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Subject: Pest management

Pest management

From: Michael Trinkley <chicora1>
Date: Friday, October 23, 1998
Jennifer Brand inquires about a "silverfish deterrent," as well as
using sticky traps "inside book and/or object cases."

The presence of silverfish is often as much an indicator of
environmental problems as anything else. If the institution's
temperature and RH are within reasonable limits (let's say no higher
than 72 degrees with an RH of 50% or less), you should see a
reduction in silverfish.

Now, with that said, I will admit that at times even this does not
totally eliminate a  population. However, there are additional
methods which I recommend before chemicals. For example, silverfish
(both adults and eggs) are relatively easily collected/destroyed
through vacuuming and/or manual brushing of collections.

Only when IPM approaches have been eliminated would I recommend
chemicals. There are no "deterrents" as such (except for low RH,
cleanliness, inspection of materials coming in, etc.). The best
control will likely be achieved through the use of dusts such as
Drione (silica gel and pyrethrins) applied in cracks and crevices.
The dust should NOT come into contact with collections. This means
its use in bookcases and map drawers is problematical, at best. It
can, however, be used under drawers and behind cases.

I would also *not* recommend the use of sticky traps around paper
materials (i.e., in book cases or map drawers). The chance of the
trap becoming attached to a collection item is simply too great.
Although the adhesive can be released with vegetable oil, that is
hardly appropriate for collections. And while acetone or similar
solvent could probably be used, it effect on the collection can be
quite severe.

Besides, sticky traps are a monitoring tool for silverfish (and most
other pests, actually), not a control mechanism. Even as a monitor,
however, I wouldn't recommend their use in situations where they
might wind up smacked up against a collection.

In terms of using sticky traps in cases, I suppose that depends on
exactly what type of case and where the trap is in relation to the
objects. I would imagine, however, that you would want any
monitoring done in a fashion that doesn't make the trap
obvious--people are coming to look at collections, not traps full of
whatever is eating the collections.

Depending on the circumstances, there may be stable areas, not
subject to vibration or other mishap, where a trap might be hidden
from view in a display case. But, for the monitor to be of use, you
would still need to be checking it periodically--which means opening
the display case. It might be better to clean the objects and seal
the case, then monitoring outside the display case.

Of course, just like with treatment recommendations, these
recommendations are also offered without any full or particularly
detailed knowledge of the local situation or circumstances. Best,

Michael Trinkley, Ph.D.
Chicora Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 8664
Columbia, SC  29202-8664

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:39
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 28, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-39-004
Received on Friday, 23 October, 1998

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