Don't let pests attack your collection. Photo: courtesy of Museum Pests
For a long time, advice in museum pest control was chemical based and long term perspectives on this oh-so-common problem, were missing. But these days there are a number of great resources around which provide action plans and strategies for dealing with all sorts of creepy-crawlies.
There is a shift away from kill-them-quick with toxic sprays to a pest management approach where the focus is on preventing infestations.
The Museum Pest organisation is a supported by a group of collection managers, conservators, entomologists who spend their time thinking about best practice in dealing with vertebrates, invertebrates and mould infestations for anyone with a collection. They meet annually and are hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
The shift away from kill-them-quick with toxic sprays to a pest management approach where the focus is on preventing infestations, comes at a time when there is growing awareness about the health and safety of the environment in which we work. This incompatibility between toxic chemicals and people, as well as recent research into the impact of chemicals on the collection itself has resulted in significant upheavals in management.
Now much more practical, logical and strategic, sustainable pest management in your museum―be it big or small, old or new is an achievable goal. Have a look at the Museum Pests website― it’s got a host of really useful information to help you achieve it!