4 “little monsters” that are attacking your book collection – How to fight them?

Your book collection can be attacked by many types of biological agents. Biological attacks can have a macro or micro biological origin.

The first group includes rodents, birds, bats and insects; the second group includes bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms.

In this article by Diana Bencatel and Geraldine Garcia, we’ll see which insects most frequently attack book collections and often destroy them. And simple ways to detect their presence.

Includes a “insect trap” model that you can do at home.

To learn how to preserve your books and documents. Discover the online course on Preservation of Books and Documents.

What insects are eating your book collection

There are several types of insects that can damage books and documents:

cockroach

cockroach

Mainly damages paper and leather.

You can learn more about this insect here.

Silverfish

Peixe de prata 2

 

Attacks mainly paper coated with animal glue, also feeding on starch glues, textiles and cardboard bindings.

The damage caused is visible from wear and tear on the surface of the materials, and in more extreme cases can lead to tears.

peixe de prata danos

This insect is most active at night and in warm and dark places, causing damage in all stages of its life.

Booklice

Piolho do livro

This little insect attacks mainly organic glues and hides. It proliferates in damp environments, feeding also on fungi.

Common furniture beetle (anobium punctatum)

caruncho

Generally known as woodworm, this insect attacks paper and cardboard, making circular holes, similar to those it makes in wood.

insects that eat book collection

Adult insects lay their eggs inside existing holes, taking 3 to 4 weeks to hatch, usually in late summer or early fall. It is the larvae (which can remain in this state for up to 5 years) that cause damage, devouring books and documents.

Next you will learn how to detect if your book collection is under attack.

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How to detect the insects that are eating your book collection

In order to conveniently detect any infestation scenario, it is necessary to know what the organisms feed on, where they shelter and what is the favorable environment for their presence and proliferation.

The first step towards the early detection of the presence of insects is the continuous monitoring of spaces and collections, namely through the use of traps.

The amount of insects that are trapped in the traps helps, not to eradicate them, but to understand if you are facing a pest or not. It is often thanks to these traps that the existence of problems in the building that are contributing to the increased presence of insects is indirectly detected.

Insect trap

Model and instructions

It is also recommended

Regularly check the books and documents themselves, in order to identify the possible presence of larvae, eggs and excrement (which in the case of the weevil resemble small piles of sawdust) inside or on the volumes, or even nearby.

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