Detect Pests

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol
  • Bird and bat.
    Bird and bat symbol

Detection methods

Identification

Action

Know your pests! Knowledge guides an appropriate and effective response. To save time and avoid frustration, limit identification information to what is needed (clear recognition of hazard). Learn to discriminate mould from dust, dirt, and stains. Learn to identify your insect pests (Section 2). Maintain a general collection of identified specimens for comparison and training. Acquire guide books and identification keys to help staff identify pests. Learn to identify rodent droppings and how to find rodent urine trails using UV light. Learn to identify grease marks made by rodents and bats that identify common pathways and entrances. A simple but powerful hand lens is an invaluable identification tool. Section 7 lists the necessary equipment for a basic identification kit.

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol
  • Bird and bat.
    Bird and bat symbol

Detection methods

Visual inspection provides detailed knowledge.

Action

Because storage and display containers often hide objects from view, detection of pests is related to the ability to enter a space or open a container. Visual inspection programs ensure that low-use collections remain pest-free. Using white acid-free paper to line drawer bottoms or to line storage shelves greatly enhances the visibility of small insect bodies, clipped hair, and frass. An annual visual inspection coupled with effective responses will reduce or eliminate endemic pest problems. A bright flashlight is an invaluable inspection tool to locate signs of infestation such as frass and webbing. Check windowsills and light fixtures for adult beetles. Prioritize inspection if you are dealing with large numbers of objects. Start with those that contain materials most vulnerable to pests, have high value, and are housed in structures that provide poor protection.

Pest

  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Detection methods

Trapping provides information when people cannot see the pest.

Action

Deploy adhesive traps for insects. For rodents, use adhesive, snap (break-back), or cage traps (single or repeating) to discover the presence, the type, possible distribution, and frequency of a pest. Traps are especially useful for confirming rodent presence in large structures. Key locations are near exterior doorways, food preparation and waste areas, sumps for water, mechanical rooms, pipe chases, and along walls in collection storage areas.

Pest

Insect.
Insect symbol

Detection methods

Use pheromone lures, food lures, semiochemicals.

Action

Trapping with lures is a way to increase the efficiency of using traps that a pest might only blunder upon. Only a few commercial pheromone lures are available for museum pests, but they are generally effective at drawing in male insects. Food lures and other semiochemicals enhance trap efficiency for insect species that are feeding and mobile (e.g. dermestids, cockroaches). Because pheromones are specific to certain species, there are limits to using lure technology, so ensure the correct lure is used in the recommended manner for the appropriate pest.

Pest

  • Microorganism.
    Microorganism symbol
  • Insect.
    Insect symbol
  • Rodent.
    Rodent symbol

Detection methods

Records give you greater knowledge of vulnerabilities and costs, and assure corporate memory of IPM issues and treatment.

Action

Establish effective pest logs (consult Section 8). Chart progress using simple lists and totals over time. Use maps when an illustration will convince others of recurrent issues and will help better organize the information needed for remediation actions.

CCI Technical Bulletin 29.

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