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The psocid or book lice

The psocid, commonly referred to as the pou of the book is a small insect (1 to 3 mm) that easily enters the houses. He loves books and all vegetable substances. It is also very fond of mold. if it settles at home and finds favourable conditions, it can quickly become invasive and cause damage. Find in this folder a set of natural responses and products that will allow you to fight this insect at best.

I wish

Get to know the psocid better

(identity, feeding mode, reproduction, ...)

Fight against the psocid

(action method, natural insecticides, ...)

Who's the psocid ?

le psoque ou poux des livres

Common name : psocid, lice of books or bribe, lice of squirrels, lice of dust.
Order : Psocoptera
Family : Micropters or apters
Size : 1 to 3 mm. rarely exceeding 6 mm
Location : outside or inside following species
Period : all year

Near 4000 species have been identified worldwide. Most of the psocid live outside the houses on bushes, trees, walls and vegetation. it then feeds on lichens and algae, without ever causing any damage.

But some domage species, such as liposcelis, can settle in your home and can become pests of food by infesting and spoiling (by their presence and dejections) a variety of products of animal or vegetable origin: flours and debris of cereals (they are unable to attack whole grains!), glue, mushrooms, dead insects, wax ...

Apterous species, lacking of oces. brownish grey cream colour, no more than 1.5 mm long. later femurs are swollen – characteristic of liposcelis. a generation per month in summer, with a bridge of about 50 eggs; The adult remains in pre-oviposition 3 to 4 months in winter and then lays about 20 eggs in winter: 6 to 8 generations a year ago.

It is actively hunted by the scorpion of books, chelifer cancroides (pseudoscorpion).

Life cycle of the psocid

Females of certain species of the pou can reproduce without being fertilized, males being removed, prevented from growing or totally absent. each female can lay nearly 200 eggs during her lifetime. they are mostly deposited separately, at a speed of 1 to 3 per day. being sticky, they are often covered with fragments of food or waste that adhere to their substrate. eggs, soft and pearl color, hatch after about 1 to 2 weeks. emerging nymphs are much like adults and go through 3 to 8 mues depending on species to reach maturity after about 15 days. After each successive mue, the nymphas increasingly resembles an adult and her eyes, antennae and wings (if available) begin to develop.

Ambient conditions and quality of food influence the development speed of the pesoques. the life cycle is usually completed after 1 month, the surviving adults up to 6 months.

Their small size and flattened body allow them to hide easily in the cracks and cracks. However, they have a relatively thin cuticle that, coupled with a high surface/volume ratio, make them unsuitable to survive unfavourable conditions and especially at low humidity levels.

The psocid is not dangerous

Even if he looks like the back of his head, the psocid doesn't sting. Its presence is certainly awkward, but the poultry of books (colour lip,) usually does not cause any sensitive damage in a house. on the other hand, when conditions are very favourable, it can quickly become invasive and cause damage.
Ideal conditions for it to proliferate are heat and humidity. If you delete one of the parameters, it will disappear from itself.
The mold is his favorite dish. If you remove the development of molds, you remove its food. it also loves starch (release sticks, painted paper glues) and can eat anything that is of vegetable origin. They occasionally jump into minotries, shops, libraries and museums where they are known as "book lover" and very feared because they can cause considerable damage to books.

Below 35% moisture, the psocid dries and dies.

We can find the psocid in freshly carpeted or wet new apartments. In general, it is introduced with furniture, boxes, books and paper, all of which can carry the micro-organisms of which it feeds. the psocid lives on average 110 days and hides in darkness.

Le pou des livres - Liposcelis decolor

Psocid and real estate

In the buildings, the psocids are a nuisance especially as long as the materials are not yet dry and that tiny molds and algae which they repagate, together with some mycetophageal beetles, develop on their surface. In North America, it was noted that psocids "inhabit" preferably apartments of high levels. These are the last, in fact, where the plasters have passed; moreover, this is where the thermal amplitudes are the strongest. If the infestations persist or reappear, it is that wet spots, even invisible, have appeared (malfas, cracks, leaks). These are formidable indicators.

