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Preventing pests by IPM

This Preservation Advisory Centre workshop was held at the British Library Centre for Conservation on 8 February 2012.

Led by David Pinniger, Independent Consultant Entomologist, this one-day workshop provides an introduction to preventing pests through use of integrated pest management. The course is aimed at anyone with any involvement with, or responsibility for care of libraries, archives and collections.


  • To introduce the main insect pests which attack collections: what they need to live: how to identify them: the damage they cause; ways to prevent them becoming established
  • Understanding pest environments
  • Selecting the most appropriate treatments to control pests
  • Making plans to establish an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme.


Why did you attend this training day?

  • To raise my own awareness in regards to pest management and what it involves.
  • To assist with identification of pests.
  • To begin an IPM programme.
  • To find out what constitutes an 'infestation'.
  • The museum has moth infestation problems. We want to use the IPM methodology to prevent it.

What did you learn?.

  • How to identify most common pests, types of pest damage, prevention methods, types of traps, environmental conditions conducive to pest growth/life cycle, pest managing strategy at the British Library.
  • The life-cycle of pests: food, habitat, conditions, preventive conservation, treatment.
  • The importance of building a database and chart of pest activity over a period - the importance of prevention tactics.
  • Don't treat an object without treating the environment that made the infestation possible.
  • Recognition and pest avoidence.

What will you do differently as a result of attending this training day?

  • Make sure I know what the housekeeping rota is and try and ensure that it is as efficient as it can be. Also to place more traps in staff active areas. To build up a picture of pest activity and location.
  • Feel confident in implementing an IPM programme.
  • Keep monitoring the moth problem here and at home.
  • Effective housekeeping.
  • Modify our cleaning policy for our different places: exhibition rooms and storage.


09.30 Registration
09.45 Introduction to the course and objectives
10.00 Particular needs of participants
10.15 Introduction to insects and the damage they cause
11.15 Break
11.30 Examination of pests and damage
12.15 Pests and pest environments - prevention is better than cure
13.15 Lunch
14.00 Detection and monitoring of pests
14.30 To treat or not to treat - options for control
15.30 Break
15.45 Pest treatments used in the British Library
16.15 Implementing IPM in the real world
17.00 End