Insect pests are a risk factor for the special heritage objects in your home. They tend to attack objects that contain fur, hair, feathers, wool, silk, paper and wood, for example, clothing, furniture, carpets, wooden objects, paper and photographs.
Common insects such as carpet beetles and clothes moths eat proteins like wool and silk, while silverfish aim for the glue and ink on paper and are known to damage wall paper, labels, postage stamps and paper money.
You can avoid a disastrous insect outbreak by implementing a few easy preventive measures. Insects need warmth and humidity to thrive, so keep your artifacts at a cool temperature between 18-22°C in a dry area. Avoid basements and attics as unstable temperatures their usual high moisture levels promote insect activity. Insects thrive in areas that are dusty and dirty, so maintain a clean storage and display area. Avoid placing heritage artifacts in the kitchen, as there are ample food sources in that area of the home.
Inspect your historic items for pest damage regularly, evidence of insect activity can be found in the form of holes and areas of loss on the surface of objects, frass (insect droppings, resembles dust), and dead insects casings.
If you suspect that an object is infested isolate it immediately to prevent the spread of an infestation. Place the object on a sheet of while paper in a ziplock bag in a cool, dry place away from the rest of your collection for several weeks. Monitor the object for insect activity, checking the paper for fallen casings and frass. If insect activity is detected keep object isolated during at least a summer season to minimize the risk of infestation.