Five years of preventive pest management in the Historical Archives of the Diocese of Lodi


Abstract: The preservation of cultural heritage has always been a topical issue in Italy. Nowadays, much greater emphasis is given to prevention, early detection of insects through monitoring and inspection, and thus on specific targeted treatments. A relative small percentage of insects has the potential to become serious biodeteriogen and to cause irreparable damage to library materials in a relatively short time. The Historical Archive of the Diocese of Lodi is object of an entomological monitoring since 2010. It contains approximately 800 linear meters of paper material. Food availability is not a factor limiting insect pest development because the presence of a variety of materials (leather, starch, dead insects as well as mold or fungi), which can provide support to many different insect species. The monitoring program is carried out through various types of insects-traps and through the aid of microclimatic data detectors for the control of temperature and humidity conditions of storage environments. All the relevant information which can be related to any possible insects presence have been collected. Pests were periodically identified in laboratory. The entomological monitoring of the Archive has reached the fifth consecutive year, bringing significant results in terms of “preventive pest management”. The prevention of the damage with a regular monitoring, inspection programme and early identification provides one of the best long-term strategy for insect pest control in archives.

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