Integrated pest management (IPM) is not a static approach but one that is constantly evolving. Mass international travel, climate change and other factors contribute to the spread of new pests, and the pests themselves are constantly seeking out weaknesses in our defences. An understanding of the threats pests pose to collections and the necessity for a systematic approach to combat them is now firmly embedded in the work of collection care practitioners. In addition, the trustees and sponsoring bodies of collecting institutions recognise that it is a significant and cost-effective element of good collections management.
2011: A Pest Odyssey, 10 years later describes examples of how the IPM approach has been adopted by large and small institutions around the world, and highlights the many lessons learned along the way. Principal among these is never to become complacent and tied down to routine processes. Another important lesson is the need to ensure colleagues understand and are involved with the process of pest management. There is also a need to understand the wider implications of any pest control activity, for example the effect of chemical treatments on DNA.
Coming out of the second Pest Odyssey conference, this book will promote wider understanding and implementation of IPM as an integral part of any collection management programme. The organisers and editorial team hope that everyone involved with the care of cultural heritage collections and buildings will find something of interest and value in this work.