Integrated Pest Management Program
The UCSD Libraries and the campus Environment, Health & Safety Office (EH&S) have adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach which is based on the concept that all pest control programs must rely on a number of compatible and environmentally-sound methods and techniques to achieve successful results. An IPM approach can effectively and safely handle the problem of pests in the libraries. Integrated Pest Eradication (IPE) simply takes IPM a step further, to complete the eradication of all pests. In the case of insects, the goal is to eradicate those that threaten human health or collections either directly or indirectly. For example, fungi spores will always be present, but active infestation can be prevented through environmental control and other measures, such as building maintenance and good ventilation.
The IPM program targets the source of problems by concentrating on excluding pests from the libraries. This approach recognizes that total dependency on chemical control methods is not reliable. Chemical control usually results in a cyclical response pattern: the pests or their damage are discovered, chemical treatment is applied, and the problem is then considered solved until the next discovery of pests or damage, and so on. Chemical control is also non-selective. It destroys beneficial organisms which help to keep pests in check.
An IPM strategy focuses on continual awareness of potential problems and immediate response to infestations. The use of chemical solutions is considered to be a last resort when other nonchemical treatments are not feasible. A combination of control techniques are used on a routine basis including insect traps, internal and external building modifications (e.g., weather-stripping under doors, increasing ventilation), control of moisture, cleanliness measures (e.g., restricting food and drink), and ongoing inspection programs using pest-indicator trips.
Preventative measures taken thus far in the UCSD Libraries include:
A survey of all locations in the Geisel Library building where rodents may be able to enter, with recommendations for elimination of their access.
Improvement of watering and maintenance schedules of Geisel Library light-well planters to eliminate fungus gnats and fungal growth.
Recommendation for the improvement of environmental controls and air circulation at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography Library to prevent recurring mold and mildew outbreaks.
Improved cleanliness of storage areas, including storage of all materials on shelves and off the ground.
Regular stack-cleaning of all UCSD Libraries to minimize areas where pests can feed and hide.
Close scrutiny of library acquisitions, especially gift collections, for any signs of infestation.
In 1990 the UCSD Libraries instituted a policy of freezing insect-infested materials. Freezing is the most widely accepted nonchemical treatment with no adverse affect on paper-based materials.
Clearing of outdoor plant debris, combined with exterior spraying of library buildings.
A successful IPM program relies on 100% awareness by all library staff, including contract personnel such as custodial services. Branch libraries should contact the pest management coordinator at EH&S for pest-related problems. In the Geisel Library, contact the library Facilities Department if you discover evidence of pests. If library materials are threatened in any library location, please also contact the preservation librarian. Rodents or larger animals seen inside the library should also be reported to library Facilities or EH&S. EH&S has humane traps which may be used.
Most critical is that action is taken as quickly as possible to preserve collections and prevent the spread of pests or damage.
(Parts of this article were adapted from Nonchemical Treatment Processes for Disinfestation of Insects and Fungi in Library Collections by Johanna G. Wellheiser, IFLA Publications 60, Munich: Saur, 1992).
Julie Page, Preservation Librarian
UCSD Geisel Library
Go to Environmental Sanitation: Pest Management, UCSD PPM 516-10.4.
Return to UCSD Preservation Guidelines.