- PSOCID BIOLOGY
- TREATING A PSOCID INFESTATION
- WHAT TO USE INSIDE THE HOME FOR PSOCIDS
- BEST PSOCID LIQUID SPRAY INSIDE THE HOME
- HOW TO TREAT ATTIC AND CRAWL SPACES
- SET OUT PSOCID TRAPS
- CONTACT US
PSOCID BIOLOGY ^
Psocids are small insects which love moisture. In general, they need to live where humidity is high or moisture is present.
The following video is a short (less than 60 seconds) that give you the quick summary of what products you’ll need (featured further down this page) to control Psocids in the home.
Common places for psocids populations to thrive include window sills, under outside siding of homes, tree trunks, shrubs, flowers, around garden hoses, under bricks and rocks, around light fixtures and under boxes. However, some species will readily live in books, book cases, attics and crawl spaces.
This next video is another short (less than 60 seconds) and it gives you the brief summary of what you’ll need to do on the outside of the home to stop psocids from getting inside.
In fact there are many families and subspecies of this insect and the science community has not quite come to a concise conclusion about how to group and name all that are included. Some appear to have specific moisture requirements and others do not. At the same time some seem to be food specific and others do not. To make matters more confusing, it appears that psocids are able to change their dietary needs as food availability changes. One thing is for sure: if you have psocids active in or around your home – expect them to prosper and keep coming back every warm season. And in most cases they’ll end up invading living spaces which is when they’ll readily invade books, file cabinets and basically anywhere they find paper products.
THE LIFE CYCLE OF PSOCID ^
Psocids hatch from eggs in about 2-4 weeks after eggs are laid. Young will go through 2-4 nymphal stages to reach adulthood which takes another 2-3 months. Once mature, females can generate 50-100 eggs during her life and as an adult she would expect to live 1-4 months. Most populations will produce 2-3 generations per year but there could be a lot more if conditions are right.
Psocids are able to adapt to their environment which will dictate just how fast they reproduce. In general, the more moisture and the more moderate the temperatures (50 -80 degrees) the more they will prosper. Cold weather (below 35 degrees) will kill off adults but eggs will live and be ready to hatch as soon as local temperatures get back to where they are comfortable.
WHAT DO PSOCIDS EAT ^
Psocids will eat just about anything. Though most people think they eat books or paper, in fact they can thrive on a wide range of food. Typical food in the home include cellulose products (paper or books), book bindings, fabric (from which many book bindings are constructed), glue (the glue that binds most books has many natural components), contact paper, wall paper, any type of grain, mold, mildew, algae, fungus and other plant life.
The fact that psocids will readily live in books is the same reason they will readily live on trees: the presence of both cellulose (paper is made from wood) and fungus or algae. Algae or fungus will readily grow in damp dark places inside homes but it also thrives outside. It is here where local psocids populations will begin to accrue.
PSOCIDS ON THE HOME ^
Most all psocid problems start from the homes siding. Psocids which forage onto homes and establish themselves on brick, stucco, hardy board, cedar shakes or underneath coverings such as vinyl or aluminum will eventually end up inside.
From outside the home they will commonly find window sills to be great for food as well as outside light fixtures, outlets, door frames, etc. The author has seen them thrive on just about any perimeter location of most any structure which gets wet during rain or irrigation. Such areas have a tendency to harbor moisture and this harboring is what enables fungus and algae to grow. Once this growth starts psocids will follow and once established on the structure, its just a matter of time before they end up inside.
TREATING A PSOCID INFESTATION ^
The good news about psocids is that they are slow eaters. This means damage from local populations is usually minor unless populations go unchecked for long periods of time. However, psocids are both annoying and persistent so most people don’t want them around. Fortunately, they are easy to kill and with the right products being used its relatively easy to manage or eliminate activity in and on the home.
So before you treat, there may be some maintenance needed in areas where activity is noted.
WHAT TO USE INSIDE THE HOME FOR PSOCIDS ^
Since psocids will be effectively hiding out of sight once they get inside the home, it can be hard to isolate all areas where they’re nesting. For this reason aerosol products are a good formulation to use where activity is found.
Since windows and doors are key points of entry, its important to get them properly treated as detailed in this video:
If you have large areas to treat like a wall, a book shelf, cabinets or storage boxes, FS MP will offer quick knockdown, ease of use and no mess. It will penetrate any crack or crevice deep where they like to hide so if you’re thorough, you can knock out their nests immediately.
Focus with FS MP up high like around windows, window sills, molding, counter and cabinet cracks, etc.
