Integrated Pest Management
Controlling pests in the collections environment depends upon procedures which prevent them from entering the building coupled with knowledge to safely eliminate infestation at the source. A properly maintained environment will prove inhospitable to most insects, molds and mildews. Good housekeeping and frequent monitoring of collections also helps prevent pest infestation.
|As part of our pest management program, we use a 1,500-square-foot area close to the loading dock to segregate incoming collections. It was designed to sequester materials brought from attics, basements, barns and other outbuildings.|
|Collections with evidence of previous infestation are subjected to a 48-hour freeze/thaw/freeze cycle at 20 degrees below Fahrenheit. We use two commercial Puffer Hubbard sub-zero freezers to freeze collections suspected of possible infestation. Cycling the temperature kills the insect at all stages – egg, pupae and adult.|
|Originals with mold or mildew are further segregated into a room that can be washed down after vacuuming with HEPA vacuums|
|We surface clean originals with heavy layers of soil in the segregated area. Conservation staff maintains a policy to cover hair, shoes, clothes and mouths whenever mold is present.|
|Efficient HEPA vacuums are used to gently vacuum away mold. This tiled area is easily washed down for the next collection that may have a problem with mold.|