How to Get Rid of Booklice | Top 10 Natural Remedies


When it comes to booklice, they are not as troublesome as headlice. It doesn’t have parasitic tendencies and won’t suck the life out of your scalp. However, just because they aren’t blood-sucking parasites doesn’t mean they aren’t a complete menace. Their infestation can be quite a problematic scene, especially when you don’t find them in the initial stages.

Much like woodlice, booklice indulge in smaller and gradual infestation processes. It will start in small sections, and before you know it, the pest has taken over your house. Whatever the situation be, keep in mind that there are natural remedies if you are wondering how to get rid of booklice.

Exterminating them on your own can seem difficult to begin with. However, we’d recommend trying out first and then jumping to other professional help if nothing works out.

How to Spot Booklice?

Unless you know how a booklice looks like, it is quite difficult to spot them from the mix of infestation. Typically, they look very similar to the staple headlice that we commonly know of. They are minute creatures and are a blend of different colors, including brown, grey, and sometimes even black. Like most other lice species, even this one has 6 legs.

The pest doesn’t like rushing or zooming through the place and instead likes to keep to themselves and hide out in the warmer spots around the house. They also lack wings, so you won’t have to worry about them flying into you.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Dust Mites? | 9 Amazing Remedies

List of Ways to Get Rid of Booklice

Now that you have a basic understanding of their anatomy and appearance, we must discuss their elimination. Typically, the process of elimination is quite easy and diverse. There are several easy and a few complicated ways that are effective enough to get rid of the infestation without burning your back.

1. Start with a Thorough Checking

Before implementing any preventive or elimination measures, you need to scope out the entire house. This is what helps find the issues and where the infestation stems from. If you also don’t know the extent of the infestation, nothing will help eliminate them from your house.

Typically, we’d recommend starting with the small spot where you first found the infestation. From there, you can start checking the entire room, the enclosed spots, and the areas that are often closed shut. These areas are more prone to harboring infestation, so watch closely.

2. Use a Dehumidifier

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Like any other pest that you come across, even booklice enjoy warm and moisture-prone areas. So, if you want to halt the infestation and prevent it from taking a turn for the worse, you need to make your home inhabitable for them. And, one of the best ways to do so is by reducing the moisture level in the air in your home.

A dehumidifier is programmed to help you with just that. The lack of moisture also reduces the growth of mold and mildew in the house, which often leads to further infestation risks.

3. Use Bleach or Vinegar


Both bleach and vinegar have strong acid components and harsh chemicals in them, which are found to be quite potent in killing off the booklice infestation in your house. The strong smell from these chemicals is also found to help reduce the infestation gravely. 

However, while it is still safe with vinegar, bleach is a hazard for kids and pets. So, when you are spraying it around the house or even around the backyard, you need to ensure that you keep a close eye on your children and pet. When spraying bleach or vinegar, mix the main component with some water and spray it in the infested areas.

4. Get Rid of Standing Water

When it comes to booklice, be assured that moisture is your worst enemy. Not only are they attracted to damp and murky spots around the house, but moisture also makes the place a lot more habitable for them. So, if you have any sources of standing water near you, we’d recommend that you get rid of the same immediately.

This is especially true for inside the house, especially the damp-prone areas like the bathroom, basement, or even the garage, for that matter. Any open water sources should be emptied without any questions asked.

5. Vacuum the House

Yes, vacuuming helps to a great extent. Since booklice are such small and often negligible pests, you won’t be able to distinguish them with naked eyes. Using a vacuum can clean out the entire area and deep clean the spots that you can’t do manually. Also, if you have HEPA filter bags, make sure you use those when you are cleaning out the pests. Use the one-time-use bags so that you can throw out the filter bag with the pests inside.

Also, if your vacuum supports the steam cleaning function, you can use that after dry vacuuming the entire house.

6. Get Rid of Food Supplies

Booklice aren’t your typical cookie nibblers. So, if you think that a piece of fallen cookie on the floor is their feast, it likely isn’t. Instead, booklice feed on molds and mildew. They like to cocoon themselves in areas that are not cleaned, have a damp and musky smell to them, and ones filled with dust around them.

So, if you are one of those people who don’t like to clean around in their house, you need to take up that habit without any further thoughts. The best way to reduce their food supply is by keeping your house clean. Using borax or boric acid solution to clean the house can help you greatly. If you are wondering how to get rid of booklice, this is one of the most effective ways.

7. Reduce the House Temperature

Booklice are prone to warm and damp temperatures. So, if you leave the house’s central temperature below freezing for just an hour, be assured that you won’t have any viable booklice left in the house. They don’t survive in colder temperatures, so it is without a doubt that they will try to flee from their sites of infestation and die in the process.

This is one of the main reasons booklice are not found in regions with colder temperatures and weather conditions. 

8. Cover the Cracks

As we said in the beginning, booklice aren’t typical runners. They don’t like wasting their energy running around. Instead, they stick to hiding in the cracks and crevices. Typically, this is where you come in. If you find any kinds of open cracks or slits through the walls, windows, or even the doors, seal and cover them with some boric acid.

The harsh chemicals in the boric acid will suffocate the booklice and prevent them from furthering their infestation around the house. 

9. Clean with Soapy Water

Dish Soap
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Besides borax, even cleaning the infested areas with soapy water can help get rid of the booklice infestation in no time. If possible, add a few drops of neem oil to the solution to further kill them. The strong chemicals from the soap, mixed with the harsh smell of the neem essential oil, are enough to get rid of them from the site of infestation.

If you can’t clean, you can always make a clean solution and either spray it around the house or keep some in a bowl by the area where the infestation is the maximum. 

10. Fix the Plumbing Issues

Sometimes, we don’t realize it, but issues with the drains and leaking pipes around the house can often lead to booklice infestation. The leaky tap contributes to dampness and enhanced mold production and mildew production. Typically, you want to get rid of the molds as much as possible, especially if you wish to get rid of the booklice infestation.

If you have been looking for how to get rid of booklice, we hope this article answers all your queries. Just ensure that if none of the natural remedies and DIY methods work, your best bet would be to call professional exterminators. They are well equipped with the right tools, experience, and resources to eliminate these pests and prevent them from coming back into your home in the future.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Biscuit Beetles? | Try Out These 5 Ways

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Kind of Smells do Booklice Hate?

Booklice hate the strong smell of essential oils, including peppermint and neem. So, if you want to get rid of them, make sure you spray the infested site with these oils.

Will Booklice Go Away on its Own?

Typically, if the living conditions are favorable for booklice, they will continue to infest your house. We’d recommend that you always keep the house clean and check for molds to keep the infestation away.

Do Booklice Bite Humans?

Booklice aren’t harmful to humans. They aren’t parasitic, and they don’t feed on human blood. They typically like to infest in warm and humid areas.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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