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Indian Pest Control Association

Book louse

Book louseLepinotus sp. is only 1 to 2 mm long and has nothing to do with the blood-sucking head louse. The pale-coloured book louse is a soft-bodied insect with scale-like wing pads and can only survive in rooms with a high humidity. The lice dehydrate if the humidity is lower than 60 %. The gland fluid in their mouth helps them to absorb moisture from the air.

In rooms that are too humid, book lice feed on paper goods such as books, files and wallpaper. Mass proliferation of Lepinotus frequently occurs in freshly wallpapered new buildings where a barely visible covering of mould develops and provides food for these pests. They also breed in food that is stored in excessively damp conditions, and as a result the food goes bad more quickly. Book lice can also infest drugs, textiles or mattress fillings.

Preventive measures and controls

  • Dry them out/kill them with a hairdryer or fan heater
  • Clean cupboards and let them dry completely; subsequently air them on a regular basis
  • Do not store books in damp cellars.

The basis rule is:
Keep homes dry and airing them correctly