Psocid and humidity

Psocids prefer wetlands, even if they are sometimes found in dry places. the body of the liposcelis species contains about 66% water in the presence of a relative humidity of 73%, but only 22% in the presence of a relative humidity of 33%. It is this ability to use their own water reserve that allows the pets to survive up to three weeks in a dry atmosphere. transplanted into a wet environment, they are able to rehydrate quickly. On the other hand, prolonged exposure (over 3 weeks) to drought is fatal. for pesoques, an atmosphere is considered dry if its relative humidity is less than 58% (indoor species) or 70% (outdoor species). Beyond these critical thresholds, psocids use energy from their foods to transport water vapour into their bodies, which allows them to compensate for the loss of water vapour due to sweat and stabilize their body mass even in the absence of water-filling foods (knülle and spadafora, 1969). in very wet environments, pets can survive six months to one year (broadhead and hobby, 1944).

How can we eliminate the psocid and protect it ?

In nature, we'll let psocids live and protect their habitat.

Indoors, as this insect can hide everywhere (slides, folds, under the floors behind partitions, pipes, sheaths, etc.). it is not easy to achieve truly effective treatment. the most suitable will be to usethe aerosol insecticide EcodooContainingPyrethre and alcohol. Its very fine spray allows to penetrate everywhere, by drying very quickly and without drying. You will have to deal mainly with the areas where your books are ranked. If it is a library, spray the insecticide and close the door.

Our insecticide 4j will allow him to forget no surface and thus increase your chances of eliminating them. This concentrated product must be diluted at 5% (or 50 ml of insecticide for 950 ml of water) in a sprayer. apply the spray product to a maximum surface. It acts by contact on eggs, larvae and insects thanks to its natural formulation of vegetable pyrethre combined with potassium soap and essential oils.

In the field of fumigationfogger habitat BiovétolGive good results on this type of insect. It is an insecticide automatic diffuser composed of plant-based assets (pyrethre + géraniol) for the background treatment of the habitat. very volatile, the solution is deposited in the smallest corners where pests and insects are located. immediate and prolonged action. 3 different formats exist: 75ml for treatment less than 15m2, 150ml, for treatment less than 30 m2. Finally, 250ml, for treatment greater than 30m2.

Finally, The earth of diatoma, this silicon dioxide powder can help you effectively in the fight against the psoque. She will act for a long time, because she has dehydrating action on the insect, which will lead to her death. about 1 week after treatment, dehydrated insects start looking desperately for water. In general, they die within 2 weeks of the treatment. diatoma remains active as long as it remains dry. try to sprinkle it in all cracks, kidneys and small holes, predilection locations and potential seals of the psoque. for action in the smallest corners, small holes and interstices difficult to access, prefer thespray diatom in the form of aerosol.

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But the most effective treatment remains to remove one of the 2 parameters that promote its proliferation: the humidity and heat.

It is better to make life impossible by drying (under 50 to 60% moisture) the atmosphere and refreshing it: no more than 15°C. the aeration of the housing, the moisture absorbers, the reduction of the heating, ... will promote their disappearance.

For the rest, a well-made drying will prevent the psocids of the foodstuffs from spoiling, by their snacks but especially by their filth, the foods kept. Of course, we will maintain the premises where we will not tolerate any sweat or moisture spot. All of these recommendations should be followed in particular by insect collectors, who are easy victims.

In summary, preventive actions against the psoque

- maintain moisture at less than 40%
- ventilate the closed parts
- repair the pipe leaks
- isolate the pipes to avoid condensation
- regularly pass the vacuum cleaner and pay special attention to cracks and cracks. If possible, seal these cracks and cracks with an appropriate product.
- keep flour, cereals, and other foods in closed containers. If you find these insects in flour, semolina or cereal, drop the food.
- if books or other objects are infested with pets, put these objects in the freezer for a few weeks. The gel will kill the insects.