How to Kill Booklice with Household Products

Booklice are tiny little insects that do not bite or feed from humans or animals. However, their fecal matter can infect food products. They feed on the microscopic mold and mildew found in damp, musty environments. Although, they are frequently found in books, they can also thrive in a number of places around the home, including furniture and cereal. Normally an infestation of booklice is caused by excessive moisture and can be controlled by using a fan. Also, you can take an item from a room outside and place it in direct sunlight.


Placing infested items in the freezer for a couple of days will kill all adult booklice and any eggs that they have laid. The adult lice will die after around 3 hours in the freezer but the eggs are more resilient so items should be left for at least 24 hours before being removed.

Microwave or Oven

Any small items that have been infected can be placed in the microwave at a high temperature for 40 seconds. To prevent a new outbreak, keep cereals and grains in airtight containers once they are opened. If you don't have a microwave, it is also possible to place items in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour.


If you have suspect that you have booklice in your kitchen you should clean any small cracks or crevices around the sink or countertop with an ammonia-based cleaner then use a hairdryer to make sure that the area is completely dry.


If you have problems with the humidity level in your home or you own a second home that is left unoccupied for long periods it may be worth investing in a dehumidifier to help prevent an infestation of booklice. As they are soft-bodied insects, booklice cannot survive in a warm, dry environment.

Any items that cannot be treated should be disposed of from your house as the booklice will just keep coming back if you don't. The other priority if you have an infestation is to try and find the main source and breeding area that they are using and eliminate it.

You should also remove any dried out or decaying plants from your home before the booklice can begin to use them as a source of food. As with many types of insect infestation it is much easier to prevent the insects from getting a foothold in your home than to cure it. You will probably never be completely rid of these tiny insects but the number can be kept under control with regular, thorough cleaning and control of the humidity level in your home.