Thursday, February 23, 2006

Eeek! Crawly things...

The other day I sat down to read a book I'd just got out from the library. It had been in my study for a few days. I put the book on my desk and went to find a jumper as it was a bit chilly.

I decided to look out my Cozy Web, as I hadn't seen it since we moved - back in September! I eventually found it screwed up in a heap with a load of old clothes under the bed. Doh! I put on the CW and went back to my book...

After a while I noticed there were tiny little mites crawling on the desk, near the book and my jumper-clad elbow - yikes!

I started catching them under bits of tape. They were really really tiny - some even more tiny than others - and white. They tended to squish under the tape so I couldn't save a specimen.

They did appear to be radiating out from the book - but then my elbow was on the book.

After a while, when I appeared to have caught them all, I put the book in a plastic tub and the jumper in the bath. I washed the other clothes I was wearing and the ones which had been under the bed. I hoovered around my desk, but can't get under the bed with the vaccuum. I haven't seen any since.

I have searched online and I *think* they were 'book lice' or 'book mites'. I hope my book collection is OK! I was concerned they could be wool mites - I have been kicking myself, wishing I'd either worn the jumper or read the book, and then I'd know for sure!

The book is now taped up in two bags and in the freezer - it will be going back to the library! I handwashed the jumper twice, and had it soaking overnight. Unfortunately it then smelt of mildew, so I stuck it in the washer on the 'wool' cycle. It still smells a tad, so I'll prolly wash it again.

I started a Knitty Coffeeshop thread about it here, and the consensus there is 'ewwwwwwwww' and 'booklice', so I'm guessing the fibre stash is safe. I worry for my precious books though! Luckily Mr Bee's seriously-precious-£££ book collection is in another room. I think the mites were probably just in the book until I opened it so I should be OK, plus they like humidity, and I don't think it's humid here. I'll let the library staff know about it though. Maybe I need to check all my other library books :-/

Eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww *itchy*

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