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Our cooler weather has caused a surge in mice and rat numbers in the suburban areas, according to industry experts, Amalgamated Pest Control.

Booklice, Paperlice

Booklice (aka Paperlice, Psocids, Liposcelis sp.)

Booklice (aka Paperlice, Psocids, Liposcelis sp.)

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics


  • 1-2mm long.
  • Wingless.
  • Large head, medium to long antennae.
  • Colour ranges from colourless to grey to light brown.
  • Agile and fast moving.
  • Nymphs resemble adults.
  • Chewing mouthparts.

Life Cycle

  • Gradual / Incomplete metamorphosis (egg – nymph – adult)
  • Egg incubation period approx. 21 days, but can 'overwinter'
  • Nymphal period 24-65 days.
  • Nymphs will moult 2-4 times.
  • Female lays average of 20 eggs during winter and 50 eggs during summer.
  • Total life span 24-110 days.


Prefer damp, warm, undisturbed situations - often more prevalent during summer. Manufactured material of plant origin that would support mould growth will encourage infestations. Can be found on walls, in cupboards, in stored foodstuffs, in wall voids, behind electrical outlets. Can be readily introduced into a new habitat on furniture, boxes, books and paper.


Feed on microscopic mould that grow on such things as paper, book bindings, wallpaper glue, leather, straw. Can feed on starch.

Pest Status

Can become a nuisance by presence of large numbers, but do not damage commodities. Can be an irritant to humans and other animals. Both adults and larvae are both considered pests.


They are agile and fast moving, small and conceal themselves well making them difficult to detect in may cases. However they have a great reliance on humidity, having thin cuticles. Control measures involve improving storage conditions and drying out infected articles so that the insects die of desiccation. Proper ventilation must be established to reduce the suitability of current habitats. Chemical treatments would include space sprays and surface sprays depending on the articles to be treated.

Our licensed technicians can assist you with a flexible, tailored solution to meet your needs and prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your home or workplace. Please contact us to see how we can help you maintain an environment free of these and other pests.


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