Anoxic disinfestation

an anaerobic technique for the elimination of insects

Anoxic disinfestation (decrease or total lack of oxygen) is the anaerobic technique for the elimination of insects.

To be suitable, a pest control treatment must meet five basic requirements:

  • it must not be harmful for human beings for any reason;
  • it must not pose a risk to the cultural heritage;
  • it must act on all pathogens;
  • it must be quick and effective;
  • it must have a high degree of penetration into the material to act in depth.

Anoxic disinfestation meets all these requirements, being a 100% natural method that does not involve the use of solvents or dangerous chemicals.



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How does it work?

Anoxic disinfestation (decrease or total lack of oxygen) is the anaerobic technique for the elimination of insects.

The assumption on which its application is based is that every aerobic organism, as well as paper insects, needs oxygen to survive.

Creation of an oxygen-depleted atmosphere

Through this technique, an oxygen-depleted atmosphere is created so that the aerobic organisms (whose metabolism is based on the use of oxygen) present in the artifacts are eradicated.

Insect dehydration

When the insect is deprived of oxygen, the spiracles (external terminals of the aeriferous tubes) remain open and since the regulators of the water flow between the outside and inside are also the same, the insect dehydrates.

Disinfestation of the material

This result is the total loss of water which is in fact lethal for the insect. All while maintaining the non-toxicity of the atmosphere.

Anoxic disinfestation of archives and papers: methods and types

Anoxic disinfestation, initially developed for the food industry, has been adopted for more than a decade also for the conservation sector of archival, book and artistic heritage.

The lethal concentration of oxygen is between 0.1% and 0.3%. And it is possible to achieve this concentration with different procedures and through the application of different products.

Prodoc uses the most suitable methodology according to the context, the quantity of materials to be treated, the type of pest and the composition / structure of the support itself.

The treatment can also be carried out without moving the objects from their usual location.

Systems for oxygen reduction:

Static system: through the use of appropriate substances (eg. iron oxide and potassium chloride) a chemical fixing of the oxygen takes place. Therefore the used substance absorbs all the oxygen present in the confined environment, bringing its concentration even below 0.1%.

Dynamic system: through the use of a nitrogen osmotic pump, it is possible to lower the percentage of oxygen up to about 0.1%.

Creation of the vacuum by mechanical procedure.

Prevention of insect infestations on archival material

Through entomological monitoring within the storage rooms, it is possible to identify the characteristics of the insects present and divide them into two macro categories:

  • Harmful insects: cockroaches, silverfish, woodworms and termites that use cellulose or other components of the book as nourishment, creating considerable damage.
  • Occasional insects: they enter the premises but are not directly involved in the dynamics of deterioration such as mosquitoes and flies.

Prevention of insect infestations through monitoring

Various factors influence the development of biological agents, in particular the suboptimal microclimatic conditions: temperature above 20 ° C and relative humidity above 65%.

Prodoc provides archives and museums with monitoring interventions and protection of documents through the use of entomological traps.

The use of entomological traps in conservation environments allows you to:

Monitor the activity of the entomological population over time and then evaluate its progress.

Identify the source or outbreak of the infestation inside the building.

Evaluate the spatial distribution of the infestation inside the building.