Books are sometimes attacked by cockroaches, silverfish, book mites, booklice, and various beetles which feed on the covers, paper, bindings and glue. They leave behind physical damage in the form of tiny holes as well as staining from their faeces. Book pests include the larder beetle, and the larvae of the black carpet beetle and the drugstore beetle which attack leather-bound books, while the common clothes moth and the brown house moth attack cloth bindings. These attacks are largely a problem with historic books, because modern bookbinding materials are less susceptible to this type of damage.
Evidence of attack may be found in the form of tiny piles of book-dust and specks of frass. Damage may be concentrated in the spine, the projecting edges of pages and the cover. Prevention of attack relies on keeping books in cool, clean, dry positions with low humidity, and occasional inspections should be made. Treatment can be by freezing for lengthy periods, but some insect eggs are very resistant and can survive for long periods at low temperatures.
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