- PSOCID BIOLOGY
- TREATING A PSOCID INFESTATION
- WHAT TO USE INSIDE THE HOME FOR PSOCIDS
- BEST PSOCID LIQUID SPRAY FOR LARGE AREAS
- 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. 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.
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.
If you have large areas to treat like a wall, a book shelf, cabinets or storage boxes, PT-565XLO will offer quick knockdown, ease of use and no mess. It will produce a fine ULV type particle size insuring deep penetration into all the cracks and crevices where psocids like to hide. When used properly, it won’t make a mess or require time to dry. Just lightly misting the infected area will yield quick results with most all psocids dying within an hour.
PT-565 can be used as needed so keep the can ready to use if more are seen. And its safe for use in any part of the home since its pyrethrin based. Its formulation can be used safely on books, record albums and any type of document or fabric as well.
The only problem with PT-565 is that it doesn’t provide a residual. In other words, it will only kill when it is being applied. Within an hour or so all the active ingredient will have broken down and be gone. For this reason you will probably have to make several applications over the course of 1-2 weeks if you want to get rid of all psocids in the home. This will be needed since the treatment will only kill exposed or hatched insects.
FOR LONGER LASTING RESIDUAL, USE ALPINE AEROSOL
Now for cracks and crevices or voids where you suspect psocids might be hiding, use ALPINE AEROSOL. This product is unique because insects will not detect it. This means they’ll forage over it, pick up some of the chemical and die in 1-2 days. This also allows them to “transfer” the active to others when they go back to their nests.
Alpine can be applied over surfaces like fabric and books too by lightly misting it from above. When done properly, it will be very effective and there is no need to over apply it by getting surfaces wet.
HOW TO TREAT BOOKSHELVES, BOXES AND STORAGE ROOMS WITH PSOCIDS ^
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. The same impact can be achieved using the PT-565 listed above but with the machine, the treatment will be automated so you don’t ever miss. This will insure long term control.
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 FOR LARGE AREAS ^
If you have large areas to treat like the exterior siding of the home, basement walls, crawl spaces, trees, shrubs, etc, the use of an aerosol is not practical or efficient. For these areas you’ll need a liquid residual and one that works great 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.
You’ll need a good PUMP SPRAYER to apply the Maxxthor; it needs to have a nozzle that produces a wide “swath” pattern to insure thorough coverage and uniform distribution.
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.
To apply the dust, use a DUSTIN MIZER. This device is easy to use and will allow you to disperse the dust throughout a crawl space or attic from afar. Fill the hopper with 1-2 lbs of dust and turn the crank to propel the dust out 15-20 feet.
In general, treatments made to these spaces will last 1-2 years. But if the space is excessively hot or moist, plan on treating twice a year.
SET OUT PSOCID TRAPS ^
Psocid populations can literally “explode” overnight with the right mixture of moisture and heat. Generally speaking, infestations which are located outside will be active in the warm months and go dormant if you have a winter but this can change in any one calendar year.
For the southern most states, it is not uncommon to have activity year round. So to keep them from invading from the outside, treat with Maxxthor if you find them active on your homes exterior. If you have psocids in the home or building and have decided to use one of the Aerosols, expect to treat on a regular basis since aerosol applications will not last like the liquids.
To help monitor the problem and cut down on activity, install PSOCID TRAPS on all bookshelves, counter-tops and window sills with activity. Its also smart to set these out where you suspect they might be nesting. This could be around a shower tub, toilet bowl, inside plant pots, area rugs or under furniture cushions. These traps measure 4.5″ wide by 4.5″ long and less than 1/2″ tall so they’re quite flat.
Each trap features a unique food lure psocids love and will forage several feet to get inside. The design of the trap is unique so be sure you set it up correctly. Basically the bottom of the trap will be the side with the 8 holes and “grooves”. The grooves should be facing the ground and will effectively “funnel” the psocids in the holes. Once they enter, they’ll get stuck on the non-drying glue inside.
Traps should be spaced every 20 feet; at least two traps per room. The glue and bait lure will remain active for 3-6 months but replace them sooner if they get filled with insects. The attractant lure will take a good month to start releasing enough scent to get the attention of foraging pests so do not expect to see results for 1-2 months. And remember they’re designed to keep you informed on where problems might be you have not noticed before so use them in random areas where there “might” be a problem not yet identified. For areas where they’re being seen, treat for fast results.
Psocids can be a persistent and annoying pest in and around the home. Though they don’t bite, their chewing mouth parts can cause a lot of damage to fabric, books, wallpaper and other inanimate objects around the home which are valuable. Reduce moisture levels to deter nesting and seal cracks and crevices where psocids may be entering for long term protection.
CONTACT US ^
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