Better pest management doesn’t mean more chemicals.

In the past, pest management in museums and other collection holding institutions often involved regular applications of toxic chemicals to collection areas and actual collections. Health and safety concerns have led institutions to move away from this approach in favor of preventive and protective measures that are not based on chemicals. This strategy involves numerous measures used in combination and is commonly termed “integrated pest management” or IPM.

Site Organization

This site presents information on invertebrate, vertebrate, and mold pests in museum, library, and archival collections as well as historic structures.  This site’s first four sections (prevention, monitoring, identification, solutions) cover issues in developing, implementing and managing an IPM plan for your institution – whatever your collection type.  Each element is explained with detailed information, samples of documents and forms, and links that you can follow to access even more resources.

  • PREVENTION – Preventing access to pests
  • MONITORING – Monitoring pest populations
  • IDENTIFICATION – Identifying potential pest threats
  • SOLUTIONS – Treating outbreaks in the safest manner possible
  • RESOURCES – Additional resources pertaining to IPM
  • 2014 CONFERENCE – Program content
  • BLOG – Updates on the activities of the IPM-WG and its participants
  • FAQ – Answers to common questions
  • ABOUT US – Museumpests.net and the IPM-WG explained

You can also use the Search feature on the main menu bar to find resources from throughout the site related to your search topic.

2016 Meeting Update

We enjoyed our most recent meeting in New Haven courtesy of Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.  Read more about the program on our Blog and check out some of the new contributions on museumpests including the new Image Library and Vienna IPM Conference Proceedings pages.

2015 Meeting Update

Grateful thanks to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Conservation Institute for hosting the 2015 IPM-WG meeting.  The program included two working group days as well as a third day with a morning lecture and afternoon tours of SI facilities relating to IPM.  Visit the MuseumPests.net Blog for program information and an update from participants.

2014 Meeting Update

Content from the MuseumPests 2014: Integrated Pest Management for museums, libraries, archives and historic sites conference and workshops held at Colonial Williamsburg, VA  March 27-28, 2014 including papers, posters, keynote lectures and workshops is available on the 2014 Conference pages.



Want to keep up with IPM-WG activities and members? Check out our social media presence on Twitter #MuseumPests, Facebook and visit the new MuseumPests YouTube channel and view the curated playlists of videos on IPM topics.  If you have a post or video that you’d like to add contact our social media team at social@museumpests.net.


Applications are now being accepted to participate in the 2017 IPM Working Group meeting March 15-17, 2017 in Winterthur, DE sponsored by the Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library. Check out our blog page for meeting details and applications procedure.

Future Plans

Keep an eye on this spot as dates are determined for upcoming IPM-WG meetings.  Grateful thanks to our institutional hosts. 

  • March 2018: Cambridge, MA sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Museum of Comparative Zoology and Harvard Herbaria.

Keep abreast of the IPM-WG’s future plans and developments on our Blog.

U.K. & European IPM Working Group Updates

Read a summary of the 3rd international IPM Conference in Museums, Archives, Libraries and Historic Buildings from IPM-WG participants who traveled to the September 2016 conference at the Louvre Museum, Paris.

Integrated Pest Management for Cultural Heritage by David Pinniger.  A practical, color-illustrated, working handbook for the curator, conservator and all persons concerned with the management of collections. It is an essential guide to the recognition of insect, rodent and bird pests with advice on the practical steps required to prevent and control damage to collections. Available from Archetype Publications.

 IPM and Health & Safety Resources

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) have joined forces in publishing Health and Safety for Museum Professionals.  Available from University Products, the book contains useful information on pesticide hazards. 

Search the PestList Archives

Find answers to common questions using our PestList archive – http://www.mail-archive.com/pestlist@museumpests.net

Call for Images

The MuseumPests Image Library is back up and running.  We are always interested in adding images of pests, damage to museum collections as well as IPM activities in progress.  If you have any you are willing to share, please submit them via our image submissions page.

Sponsorship & Participating Institutions

We are grateful for the generous sponsorship of the organizations that helped fund the creation of this website as well as the support of the participating institutions whose staff has contributed time, talent and resources to build and maintain this resource.

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