Isn’t it particularly scary to know that all of the books that you have collected and treasured over the past many, many years can be destroyed mercilessly? You might wonder who can be so cruel and the answer will definitely surprise you. That is because the destruction of all your precious books is be done by tiny little insects.

Insect pests that destroy books are apocalyptic for libraries.  Beetles, Booklice, Termites, Silverfish, some type of cockroaches, bed-bugs, etc. are among the common book pests. These are all tiny little insects. However, an infestation means humungous damage.

Some pest feed on the book itself, while others feed on the mould/fungus that grows on books. In any case, they are a nuisance and the infestation does not take much time to spread. Pests breed on the pages of the book and eat the binding and even the glue present on the bindings. They eat the corners of books and also leave non-uniform holes on the pages of the books. Silverfish also stain the pages with the trail they leave behind while they move around on the books. These pests like to hide in cracks and cervices, and tight, dingy spaces and bookshelves provide them the perfect spot. They also feast on other items that they find like wallpapers, cardboard boxes, newspapers, and even the bookshelf itself.  

In places like libraries, where the source of food is vast for these insects, an infestation can spread very quickly. The infestation is likely to go unnoticed if close attention is not paid to all books. And if such pest-infested books are borrowed by readers and taken to their homes, the chance of it reaching and spreading there is also quite high. Bedbugs, especially, have been known to be capable of residing and laying eggs on spines of book covers. These bedbugs then travel everywhere the books go.

Some incidences of reported infestations are mentioned below:


In Campus News, February 20, 2020

By Sarah Tomlinson

“The Ryerson University Library was closed following a report of a possible bed bug sighting.

Last week, a bed bug was discovered during a routine inspection and the chair on which it was found was disposed of, according to an email from Ryerson’s Facilities Management and Development (FMD).

FMD stated the area was closed off and steamed. Orkin, Ryerson’s pest control provider, inspected the area afterward. No bed bugs were found.

An undated picture of a bed bug found on a chair on the 10th floor of Ryerson’s library was sent to FMD’s help desk on Wednesday.

Under the Ryerson subreddit, a user posted a photo on Tuesday of what appeared to be a bed bug with the caption, “Looks like the bed bug problem on Ryerson library’s 10th floor is still unresolved.”

On Monday morning, a picture of what appeared to be a bed bug was tweeted to The Eyeopener by a physics student.

According to the student, what appeared to be a “baby bed bug” fell onto their textbook on the 10th floor of the library. The picture was sent undated and without a time, so FMD said they can’t determine whether the picture was taken last week or if it’s a new case of bed bugs in the library.

“The area has been cordoned off again as an extra precaution and a canine team will be re-inspecting the area this evening to ensure it remains clear,” said FMD on Wednesday.”

Giving library pests the cold shoulder

A.C. Petersen

UW Libraries

Bedbugs reveal a taste for literature, turning up in library books, the New York Times reported Dec. 5 in an article headlined “A dark and itchy night.”

“Bedbugs have discovered a new way to hitchhike in and out of beds: library books. It turns out that tiny bedbugs and their eggs can hide in the spines of hardcover books. The bugs crawl out at night to feed, find a new home in a headboard, and soon readers are enjoying not only plot twists but post-bite welts,” the article said.

UW Libraries was among the libraries mentioned in the article as having spotted bedbugs this year on returned books.

In August, UW circulation staff noticed dark spots and, upon closer examination, insects near the spine of some returned books. Following procedure, the staff sealed the books in plastic bags and called Environmental Health and Safety, which identified the insects as bedbugs.

The pests were on fewer than ten volumes within the UW’s collection of over 7million books, said Stephanie Lamson, preservation librarian and someone who regularly deals with pests and other threats to libraries collections.

“Above all, people should not be afraid of libraries,” she said. “Bedbugs are much more likely to be encountered in hotels, homes and apartments where they have easy access to sleeping humans – the food source they need to survive.”

Thus, it can be seen how repairing an infestation would be tedious and tiresome. And we all know that ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Taking care that such insects and pests don’t get a chance to thrive would be the best bet to truly safeguard one’s precious books and antiques.

The common pest control solution used will not only be toxic to the residents in case of a home infestation and reader in case of a library but can also damage the fragile books and antiques. Apart from this, it is also common, after a conventional pest control program, to keep the room/area closed for up to 3 days because of the toxic fumes and harmful chemicals present in them. And public libraries might have to be shut down, a sad situation for avid readers.

What if I tell you that all these problems can have one simple solution? Our product Termirepel™ manufactured by C Tech Corporation is an anti-insect aversive that repels insects.

Termirepel™ works on the mechanism of repellency. It temporarily inhibits the mating cycle of the insects. The product impairs the ability of the insects to reproduce, that is the insects will not lay eggs or the laid eggs will be infertile. The product causes feeding disruption in an insect by triggering an unpleasant reaction within the insect which might try to feed on the application.

The product temporarily blocks the reproduction system of the insects by hindering the release of vital hormones for growth.

Termirepel™ is an extremely low concern, low toxic, low hazard, non-carcinogenic and non-mutagenic insect aversive. It does not kill or cause harm to insects as well as to the environment which indirectly helps to maintain the ecological balance.

Termirepel™ is available in the form of the liquid concentrate can be mixed in paints in a predetermined ratio and be applied on the walls of the library or the material which has to be protected from termites

Termirepel™ in the lacquer form can be applied topically to the applications. The lacquer is compatible with most of the surfaces like wood, concrete, metal, polymer, ceramic, cables, wires, etc.

Termirepel™ in the form of wood polish additive can be used for applications on wooden racks and cabinets and bookshelves.

We also have our new easy-to-use spray product for Termirepel™ Insect Repellent Spraycompatible with most of the surfaces.

Termirepel™ is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them. It does not volatilize and does not degrade the soil.

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