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Curation and Preservation Services: Insects

CPS - Contents


If you find insects in your collections, please contact Curation and Preservation Services immediately at 617-253-5282.



1. Put on plastic gloves
2. Put infested item in ziplock bag.  Include the bug if possible.
3. Seal bag and bring to Curation and Preservation Services
4. Wash hands
5. Inspect area for other evidence of insects

All supplies (gloves, bags, etc.) are available from Curation and Preservation Services.

Insects can cause significant damage to library and archival collections by tunneling through books, leaving droppings on pages, and eating parts of both cloth and leather bindings. Additionally, the presence of insects in our Libraries often indicates other problems with the building envelope or housekeeping, such as excessive moisture, dust, or food crumbs.

Maintaining environmental conditions that discourage insect infestation is a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), our current approach to pest control.  MIT Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) includes IPM as part of its Environmental Stewardship program. For more information, contact the Conservator who serves as the Libraries representative to EHS or go to: