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Subject: Pest management

Pest management

From: Janine Wardius <janine>
Date: Thursday, July 12, 2001
Adrienne F. King <afebk [at] excite__com> writes

>I have an archive of paper documents (about 50,000 pages), which I
>want to send to our University library for long-term storage.  I've
>found some silverfish in the files, however.  The archives
>department told me that I need to either freeze my documents or put
>them in a vacuum chamber before the library will accept them.

What about a low-tech approach? I once used boric acid powder to
eradicate an infestation of silverfish associated with boxes of
papers I had stored in an attic. It is cheap and easily obtainable
at your local pharmacy, and I understand it also poses little or no
danger to either pets or people. You puff it in a thin, almost
invisible layer around all baseboards, shelves, etc, especially in
crevices and corners where the silverfish tend to crawl. The layer
should be thin and as even as possible, since it works by abrading
the underside of the insect as they crawl over it. The insect then
dehydrates and dies. This obviously takes time, as you wait for the
insects to come out and crawl over the powder, and you would have to
rely on monitoring to find out whether it has worked. But in my case
all the silverfish were gone within a year and they never came back.

Janine Wardius, Paintings Conservator
Bergen Museum of Art, Norway

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:11
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 12, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-11-006
Received on Thursday, 12 July, 2001

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