HOW TO TREAT SENSITIVE ITEMS LIKE BOOKSHELVES AND CLOTHING ^
For small areas 100 sq/ft or less filled with paper products, installing AEROSOL MACHINES with CLEAR ZONE metered insecticide will make treatments automated so you don’t have to worry about constantly treating. These machines are well suited for small paper closets, rooms with boxes or bookcases filled with books. The aerosol refill will be releasing small 1/2 second “blasts” of a pyrethrin based aerosol strong enough to kill psocids.
The key to the success of this treatment is that the aerosol released will be in ULV form. That means the aerosol will be comprised of very tiny microns of active ingredient. These tiny microns will penetrate cracks and gaps where psocids like to hide so they won’t be able to avoid the spray.
Each machine is set to go off every 15 minutes and is powered by 2 “D” cell batteries. Set one machine above the area you want to keep psocids free so either mount it on the top shelf of a wall unit or on the wall above the books or boxes.
You’ll also need some CLEAR ZONE refills. These cans will last 30-40 days, release an odorless pyrethrin safe for use in any area of the home and can be set up discreetly yet still be effective. Just be sure to replace the refill when empty.
BEST PSOCID LIQUID SPRAY INSIDE THE HOME ^
If you have psocids active throughout the entire house, especially on baseboards down low, thoroughly spray these areas with BITHOR. Its odorless and combines two actives for a unique 1-2 punch. The one active kills quickly but wears down after a few days. Left behind is a slow acting non repellent active that will kill invading psocids for weeks so they can’t get re-established.
Bithor is odorless and well suited for carpets, furniture, baseboards and you can even use a paint brush or spray it it onto window sills for residual that will far outlast the FS MP.
Add 1 oz per gallon and plan on using 1 mixed gallon for every 1,000 sq/ft of area.
Apply it with any good PUMP SPRAYER and plan on treating once every 2 weeks until their gone; once every 2-3 months to make sure they don’t come back.
For “light” applications over carpeting, hardwood floors and other areas where the pump sprayer is a bit “overkill”, consider our MINI MISTER.
It produces a fine mist and works great for fast, clean, light treatments. This video details how it works.
The Mini Mister is super handy and will cut down on how much mixture is applied and at the same time, allow you to get the job done so much faster.
BEST OUTSIDE SPRAY FOR PSOCIDS ^
Now if you keep getting new problems inside, its a sure sign they’re coming from outside so you need to attack the exterior siding of the home as well as teh ground, trees, shrubs, etc. if you want to stop the invasion. The best product for this is MAXXTHOR EC. This concentrate mixes with water and is applied with a PUMP SPRAYER over surfaces on which you have seen activity.
Maxxthor will provide a quick knockdown and a long lasting residual and repellent action which will prevent hatching psocid eggs from thriving. Maxxthor can be applied over the homes exterior siding, around windows, on trees and plants and just about anywhere psocids activity has been found.
Add 1 oz per gallon of water and apply the mixture over no more than 1,000 sq/ft of surface area. Retreat every 30 days when used outside to keep them off the home.
Use a good pump sprayer like the one listed above but if you want to thoroughly treat your homes siding and landscaping, get our HOSE END SPRAYER. This will allow you to cover vast areas faster and more efficiently. Using our sprayer, you’ll want to add 2.5 oz of Maxxthor to the sprayer and then fill it to the 5 gallon line. Hook it to your garden hose and then spray the entire amount over 5,000 sq/ft of area every month.
HOW TO TREAT ATTIC AND CRAWL SPACES ^
Psocids will readily nest in attics and crawl spaces and often times migrate from these locations to living spaces. Although inside treatments will help curb the amount you see, treating hidden spaces with DELTAMETHRIN DUST will effectively end the invasion and overall, prove to be a more efficient way to proceed.
In crawl spaces, moisture will often times fuel the population. The dark, well protected space typically grows small minute algae and fungus psocids love. Apply Deltamethrin Dust at the rate of 1 lb per 500 sq/ft. Treatments will last at least one year and often times even longer.
In the attic, the heat and insulation will help incubate developing psocids so like the crawl space environment, populations will explode and from there, migrate into living spaces.
Now if the insulation in your attic is about to be replaced, it would be wise to dust prior to the new material being installed. But if the insulation is already in place, it may block the dust from reaching deep down to the actual point of entry.
So if you’re seeing psocids coming out of light fixtures or other ceiling ports, you’ll want to locate those spots in the attic, remove the insulation around them and dust all exposed areas. After treating you can replace the insulation as there is no need to leave it to the side.
