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Subject: Boric acid and pest control

Boric acid and pest control

From: Thomas A. Parker <bugman22>
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2000
Katia Bettencourt <kbettencourt [at] bn__pt> writes

>I would like info about pest control (insects) using boric acid for
>paper based material (library collections).

As an entomologist and IPM specialist for museums the past 25 years,
I have found that boric acid is not very effective against
silverfish.  In fact, cellulosic insulation for buildings (ground up
paper treated with borates for fire retardancy) does not deter
silverfish at all. They feast on it.

Another dust, such as Drione (finely divided silica gel plus
pyrethrum) would be a much better choice.  Even straight silica gel
pesticidal dust would work quite well.  Both are basically
desiccants with sharp particles that scrape the wax off the cuticle
of the insects and dehydrate the pests.  Such dusts should be
applied to pipe chases, voids in walls where pipes emerge, and
cracks and crevices where the pests hide during the daytime.

If conventional, residual sprays are to be used, an encapsulated or
wettable powder formulation would work best.  These should be
applied as perimeter sprays to the baseboards under which silverfish
hide.  They can also be directed into cracks and crevices and pipe

Actually glueboards (also known as sticky boards or capture traps)
work well against silverfish.  They are a non-toxic approach which
stay in place for long periods of time intercepting silverfish while
the nocturnal pests roam about the space.

Thomas A. Parker, PhD
Pest Control Services, Inc.
14 East Stratford Avenue
Lansdowne, PA 19050

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:5
                   Distributed: Monday, July 17, 2000
                        Message Id: cdl-14-5-002
Received on Thursday, 13 July, 2000

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