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Museum Pests

The Integrated Pest Management Working Group (IPM-WG)

The Integrated Pest Management Working Group (IPM-WG) is a group of collection managers, conservators and other professionals interested in issues surrounding the implementation of integrated pest management in museums and other collection-holding institutions. Its goal is not to teach IPM, but rather to focus on resources to make IPM easier for museum staff.

A great deal of information about IPM has already been written; the difficulty for the non-specialist lies in accessing these resources. Many are unpublished documents held within institutions; when they are shared they are often widely dispersed (and duplicated) in hard copy or on the Internet. As a result, the Group recognized early on that a unified repository for IPM resources would be desirable and began making plans to create an Internet site for this purpose. The result is MuseumPests.net. The site is intended to be a resource for anyone needing IPM-related information and ultimately will include information about all aspects of IPM, including suggested best practices for IPM, training and education tools, pest monitoring software, bibliographies, information about specific pests, and links to other relevant sites.

Over the last five years IPM-WG has surveyed the museum community regarding current practices and perceived needs in the area of IPM. Among the specific goals established are:

* Reviewing existing IPM policies from the museum community in preparation for creating a policy template for institutions to use when creating their own policy documents.

* Collecting copies of education and training tools that have already been developed and obtaining permission to post them on the web site.

* Collect pest information data and images for inclusion in an on-line pest database.

* Investigate methods of accessing the pest information database (e.g., general searches and keys).

* Create an annotated field list for use in creating pest-monitoring databases.

* Collect descriptions and examples of treatment methods; post these documents on the web site.

The IPM-WG has also created Pestlist, an IPM list serve dedicated to sharing information, posting questions and discussing IPM-related issues with a broad community. Instructions for joining the list can be found Here.

IPM-WG is an independent group, but maintains close links with SPNHC: many SPNHC members are active in IPM-WG; the Society has provided financial support for the MuseumPests website; and many of the discussions begun at IPM-WG are continued throughout the year at the Special Interest Group meetings that are part of the SPNHC annual conference. Additionally, past IPM related presentations and posters presented at SPNHC meetings are available for viewing on the website.

Anyone interested in more information about the activities of the IPM-WG should visit the site at www.MuseumPests.net.