Martin Honey M.Honey at nhm.ac.uk
Wed Apr 5 03:53:53 EDT 2000

>Most collections can be maintained "bug free" by having a combination of (1)
>high quality drawers or boxes that will not admit adult pests through
>cracks; (2) place all drawers and boxes in a household deep freeze for 48
>hours (rotating them through until all have been done, put them in plastic
>garbage bags to prevent external condensation after removing them from the
>freezer); and (3) freeze all new specimens before putting them in the
>drawers or boxes (re-freeze existing specimens if they have been left
>sitting out in the open). In temperate areas at least no fumigants are
>required. I have no experience with maintaining collections in tropical
>areas, but they may still require fumigants because of the higher levels of

We too use the freezing method but it is generally accepted that the above
is neither long enough nor cold enough. We use 72 hours at minus 30
degrees. There have been several messages posted on nhcoll-l and others
relevant to the above subject and its 'problems'. Here's a synopsis: 

There is a lot of published information about the technical aspects of 
non-toxic alternatives to pesticides.  One place on the web that gives
information on this and other aspects of pest management (including the
problems with Vapona) are the NPS Conserve O Grams at

or <http://www.cr.nps.gov/csd/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html>

The whole series is available free of charge as downloadable PDF files at
that web address. Other topics, for example, include 3/6 Insect Pest
Control Procedure: The Freezing Process;  
You can also go to Conservation OnLine
<http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/index.shtml> - it has a section of pest
management pages, and if you do a search in the listserv archives for the
Conservation DistList - available through this page you'll find lots of
discussion that's gone on there over quite a few years.
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections has a leaflet
on anoxia at <http://www.spnhc.org/>.

Martin R. Honey CBiol MIBiol, Lead Curator (Moths)
Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, Great Britain
EMAIL:     M.Honey at nhm.ac.uk
Museum web page <http://www.nhm.ac.uk>

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