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Subject: Pest management

Pest management

From: Aimee H. Leonhard <leonharda>
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 1999
Arnaud Queyrel <ant.ent [at] wanadoo__fr> writes

>Enrico Flaiani <efl [at] iol__it> writes
>>I am a book conservator in an archive in Rome. Because of the
>>evidence of insects among our books a disinfestation was asked.

This museum is currently located within an historic 19th century
brick building which was renovated in 1976. It is in fact a building
inside a building so homes for pests are plentiful. The first thing
I did when I began working here in 1991 was to access the pest
problems. I met with the museum's exterminator and he introduced me
to IPM or Integrated pest management. I then contacted the senior
professor of entomology on our campus and arranged a meeting with
him and the exterminator. I took them both on a tour of the museum,
basement to attic.  The entomologist identified all of the specimens
that I had caught and told me their habits, the exterminator made
recommendations for curtailing their activities in regards to the
collection. With their help I formulated the following approach:

    1.  Sticky traps are placed in strategic locations throughout
        the museum and are checked once a week when I check the
        hygrothermographs. I use a chart and for each trap and
        record what I find, if I've caught something I identify it.
        If I'm unsure what it is, I take it over to the entomology
        lab and they identify it for me. I change the traps once a
        month and keep all records by the year.

    2.  we perimeter spray the interior walls of the museum twice a
        year. The active ingredient is Deltamethrin and I made sure
        I get a material safety data sheet from the exterminator so
        I have a record of what we are using.

    3.  We try to keep the museum clean, receptions are restricted
        to the first floor (Collections are primarily on the second)
        and away from art objects. Food and food related trash is
        regulated and removed daily.

    4.  Hygrothermographs are monitored and any changes noted and
        corrected if need be to discourage mold and insect activity.

While this is a modest approach it has proved remarkably successful
for 8 years now. Up to now we have not had a major insect
infestation attack any of our collections despite the fact that one
of my 'indigenous' pests is the dermestid or carpet beetle.

Aimee E. H. Leonhard
Assistant Conservator
Museum of Art and Archaeology
1 Pickard Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:85
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 5, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-85-001
Received on Wednesday, 5 May, 1999

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