Booklice, also known as psocids or paperlice, are small, wingless insects that infest homes and libraries. Despite their name, booklice are not actually lice and do not pose any harm to humans or pets. However, they occasionally infest stored food products or cause damage to paper products, such as books and documents.

Booklice / Paperlice

Liposcelididae spp.

Booklice are typically found in areas with high levels of moisture and humidity, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. They’re often associated with the presence of mold.

These pests feed on starchy material, such as the glue in book bindings. They also feed on surface mold that grows on damp paper, cardboard, and wallpaper.

Certain species of booklice may also infest household pantries, attacking stored food products such as grains, flour, cereals, and pasta.

Book Louse

Size: 1/25″ – 1/6″ long (1 – 4 mm); about the size of a crayon tip

Color: Pale white, gray, or light brown

Shape: Wide head with thin antennae, narrow thorax, large abdomen, and 6 legs

Identifying Features

Legs: 6 legs

Antennae: Long, thin antennae

Head: Look for a large bulge at the front of its head (called the clypeus) that resembles a large nose

Body: Soft-bodied and wingless; head is relatively wide relative to its narrow thorax (midsection); abdomen is large with 9 segments