Cris Guppy & Aud Fischer cguppy at quesnelbc.com
Wed Apr 5 10:58:49 EDT 2000

The collection conservation staff at the Royal BC Museum determined some
years ago that 24 hours at -20 C (most household deep freezes are about -18
C to -20 C) would kill the common museum pests. The need for 48 hours in the
freezer, rather than 24 hours, is to allow for the cooling period, to get
down to the lowest temperatures. It certainly works for my collection.
However different pests may have different freezing requirements.

-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Honey <M.Honey at NHM.AC.UK>
To: leps-l at lists.yale.edu <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
Date: April 4, 2000 11:58 PM
Subject: Re: dichlorovos

>>Most collections can be maintained "bug free" by having a combination of
>>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
>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>
>TELEPHONE: 020 7942 5604     International: 44 20 7942 5604
>FAX:       020 7942 5229     International: 44 20 7942 5229

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