A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
February 2001. To the consternation of a member a `burrowing something’ was found in the hardcovers of a few books in his library. The ‘worm’ was making tunnels into the hardcovers, but appeared to avoid the paper. For safekeeping he put all the books either in trunks/cases or closed cupboards with a liberal supply of napthalene flakes in trays. He wanted to know if this was sufficient! Will it work, will the adults be killed, how long before the `eggs’ hatch. Is there anything else to do?
Members thought that the naphalene flakes would not kill the “beast”, just deter them. There is an effective commercial bait now available for silverfish and may work. It is rather nasty stuff to have around, so care needs to be taken in its use. It was suggested that Conservation Supplies Limited, 16 Union Street, Petone, Wellington, New Zealand should be contacted. They deal in products for conserving plant and animal material, wood, paper, etc.It was obviously important to identify the problem in order to find a satisfactory remedy.
As to the likely cause, DPI, Northern Territory, Australia, suggested the tobacco beetle, Lasioderma serricorne. This species normally occurs in food stuffs, but there have been cases in Darwin where the larvae make tracks along the covers and the edges of pages as they feed. They seem to prefer older and, therefore, more expensive books much to the disgust of the owners! The only successful treatment is to freeze the books for several days.