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Subject: Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

From: Amanda Pagliarino <amanda.pagliarino>
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2002
I would like to introduce an integrated pest management program (or
elements there of) into a regional museum located in a tropical
environment.  Routine pest control is undertaken by a commercial
company using a synthetic pyrethrum.  This is undertaken every 6
months and focuses on the building structure and internal spaces.
Collections are displayed within closed cases and are cared for by
the museum custodian, who has over the years used a variety of
off-the-shelf pest control products, including Sheltox ministrips
(dichlorovos) and mothballs (naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene
types).  I have strongly recommended against the use of these
products, in favor of IPM.

The museum is located in a hot, humid environment and is passively
climate controlled, which requires opening all the windows to create
breeze-ways. The building is heritage listed and will not be
screened, making the prevention of insect access impossible.
Housekeeping of the surrounding gardens and building interior is
very good and the collections are monitored and dusted routinely.
This helps with keeping an eye on insect activity but in effect the
environment, climate and collections encourage insect habitation.
Without deterrents or controls the custodian is left to dealing with
infestations on a case-by-case basis.  I am hoping to have a freezer
installed to treat infested objects.  Essentially I am looking for a
user-friendly and collection-friendly deterrent that can be placed
inconspicuously in the cases.  Diatomaceous earth and other products
requiring insects to traipse through loose material are not
appropriate for use in the display cases.

I am considering the use of essential oils or dried herbs as insect
deterrents, to be used in conjunction with an IPM program. I am
aware that some essential oils can cause skin irritations and
respiratory reactions, as well as releasing vapors that are
potentially harmful to objects.  Still selected essential oils and
dried herbs would seem to be easier and safer to work with than
dichlorovos and naphthalene.

I would like to hear from anyone with knowledge of the use of herbs
or essential oils for insect control, any anecdotal evidence or
recommended articles.

Amanda Pagliarino
Conservator, Sculpture
Queensland Art Gallery

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:49
                Distributed: Saturday, January 12, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-49-010
Received on Thursday, 10 January, 2002

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