“Bookworms: The Most Common Insect Pests of Paper

in Archives, Libraries, and Museums”


Compiled by Dr. John V. Richardson Jr., PhD

Ecological Informatician


1.      Beetles:


Family Anobidae           (the drugstore beetle, A. paniceum)

                                                (the deathwatch beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum)


      Family Dermestidae      (the Anthrenus varius/fuscus beetles)

                                                (Carpet beetles, Attagenus piceus)

(the larder beetle, D. lardarius)

                                                (the white-marked spider beetle, Ptinus fu)

                                                (the Mexican book beetle, Carorama herbarium)

                                                (the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne)


2.      Booklice:


Family Psocoptera         (the common book louse, Liposcelis divinatorius)


3.      Cockroaches:


Suborder Blattaria          (the German cockroach, Blattella germanica)

                                                (Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis)

                                                (American cockroach, Periplaneta americana)

                                                (Brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa)


4.      Moths:


Family Lepidoptera      (the false clothes moth or brown house moth, Hofmannophilia pseudospretella)


5.      Silverfish and Firebrat:


Family Thysanura          (silverfish, fishmoths, carpet sharks, or paramites, Lepisma saccharina; firebrat)


6.      Spiders:                     (live/dead ones provide nutrients for other pests)


7.      Termites:


Family Isoptera        (drywood termites, Cryptotermes cavifrons)

                                    (dampwood termites, Zootermopsis angusticollis)

                                    (subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus)

                                    (also called white ants)



Web Resources:



Museumpests.net, a product of the Integrated Pest Management Working Group


I.                    Booklice

1)      Dover District Council (UK), Booklice (accessed 19 January 2010)

2)      Booklice—Entomology—Penn State University” (accessed 19 January 2010)

3)      ENY-225/IGO94: Booklice and Silverfish (accessed 19 January 2010)

4)      Cornell Entomology at Ithaca—Booklice (accessed 19 January 2010)

5)      Utah State University, Booklice, Fact Sheet No. 34 by Jay B Karren and Alan H. Roe (April 2000), (accessed 19 January 2010)

6)      Michigan State University, Book Lice or Psocids (Order Pscoptera), (accessed 19 January 2010)


II.                Beetles

1)      Carpet Beetle, HYG-2103-97,” (accessed 19 January 2010)

2)      Carpet Beetle Management Guidelines,” UC IPM (accessed 19 January 2010)


III.             Cockroaches

1)       Cockroaches,” (accessed 20 January 2010)


IV.             Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) and Firebrat (Thermobia domestica)


1)      Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 8] Pests of Fabric and Paper (accessed 19 January 2010)

2)      Silverfish/Bristletails (accessed 19 January 2010)

3)      Jeffrey Hahn and Stephen A. Kells, Silverfish and Firbrats in Homes (accessed 19 January 2010)

4)      AgriLife Extension, Texas A&M University.  Silverfish (accessed 19 January 2010)

5)      Penn State, Bristletails (Silverfish and Firebrats), (accessed 19 January 2010)

6)      University of Minnesota, “Silver and Firebrats in Homes,” (accessed 15 December 2010)

V . Termites

1) Angela S. Brammer and Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, "Drywood Termite, Cryptotermes cavifrons," University of Florida (accessed 15 December 2010)




Prepared originally for: “Disaster Preparedness,” UCLA Extension, 9 May 1987; Updated: 15 December 2010.