True book-borers are uncommon. Two types of moths, the common clothes moth and the brown house moth, will attack cloth bindings. Leather-bound books attract various beetles, such as the larder beetle, drugstore beetle and the larva of the black carpet beetle. Larval deathwatch beetles and common furniture beetles will tunnel through wood and paper (if it is near the wood).
A major book-feeding insect is the book or paper louse (also known as booklouse or paperlouse). These are tiny (under 1 mm), soft-bodied wingless psocopterans (usually Trogium pulsatorium), which feed on microscopic molds and other organic matter found in ill-maintained works (e.g., cool, damp, dark, and undisturbed areas of archives, libraries, and museums), although they will also attack bindings and other book parts, making the booklouse not a true louse.
By the 20th century, modern bookbinding materials thwarted much of the damage done to books by various types of book-boring insects.
- "Bookworm insect". Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Wiener, Ann Elizabeth (2018). "What's That Smell You're Reading?". Distillations. 4 (1): 36–39. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "Identifying and controlling clothes moths, carpet beetles and silverﬁsh". Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Brown house moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella (Stainton)". Canadian Grain Commission. 2013-08-30. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Larder beetle". Canadian Grain Commission. 2013-08-30. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Drugstore beetle". University of Florda. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Black Carpet Beetle". Penn State. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Woodworm Anobium Punctatum". buildingconservation.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Deathwatch beetle". Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Bugs That Eat Books!". Colonial Pest Control Inc. 2013-03-21. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Murray, Stuart (2009). The Library: An Illustrated History. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing. p. 198.
- "John Francis Xavier O'Conor, Facts about bookworms: their history in literature and work in libraries (New York: Francis P. Harper, 1898.)
- "Bookworms: The Most Common Insect Pests of Paper in Archives, Libraries, and Museums". Dr. John V. Richardson Jr., PhD.
- "Timber Borers – Anobium & Lyctus Borers"
- "Study on integrated pest management for libraries and archives" – prepared by Thomas A Parker for the General Information Programme and UNISIST (Paris: Unesco, 1988)