MuseumPests 2014 Conference – Workshops

The afternoon sessions of the MuseumPests 2014 program consisted of workshops and tours, including:

Control Options for Termites and Wood Borers
Ryan Jones, Integrated Pest Management Specialist, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Museums and historic houses often contain structural peculiarities favorable to Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) infestation. A well-prepared WDI-IPM strategy can prevent damage to buildings and collections, and may not be as difficult to implement as you think. This course will show you how to recognize signs of infestation, differentiate between WDI species, utilize best practices when choosing a WDI contractor, and provide tips on navigating the maze of treatment options in relation to site-specific conditions.

Identification of Insect Pests
Pat Kelley, Vice President, Insects LimitedPat ID Workshop

Your ability to distinguish between general insects that may wander inside the museum from damaging museum pests that are actually eating your collections is an important first step in preventing their destruction of our cultural heritage. Topics will include identification tactics for the most common museum pests, identification of actual specimens under a microscope and a hands-on session where attendees will study collections that have been damaged by museum pests and determine which pests caused the damage by the evidence they left behind.

Introduction to Integrated Pest Management Principles and Practice
Christa Deacy-Quinn , Collections Manager, Spurlock Museum

Preventing damage from pests is an essential task in the responsible management of all collections.  Implementing an appropriate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan is the best way to prevent infestations from taking root and to deal with any problems in a safe and effective manner. This course will provide a basic introduction to IPM after which participants should be able to assess appropriate options for their institutions and collections in areas of policy and procedures, preventing infestations, and trapping and monitoring.  This program should be accompanied by registration for the Identification workshop and the Treatment and Remediation workshop to cover all the core elements of a successful IPM program.

 Risk Zone Mapping for IPM
Suzanne Ryder, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, Natural History Museum, London, U.K.

The Natural History Museum in London was the first  UK national museum to introduce a fully implemented integrated pest management (IPM) program. With such a large, diverse collection in a complex series of interconnecting buildings of different nature, it was necessary to break the program down into sections; to do so we created the Risk Zones concept. This system is based on the principle of holistic pest prevention within a museum with historical buildings and a resident population of pest insects. The concept of “Risk Zones” separates areas from high risk A, to low risk D, for all parts of the museum; allocating different protocols for each area. Risk concepts and staff awareness are an effective method which can be adopted by other institutions as part of an IPM program. This workshop will demonstrate how this was implemented and how it might work for your institute.

Computerized Record Keeping for Pest Trapping Data
Leon Zak, Zak Software

Are your pest management practices working? Should they be expanded? Are they cost effective? The best way to tell is by looking at your pest history. To do that you need a way to keep and track that history but even more importantly a way to retrieve and analyze it. What better way than to use your computer – or pad – or phone?

In this session computer programmer Leon Zak gave an overview of two computer based pest record keeping programs – the Zpest Standard and CollectionPests covering the data structures and a brief run through each program with a a demonstration of exporting data from each and then importing that data into MS Excel. Then to the substance of the workshop – what to do with the data once you have it. Finally examples of graphing, listing, sorting and a demonstration of the creation and power of pivot tables.

The supporting pages used in the workshop along with a link to a copy of the data sample set are available:

Bed Bugs Here: Where?
Lou Sorkin, Senior Scientific Assistant, American Museum of Natural History

A look at the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, an insect that isn’t restricted to beds.  The identification, life history and biology of the common bed bug along with integrated pest management techniques will be presented. This workshop will help you assess your collections risk of this rising problem as well as keeping you safe when you travel.

Control of Rodent Pests and Exterior Issues for Historic Sites and Landscapes
Ryan Jones, Integrated Pest Management Specialist, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Is your institution rodent-proof? This tutorial will demonstrate how principles of rodent prevention fit into your IPM plan, focusing on challenges encountered in a museum and historic house setting. Learn which conditions prompt rodents to invade, early detection methods, what to do (and what not to do) when eliminating infestations, and, most importantly, how to prevent problems before they occur.  Also covered in this session are suggestions for pest proofing the exterior perimeter of your building and adjacent grounds.

Treatment and Remediation of Insect Infestations
Emily Kaplan Conservator, National Museum of the American Indian and Rachael Perkins Arenstein, Conservator, Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

Prevention and Monitoring should keep pest infestations at bay – but what to do when it doesn’t? This session will present the range of available remediation options to treat infested collections. The focus will be on non-toxic methods that can be carried out in-house such as low and high temperature and anoxia. Working with Pest Management Professionals for cases where chemical treatments are unavoidable will also be covered.


IPM Tour of Colonial Williamsburg Collection and Preservation Facilities  
Patty Silence and David Blanchfield

Enjoy a unique opportunity to visit our state of the art collections storage and conservation facilities, including our “contaminated holding” and pest treatment location.

IPM Tour of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Patricia Silence and Colleen Sinnott, Museum Technician, Colonial Williamsburg

Enjoy a visit to Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, with a preventive conservation focus. We’ll tour some exhibits and see how IPM fits into the operations of this 100000+ square-foot facility that includes dining, retail, preparation, and exhibition space.

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