AIC’s Collection Care Network presented a session of IPM papers at the Virtual Annual Meeting
Museum Pest Control: A Survey of Collections Care Trends
Lisa Goldberg, Goldberg Preservation Services, LLC
Julie Unruh, Private Conservator, Houston
Joel Voron, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Suzanne Ryder, Natural History Museum, London
Eric Breitung, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Zoe Hughes, Natural History Museum, London
The museumpests.net working group, formerly the Integrated Pest Management Working Group (IPM WG) conducted a survey in 2018 to gather information about current trends in resource allocation and operational practice in how collecting institutions monitor and eradicate pest incursions. The survey was constructed over the course of two working group meetings, as members grappled with how to ask questions that would allow respondents from institutions of all sizes to describe their collecting focus, budgets, staff allocations, preferred methods for pest treatments, and any observed changes in pest populations. Distributed worldwide, the survey collected data that was evaluated using SurveyMonkey’s innate analytics and Tableau, an open access data visualization program. Use of Tableau allowed us to pose different questions about the data by exposing relationships between various data sets, but also revealed flaws because of how we constructed the question set. This team will report on some general outlines for worldwide and regional trends in museum pest control methods, budgetary and personnel parameters, and pest populations. The museumpests.net working group is an unaffiliated group of museum and collections care professionals who collaborate remotely and gather once per year to provide updated information on their website. The site includes free and accessible key information about prevention, monitoring, identification, solutions, and resources about museum pests.
Heather Parks, Binghamton University, Binghamton
In 2019 Binghamton University initiated a Buggin Out IPM project with almost 8,500 traps being checked to determine our bug problems. We checked over 160 traps weekly throughout four buildings and used the ZPest Tracker to assist with interpreting the data. That data revealed book lice, carpet beetles and silverfish were a major issue in select areas. When we shut down in 2020, my hypothesis was that our bug number would grow due to limited human presence, darkness and traps that were left too long, encouraging predator insects. However, we ended up with 20% fewer bugs. It turns out the biggest player was mother nature in providing a drier year than 2019. I’ll use data to show the trends of infestation, the roles of humidity, predator insects and the changes in library use between 2019 and 2020 to explain our findings.