What Are Book Lice?

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What Are Book Lice?

What Are Book Lice?

Book lice, also known as paper lice, are an irritating albeit harmless pest that feed primarily on fungi or mould. While they do not bite, transmit disease, or damage food or fabric, in large numbers they can understandably become annoying and unsightly for home owners. Common hiding places for book lice include under wallpaper, in furniture, rugs, cupboard and closets but – true to their name – the most common place to find book lice is in books. If you’re finding book lice in your home, particularly in grain or other stored foods, this is an indication of high humidity which is a perfect climate for mould growth.


So, how do you accurately identify book lice? An adult book lice can range in colour from translucent white to grey or brown and are typically less than 4mm long. They are wingless with back legs thicker than the other four and can resemble the back legs of a jumping insect. Not to worry though, book lice do not jump.


Are you experiencing a book lice infestation? The good new is control and treatment can easily be performed without needing a professional pest control technician. Because book lice feed on mould, your main focus should be eliminating any moist areas of your home that could encourage mould growth:


  • Reducing the humidity in our homes will eliminate the mould on which the book lice feed.
  • Ventilate closed rooms and attics.
  • Regularly vacuuming cracks and crevices with a narrow vacuum tip also can be a good method to physically remove these insects from their hiding spaces.
  • Food sources that can not be removed should be sealed in containers.

For help identifying a pest in your home or for free pest control advice, get in touch with our friendly team at Sydney’s Best Pest Control today!