Books also need protection against pests. Mice chew books to pieces, using the shredded paper for their nests. Cockroaches as well as silverfish also do much damage to books as they eat through the pages, ingesting what protein and starch the papers have. Beetles also use the papers for food, chewing holes through the pages and covers.
If you have book collections that you treasure, it’s important that you know how to care for them properly. You don’t want pests ruining them and lowering their value.
Check Your Home
The most common reason why pests are drawn to your home is because your house offers them ample food and water supply. There may be a lot of food particles littering the kitchen, and there may be leaky faucets and dripping pipes that draw them.
If you don’t want pests inside the house, you first have to eliminate their food and water source. See to it that your kitchen is always clean and tidy, and make sure the plumbing inside your home is okay.
Little insects, such as silverfish, can easily be sucked up by your vacuum cleaner. So when giving your home a thorough cleaning, be sure that you run the vacuum cleaner not only on top of the bookcases, but on top of the books as well. See to it, too, that you vacuum the hard-to-reach areas. This can suck up the adult silverfish as well as its eggs.
Don’t forget to vacuum the attic though, and any room where you keep papers. If you want to get rid of them, you might as well give your whole house a thorough cleaning.
Use Plastic Containers
In addition to protecting papers and books against pests, you also want to protect them against humidity. What you can do is to store them in airtight plastic containers. If you have no plastic containers with tight lids, then you can use sealed plastic bags. These can protect them against mold and mildew as well as common pests that feed on paper.
Isolate Affected Books
Go over your book collections and look for affected books. Those that have holes and chewed portions as well as those with fecal and urine stains should be removed from the collection and isolated. You don’t want the affected books to contaminate other good books.
To kill the pests living in the affected books, place the books in airtight plastic containers and then place them inside your freezer. The low temperature will kill off any insect pests living between the pages.
Using Pest Control Methods
If the pest population is a bit out of hand, you can employ safe and organic pest control methods to get rid of them. One of these methods is using boric acid for the silverfish infestation as well as sprinkling soda balls for the cockroach infestation. Don’t use liquid pest control products though as they might do more damage than good to the books.
If the population is out of control, then contact your pest control company. They have appropriate tools and products for different types of pest infestations at home. The best thing about professional service is that the effects lasts for a long time.
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Jennifer Dallman writes for Preventive Pest Control, a reliable pest control company. You need to protect your books from pests, so if you notice an infestation, you need to get rid of them quickly.