Most people don’t stop to consider the possibility of pest exposure to more than kitchens, food, and home foundations. But pests, whether they’re termites, beetles, or bats, can do major damage to your local library.

From paintings to documents, books to bookcases, pestzone that make their way into public libraries can present major hardships.

While libraries should make sure to stay on top of their library insurance coverage, which can protect against these kinds of risks, they should also understand what they’re up against in terms of pest control. Termites, cockroaches, and other insect-related pests are common in public spaces, including libraries, and their presence can result in great damage to wood and paper materials.

In the past, pest control using involved using regular insecticides to the infested areas and to the objects that were impacted. But with recent health and safety concerns related to the use of these chemicals, pest control options have changed.

Here are some ways in which libraries can take care of pests, no matter what form they show up in.


Isolation of contaminated items can be a method to indicate the presence of an active infestation. Through isolating, inspecting, and cleaning infected areas and items entering the institutions, libraries are helping to avoid letting pests gain access to the rest of the library and its contents.

Freezing Out

Freezing, or controlled low-temperature treatment, is a common pest control and inspection choice in libraries and other public buildings. While not all items can be frozen, such as sensitive archives and documents, the ones that can undergo this treatment will sustain no damage. These items include oil and acrylic paintings, photographic materials, and audio-visual items. Freezing is carried out as a preventative measure whenever collections are moved into a new facility.

Heat Treatment

On the flip side, heat treatment for infested artifacts is probably the most effective method to eradicate pests. This method will ensure 100-percent, complete efficacy in taking care of insects. This is also an inexpensive option for libraries compared to other treatments and is easy to execute.


Baiting systems are growingly popular among public buildings, typically involving a non-toxic material. This includes large-scale consumption from pests that are literally baited into being eradicated. This method features a non-toxic bait that is replaced by a bait containing a slow-acting insect growth regulator that changes the breeding cycle of insects.

From here, the insect population is reduced and the colony as a whole withers away. This method is a top choice for libraries looking to take care of subterranean termites and is considered safer and more humane.

Gassing Pests Out

Nitrogen or argon gas in sealed enclosures can completely eradicate insect pests. This is an effective alternative to using toxic substances and works by reducing the oxygen levels in an infested area up to 99.9 percent.