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Library Pests: Identify and Prevent Them

Pests present danger everywhere. Houses, no matter how clean, can be infiltrated by rodents and cockroaches which can bring illness and damage property.

Libraries are at a higher risk of infestation of different kinds of pests, particularly termites which feed on wood and paper. These pests can cause a lot of damage or danger to the books and other items in a library. Moreover, it can make the people who visit the library regularly sick. Pests can bring bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to your health.

Its necessary, therefore, for libraries, both publicly- or privately-owned, to prevent pests from gaining access to the facility.

Get to Know Your Library Critters

Termites are one of the most dangerous insects that can infest books. These termites feed on wood and paper which are major components made use in printing books. They are difficult to detect as they eat up slowly, but they leave behind droppings signs of their consumption.

Similarly, book lice or psocids require moist environments to live in and breed. That makes libraries an ideal place for them because humidity is present inside these buildings all the time. Since they’re just small bugs that look like lice, it’s hard to see them with naked eyes so it’s best to use a magnifying glass.

Rodents can also be present in libraries. They usually leave behind feces, urine and sometimes cause serious damage to the books. Rodents can be carriers of dangerous microbes like salmonella and can make people sick if they bite or lick the pages of used books.

Prevent Pests with Cleaning Crews

Library keepers should call commercial pest control companies for regular inspection and extermination services to get rid of any sign that pests may have sneaked into the building. Moreover, regularly clean the entire facility to remove any leftover food, clutter and rubbish that may serve as food for pests.

Experts can also recommend precautions that staff members, visitors or patrons must do to prevent infestation in the first place.

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Secure All Entrances

Similarly, doors should be kept closed as much as possible because pests can easily find their way into the library. Gaps and cracks along the wall should be boarded up so it will be harder for rodents and cockroaches to find a way inside the building.

Additionally, holes where wires and pipes go through should be sealed as well. This will limit the number of entry points for pests to exploit.

Take Out Trash at Once

Trash can attract a lot of unwelcome visitors because it’s a good source of food to them. It would do libraries a world of good if they kept trash bins far from where books are stacked or shelves are located.

If you have a centralized trash bin outside the library building, make sure that it’s closed tightly to prevent rodents from getting inside it and spreading diseases through their droppings.

Prohibit All Kinds of Food and Beverages

It’s nice to drink a hot cup of coffee while you read, but it’s not exactly good for the book and the library. Any type of food and beverage can attract pests, especially when crumbs and spills are left behind uncleaned.

It’s best to keep food items away from library shelves and furniture so pests won’t be tempted to eat crumbs leftover by patrons.

Immediately Remove Books if Needed

If there are books that have been infested by book lice, it’s best to quickly dispose of them as these bugs reproduce quickly. Store those affected books in plastic bags inside a freezer overnight to kill lice present on them before discarding properly. Also, keep frequently used items at top shelves, high enough where kids can’t reach or touch them to prevent them from being contaminated with bacteria and virus brought in by pests.

Use a Dehumidifier

Many pests thrive in environments where there is a lot of moisture. It’s best to install a dehumidifier in the library to control the amount of moisture in the air. This will prevent dust mites, book lice, and other pests from taking up residence in the library. Moreover, using a dehumidifier will protect books from damage.

The most important thing is for librarians to work with professional pest control companies who have experience dealing with these types of problems. Facilities should be regularly inspected for any signs that pests may have entered the building as well as being kept clean so food doesn’t attract them. Finally, it’s essential not to forget about all those books — they’re just as vulnerable! If a book has been infested by book lice or another type of bug, then staff members should immediately remove it from shelves before other books become infected too. Keeping up on regular maintenance tasks will help keep your library healthy and safe for patrons whether they visit during winter months or summer.

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