Many of the objects in heritage collections including books, photographs, textiles, feathers and wood, are an attractive food source to various pests. In addition, the nature of collection storage areas, despite best intentions, can include a number of factors that increase the likelihood of pest infestation. These might be:
densely packed material that might not be inspected very often
dark corners and spaces that are difficult to clean effectively
areas of darkness over long periods of time (although this helps reduce light damage, it is also ideal for pests)
limited air circulation which can lead to still, damp areas
We all know what insect damage looks like. It is not only unsightly, it can leave an item permanently weakened. In some cases the damage is obvious, such as holes in textiles; in other cases the damage is not immediately obvious, such as borers or furniture beetles in wood. Where borer is a risk, regular inspection is recommended so that active infestations can be detected early and are not mistaken for old damage.