Prevention – Examination and Quarantine

In addition to physical barriers, behavioral barriers can also prevent the introduction of pests in your collections. 

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, including circulating or loaned objects, new donations, and non-collection materials.

It’s recommended as best practice to isolate all incoming materials.  Space is at a premium at most institutions so designating a quarantine room is sometimes achievable.  A next best measure would be removing material from its packing material (whether this be art, specimens, office supplies or gift shop merchandise) inspecting it and, if necessary quarantining or “bagging,” described in more detail below:

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center created a one-page document, Procedures for Collections Materials Suspected of Having Mold, designed for museum staff to inform them of the four steps to take if they suspect that an object has been affected by mold.

For more information on monitoring pests, please see our Monitoring page. Additionally, the IPM-WG created a template of Monitoring, Data and Analysis Procedures that can be used to create procedures for your institution.

For more information on treatment of infestations, please see our Solutions page.

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