How to deal with book mites?
September 20, 2006 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Help! Book mites! I think I saw one today on a book and I fear that there are

A while ago I noticed tiny little beasties, about a dozen of them over days, wandering over my desk and the little speaker on my computer. I hadn't cleaned my desk in three years; it was covered in books, papers, dust. No food, luckily, just awful awful clutter.

Research online suggested perhaps book mites: I own hundreds and hundreds of books and had them in my room, which is dusty and warm and not un-moist (I sense). Many of the books are rarely moved and so probably a goddamn marvelous place for bugs to live.

I've moved house this month to a new place with a clean new library and no preexisting bug condition, but today I saw a little creepy crawly in one of my hardcover books. When I was done flipping out and smashing him to bits, I came to you, hive mind, for help. I think I brought him with me! I left my Scrolls of Genocide behind at the old place, so how to cope?

Online I recall seeing that pesticides and whatnot will kill the beasts. But I need practical details. How does one deal with book mites? Is fumigation expensive, dangerous? Don't nontoxic pesticides work fine on the bastards? Should I just move to someplace where it's cold all year 'round? Will just a thorough cleaning mitigate the problem?

And: what's a way of preventing bugs from borrowing my books without asking? I'm anal about that.
posted by waxbanks to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do book mites bite people? Do they cause allergies?
posted by davy at 9:55 AM on September 20, 2006

Try Googling for booklice -- there's lots of info out there.
posted by robinpME at 10:16 AM on September 20, 2006

Best answer: Info and suggestions:Since it avoids insecticides, the microwave death ray is probably worth a test: what's your least favorite book?

Looking a bit on the bright side, this might be a good time to cull your shelves.
posted by cenoxo at 10:19 AM on September 20, 2006

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