the basement’s moisture level back under control, I set to work sealing openings and reducing pipe condensation. For example, I caulked around the basement’s windowsills and cellar door. I also wrapped the exposed pipes and ductwork with insulation. In addition, I re-routed the dryer vent so it sent the hot air outside instead of inside the basement.

Use Pesticides

When those tasks were complete, I refocused my efforts on killing the remaining booklice with pesticides. There are various over-the-counter pesticides that are designed to kill booklice. Some of the pesticides come in the form of aerosol sprays. Other pesticides used to control booklice come in powder or liquid form. I used some of each. I treated the basement walls and floors with a liquid solution. Afterward, I used the aerosol and powered pesticides to treat hard to reach places. Chemicals that I found useful in the elimination of booklice were Pyrethrin and Baygon.

Reduce Heat

During my ordeal, I also learned that booklice are cold adverse. As such, when the winter weather kicked into full gear, the remaining booklice seemingly vanished from the basement. I also took that opportunity to retreat the basement with pesticides to kill any eggs and juvenile booklice that I may have missed the first time. Thankfully, the booklice did not return in the spring.

Source: Personal Experience

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