Bugs inside Milk Powder Cans
Dear Sirs,
We just searched websites for Booklice bug and found your website. We’re seeking a technical advice concerning bug contamination that recently found in our canned milk powder, made of tinplate metal can-packaging. Kindly view the attached picture showing the bugs that might be Booklice bug, found inside the cans and suspected came from carton layers that are used to stack the empty cans on a pallet up to 2 meters can-stack height. We use corrugated Carton layers with specification of Medium 100 triple layer, meaning that the top flute and bottom layer are made from ex recycle carton materials. Why Booklice bug loves to stay in carton layers; hope you can provide us some advices on how to overcome it. What pest-control required to get rid of these bugs? Looking forward to your valuable advice; with kind regards,
Jakarta, Indonesia

Hi Kristianto,
First off, we agree that you have Booklice or Psocids, insects in the order Psocoptera, probably the family Ectopsocidae. They feed on starch which explains their presence in the cardboard. They feed on sizing, paste and glue of book bindings as well. Your problem would seem to be how to prevent the Booklice from being transfered into the cans during the packing process. Sorry, we do not offere extermination advice. Booklice are in the order Psocoptera and are not true lice, nor do they harm people or bite. They would much rather eat mold and fungi. Most Booklice are in the family Liposcelidae and you can find some additional photos on BugGuide. We also located a North Carolina University website that states: “The presence of booklice can be quite an annoyance; however, they rarely cause significant damage to items. Most often, the damp conditions and developing mold or fungi have already caused the damage.” Large numbers of Booklice may be present in stacks of newspapers stored in damp places. The previously mentioned NCU website also gives the following advice; “Non-chemical management Reducing moisture and maintaining relative humidity below 50% will provide excellent control of booklice. Use a fan or dehumidifier to dry out damp rooms or other locations. Repair any leaky plumbing. Try to determine and remedy the cause of any condensation around doors, windows, air conditioning units, or other areas. Eliminate any standing water. Do not over-water houseplants. Reduce or eliminate potential harborage areas by sealing up cracks and crevices. Remove or dispose of items that could be harboring mold and fungi, such as old books, cardboard, papers, wallpaper, and food goods stored in damp conditions. Those items that cannot be removed or disposed of should be stored in airtight plastic bags or containers in cool, dry, and well ventilated areas. Clean up any spilled food goods such as cereal or flour that could serve as a source for mold growth. “

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