Preventing insect and pest infestations
books acquired from the Far East which
have serious insect and rodent damage
It is now accepted that an integrated pest management (IPM) approach should form part of every preservation programme. Chemical treatment should be used only as a last resort.
- monitoring the building regularly for the presence of insects and pests
- ensuring all staff, from cleaners to librarians, are vigilant and report any signs of fresh damage and activity
- checking all material which is to be accessioned before it enters the library
- using sticky blunder traps. Traps have the advantage of catching insects before they can be found visually; they catch a wide range of species; they can be placed in areas which are difficult to inspect; trapped insects can be identified and counted; traps are good indicators of an increase in insect numbers in one area; they also highlight any failure of control treatment
- understanding the biology and life cycles of insects and pests, which helps to know when and where they are likely to breed, what they are likely to eat, where they are likely to live
- eliminating or containing all sources of likely infestation ideally food and drink should not be consumed on the premises; flowers and plants should not be allowed in the building
- maintaining an environment not conducive to pests and insects, which is clean, cool, dry, and well-ventilated
- using appropriate exterior lighting, such as sodium vapor, which is less attractive to insects
- implementing a cleaning and hygiene programme rubbish should be safely and properly disposed of; attics and basements regularly checked and cleaned.