IPM seeks to prevent infestations rather than treat them. 

Proper prevention requires determining how pests get into your building and collections areas and what allows them to continue to live and breed there. These sections detail the various approaches to preventing infestations.
To assist institutions in implementing the specific procedures needed to execute a comprehensive IPM program, the IPM Working Group has developed a series of procedures templates. The templates can be found within their respective sections. The documents contain suggested headers and topics to guide you in writing documents tailored to your institution and situation. Some examples of additional resources written by individual institutions are also provided for reference.
Creating Buy-In

To make your IPM program successful you need “buy-in” at many levels. Collaborating with your colleagues in Administration, Building Management, Security, External Vendors, Collection Management, Education, Exhibitions, and Human Resources, will lead to a successful IPM program. Click here to learn more. 

Developing Policies and Procedures

An IPM Plan should be guided by both policies and procedures, the “why” and the “how” of your program. When generated in a thoughtful and collaborative manner, policy documents should help ensure that all the institutional stakeholders buy-in to the goals of your IPM plan and are knowledgeable on how to carry it out. Tips for how to write policies and procedures along with examples can be found here.


Staff, visitors, and vendors may unwittingly contribute to pest issues. It is important to ensure policies and procedures are in place to discourage this. Learn more about how to not introduce new pests into your collection.

Assessing Collection Vulnerability

Determining which materials are most susceptible to certain pests will help make inspections more efficient, help determine which solutions are most appropriate, and inform decisions on housekeeping and other preventive measures. Learn about what could be eating your collection and what you can do about it.

Building Envelope

The building envelope is the barrier between the outdoor and indoor environments that can deny pest entry into buildings. Utilizing and reinforcing your building envelope is a first step to preventive pest issues. Learn more about how to better understand your building and create successful barriers.

Environmental Controls

Environmental factors including temperature, humidity, and light have a direct impact on pest activity. These factors should be monitored to better protect your collection. Learn more about ideal conditions.

Examination and Quarantine

Bringing in an infested object can lead to a pest issue that spreads throughout your collection and/or building.  Care should be taken to inspect and monitor all materials brought into the institution. It’s recommended as best practice to isolate all incoming materials in order to prevent the potential introduction of pests. Learn more about checking materials for pests and how to quarantine objects.

Awareness and Training

Staff training is necessary to ensure ongoing success of an IPM program. All staff members in an institution must have some understanding of why pests are dangerous to the collections and the proper protocol when finding a pest. Learn more about training your staff.

Working with Pest Management Professionals

Not every institution has the resources to meet all their pest prevention challenges in-house.  Cultural Institutions often contract a Pest Management Professional (PMP) to provide or supplement IPM services. Check out this page to find resources developed by the MuseumPests Working Group to help institutions develop effective, collaborative relationships with their PMPs.

Updated 2024

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