Pest Guides

How To Keep Bugs Away From Books

Insect Feeding On Paper

“Bookworm” is not only a term but a real thing. Yes! You read it right. Well, this term doesn’t only use for a specific bug or insect because many bugs like to eat paper.

Don’t worry; bookworms or bugs are not dangerous for humans, but they are powerful enough to deteriorate your entire book collection.

It might sound awful, but bugs mostly hide in books because they love dark spots. Many bugs, including silverfish, termites, cockroaches, carpet beetles, and book lice, find it easy to get the required proteins from paper.


If your concern is “how to keep bugs away from books?” there is a need to understand that it’s not easy to spot book-eating bugs. The reason is that these bugs are small and love to live in dark and humid spots.

• Use a bright light torch or a magnifying glass to inspect book bugs.
• Try to keep your library area free from moisture and isolate the bugs-infested books.
• Add a dehumidifier to the library and hire infestation control professionals in difficult situations.

Now, you know how to inspect the bugs and their kinds, which can disgust your books. Let’s briefly discuss the kinds of bugs that can destroy your books and some preventive measures to control bug infestation in your library:

Why Do Bugs Love To Live in Books?

Buys On The Tattered Cover Of An Old Book

As we mentioned, bugs love hiding in dark and humid spots. Books pages are the main source of darkness and some humidity to the bugs. That’s why bugs and different insects love to live in books.

While living inside the books, bugs use book paper to feed themselves. If you are seeing the quick deterioration of your books in the library, bugs inside the books might be a reason.

On the other hand, book pages and cloth bindings are more than enough to offer needed proteins to the bugs.

So, no matter how hard you have tried to collect your books, bugs love to eat your book’s papers and leave rough edges behind.

Kinds of Book Eating Bugs

It’s a fact that it is not easy to find bug infestation in your books. But if you know about the kinds of bugs in your books, it might become easy for you to get infestation control services accordingly.

So, let’s talk about different kinds of bugs that are living in your books:

1. Silverfish

Insect Feeding On Paper - Silverfish

Silverfish are one of the most common bugs that love to live in the books. These bugs are apterous with a silvery appearance. These bugs love to live in dark and humid places.

You don’t need to panic if you see silverfish infestation in your books. These bugs are not harmful to human health. So, you don’t need to try really hard to get rid of them.

Silverfish can destroy your book collection because these bugs feed themselves with paper, cloth bindings, and glue. Vacuum clean your library or book storage area to eliminate silverfish.

2. Termites

Termite Zoomed With Magnifying Glass

Well, books are not the main target of termites. This living creature is attracted to wooden bookracks and corners.

Once these bugs have interacted with your books, they will surely love to destroy pages. Termites are used to move in colonies silently from one corner to another corner of your shelves.

To eliminate termite infestation, you need to call professional infest control providers.

3. Cockroaches

Cockroache On A White Notebook

Cockroaches are really disgusting bugs. Unfortunately, these bugs can make damage your books on a huge level. Cockroaches love to eat paper, glue, mold, and even binding fabric around books.

These bugs leave their eggs in dark spots such as your book pages, causing yellow-stain on the pages.

Cockroaches damage your books and cause several allergic reactions in humans.

4. Bookworms

Insect Feeding On Paper

Bookworms are existing creatures. This bug loves to eat book pages and lay eggs between the pages. Most people also know this worm as “booklice.”

Book lice are not like head lice because book lice love to live in dark spots and corners of your books.

Adding a dehumidifier to your library can minimize the risk of bookworm infestation.

Tricks To Keep Bugs Away From Books

1. Inspect Books

Closeup Mafnifying Glass Rest On The Pocket Books On Pile

If you see any book deterioration in your library, it’s time to inspect your books to find book-eating bugs.

Book-eating bugs might appear in different forms or types from your books, such as larvae, eggs, cracked shells, or yellow-stain on the book pages.

2. Isolate Infested Books

Books That Have Been Destroyed By Termites

Rather than throwing out bugs-infested books, isolate all those books separately in plastic bags.

If you want to make the infested books bugs-free, put them under extreme cold or warm temperatures for a few days.

Remove plastic bags from the books and re-check them if there are any signs of infestation. Place the treated books on well-cleaned and moisture-free racks.

3. Manage Humidity Level in Book Area

Table With Laptop In Home Office Interior, Books In The Shelfs On Background

Moisture is the main cause of bug infestation in your book areas.

A moisture area doesn’t only cause mold but also becomes a source of bug infestation. That’s why it is better to use dry and humid-free areas in your home to store books.

For the appropriate balance of humidity levels in the library or book area, turning on a fan or adding a dehumidifier would be best, especially in the summer.

4. Focus on Bookshelves Cleaning Pattern Regularly

Housekeeper In Apron Dusting The Bookshelf By Feather Duster

Dust and debris on your bookshelves are the main sources to attract the bugs.

  • Try maintaining a regular cleaning and maintenance pattern for your book racks.
  • Try not to leave any food spills and stains in the area. If you have a habit of eating while reading your favorite book, clean all the food leftovers.

Otherwise, bugs will access those leftovers and enjoy eating them while sitting between your book pages.

How To Deal With Dread Bug Infestation

Cockroach Bugs In Dirty House Indoors

The above tips will help you deal with the early stages of bugs in your books.

But if you have ended up with dread bug infestation, things might go out of your hands! Don’t worry; you can still deal with severe infestation rather than judging yourself for not taking care of your books.

Hiring professionals is the best consideration for dealing with difficult bug infestation situations. They will provide you with every possible assistance they can do for you.


It takes time to eliminate the bugs from the books. But you must do it to save your library from getting destroyed. Continuous maintenance is a key consideration to save your books from bug infestation.

While searching for the answer to “how to keep bugs away from books?” ensure to fix the moisture and humidity levels inside your book storage areas.

It’s easy to solve the bug infestation issue after finding out the right kind of bugs present in your books. Time-to-time book inspection might minimize the chances of bugs in your book area.

Isolate the infested books separately and place them under high cold or warm temperatures. Once you have made your books bugs-free, store the books on dry and moisture-free shelves.

Sometimes, getting rid of fully destroyed or infested books is also okay. The reason is that it won’t worth trying to restore fully deteriorated books.

Hopefully, discussed preventive measures will help to reduce the chances of bug infestation in your book areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Books Get Infested?

Bugs like, bookworms, cockroaches, and termites love to live in humid and dark places.

Books pages are the main source to provide the bugs with required protein like glue, cloth binding, and paper. That’s why bugs are commonly found in bookracks and books.

How Do You Know if Your Books Have Bugs?

If you find rough edges of papers, yellow stains between the pages, cracked shells, and some larvae on the books, your books may have been infested.

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