How To Get Rid Of Termites In Books – 5 Easy Steps

Termites love to devour books. It’s the easiest thing that they can chew on.

Books contain a lot of cellulose that makes them a preferred item for the termites to eat.

How To Get Rid Of Termites In Books

But termites eating away your books is a sign of a big problem.

It’s a sign that termite infestation runs deep in your home. You must take immediate action by contacting a pest control specialist.

However, in this post, we’ll give you a few steps that you can take immediately to get rid of termites from your books.

These steps will help you to stall the spread of termites into other books and in nearby furniture.

Here’s how to get rid of termites in books in 5 easy steps.

Step # 1 – Look For Signs Of Termite Infestation In Your Books

Signs of Termite Infestation In Books

Thankfully, termite infestation in books is visible quite quickly and early. It doesn’t take months to notice the infestation like it takes in furniture.

Here are the signs of termite infestation in books

  • The pages of the books are turning dry and yellowish.
  • The edges of the pages and book cover are turning ragged.
  • Holes in the pages.
  • Grainy or sandy dust-like layer on the pages. 
  • Veins or tunnel-like structures on or around the books.

Step # 2 – Empty The Bookshelf To Deep Clean Of Termites And Termite Excrements From The Shelf.

Termite Infested Books In Bookshelf

It’s time to clean the bookshelf of termites so that it doesn’t spread to other books.

If your bookshelf is wooden, then chances are termites have already infested the bookshelf.

Remove all the books from the bookshelf. Take a vacuum cleaner and clean the bookshelf.

After vacuuming, use a termite spray (like this one) to spray on the entire bookshelf.

Before that, check out if the shelf is sticking with the wall. If it is, then pull it away from the wall before you use the spray.

Spray it on every corner of the bookshelf, especially at the back of it and on the shelf’s legs.

An excellent alternative to termite spray is kerosene. Kerosene is effective against termite infestation.

You can use a piece of cloth that is soaked in kerosene and wipe the shelf with it.

Step # 3 – Look For Entry Points Of Termites In The Bookshelf To Seal Those Points.

Bookshelf With Termite Holes

The next step is to close the entry points of termites. How do you find the entry points?

Check for any holes or bumps on the bookshelf. These are either the entry points of termites or exit points to dump their colonies’ excrement.

Use a suitable quality sealant, like this one, to seal those entry points.

But don’t forget to check the back of the bookshelf. If the bookshelf is sticking with the wall, pull it away to check for holes at the shelf’s back.

Most of the time, termites invade the bookshelf from the wall or the ground.

So, look for cues that tell you the entry points of termites. If you see any, then use the termite spray on those holes and bumps before sealing them off.

Once you finish spraying and sealing, leave the bookshelf to dry for a while.

In the meantime, let’s focus on the termites that are dwelling inside the books.

Step # 4 – Let The Books Dry In The Sun To Ward Off The Termites

Leaving the books under the sun is one of the best ways to whoosh off the books’ termites.

Dust off the books with a brush. Then keep them under the sun.

Don’t keep the books as is under the sun. Keep them open. It will expose the pages to the sun’s rays that will ward off the termites feeding in the books.

Leave the books in bright sunlight for 2-3 hours. Keep changing the pages occasionally so that the sunlight reaches all areas of the books.

But what if you don’t have the sun bright and shining? Heat is a good termite repellent.

So, you can use an iron press on the books to get rid of the termites stuck inside.

But make sure you don’t keep the iron pages on different chunks of pages for more than 10-15 seconds. Else you may burn the pages.

Step # 5 – Use A Termite Spray On The Books As A Final Blow To Kill Any Left Over Termites

The final step is to use a termite spray on the books to terminate the termites left. Use the termite spray sparingly. Don’t flood your books with the spray. Else the spray will severely damage the books.

We don’t recommend using kerosene or gasoline on the books because they blot on the book’s pages, shrinking and drying off the pages.

If there are severely damaged books by the termites, then it’s better to throw them off. Keeping them back on the shelf may attract more termites.

Should You Keep the Books In The Same Bookshelf That You’ve Cleaned?

You may. But as we said, this is a stop-gap solution to get rid of termites from your books.

Termite infestation in books is a sign of severe infestation. 

It indicates that you need immediate help. It would be best if you contact a pest control specialist for a full house anti-termite treatment. 

Also, you must know that the termites that infest your books are subterranean termites.

These termites enter your home from the ground, especially by drilling through your home’s foundation. Once inside your home, they destroy your furniture, walls, clothes, and books.

So, if termites have infested your books, hire a pest control specialist asap and get your entire home treated for termite infestation.


To conclude, here’s a 5-step process on how to get rid of termites in books –

  • Look for signs of termite infestation in books.
  • Empty the bookshelf to clean it of termites and termite excrement.
  • Look for entry points of termites in the bookshelf to seal those points.
  • Let the books dry in the sun to ward off the termites stuck in the books.
  • Use a termite spray on the books as a final blow to kill any leftover termites.

Do you want to know what termites eat and destroy in your home so that you can protect your home from termite invasion?

If yes, then check out our post on what termites eat and don’t eat.

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