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Walk around any historic house and you are likely to spot several of these:

Sticky blunder trap

These small boxes are insect traps, known as sticky blunder traps. Insects can cause a huge amount of damage to objects such as furniture, textiles and books. Common pests in historic houses include silverfish, woodworm, clothes moth and carpet beetle. Silverfish like damp conditions and happily munch through paper…not so good when you think that Attingham houses hundreds of books! Woodworm live and feed inside wood, and clothes moth and carpet beetle larvae feed on textiles.

It is important for the house team to prevent and monitor pest activity as much as possible. We do this by cleaning dusty corners where insects like to hide, sweeping chimneys, cleaning gutters and removing birds’ nests, and using the pest traps to detect and monitor insects.

These traps are extremely sticky and contain pheromones to attract the insects. The traps are placed by windows and fireplaces: places where insects are most likely to enter a room.

Spot the insect trap by the fireplace in the Entrance Hall

By monitoring the traps it is possible to gain insight on the pest species, an indication of their numbers and where they are mostly congregated. Above all, the traps allow us to gain early detection of pests before they become established and cause damage.

Using a magnifying glass and a pest identification poster to determine what type of insects have been found in the traps

The inside of an insect trap (spiders and flies are no threat to the house and its contents)

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