Insects and other pests can cause considerable damage to an object or collection. The type of damage caused by the pest will depend on the type of pest (or pests) involved, and the type of material the object or collection is made from. For example, silverfish are primarily attracted to paper-based or textile objects, while borer and termites tend to affect wooden objects. The nests of birds and rodents can also cause problems as they can attract insects seeking a food source.
In many cases, you won't see the insects themselves, but you will see evidence of their presence. This evidence can include exit holes in the surface of wooden objects, frass (debris or excrement produced by the insects; it is usually a soft powdery material), chewing marks or holes in the surface of an object, and the presence of dead insects or body parts.
Unfortunately there is usually little that can be done to restore an object once it has been attacked by pests. However, depending on the nature of the damage, it is likely that we will be able to stabilise the object to prevent your object/s from deteriorating further. The best way in which to prevent your objects from deteriorating as a result of pest damage is to prevent pests from coming into contact with your collection or object. There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of an insect infestation, including ensuring your storage and display areas are kept free of dust, dirt and debris, and ensuring that regular pest inspections are undertaken.
In the first instance, it is preferable to prevent pests from coming into contact with the collection, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs are an effective means for achieving this. An IPM is an approach to pest control which involves implementing a range of non-chemical measures to make an area less hospitable to pests, thereby reducing the risk of an infestation and the resulting damage. An IPM program involves a variety of measures, including physical, cultural and chemical control. We can work with you to develop an IPM for your collection, and can advise on the best ways in which to reduce the risk of a pest infestation. Additional pest eradication methods such as fumigation can be employed to control pests within your collection, but should not be relied on exclusively, as it is always better to prevent an infestation.
If you think your collection has been affected by pests, or if an item in your collection has been damaged by pests, please contact us to discuss how we can help.
Silverfish on collection item
Insect damaged textile