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Microwaving 'A Moveable Feast'.

Microwaving 'A Moveable Feast'

Library patrons sometimes give back more than they borrow -- and librarians are not happy about it. Returned books can carry cockroaches, termites and other insects that munch away at pages or binding glue. Or people who love reading and eating at the same time may leave crumbs or grease spots on the pages, feeding insects already in the library that feel similarly about consuming books and food together.

Libraries can fumigate, leave poison bait, spray insecticide or irradiate the books, but all of these options can be expensive and time consuming. The best method for controlling book pests may be tossing all returned books in the microwave, suggests Jerome Brezner of the State University of New York in Syracuse.

In a paper presented last week at the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry's 1988 Paper Preservation Symposium in Washington, D.C., Brezner suggested that after libraries first fumigate or spray for bugs they should proceed to microwave all books and magazines in the library for about a minute each. After that, the librarians should "microwave all book returns as a regular practice so that new infestations will be prevented."
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Title Annotation:libraries may use microwaves to control book pests
Publication:Science News
Date:Oct 29, 1988
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