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Subject: Pest management

Pest management

From: Michael Trinkley <chicora>
Date: Friday, October 6, 2000
Betty Conn <betty.conn [at] eudoramail__com> writes

>...  Some books in that library are infested
>with insects that have been identified as book lice, and they would
>like information on the best way to get rid of the lice and steps to
>take to prevent further infestation.

Betty Conn inquires concerning "book lice" or psocids and asks about
steps to control and prevent. Psocids are a good indicator of
environmental problems (i.e., high relative humidity) that are
promoting the growth of microscopic fungi on paper. By and large the
psocids are eating the fungi, although in large enough numbers they
can damage the paper.

The best control is reduction of the RH to 45% or 50%. This will
dramatically reduce the populations after several weeks and is a far
sounder approach than any sort of chemical control. Not only are
lower RHs good for pest control, but they are likely far better for
the overall health of the collection.

If a pesticide is necessary (and it really shouldn't be), I'd
probably begin with a dust such as Drione (a combination of
amorphous silica gel and pyrethrum). This should not be allowed to
come into contact with the collections. In addition, since the
psocids are in a public school setting, the use of pesticides may be
curtailed or even prevented by community IPM programs. So, again,
I'd look at means of lowering the RH.

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

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:22
                Distributed: Saturday, October 14, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-22-005
Received on Friday, 6 October, 2000

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