Museum

We expect our museums to preserve history for future generations, but it is hard for them to do this if insects are quietly destroying artifacts. Pheromone traps can be an early detection device to protect against pest damage. Pheromones are available for a wide variety of museum pests: Check our On-line store for species availability. Click below for further identification of museum and herbarium pests.

WEBBING CLOTHES MOTH (Tineola bisselliella)Webbing Clothes Moth Adult and Larvae
With the decreased use of preventive pesticides, the incidence of museum items damaged by the Webbing Clothes moth has increased significantly in recent years. Items primarily affected include woolens, anything containing feathers, animal mounts and skeletons. Woolen items injured by clothes moths have holes eaten through them by small, white larvae. You can often find hairs falling from animal specimens that the larvae are feeding upon. Materials left undisturbed for some time or stored in dark places (such as a closet, attic, or drawer) are most severely injured by these insects. The adults are small and champagne-colored. They can often be seen running over the surface of the infested goods when exposed to light or flying somewhat aimlessly about the houses or closets.

Food: Clothing moth larvae feed on wool, hair, feathers, furs, upholstered furniture, occasionally on dead insects, dry dead animals, animal and fish meals, milk powders such as casein, and nearly all animal products such as bristles, dried hair and leather. Adults do not eat.

Life Cycle: Adult moths lay 100-150 eggs. The larvae is the damaging stage. They are white and vary in size from 1/16" when first hatched up to 1/3" when full grown. The length of the larval period depends largely on the environmental conditions and the quality of food.Pheromone traps in a museum

Trap use and placement: This trap is placed on the floor indoors in closets and rooms where woolen, silk fabrics, furs, or items with feathers are stored. One trap per closet or storage room can attract and catch the male moths. This trap will act as an early warning tool to help prevent destruction of woolen items and other fabrics.

 

CASE-MAKING CLOTHES MOTH (Tinea pellionella)Case-making Clothes Moth Adult
If you have clothes moths and it's not the Webbing Clothes Moth, chances are you have Case-making Clothes Moths. Materials left undisturbed for some time or stored in dark places (such as a closet, attic, or drawer) are most severely injured by these insects. The adults are slightly smaller than the Webbing Clothes Moth. Body and wings are colored buff to golden with a brownish tinge, except for three dark spots on the front wings. The eyes are wider than the space between them. The brown headed larvae will spin a silken case that it carries around with them as they feed.

Food: Clothing moth larvae feed on wool, hair, feathers, furs, upholstered furniture, occasionally on dead insects, dry dead animals, animal and fish meals, milk powders such as casein, and nearly all animal products such as bristles, dried hair and leather. Adults do not eat.
Case-making Clothes Moth Larvae
Life Cycle: 33 - 48 days, depending on environment. Adult moths lay 100-150 eggs. The larvae is the damaging stage. They are white with brown heads and vary in size from 1/4" when first hatched up to 1/3" when full grown. The length of the larval period depends largely on the environmental conditions and the quality of food.

Trap use and placement: This trap is placed on the floor indoors in closets and rooms where woolen, silk fabrics, furs, or items with feathers are stored. One trap per closet or storage room can attract and catch the male moths. This trap will act as an early warning tool to help prevent destruction of woolen items and other fabrics.

 

WAREHOUSE BEETLE (Trogoderma spp.)Trogoderma
This small, oval beetle is a common pest of many types of artifacts. The adult is a tiny black beetle with white or lightly colored markings on its back. The larvae are orange-brown in color and look hairy. Warehouse beetles feed primarily on animal products, but will readily feed on grain and cereal products. The hairs of the larvae can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals especially when swallowed.

Food: This beetle is a voracious feeder and will feed on a wide variety of items including: seeds, dead animals, cereals, corn, corn meal, nut meats, dried vegetables and plant material and fish meal.

Life Cycle: The life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in 43 days, but they can stay in diapause (hibernation) for up to two years.

Trap use and placement:
The male Warehouse Beetle is extremely attracted to the pheromone Bullet Lures. No Survivor traps are hung in areas where botanicals are stored. Traps can be hung along a wall or placed on shelves or within drawers where herbarium storage takes place.

