Using parasitoid wasps in Integrated Pest Management in museums against biscuit beetle (Stegobium paniceum) and webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella)

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Pascal Querner *
Stephan Biebl
(*) Corresponding Author:
Pascal Querner | pascal.querner@boku.ac.at

Abstract

Biscuit beetle (Stegobium paniceum) and webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) cause much damage to museum objects. Some objects and materials are very attractive to these two pest species and objects are often re-infested after treatment. For some years parasitoid wasps have been used in biological pest control to treat and reduce infestations of stored product pests in food processing facilities. Their application in museums is still new and in a research stage. Results from five different museums in Germany and Austria and their application are presented. Lariophagus distinguendus wasps were released against Stegobium paniceum in the municipal library Augsburger Stadtarchiv (Germany), the Ethnological Museum in Berlin (Germany) and the Picture Gallery in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (Austria). Trichogramma evanescens were released against Tineola bisselliella in the Technisches Museum in Vienna (Austria) and in the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum in Munich (Germany). Results show that for active biscuit beetle infestations good results can be expected using the Lariophagus distinguendus in museums. Active clothes moth infestations are harder to treat but with a very regular and long-term exposure to the wasps, the clothes moth population can be reduced over the years. We see the application of parasitoid wasps as part of an Integrated Pest Management concept that should be used besides regular insect monitoring and other preventive measures. Difficulties, limitations and research needs in the application of parasitoid wasps in museums are discussed.

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