Yellow Jacket nest in the basement of the administration building, Saint-Gaudens NHS
The National Park Service defines a pest as “an organism that jeopardizes a park objective or that threatens human health or safety or that jeopardizes a natural resource outside the park”. The park has an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan which is used as a guide to help staff protect the historical features, the park visitors, and park employees from damage and harm caused by the presence of some pests. Efforts to prevent pest damage include setting up netting to discourage birds from nesting in the Stables above the historic carriages, discouraging visitors from feeding wildlife, and sealing any structural holes to prevent mice and other animals from entering buildings.
The park divides pests into categories, based on their ability to inflict resource damage. A major pest has been found or is currently found in the park. It is a threat to the safety of humans, the value of historical artifacts and landscape, or to the natural ecosystem. A minor pest has been or is found in the park, but does not meet all the criteria needed to be classified as a major pest. A minor pest has the ability to become a major pest should there be a change in its population, its host, or in another factor. A potential pest has never been found in the park, but could become a major or minor pest in the future.
Common pests found at the site include mice, ants, moths, and wasps. They are a potential risk for historical artifacts, as they chew on both cloth materials and solid structures, in both cases potentially causing irreparable damage. Wasps are a danger to people, especially if they build their nests in areas frequented by visitors and park staff. Wasp stings are not only painful, but sometimes they can be deadly. In order to preserve the historical nature of this site and to protect the health of the people, pests are closely monitored and managed through varying methods. In all instances the park strives to minimize the use of toxins and also use nonlethal control methods whenever possible.