Pest eradication management in museums and the environment. – Nigerian Observer
The museum, according to ICOM 2022, is a permanent non-profit institution at the service of society that
researches, collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to
public, accessible and inclusive, museums promote diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethnically, professionally and with community participation, offering
experiments for education, fun, reflection and knowledge sharing.
Any object representative of culture, arts and heritage, kept in a museum qualifies itself
museum object. Their vulnerability to damage and their control measures also differ depending on whether they are
the nature, the type and its environment. Museum objects can be classified into: organic, inorganic, stone,
paint and cellulosic objects. The focus is more on organic objects that we know are products of life
organisms, whether animal or plant based. Organic objects are therefore affected by biological agents of
deterioration such as pests and insects.
Materials derived from living organisms such as wooden objects; fabrics and textiles; Palm leaves;
leather objects are not only subject to biological agents of deterioration but also affected by climatic changes
terms and changes. These organic objects are quite delicate and must be maintained properly because
they are very susceptible to damage from pests and insects. The cumulative effects of damage can disfigure
and ultimately destroy the museum object. Therefore, it is important to continuously monitor and preserve the museum’s collection from pest activity.
Identifying the pest species causing problems is the cornerstone and integral part of
treatment. Examples include carpet beetles, woodlice, cockroaches, termites, rodents to name a few.
little. Correct identification of the pest will aid in the decision to proceed with the inspection or to implement
control measures. Pests can cause the most damage as they are next categorized under their
types of food sources. Textile Pest, Wood Pest, Stored Protoduct Pest, Paper Pest, Garbage and Waste Pest
of course general pest.
The second step is to carry out a thorough inspection and investigation, starting with the exterior, then
inside the establishment. The objective is to acquire in-depth knowledge of the installation in order to be able to act
taken to prevent pest entry and problem areas are quickly identified for intense monitoring. Signs of
pest activity includes chew marks, grazed surfaces, Fras, fecal pellets, dried spots and fecal stains, or
even presence of real insects, alone or dead, at various stages of its development. These are usually these
signs, rather than the actual pest, which are detected first. It is therefore very important to note that it is necessary to
become familiar with the signs to be able to detect and locate the source of infestation. Remember the insect
population may start from a very small source but will increase and then outgrow food
sources. When this happens they will leave the area and search for new food sources in the museum
Approaches used by museums are the application of certain types of pesticides to control or prevent
infestation. Routine fumigation of the museum environment and its storage facilities is necessary as it
helps minimize pest infestation and its dwelling. Some methods involving the use of no
chemical controls such as freezing or heating depending on the treatment prognosis. This
approach is done by identifying the infested object, treating it, and then quarantining it over a period of time at
observed. However, both chemical and non-chemical approaches require the service of a
conservative. Due to direct application of chemicals followed by freezing or heating, proper care is required.
taken so as not to damage the observed object.
An appropriate pest eradication management program should be encouraged. As it varies from museum
to the other. Inspections and surveys should be carried out as often as possible. They should be
thorough and regular, but frequency will be determined by resources. i.e. simple and inexpensive
efficient. As a general rule, a control of the collection areas must be carried out permanently as well as a
proper investigation of the facility. Too often a pest problem will develop due to incomplete inspection,
allowing pests to build their population unnoticed. After the first inspections, some
areas that have been found to be free of pest problems and do not contain susceptible material, may not
must be queried each time. Other simple and cost effective procedures are the control
environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity, light sources, etc. are taken into account to ensure the
the areas are undesirable for pests. Establish good housekeeping practices, dispose of garbage. Garbage is at
lots of pests what a grocery store is to us. Therefore, frequent garbage collection reduces the risk of
infestation. Repellents such as camphor, pesticides, etc. in and around the museum are required.
Regular fumigation inside and outside museum facilities is very necessary. Finally, establish food and drink
free area in any space around the museum is necessary to achieve a healthy and pest-free environment