How to Get Rid of Booklice

How to get rid of booklice

Booklice are tiny bugs that are relatively common in Singapore. Also known as psocids, booklice are especially attracted to warm and humid climates. Hence, Singapore is an ideal spot for booklice to thrive. The tiny bugs feed on mold and fungus, so you will often find them in kitchens and bathrooms. Books that are located in damp areas can sometimes be riddled with a booklice infestation. There are some things you can do to get rid of booklice. In this article we will discuss 5 tips as well as some natural treatment methods.

Identifying Booklice

Before getting rid of booklice, it is important identify them accurately. They are tiny insects, approximately 1 to 2 mm in length. The colour of booklice varies depending on the species, but generally they are white or grayish-brown. Another specific way to identify booklice is by their six legs and antennae on their heads. Booklice also have wings but strangely enough they are not very good at flying. Do you recognize any of these characteristics when checking your surroundings for booklice? Then it is likely you have an infestation. Let’s look at ways to eliminate booklice.

What are the main characteristics of booklice and bed bugs?

5 tips on how to get rid of booklice in your home

Here are five tips to help you get rid of booklice in your home.

1. Reduce humidity

We know that booklice love the warm and humid environments such as the Singapore climate. Naturally, what you can do to reduce the presence of booklice is minimize moisture levels in your environment. You can use:

  • Dehumidifiers
  • Fans

These two tools help circulate the air and keeps the humidity levels low. In addition, check for any leaks as to avoid unnecessary added humidity indoors.

2. Clean up debris

We often talk about keeping your home and offices clean at all times. This helps prevent and get rid of not just booklice, but all types of pests. So regularly clean the counters, hoover the floors, get rid of thrash and keep all food items sealed airtight. Basically, your job is to remove all items that attract pests such as booklice.

3. Use insecticides

Cleaning your home and reducing the humidity levels may not be enough, depending on the stage of the booklice infestation. You may need to use insecticide sprays targeting booklice. While we generally advice to go for tip 5, if you do decide to take action yourself, make sure to reach the instructions of the insecticide carefully when applying chemicals indoors.

4. Seal cracks and crevices

Cracks and crevices are on the main reasons pests get access to your home or office. So make sure to check all rooms, corners, windows and doors for any cracks and crevices. Apply the correct sealing materials to help keep booklice away.

5. Contact an exterminator

If all else fails, Killem prevails. We are a professional pest control company in Singapore with experience treating booklice for more than 30 years. We can offer specific and effective pest treatments to get rid of your booklice problem in no time.

The Ultimate Guide to Booklice

Visit Guide
guide to booklice in your home

Natural solutions to get rid of booklice

So far we’ve talked about the main tips to get rid of booklice. Now let’s look at some natural solutions, as this is something people frequently ask about. A side note here is that natural solutions may sometimes not be effective depending on the size of the booklice infestation.

If you do want to try out natural solutions, one of the more effective ways to eliminate booklice is to use essential oils. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil may be good starting points. They can be used as a spray by diluting it with water and then spraying onto the infested areas.

Vinegar solutions may also provide a good natural treatment option. Mix one part with vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Then apply the mix to the infested areas. Be careful, this is a strong mix that could discolour items in your home or office.

Pro Tip: If you have a large booklice infestation, using strong dehumidifiers will help reduce the excessive amount of moisture and eliminate the booklice.

How to prevent future booklice infestations

If you’ve applied any of the tips from above, you will have hopefully found a solution for your booklice infestation. You may now be wondering how you can prevent future booklice infestations.

Let’s start with the bookshelves. Make sure to position bookshelves away from walls where moisture tends to be most present. We also recommend continuing to use dehumidifiers frequently as this helps keep the environment unappealing for booklice.

Regular cleaning will help keep booklice away. This includes vacuuming, sealing food and especially keeping the kitchen clean.

booklice prevention infographic


We know that booklice can cause real problems if their presence goes by undetected. By applying the right measure to get rid and prevent booklice, you can make sure to be free from booklice infestations. Focus your attention on all the items that make the environment unappealing for booklice, such as lowering the humidity levels. Finally, if you are unsure of what to do or all your efforts appear to have no impact, contact your nearest pest control exterminator.

Author: Soleha Nisaa

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting rid of the infested items, reducing the humidity and increasing ventilation will typically kill booklice in your home.

Check the common spaces that get infested with booklice, such as kitchen cupboards and appliances, books and magazines, storage rooms, and other humid dark places in your home.

Freezing containers, products, and books for 24 hours can kill booklice at any stage of their life span, including when they are still just eggs.