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When it comes to insect infestations, public libraries cannot catch a break these days. There have been numerous news stories in the media telling about various insect pests infesting libraries. For example, a few months ago a well publicized bed bug infestation occured in a Boston library. As you can understand, many Boston residents were not happy to learn that they could have picked up bed bugs from their library. The library’s infestation of bed bugs has since been eradicated, but residents of Boston remain unsettled over the incident. Unfortunately, the insect pest situation in Boston is not going to improve any time soon, as yet another library has become infested with insects. However, this time the invading insects are termites, not bed bugs.

The Library Director, Jay Stephens, was the first to notice the termite presence, but he could not immediately identify the unusual insects as termites. Initially, Stephens noticed small formations on the ground-floor of the library. At first, Stephens thought that he was looking at ants and their anthills, but the insect’s strange appearance led him to assume that the bugs were termites. Stephens also found several individual termites crawling around certain remote locations around the library. Stephens promptly contacted an expert termite inspector in order to have the insects properly identified. The inspector took one look at the insects and wasted no time telling Stephens that termites were invading his library.

Despite the infestation, library officials have gone on record telling the public that the library is safe for visitors. According to a spokesperson for the library, the termite infestation is not widespread in the building. Also, the termites inhabiting the library were supposedly far away from all library visitors. The administration’s greatest fear is that the termites will eventually consume pages from the library’s many books. After all, a well-stocked library offers termites an endless source of cellulose in the form of paper.  At the moment, library officials are keeping a constant eye on all of the shelved books contained within the library. The south Boston library will remain closed for several days during fumigations.

Do you think that termites prefer to consume paper over timber? Do you think that the library will sustain structural damages as a result of the termite presence?

 

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