Booklice in bed and in other furniture of your home are common if there are too many booklice inside your house.
The presence of booklice in home is worrisome for many people because they think that these harmless bugs are bed bugs or fleas.
But booklice are harmless bugs and they don’t bite or cause allergies.
This guide will reveal why booklice get on to your bed.
Plus, you’ll also find out how to get rid of booklice from your bed without hiring professional pest control and chemicals.
Booklice Or Psocids Mites – Harmless Moisture Insects
Booklice, also known as psocids mites, are a type of mutes that are commonly associated with moisture and dampness.
Homes with high dampness attract these tiny moisture bugs, especially at the peak of the summer.
Booklice live outdoors near damp areas like wet soil beds, decaying organic debris, in wood piles, and underneath tree barks.
During summer, when the weather becomes too hot and dry, booklice enter homes looking for a cooler and damper place to live.
They’ll sneak inside the house through the gaps on the window sills, doors, and walls.
And they’ll target the areas of your house where there’s a lot of dampness because of excessive water usage or leaky pipes.
They feed on the molds, mildew, and fungi that form on damp surfaces. The dampness in the kitchen can also spread into stored food grains and cause molds in them.
So, booklice will also sneak inside the food storage containers to feed on the molds that form on the grains like rice, flour, and cereals.
So, areas like kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and basement are the preferred areas for booklice to hide.
Booklice In Bed Signify Booklice Infestation
Booklice will breed and lay eggs in the damp areas of the house and will cause an infestation. That’ll lead to a spike in the booklice population in the house.
And when it happens, booklice show up in places like your bed, upholstered furniture, couch, and even on bookshelves.
Booklice in your bed will also lay eggs in the cracks and crevices on the bed frame and headboard.
If the bed mattress is too old and damp, they’ll sneak inside the mattress to deposit their eggs.
Too many booklice in bed that can trick you into thinking that they’re bed bugs.
But there are visible anatomical differences between booklice and bed bugs.
Booklice Vs. Bed Bugs
Booklice and bed bugs can look like each other because of similarity in size and shape.
But bed bugs are flat oval-shaped dark brown or reddish-brown bugs that look like apple seeds.
Bed bug nymphs are tiny clear white miniature bed bugs with developed legs.
On the other hand, booklice are tinier and are not as dark as bed bugs. They’re pale tan and delicate bugs.
The abdomen of bed bugs are broad and bigger than book louse’s abdomen.
The abdomen of booklice is elongated, thinner than the bed bug’s abdomen, and there’s a visible thorax between the head and abdomen.
The antennae on the booklice is also visible. Those pair of antennae give them a look of cockroach nymphs or baby cockroaches.
Booklice are also smaller than bed bugs. An adult booklice grow 1mm in size. Whereas an adult bed bug grows up to 7 mm in size.
Booklice are nuisance pests and they don’t bite humans and pets.
Booklice mouthparts are very weak and they can’t penetrate the human skin. Their mouthparts are meant for scrubbing molds off the damp surfaces.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that need human hosts to feed on their blood and to complete their life cycle. Bed bugs, like ticks, bloat a bite after bloodmeals.
Booklice is often confused with a parasitic insect on humans, the body lice. But both of them entirely different species.
If there are booklice in your bed and you’re getting bite symptoms like itchy red welts and rashes, then chances are there are biting insects in the bed.
How To Get Rid Of Booklice In Bed
Clean Your Bed
Take a vacuum cleaner and clean the bed mattress, bed frame, and headboard to remove booklice.
Do a thorough cleaning of your bedroom, including furniture like dresser drawers, closet, and wardrobe. Booklice will hide in these places too.
Wash Bed Linen In Hot Water
Washing bed linen like bedsheets and pillow covers will remove any booklice and their eggs in them.
Fix Leaking Pipes In Your Home
Booklice wouldn’t have been in your home if they were no leaking pipes causing the dampness levels inside the house to rise.
Fix any water leakages underneath bathroom and kitchen sinks. Check your basement for any leakages there as well.
High dampness causes molds, which are a food source for the booklice and for many mites like mold mites.
With the help of a mold cleaner, remove molds on the bed and on bedroom walls, furniture, and floor.
Check out for molds in damp areas like kitchen, kitchen storage like pantry shelves, countertops, and bookshelves.
If there are any old books, and you don’t them, then it’ll be best to get rid of those books.
Molds form on the old books and bugs like booklice and silverfish feed on those molds and gluey bindings.
Wash The Grains In Hot Water
If booklice have sneaked into your grain storage containers, then wash the grains in hot water.
It’ll kill all the booklice in them.
Then clean the kitchen cupboards and pantry shelves to remove any food spillovers and booklice in them.
You don’t need to throw away the grains because booklice, unlike other grain pests like spider beetles, don’t damage stored food.
Dry the grains after washing them. And store them in robust airtight containers.
Seal Cracks And Gaps
The cracks on the windowsills, doors, and walls are entry points for booklice that show up on your bed.
Those crevices are also invasion points for carpet beetles that lay eggs in your home and cause carpet beetle larvae that reach your bed too.
Take a quality sealant and caulk those gaps. Use striping to close the gaps on the window frame and doors.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Keep windows and doors open during the day that will ensure proper ventilation of your home.
It prevents to reduce dampness in the house by making the soaked moisture in the walls, floor, and furniture to evaporate.
Dehumidifiers are very helpful in keeping the humidity levels in the house under control. They aid in stopping the spread of moisture bugs like booklice.
Most moisture bugs like booklice thrive when the humidity level is 80% above.
Install dehumidifiers in areas of your house where there is high dampness to keep the moisture level under 50%.
Spray Peppermint Oil On Your Bed
Booklice and many bugs, such as bed bugs and fleas, that infest beds hate the scent of peppermint.
It repels them.
To keep your bed free from bugs, you can use peppermint oil spray every other day.
You can also use the peppermint spray on the entry points, such as windows, to keep bugs from entering your house.
High dampness and moisture levels in the house cause booklice. They draw the booklice from the outdoors.
Booklice are in your bed because there are too many of them inside your house and your bed is damp too.
To get rid of booklice in the house, and in your bed, thorough cleaning and fixing the high moisture levels are they keys.
Also, removing molds, which are food source for the booklice, is also essential to eliminate booklice in the bed and home.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.