Psocids

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • November 05, 2010

What Are Psocids?

Psocids look like bed bugs except the head is much larger compared to the body. They are very tiny (.04 – .08 inch), and pale grey to yellowish white and superficially resemble termite workers. They are also commonly called booklice, mold-lice, and dustlice.

There are about 50 species in the order Psocoptera from stored foods and indoor human habitations. Some species have membranous wings held either roof-like or flat over the body when at rest. Psocids depend on high humidity for reproduction and can be serious pests of stored foods. In homes, they’re considered nuisance pests that are more troublesome because of their presence than their feeding damage.

They are commonly found indoors in areas of excessive moisture and occur in books, rugs, foods, and other items, especially if they are damp. These pests are sometimes found in newly constructed buildings (less than 1-year-old) where they may feed on mildew growing on surfaces of damp plaster, sheetrock or wood.

What do Psocids feed on?

Psocids feed on microscopic molds and a variety of items of both animal and vegetable origin -including entomological and zoological specimens, herbarium specimens, dried fruits, ground feed, four, grains, and cereals.

The presence of psocids in food-processing plants, other manufacturing plants, and museums is often unacceptable due to contamination of food or packaging materials, or staining of paper products from their crushed bodies.

To control these humidity-loving pests, moisture management and the reduction of associated microscopic molds are critical. Reducing humidity to levels less than 58% RH is an effective control. To eliminate any potential invasions, be sure to remove bark, leaves, and grass litter from around structures. Chemicals are rarely effective in eliminating this pest.

Schedule a pest control service with us for professional help to get rid of psocids!

For more information on the most common NC and SC pests, how to treat and how to prevent them, download our free Pest Encyclopedia!

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