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A variety of insects and pests attack collections. The most common enemies of paper and photographic materials are cockroaches, silverfish and cigarette beetles (often called book worm).
- Pests thrive in warm, dirty, poorly ventilated environments.
- Insects and rodents are attracted to paper, photographic emulsion, glue, leather and textiles. Damage is often irreparable (see image showing damage caused by cigarette beetle). In addition to eating materials, they also foul storage areas and objects with their droppings.
- Traditionally pesticides have been relied upon for routine pest control. It is now recommended that a strategy called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) be implemented. This approach relies primarily on non-chemical means (such as controlling climate, food sources, and building entry points) to prevent and manage pest infestation. Chemical treatments are used only in a crisis threatening rapid losses or when pests fail to yield to methods that are more conservative. Preventive techniques are used to minimise food, moisture and environmental conditions required for pest survival.
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