We freeze at -40C for 2 days all incoming specimens (eg all loan returns).
Usually not alcohol shipments but sometimes these too if the packaging is
suspect or it's coming in from a museum.

We do a visual inspection of the entire pinned collection every six months
(I get my entomology students to help with this as one of their first lab

We also rely on cabinet and drawer seals.

Based on older collections we've received, it does seem dermestids prefer
larger specimens (Bombus, Sphingidae, etc) but I've seen damage to small
flies too. If one wanted to collect data to detect a pattern I'd focus on
dermestid damage which is easier to find than dermestids themselves. Might
make a great student project!


On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 6:05 AM, Mike Ferro <[log in to unmask]>

> Two things:
> 1. I know that a lot of museums have moved away from moth balls, PDB, and
> other chemicals used to keep the hounds at bay. A common strategy seems to
> be freezing drawers to kill any dermestids and then relying on mechanical
> defenses (cabinet and drawer seals) to keep dermestids out.
> What are the formal or informal protocols you guys use in your museums?
> Refreeze all drawers every year? Spot check for damage every six months?
> 2. I get the sense that dermestids preferentially (only?) attack specimens
> over a certain size. Has anyone kept records of where dermestids are and
> aren't in their collection? Might they have a taxonomic bias as well as a
> size one? Basically, can we expect that a drawer full of ptillids is
> dermestid proof? Perhaps pooling records of where dermestids are (and
> aren't) in a collection would show a pattern.
> Cheers,
> Mike
> --
> Michael L. Ferro
> Collection Manager, Clemson University Arthropod Collection
> Dept. of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
> MAIL: 277 Poole Agricultural Center
> OFFICE: 307 Long Hall
> Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0310
> [log in to unmask] (preferred)
> [log in to unmask]
> Subject Editor: The Coleopterists Bulletin; Insecta Mundi


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Associate Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
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Fairbanks, AK   99775-6960

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