Risk Management > Pest Management

Definiton

"The agent of pests includes attack by insects, vermin, or mould. The threat here is primarily to organic materials, which can be damaged either because they are a food source to the pest or because they represent a barrier that the pest wants to cross. Damage can be extensive if pests become established (i.e., begin to live, eat, excrete, and die) in the museum collection. Problems with mould and microbes are related to problems with relative humidity."

Costain, Charlie. Framework for Preservation of Museum Collections, Canadian Conservation Institute, Canadian Heritage, 1994.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is the environmentally sensitive NPS program for dealing with unwanted and destructive plant and animal pests, some of which threaten park cultural resources. Management Policies (4:13-14) makes clear that dealing with such pests is a balancing act requiring close cooperation between cultural resource and IPM specialists. The goal is always to avoid unacceptable harm to both cultural resources and their environment. Guidance in developing and implementing an IPM program is contained in the Natural Resources Management Guideline (NPS-77) and NPS Museum Handbook, Part I, Museum Collections (Chapter 5).

Chapter 4: Stewardship, C. Protection, 7. Pest Management, NPS-28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline, National Park Service

"Insect pests and vermin together are considered an agent of deterioration. Other forms of biodeterioration involving lower life forms such as mold or fungi are considered as a part of a flood or of an incorrect relative humidity problem, since they are readily prevented by the avoidance of dampness and the maintenance of appropriate relative humidity levels, In general, careful monitoring, well-sealed storage cases, and good housekeeping are the most effective means of reducing the risks from pests and vermin. Fumigation undertaken outside of a properly designed chamber or bubble is often extremely inefficient (if effective at all) and poses a had to staff. Both the institution and supervisory staff may be liable in the event that a hazard results in personal injury.

Waller, Robert and Hawks, Catharine. Agents of Deterioration in Museum Collections, 1993.

"In its simplest form, Integrated Pest Management or IPM involves the combination of two or more pest management methods. PM was developed as an alternative to the total reliance on pesticides. IPM is a decision-making process.

Successful and safe pest management in the National Park Service is accomplished with a nine-step process as follows:

  1. Building of consensus among site occupants, pest managers, and decision makers;
  2. Identification of pests;
  3. Review of National Park Service policies that affect pest and pesticide management;
  4. Establishment of priorities by pest or by site;
  5. Determination of action thresholds or population levels that trigger management;
  6. Monitoring of pest populations and the environment
  7. Application of non-chemical management and obtaining approval and applying pesticides;
  8. Evaluation of results continued monitoring;
  9. Keeping records of activities, successes, and failures.

    Museum Pests, The National Park Service Integrated Pest Management Manual, Biological Resource Management Division, Wildlife and Plants in the Parks, National Park Service

IPM Management in the National Park Service (updated)
by Terrance Cacek, Biologist, Biological Resource Management Division, Wildlife and Plants in the Parks, National Park Service.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is the environmentally sensitive NPS program for dealing with unwanted and destructive plant and animal pests, some of which threaten park cultural resources. Management Policies (4:13-14) makes clear that dealing with such pests is a balancing act requiring close cooperation between cultural resource and IPM specialists. The goal is always to avoid unacceptable harm to both cultural resources and their environment. Guidance in developing and implementing an IPM program is contained in the Natural Resources Management Guideline (NPS-77) and NPS Museum Handbook, Part I, Museum Collections (Chapter 5).

Chapter 4: Stewardship, C. Protection, 7. Pest Management, NPS-28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline, National Park Service

The National Park Service Integrated Pest Management Manual, Biological Resource Management Division, Wildlife and Plants in the Parks, National Park Service

"An IPM program aims to reduce the occurrence of pests and the damage they cause within collections. An IPM program relies on a knowledge of pests and their habits, to make the environment undesirable or hostile for them. The success of an IPM program comes from a thorough understanding of pests' ecologies, and the ability to modify the conditions which will enhance pest numbers. That is, the ability to control temperature, food and shelter."

Control of common insect pests, Biological Pests, Volume three: Damage and Decay, reCollections: Caring for Collections Across Australia, Heritage Collections Council, 2000

Resources

Ch. 5: Biological Infestations (download PDF format file), Part I, Museum Collections, Museum Handbook, Museum Management Program, National Park Service.

Biological Pests, Volume three: Damage and Decay, reCollections: Caring for Collections Across Australia, Heritage Collections Council, 2000

It is important to be able to recognise the signs of insect and moulds activity—and these can sometimes be very subtle. It is also important to know which biological pests pose a threat, so that you can take steps to control them, but without placing your collections or yourselves at risk.

Fungi in Buildings, Environmental Health & Safety, University of Minnesota

The fungi on these pages are commonly identified in outdoor air and in North American buildings. Health effects listed for these fungi often represent worst-case exposure information. These health effects may be used as a guide when consulting with a physician about a medical condition.

Reducing the Risk to Collections from Pests, Canadian Conservation Institute, Canadian Heritage

Implementing and maintaining a pest management program are conveniently organized in CCI's "Framework for Preservation of Museum Collections" by five stages of control: avoid, block, detect, respond, and recover/treat.

An IPM Checklist for Planning & Implementing Pest Control on Art & Artifact Collections, Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education

Integrated Pest Management Checklist, Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education

Integrated Pest Management is a preventative, long-term, low toxicity means of controlling pests.  Though IPM was developed first for the agricultural industry, many museums, archives and libraries are finding IPM principles relevant to the protection of their holdings.  Obviously the specific requirements of an IPM plan must be tailored to the specific cultural institution.  Before deciding to implement an IPM program, you will need to consider some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of an IPM program over traditional pest management. Traditional pest management is defined here as repeated chemical application, without emphasis on understanding the species or number of pests present.

Pest Control, Northern States Conservation Center

Pest Management, COOL: Conservation Online

Managing: Pests in Your Collections from Chicora Foundation

The National Park Service Integrated Pest Management Manual and Museum Pests

National Integrated Pest Management Network

Department of Entomology at Clemson University

 

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