Pest Management

Pest management is an important part of preventative conservation and facilities care. There are many simple and cost-effective ways you can help control and monitor museum pests. It is also important to know when to consult professional help. Below you will find resources that can help you identify, monitor, and control pests, evaluate your museum’s current pest management methods, understand Integrated Pest Management, and even find professionals and working groups to help with nearly any issue. 

What is Integrated Pest Management?

Retz Monroe gives a brief introduction to Integrated Pest Management.

Carol DiSalvo, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator at the National Park Service and Barbara Cumberland, a conservator at the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center presented this webinar on identifying museum pests and the damage they can cause by the American Institute for Conservation.

Self-Evaluation for Integrated Pest Management:

The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute offers this handout on self-evaluation for Integrated Pest Management as well as additional resources to help in preparing for adopting pest management practices.


This webinar from the Illinois Collections Preservation Network will give you ideas on how to treat both common molds and insects.

The Georgia Archives provide tips for Responding to a Mold Outbreak.

Find advice on salvaging the following objects from damage from the Northeast Document Conservation Center and the National Park Service:

Wet photographs
Wet books and records
Moldy books and paper
Water-soaked furniture and wood

The National Park Service publishes a series of “Conserve-o-Grams,” short pamphlets about a variety of topics, including:

The following pest-specific resources are available through the University of California Davis Agriculture and Natural Resources page. Below are some of the most common museum pests.

Pest-Specific Resources & Identification

For additional resources on identifying and dealing with specific pests see the sources below: is an online network/working group that provides resources on preventing, monitoring, and identifying pests in museums.

Insects Limited is a professional pest management company and is a good place to start if you need outside services or materials.

Connecting to Collections will link you to an online community of people who work in collections and handle pest management regularly.

Insects Limited offers this relatively cheap starter kit which includes materials for identifying and monitoring pests in your collection.