Description: Booklice are small (1-2mm), soft bodied and wingless insects. They can be pale yellow, straw to dark brown and black in colour. They have a flat abdomen, biting mouthparts and poor eyesight.
Biology: Boolice are widespread in warehouses, found on many wooden pallets and packaging especially if stored in damp warehouses. Generally only a nuisance when in significantly large numbers. They can lay up to 200 eggs over a three day period. The booklice eggs incubate for one or two weeks. The nymphs have three to eight moults before they become adult booklice. The preferred environment is 20°C-25°C and a relative humidity of 70% but will develop as low as 10°C. They need a damp environment for successful growth, therefore high humidity. Booklice typically live for six months. Booklice tend to be found seasonally between April and November.
Control: Booklice are often found on packaging and palletised stock in warehouses. In these situations it is not possible to treat these insecsts with a contact insecticide. The only course of action is for the stock to be fumigated with a suitable gas. Booklice usually feed on the micro fauna growing on the surfaces of paper and cardboard, one solution is to keep the stock dry and keep the humidity low in the warehouse. Wooden pallets are often the culprit allowing cross infestation from stock to stock. Pallets can be sprayed of dipped with residual insecticide prior to use. Treatment of a warehouse or stock room with a contact insecticide where possible is recommended. Crawling insect monitors can be sited but are little use for control.
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