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|Psocids in the home||Click here for pictures of domestic psocids|
(B.D.Turner- text of a pamphlet written for the Pre-packed flour Industry)
To their dismay some
people occasionally find that their food cupboards and especially dry
goods such as flour, milk powder, sugar or semolina, have become infested
with tiny grey or brown insects.They naturally, but wrongly, assume that
the products themselves are always at fault.
Psocids are common but harmless household insects, between 1 and 2mm long, that can live in dry powdery type foods.
Research has shown that the sorts of psocids (there are several different types) that may cause problems in homes are rarely found where food is produced, so it is very unlikely that they get into the product during manufacture.
They prefer areas with a high humidity but can tolerate dry conditions for some days.
Moisture in the home generally could be due to condensation from not having enough ventilation in the kitchen or bathroom. In new homes moisture is given off as plaster dries. Some food products, including flour, naturally contain some moisture.
Try to deny them the
conditions they need to survive and multiply- warmth and moisture.
Always keep your dry
foodstuffs, cereals and the like, in a cool, dry, well ventilated place.
Clear out your cupboards regularly getting rid of old and outdated dry foods which may get pushed to the back of the cupboard. If you clean the cupboards using water, always make sure they are completely dry before you put the food back. The edges of chipboard shelves that are hidden from view are usually unsealed. Use a mastic sealer to prevent psocids, and water getting into the chipboard.
When you are cooking or boiling the kettle or even just using the washing machine or tumble drier, make sure that the kitchen is properly ventilated.
If condensation shows on windows it is being produced on all other surfaces as well, and may lead to mould growth on which psocids can thrive.
Remove the infested
food immediately and dispose of it outside.
Check everything else
in the cupboard. Any dry goods that look alright can be placed in a plastic
bag and left in a deep freezer for 24 hours. This will kill any booklice
or their eggs that may be present in the folds of the packaging.
Food in cans and bottles
will still be all right but make sure that there are no insects hiding
under the labels.
Clean out all the
dust, crumbs etc. then make sure the cupboard is completely dry before
using it again.
Foodstuffs in packets
can be stored in jars, tins or other airtight containers.
Inspect your food
cupboards regularly and repeat treatment if necessary.
is better than cure.
Always store dry foods in a cool dry place.
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