Pest-ravaged baseball.

Pest Control Museum

Field review by the editors.

Decatur, Alabama

Cook's Pest Control, a long-established business headquartered in Decatur, originally set up some employee training displays on insects and the damage they inflict. In 1980 these evolved into a full-blown museum, although now the insect portion occupies one small corner of the building. There are many giant insect specimens -- big roaches and beetles pinned to displays or slowly rotating on Lazy Susans. A couple of glass cabinets are filled with termite-ravaged items (wall cutaways, a half-eaten hammer, gutted books) and labeled displays such as "Rat Gnawings on Rubber Hose." The message is that nothing is sacred to vermin -- even a baseball's innards have been consumed.

The rest of the Museum features mounted wildlife, live snakes, and free movies. While we wandered through, the gift shop was doing a brisk business selling mementos to a busload of school kids.

Pest Control Museum

Cook's Natural Science Museum

412 13th Street SE, Decatur, AL
Cook's Natural Science Museum. On corner of 5th Ave. and 13th St.
M-Sa 9 am - 5 pm. Closed 12-1 pm. Su 2-5 pm. (Call to verify)
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