CIGARETTE BEETLE (Lasioderma serricorne)
This destructive insect is a serious pest of dried plant material. It can also cause serious damage to books. The Cigarette beetle is a small brown beetle measuring 2-3 mm in length. The Cigarette beetle is closely related to the Drugstore beetle which can cause difficulty in identification. However, with some training they can be distinguished easily. The Cigarette beetle has wings covered in small hairs whereas the Drugstore beetle's wings have rows of punctations.

Food: This beetle feeds on a great diversity of edible and non edible products. They may infest stored food products such as spices, rice, dry pet foods, as well as seeds, pharmaceuticals, and books among many other materials. It is especially important as a pest of tobacco products.

Life Cycle: Females lay the eggs in the larval food and hatch in 6 to 10 days. The larval period lasts 5 to 10 weeks. The pupal period lasts 2 to 3 weeks. The entire life cycle takes about 10 to 12 weeks. Adults live up to a month.

Trap use and placement: There are three trap designs available for this beetle. No Survivor traps are hung in areas where foods are stored, while the Serrico trap and Tobacco Beetle Trap can be hung along a wall or placed on shelves with stored food or on the floor in these areas. These traps should be protected from sunlight and wind during use.

DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Stegobium paniceum) Stegobium
Food: This insect is also a common pest of dried plant matter. It can cause serious damage to books and preserved plant material.

Life Cycle: Females lay the eggs one-by-one in the larval food source. The larval period lasts from four to five months. The cocoon lasts 12 to 18 days. The complete life cycle takes about seven months.

Trap use and placement: This pheromone trap is currently unavailable. Check with Insects Limited for future availability.

 

GERMAN COCKROACH (Blattella germanica) Blatella
The German cockroach is 5/8 inches in length and is brown in color. There are two prominent black stripes running down the broad shield behind the head.

Food: This nasty little guy will eat almost anything - even hair and fingernails. This insect is common in areas with access to food and water (i.e. break room/bathroom).

Life cycle: The life cycle from egg to adult takes about a month, and populations can become huge if not kept under control. A new pheromone trap has recently become available for this pest.

Trap use and placement: These traps should be placed in areas where cockroaches are likely to be encountered concentrating on the kitchen and bathroom. The traps work best when placed along the edges of the floor and in corners. They also should be placed in the cabinet under the sink.

BOOKLOUSE (Psocid)
Psocids or Booklice have long, filamentous antennae and a characteristic bulging clypeus (the area just above the mouthparts). They have chewing mouthparts and the wings of domestic species are usually absent. They range in size from 1/25 to 1/13 of an inch (1 to 2 mm) in length. Coloration is from almost colorless to gray or light brown.
Psocid

Food: Psocids feed upon microscopic molds. Thus, any manufactured material of plant origin that would support the growth of these molds is susceptible to their attack. They are found in nature on the bark of trees and shrubs, preferring damp, warm, undisturbed environments. In museum settings, they can commonly be found in books and book bindings, storage boxes, paper goods and herbaria collections.

Life Cycle: Psocids undergo simple metamorphosis to develop to maturity. Eggs will hatch 21 days after being laid. This nymph will reach sexual maturity in 24 to 65 days. Females lay anywhere from 20 - 50 eggs depending on the time of year. Their total life span is from 24 to 110 days.

Trap use and placement: A simple sticky (blunder) trap is currently the best means to monitor for psocids. The trap should be a flat design (Rather than a tray design) to allow for easy entry into the trap. Due to size of this pest, close examination of the sticky trap is required to accurately check for their presence.

SILVERFISH (Lepisma saccharina)
Silverfish and their close relatives Firebrats are characterized by three long tail-like appendages arising from the tip of the abdomen. They have chewing mouthparts, long antennae and the body is almost always covered with scales. When viewed from the top, silverfish have a carrot-shaped outline. They are usually a steel gray or metallic silver color and are about 1/2 - 3/4 inch (12 - 18 mm) in length. They prefer warm, damp, dark undisturbed areas.

Food: These insects may roam some distance in search of food. They consume both carbohydrates and proteins. Silverfish are pests of paper and paper products as well as textiles. They are particularly fond of paper with a glaze on it. The glaze is usually a starch compound which they prefer. They will also eat the glue backing in wallpaper. They prefer textiles that are cotton or artificial silk. They generally will not attack woolens or true silk.

Life Cycle: Females adults lay one to two eggs a day. They can live up to 3 and a half years passing through an unknown number of molts.

