Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Pest control

Pest control

From: Dale Peters <petersd>
Date: Friday, November 4, 1994
In reply to Dean DeBolt at the University of West Florida, I suspect we
operate under similar climatic conditions, we certainly often face
similar problems.  Without reference to the area floorspace, it is
difficult to make a relevant proposal, but some anecdotal exchange may
be helpful.

We clean mould from books with a solution of 95% ethyl alcohol, diluted
1:1 with distilled water. The exact solution is not important, but it
must be above 35% to be effective and below 75%. Above that the outer
wall of the organism is precipitated to a protective gel layer. Using
adequate protective clothing, including masks to hinder the allergic
reactions recently discussed, the solution is applied as sparingly as
possible on a clean cotton cloth, and disposed of forthwith. Affected
furniture is sterilised similarly.

The insect problem may be Psocoptera (booklice), though they usually
tend to be translucent and difficult to spot immediately. The clustering
indicates a recent hatching, so the faster you react the better.  Some
old-fashioned chemical bludgeoning of the structure may be acceptable
under the temporary conditions.  As Psocoptera tend to thrive in a damp
and mouldy environment, I would recommend forced ventilation as the most
effective management tool, borrow a few electric fans/ventilators and
keep the air moving in the interim.

I would be interested to hear how others handle similar problems.

Dale Peters
Paper Conservator
Campbell Collections of the University of Natal

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:34
                 Distributed: Monday, November 7, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-34-002
Received on Friday, 4 November, 1994

[Search all CoOL documents]