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National Trust to deploy tiny wasps to stop moths destroying rare treasures at heritage sites

Conservation charity says pests and moulds thrived during last year’s lockdown, writes Conrad Duncan

Wednesday 17 February 2021 00:01 GMT
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The 0.5mm-long Trichogramma parasitic wasps search out moth eggs and lay their own eggs inside
The 0.5mm-long Trichogramma parasitic wasps search out moth eggs and lay their own eggs inside (PA)

The National Trust is pioneering a new approach to controlling clothes moths, using tiny wasps as part of its efforts to save rare treasures, such as a tapestry from Catherine the Great.

In what is thought to be a first-of-its-kind trial, staff at Blickling Hall, Norfolk, will deploy tiny parasitic wasps and chemical pheromones to try to prevent the moths from causing serious damage to carpets, furniture, clothing and other wool and silk objects.

Results from the conservation charity’s latest annual pest survey at historic properties showed that pests and moulds thrived with less disturbance from visitors and staff during the coronavirus lockdown.

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