Trap use and placement: A simple sticky (blunder) trap is currently the best means to monitor for silverfish and firebrats. The trap should be a flat design (Rather than a tray design) to allow for easy entry into the trap. If silverfish damage is suspected, place an index card covered in flour paste in that area. If they are present, feeding marks on the card will reveal their presence.

VARIED CARPET BEETLE(Anthrenus verbasci)
The adult is 2 - 3 mm in length. The dorsal side of its body is for the most part blackish in the center, with a variable , irregular arrangement of white, brownish, and yellowish scales.
Varied Carpet Beetle

Food: The larvae of this pest will feed upon a great variety of animal and plant products, such as carpets, woolen goods, skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, feathers, horns, whalebone, hair, silk, fish manure, and dried silk worm pupae. Also it will attack plant products such as rye meal, cacao, corn and red pepper. Specifically in museums, it will attack insect and ethnographic collections.

Life Cycle: The female Varied Carpet Beetle will lay her eggs near a possible food source. The larval stage is the destructive stage. The period from egg to adult will last about 1 year, possibly more depending on environment.

Trap use and placement: Pheromone lures are available for this pest to attract the male of the species. They are good fliers, so any hanging sticky trap with a fresh pheromone lure will work. Hang the traps so that you can easily inspect them. Outdoor species are attracted to light.

 

BLACK CARPET BEETLE (Attagenus spp.)Black Carpet Beetles
The adult is 2.8 - 5 mm in length. It is mostly dark brown to black in color. The larvae is long and carrot shaped with a tuft of hairs emerging from the rear end.

Food: The larvae of this pest will feed upon a great variety of animal and plant products, such as carpets, felt, woolen goods, skins, furs, stuffed animals, leather book bindings, feathers, horns, hair, silk, cattle hair, and insect meal. Also it will attack plant products such as seeds and grains, corn and cayenne peppers. Specifically in museums, it will attack insect and ethnographic collections.

Life Cycle: The female Black Carpet Beetle will lay 42 - 114 eggs near a possible food source. The larval stage is the destructive stage. The period from egg to adult will last about 1 year, possibly more depending on environment.

Trap use and placement: Pheromone lures are available for this pest to attract the male of the species. They are good fliers, so any hanging sticky trap with a fresh pheromone lure will work. Hang the traps so that you can easily inspect them. Outdoor species are attracted to light.

 

FURNITURE BEETLE (Anobium punctatum)Furniture Beetle
This cylindrical shaped beetle (also called powder-post beetle by some) is reddish brown and 1/6 to 1/4 inch (4 - 6 mm) long. It has punctures on the dorsum in longitudinal rows. The last three segments of the antennae are longer than the others.

Food: Wood and reeds. They prefer wood with a high moisture content.

Life Cycle: The adult beetles emerge in the spring, mate and begin laying eggs immediately. Females lay 20 to 60 eggs on bare wood surfaces, or inside previous emergence holes in finished wood. The larvae hatch out in 6 - 10 days and immediately tunnel into the wood. The larval stage will last 2 years, or even up to 3 - 5 years. Furniture beetles pupate near the surface of the wood and chew their way out to mate.

Trap use and placement: A pheromone lure is currently unavailable for this wood pest. Insects Limited hopes to synthesize this pheromone by early 2004.

 

LARDER BEETLE (Dermestes lardarius)
Larder BeetleThe adult is a dark brown to black beetle, 7 to 9 mm in length, with a pale yellow six spotted band on the back of the abdomen. The undersurface as well as the legs are covered with fine yellow hairs.

Food: Ham, bacon, meats, cheese, dried pet foods, dried museum specimens of all kinds, stored tobacco, dried fish, and all hides. The larvae seem to prefer fatty portions of meat rather than lean muscular portions.

Life Cycle: Larder beetle females lay 100 - 175 eggs. These eggs will hatch in 12 days or less. The larvae will eat constantly until it molts. It will molt 5 - 6 times before pupating. Often times the larvae will burrow into meat or even wood before it pupates. The complete life cycle may be completed with 40 - 50 days.

Trap use and placement: A simple sticky (blunder) trap is currently the best means to monitor for Larder beetles. The trap should be a flat design (Rather than a tray design) to allow for easy entry into the trap.