Volume 13, Number 1, Jan. 1991, pp.19-20
In recent years, many museums have developed and implemented Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs--holistic programs for the control of pests such as insects, rodents and birds. IPM is the pest-control industry term for a systematic, stepwise approach to pest problems. The IPM approach includes: (1) initial assessment of insect or other pest problems in the museum, (2) infestation prevention by inspection of materials brought into the museum and careful control of other possible insect entry points, (3) development of a procedure for eradication of pests that are present in the museum, and (4) evaluation of the insect-control procedure or plan.
Monitoring the presence of pests through the use of traps is the first step in IPM programs. Insect monitoring traps, commonly referred to as "sticky traps," are used to pinpoint infestation hot spots, identify sites where insects enter an area and discover which insects are present and in what quantities. Insect sticky traps were developed in the mid-1970s in the United States. Their use in museums began in the early 1980s when conservators began to question the widespread use of pesticide chemicals with artifacts in the absence of concrete knowledge about what insects actually were present. Monitoring can help museum professionals to learn which insects are present, the extent of an infestation, as well as insect population and distribution patterns within a museum.
Sticky traps are produced by many manufacturers and come in several configurations. The flat "glue board," the box-shaped "motel," and the triangular-shaped "pup tent" are common forms. I personally prefer the pup tent traps. I have found them to be easier than flat traps to handle and transport once insects have been caught, also, they are easier to open up for insect identification than the rectangular shaped "motels." Sticky traps may have a plain adhesive layer on the inner surface, or they may have a food bait mixed with the adhesive to act as an attractor. Insect attracting hormones (pheromones), also have been used in sticky traps, but pheromone baits are not available for every type of museum insect pest. In my experience, the attractant traps are not significantly more useful than traps that are just sticky.
Setting up an insect monitoring program using traps should include the following steps.
Identification is critical to an IPM program. All insects caught must be identified to determine whether the collections are at risk. Also, pesticide and fumigation treatments must be designed with knowledge of the pest(s) responsible. To make identifications, entomologists prefer that the insect be completely intact. They suggest placing a larvae or adult in a sealed vial filled with ethanol or rubbing alcohol to prevent it from drying out or breaking apart, and indicating whether the insect was found alive or dead.
In many areas, the county agricultural agent or Extension Service can provide assistance with identification. The Getty Conservation Instistitute also provides an identification service to museums free of charge. Contact: Jim Druzik, Conservation Scientist, GCI, 4503 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6537; (213) 822-2299.
There are also several books that offer illustrations and information about insect species. See the references listed on page 23 of this issue following "Insect Traps In Conservation on Surveys" by Dale Paul Kronkright.
Sticky Traps usually can be purchased at hardware stores or pest control suppliers, or they may be ordered from national suppliers. Mail order sources include:
The Trapper (can be used flat or pup-tent shape); available from Pest Control Supplies, P. O. Box 025665, Kansas City, MO 64102; cost: S29.95 per 100 units.
Mr. Sticky (pup-tent shape) available from LTP, Inc., 7 Beach Street, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550; (914) 699-5000 at S25.60 per 40 units and Zone Monitor (pup-tent shape) at S19.20 per 40 units.
Catchmaster (pup-tent style unit with a scent attractor and perforations that allow it to separate into 3 parts) available from Brody Enterprises, 9 Arlington Place, Fair Lawn, NJ 07401; (800)458-8727 at S33.00 per 72 units.
Recon Professional Monitor (box-style motel) available from Protos Corporation, P. O. Box 2236, Cambridge, MA 02238. (price not listed).Nancy Odegaard
WAAC thanks Michael Barton, Editor of Museum Association of Arizona Newsletter, for the courtesy of permitting use of the article "Pest Control: Monitoring for Insects in Museums," by Nancy Odegaard, MAA Newsletter, Vol 8, No. 2, September 1990, pp. 3-4, as the basis for this article.
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