As reported by the BBC, the Bakewell Old House Museum in Derbyshire, England is suffering from an infestation of carpet beetles. The museum has an extensive collection of vulnerable textiles. What to do?
A local ice cream manufacturer has offered space in its ice cream storage units. The beetle eggs are killed when kept for extended periods at -30C (-22F). The collection of textiles will be frozen, thawed and prepared for display.
Numerous museums have collections that are threatened by insect pests. Modern central heating keeps many buildings at a comfortable temperature for the visitors, and that includes pest insects. Some museums avoided problems in the past because the winter temperatures were low enough, the pest insects did not feed or develop and infestations were suppressed. The elevated temperatures put these collections at risk.
Q. Why did the beetle chew a hole in the carpet?
A. It wanted to see the floor show.