05 January 2016

Eww! Insects would love to eat historic (and not so historic) documents -- Are you pest free?

Image from "Get the munchers!"

As we all know, eradicating pests can be problematic.  Many of them are voracious in their appetites, and tenacious in their choice of food and location.  We talked about this before in Insects destroy Idaho county's historic documents – insects did an amazing amount of damage!

The reason for today’s post was a nostalgic walk through the Library and Archives Canada Blog and I came across this post, Get the munchers! which contains “graphic” images of the “top five most unwanted creepy crawlers in libraries and archives.”  Yuck! 

Pests are everywhere all the time.  It’s easy to get focused on worrying about disasters and forgetting that “munchers” are constantly seeking food and that food just might be your collected documents, heirlooms, photographs and more.

So, to help ourselves (with our personal archives) and our archivist friends (with their much larger collections), I’m posting some helpful resources that might help with the pesky problem of pests.
+ Integrated Pest Management (Northeast Document Conservation Center)
+ Solutions -- MuseumPests.net (Integrated Pest Management Working Group)
+ Approaches to Insect Problems in Paper and Books (Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin)
+ Archives Damage Atlas (Metamorfoze, teh Netherlands’ National Program for the Preservation of Paper) (go to P – Pest infestation)

If you Google (TM) on insect + damage + documents or something similar, you will come across many helpful websites.

Are you aware of collections which suffered extensive damage from insects?

Did a local archive near you have an insect problem?  How was it handled?

Have you personally had an insect problem beyond an occasional silverfish carcass found?  How did you handle it?

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