Actions to Block Pest Activities

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Health hazards from handling mould, faecal contamination, dead rodent bodies.

Action

Prevent exposure to health problems. Animal faeces and carcasses can present viral and bacterial hazards. Dusts of insect origin are strong causes of allergic reactions (Strang and Dawson a, b). Therefore, wear approved respiratory protection, gloves, and protective or disposable coveralls when dealing with mouldy buildings and objects or insect- or rodent-infested collections.

Pest

  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Building vulnerabilities that allow ingress of certain pests.

Action

Repair foundation cracks over 1mm wide (0.3mm in termite zones). Seal gaps between continuous sheet flooring and walls. Apply blade seals around opening windows and under doors. Attach wire mesh to exterior vents to restrict animal access (6-mm hardware cloth to restrict mice, 1-mm mesh to restrict most insect pests).

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Improperly sealed metal or wood cabinets that allow pests to enter.

Action

Use pest-resistant materials (e.g. tough silicone rubbers) to maintain effective door seals. Ensure fixtures do not compromise the barrier due to unsealed perforations (e.g. levelling feet, recessed handles, or vents). Ensure objects are pest-free before enclosing.

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Archival banker boxes are open to pests due to the handle space and loose-fitting lids. Boxes require taping for complete closure. Objects inside should be sealed in a polyethylene liner for added security in hazardous situations. Cardboard box walls can be penetrated by pests (rodents, some insects), but will protect contents from rodent urine and faeces. Ensure objects are pest-free before enclosing.

Action

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Oversized and oddly shaped objects, which need protection.

Action

Use pest-resistant films (rolls of sheet material or pre-made plastic bags): polyethylene is a good barrier material that protects up to 10 years; poly(ethylene terephthalate) such as Melinex or Mylar is a better barrier for multi-decade protection. Bags will protect objects from incidental rodent urine and faeces dropped as they explore, but not against their chewing. Heat seal bags for complete closure, or use a tight, multiple-folded mechanical seal. Tightly gathered closures are insect resistant in the short term. Insect perforation of plastic film depends on the ability of the insect to perforate the plastic as well as on the inherent strength of the plastic. Folds in the plastic will greatly increase the bag's vulnerability to insect perforation because a fold presents places where an insect can grab on more easily and chew. Ensure objects are pest-free before enclosing. Do not place a bagged object where it will be subject to a temperature differential. This creates damp areas and risks mould formation (Strang ).

Pest

  • Bird and bat.
    Bird and bat symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Structural features that offer shelter and can be used as roosting and nesting sites.

Action

Cover bird roosting sites with black nylon bird mesh. Block unused chimneys at roof level with sheet metal caps, or install screening on functional chimneys to prevent bird access. Use bird spikes to deter roosting on beams and other structural features.

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Vials containing small objects.

Action

Screw-top glass vials are resistant to insects as long as the inner seal conforms tightly to the rim. Earliest stage clothes moth larvae can penetrate gaps as small as 0.1 mm. Tight-fitting lids designed for holding fluids are generally secure.

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Situations requiring blocking

Quarantine.

Action

Any effective barrier, from a sealed room to bags, can be used as a bulk quarantine area until an object can be treated to kill pests. Control use of this space so that quarantine is not broken. Combine with timely control methods to protect all uninfested collections. New acquisitions and incoming objects on loan can be hazards in a pest-free storage area.

CCI Technical Bulletin 29.

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