Psocids, Booklice, Barklice

Description of psocids, booklice, barklice

Psocids are not lice and the nicknames for these insects are misleading. They do not even look like lice except for their very small size.

Life cycle of psocids, booklice, barklice

Psocids are very common and abundant insects, but because of their tiny size, they generally go unnoticed. Also, they normally live outdoors in damp places, such as under bark, in grass, leaves and on damp wood. However, they may become household pests by flourishing in damp areas of house basements and crawl spaces.

Damage caused by psocids, booklice, barklice

Psocids feed on microscopic molds and fungi and hence are most numerous in damp, warm, undisturbed situations. They are harmless to people and pets and do not cause any destruction of property or products. Further, they cannot bite or sting and are pests only by being present.  They are commonly a contaminant in out-of-condition grain or products stored in dampareas.

Management of psocids, booklice, barklice

Since booklice are generally restricted to rather humid habitats, one means of obtaining control is to correct moisture and high humidity problems. Any procedures which can be carried out so that moist places of concealment are eliminated will very likely be of value in controlling these pests. Residual sprays can be applied to surfaces where the insects frequent. These should be applied very lightly only to areas of booklice abundance where exposure to people and pets will be minimal. For more information on insecticides please see this article.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Yard and Garden, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on September 13, 2016. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.