Heritage organisations are responsible for the safe keeping of their collections, but did you know that one of our greatest threats is from insects which love to eat them? 

Follow the blog to find out how we protect our collections by identifying the most vulnerable (munchable) objects, how we protect them with good storage, and what we need to do in case they are infested or damaged. 

In this series of seven audio tracks, hear from our preventive conservators and pest management experts about how we’re always working to keep the collection safe from the damage caused by pests.

Integrated Pest Management manager Adrian Doyle on IPM at the British Museum

Left to right: Monique Pullan, Adrian Doyle, Sophie Rowe, Emily Farrell, Fabiana Portoni


Conservator Monique Pullan on the Great Court

Totem poles in the Great Court


Conservator Sophie Rowe on New Zealand objects

Left to right: A. Sarnicus adults, A. Sarnicus larvae, A. Smirnovae adults


 Conservator Fabiana Portoni on African masks

A woodborer-damaged floorboard


Conservator Monique Pullan on African textiles

Textiles in the Africa Gallery


Conservator Sophie Rowe on North American textiles

Textiles in the North America Gallery


Conservator Monique Pullan on the Larrakitj poles at the Museum

Larrakitj poles


Conservator Fabiana Portoni on the mask from Torres Strait Island

Torres Strait Island mask


IPM manager Adrian Doyle on the new Hotung Gallery of China and Southeast Asia

The Hotung Gallery of China and Southeast Asia


Thank you to Science Communications masters’ student Emily Farrell who worked with us to produce this blog.










As conservators of organic artefacts we work on a wide variety of objects from the Museum’s archaeological, historic and contemporary collections. The types of objects we are regularly working on range therefore from basketry, bark cloths, wooden sculptures, textiles, Asian lacquered objects, paintings on canvas and wooden substrates but also human and animal remains, just to name a few.