Do Termites Eat Books? What To Do When Termites Invade Your Bookcase

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

Last Updated December 27th, 2022: No matter the genre of books you enjoy, a termite colony might make itself at home nearby and begin to use your book collection as a new food source! If you give them the chance, termites can devour your entire book collection, no matter the size. And these termites will probably look at your bookcase (if it’s made of wood) as an added dessert. In this article, we’ll be fully explaining do termites eat books, and how to prevent further termite damage.

Do Termites Eat Books?

Yes, termites eat books. Termites traditionally eat wood, but they really are looking for any material that contains cellulose, which is abundant in wood and paper (and books). This means books are a perfectly acceptable meal for any hungry termites.

If might sound surprising that termites do eat books and other paper products, but unfortunately it is a real risk you should be aware of. Termites are so efficient at eating books and paper products that they actually ate over $140,000 worth of cash that was stored in a bank vault in India! Termites were able to accomplish this while being in a bank vault with even less access to the outside world than the average house. So whether it’s paper or wood, as long as it’s cellulose, termites are going to be interested! Check out our guide on why do termites eat wood to learn more about cellulose.

do termites eat books

That being said, if you have noticed termites in and around your bookcase, this will generally mean you have a lot more to worry about… your house is probably infested.

How To Get Rid Of Termites In Books?

If you already have termites in your book collection you need to act quickly! Your first step should be to get rid of the existing termite infestation in your home or they’re going to keep coming back, we suggest contacting a professional. From there you should go one by one through your books and dust off all the pages and then leave the books open and in the sun outside. The heat should be enough to get rid of any existing termites in your books.

How To Protect Books From Termites?

The best way to protect your books from termites is to ensure your home is termite free. Although this is easier said than done, you should get rid of any current termite infestations to start. From there you should implement a termiticide to protect your bookshelf and books from termites.

Do Termites Eat Paper?

Yes, termites will eat paper. Termites will eat anything with cellulose in it, which includes wood, paper, clothing, and other organic materials.

Is Your Home Infested With Termites?

Although termites will eat books, they prefer larger quantities of cellulose, so they will generally choose to focus on your home’s foundation, or occasionally you’ll hear termites in your walls because those are larger food sources.

If you’ve noticed termites in and around your bookcase, that will mean you have a larger infestation and you’ll probably find damage elsewhere in and around your home which could be a lot more expensive than your book collection.

Once you’ve noticed termites around your books, you should attempt to follow their steps and try to locate the entire colony. Look for mud tunnels and other signs of termites to be able to identify where the rest of their colony is based, and look for any signs of damage.

In a perfect world, the termites will be isolated to a single piece of furniture and not into your walls or foundation.

That being said, if you do notice termites in your home, you need to act quickly because termites reproduce extremely quickly and can cause huge amounts of damage every year. Depending on the level of termite infestation, you should consider hiring a professional to get control of the termite infestation.

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