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tiny bugs in books

(17 Posts)
ouchmyfanjo Tue 08-Jan-13 22:28:54

i have noticed tiny crawly things in some of my books. they are on shelves by a door so not sure if they are in the books properly or surrounding area. iam moving soon and want to get rid of them for me in new house and new owners. am also worried books in shed may be home to similar lodgers! Apart from hoovering each book with the soft brush attachment i have no idea how to tackle this.Someone please tell me there is an easier way!

SillyBeardyDaddyman Wed 09-Jan-13 07:44:13

could be silverfish...

Wingdingdong Wed 09-Jan-13 18:52:42

More likely book lice?

ouchmyfanjo Fri 11-Jan-13 17:42:12

sorry for silence.poorly ds temporarily distracted me from creepy crawlies!
I am sure they aren't silver fish as they arw so tiny, probably smaller than a grain of rice and pale beigy colour.
Book lice may be possible but the picture on your link doesn't look like them either.
I am putting off investigating but will try and assess extent of them this weekend.
Thanks for your help.

ouchmyfanjo Fri 11-Jan-13 17:42:23

sorry for silence.poorly ds temporarily distracted me from creepy crawlies!
I am sure they aren't silver fish as they arw so tiny, probably smaller than a grain of rice and pale beigy colour.
Book lice may be possible but the picture on your link doesn't look like them either.
I am putting off investigating but will try and assess extent of them this weekend.
Thanks for your help.

crunchingicicles Fri 11-Jan-13 19:05:55

Oh no, I feel for you. Sounds like it could be mites. Nightmare to deal with. Best things I've found online are bleaching things (needs a few goes as the eggs take a few days til they hatch), putting things in freezer for minimum 3 days (kills mites), or as I found online the other day, you can clean covers of books with damp cloth, vacuum clean with brush nozzle then microwave on high for 45 seconds (that's for dust mites, which are microscopic, but the only advice I've seen for tackling any kind of mite on books). Disclaimer: not tried this. Be warned with vacuum cleaner you'll need to bin bag immediately after or empty & wash/wipe down tank if a bagless one. I'd also vacuum & bleach if possible the bookcase. And check very carefully other areas of your home - they have the ability to spread fast! And

crunchingicicles Fri 11-Jan-13 19:16:25

Google flour mites for images - look white, quite round, smaller than a grain of salt or sugar. Probably not flour mites specifically but can't find much on some of the other common mites found in the home (apart from dust mites, but they're microscopic).

ouchmyfanjo Fri 11-Jan-13 22:21:13

thanks crunching but oh no sounds like a big job and all to be done before i start packing.don't want to take the little critters with us, or leave them here for new owners!
This is a daft question but when i vacuum books is that page by page?! I may google and youtube. There may be a demo...that's my weekend sorted then sad

crunchingicicles Fri 11-Jan-13 22:54:44

If it is them & you find anything useful, please do report back... And seriously don't leave your vacuum overnight or even for a few hours. Discard bag/contents immediately! Otherwise, you'll think all's well until a couple or so months down the line & you find your vacuum cleaner is completely infested & the best thing to do is just bin it. angry I'd even be tempted to buy a handheld one for the job then wash thoroughly - in the long term that could save you money...

PigletJohn Fri 11-Jan-13 23:52:12

if you're getting ready to move you might try this:

put all the affected things in those big plastic crates with tight fitting lids

put in slow-release insecticide into each

the one I know is Tranfluthrin which is used for mothproofing as it kills adults and larvae and eggs.

I don't know one way or the other about mites or bookworms, but I can't see why it shouldn't work. It does not need spraying as the fumes are slowly released over a period of a few months. It is not persistent so it will not poison the air in a whole room, only inside the container, and when you open the crate, the chemical breaks down in fresh air, water and sunlight.

I get mine from Robert Dyas, but they are sometimes cheap on ebay. They aren't mothballs and don't smell. There are various makes, and one sachet/hanger/cardboard flower usually treats a half-cubic-metre container, which should be plenty. Obviously don't bother with the cedar or lavender products, they just make the insects smell nice but don't kill them.

crunchingicicles Sat 12-Jan-13 01:24:44

Unfortunately, if they're mites, not sure that method would work... From all that I've read (a lot!) on the subject, most insecticides don't affect mites, because they're arthropods. But could be worth a try. Also, bear in mind, they need to be air tight containers. The gaps mites can get through are impossibly small. Watch out especially in crevices & hidden places for the eggs. Literally tiny little dots. Barely specks. And they seem to have some sticking ability. When I was washing things, I realised the eggs were in parts I couldn't access with sponge so used a cheap toothbrush so the bristles got right into the cracks. And had to repeat this a few times.

PigletJohn Sat 12-Jan-13 10:22:00

that's an interesting point. Are mange/scabies mites arthropods? Bedbugs? Because they can be treated with Permethrin, which is widely available as an insecticide.

Rentokil Insectrol spray would be suitable here though I am still in favour of wrapping or boxing up the items so there is a good concentation of the chemical, and it also means you won't be breathing it in for long.

crunchingicicles Sat 12-Jan-13 10:59:10

Hmm, from what I've found, bedbugs are insects. As for mange/scabies, as you say PigletJohn, they're caused by mites. Done bit more reading and I misunderstood. Mites are in the class of arachnids, subclass 'Acari'. Arachnids and insects are both arthropods. Will report back anything more I find.

crunchingicicles Sat 12-Jan-13 11:10:44

Found out more & it sounds like some insecticides will work with some mites, all depends on what chemicals and what type of mite. Hope it all works out for you ouch! Let us know what you do & if it works.

ouchmyfanjo Sun 13-Jan-13 09:40:21

hello again and thank you for all the advice. piglet i am a bit in awe.always read your advice and now you have posted on my thread!
have to confess though i am now a bit confused as to best way forward.the technical details have left me a bit confused
i too had wondered about putting the books in a vacuum seal bag but hadn't thought of putting an insecticide in. from what you say crunching it may be worth a go but plan to soak the bags in a bath of bleach after.
other than that i am tempted to stick them outside to try and freeze them in snow!
crunching i take it you had a similar problem. how wide an area/many things did you have to treat?
i will report back with progress!

crunchingicicles Sun 13-Jan-13 10:32:46

Erm, currently chucking out loads of stuff I don't want or need, then I can really tackle the things I want. A whole room in my case (there are bits where I can't see them, but I'm going to assume they've spread and I can't see them. Anything that can be frozen will be, fabrics frozen then washed on 60C wash or above, books microwaved (one at a time, 45 seconds on high) and everything else bleached. I'll be packing things up carefully so that (a) they don't get new mites on them (all it takes is one female, they lay LOADS of eggs) and (b) to ensure they were all destroyed, if not they'll need another round of treatment.

crunchingicicles Sun 13-Jan-13 10:35:37

Unfortunately it's a long process and you may find it not all sorted in just one go. Haven't seen how long a gestation for their eggs, I know that for flour mites the eggs take just 3 days to hatch.

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