Introduction (4 of 10)

Why are pests found in museums? (continued)

In addition to the direct damage to objects caused by the aforementioned pests, other animals, such as birds, can indirectly cause damage to collections. Birds' nests, which are often found in roof spaces or chimneys, can encourage and sustain the population of pests by providing a food source and living accommodation. Pests can then fall down to other areas, where they can breed.

Having one or two museum pests in your museum will not necessarily cause you a problem. However, if the population of these pests is allowed to grow significantly then damage to objects is far more likely to occur. Therefore, knowing how to spot signs of pest activity is very important – as is the regular monitoring of the areas containing collections (both those on display and those in storage) to understand the “normal” resident population, and when there are sudden increases.