Geri Schaff says
I think these are the bugs we have been battling for a month. We’ve tried spraying the entire bathroom floor with everything including bleach. Nothing is working! Which product would you recommend?
Tech Support says
Psocids are amazingly resilient and tough. This means they’ll be more active in the winter because food is hard to find when it gets cool. So seeing them as fall turns to winter means you have a current infestation somewhere on or in the home. This fact means you’ll have to treat as explained above if you want to get rid of this pest.
Now something to keep in mind is that the foraging you see is what they’ll do as they search for food. This means if you clean the areas where you see them with something like bleach, you’ll only make the problem worse because bleach will take away the food they’re seeking. So in general you should never do any cleaning until the problem is solved. This is explained above too but basically when you clean you’ll be taking their food away which in turn will cause them to seek food over a much larger area. This in turn will force them to start new nests and in the long run, make them harder to control. So no more cleaning until the problem is resolved.
So at this time I suggest you get some of the Maxxthor discussed above and do a thorough spraying on the exterior of the home. Psocids usually start outside and from there forage into homes. This is particularly true in the fall and winter. During the summer they can usually live fine outside but as the air cools and dries, they’ll start moving into living spaces which is no doubt what you’re seeing now. This means getting them where they start is mandatory or else they’ll just keep coming.
Maxxthor EC: https://bugspray.com/catalog/insecticide/liquid/maxxthor_ec.html
Next, inside the home you should use the Bithor to spray all baseboards and rooms like basements and garages.
Next, get some FS MP aerosol and treat all the cracks and crevices you can find. This will be the areas around windows, doors, ceiling molding, air conditioning units and any other space where they might hide.
FS MP: https://bugspray.com/catalog/insecticide/aerosol/fs-mp-insectidie-15-oz.html
For sensitive areas, the Clear Zone.
Aerosol 1000: https://bugspray.com/equipment/foggers/aerosol-dispenser-1000
Clear Zone: https://bugspray.com/catalog/insecticide/aerosol/purge-iii-6-25-oz.html
In summary, treat with the liquid Bithor every month. Treat with the FS MP every 1-2 weeks and use the Clear Zone as often as you need. And once you go at least 2 weeks with no activity, you can clean and seal the home.
Our issue with these guys is in the attic. We just had all the old blown in sucked out, the whole thing sanitized and new blown in insulation put back in and we still have them, when the weather gets warm they start falling from the ceiling fans in the bathrooms and in the laundry room, don’t really see them other places. Not sure what to do as the ceiling vent fans were foamed into place and I don’t want to suck out all the insulation and start over that was $3500 dollars. But I do want them gone.
Tech Support says
Ideally, you should have dusted when the old insulation was removed. But now that its been reinstalled, here’s what I suggest.
The first option would be to “move” the insulation around in the attic from one section to another the goal being to “expose” the ceiling below. Once small section of ceiling is exposed, say 10′ x 10′, the dust could be applied and the insulation returned. Doing this in “sections” could yield the right results. Tedious, messy and time consuming yes. But not costly.
The second option would be to remove the insulation yet again, dust the empty void and then install new insulation. I bet the material just applied could be recycled so the cost for this process would be a lot less compared to a new installation of new insulation.
The third option would be to target the specific points of entry. In the attic you could then “reveal” these points of entry, remove the insulation in those areas alone and then dust just them. I too have blown insulation and its 3-4″ thick in most places; thicker in between ceiling joists. But where I have light fixtures or outlets, the insulation is quite thin and easy to move aside to reveal the electric ports underneath, ceiling mounts, etc. I know because I’ve done work up there several times in different areas. Exposing just these key entry points and dusting them would probably do the job too. True, the bugs would still be alive elsewhere. But if the routes of entry are dusted, they won’t be able to migrate into living spaces. And if you were to do this job, I’d go with the Drione instead of the Deltamethrin dust. Drione is highly repellent to any bug and they will not go where its been applied. In fact we commonly use it for dusting electric outlets, light fixtures and under switch covers to keep bugs like silverfish from entering living spaces. One treatment with Drione would last many years too, way longer compared to Deltamethrin dust, so you wouldn’t have to use it frequently.
The fourth option is to spray FS MP Aerosol up onto all routes of entry from the living space.
FS MP: https://bugspray.com/catalog/insecticide/aerosol/fs-mp-insectidie-15-oz.html
In summary, option 1 or 2 would stand the best chance of “solving” the problem. And if you went for option 3, you could at least stop them from invading.
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