Hi All,

I am interested in gathering information on solutions to the following
curatorial issues:

1) Controlling/reducing humidity inside individual insect drawers (or
cabinets), in which naphthalene is used as a pest deterrent.

I am aware of indicating desiccants such as silica gel beads and Drierite
(both available from Carolina) and silica gel packets available from, for
example, BioQuip. Specifically, I am interested in hearing about peoples’
experience with these (or other) products from a collection management
perspective. For instance:

How often do indicating silica gel beads need to be recharged after
becoming saturated?

How effective are these desiccants as a solution to discouraging

2) Mold (?) treatment. I have seen specimens in collections that, over
time, seem to have developed a whitish indeterminate “coating” and I have
seen specimens with more obvious signs of fungal attack such as evident
hyphae/fruiting bodies.

I am interested in how best to both kill and remove the mold in order to
restore such specimens and would like to develop a protocol for dealing
with this. I have heard of the use of ammonia or ammonia/ethanol solution,
thymol in alcohol, acetone, etc.

Would this whitish coating likely be mold growth and if so how can it best
be removed, if this is even possible (I guess chemical removal is the only
available option here)?

For bigger specimens, physical removal seems to be a viable option, but
what about tiny ones where this isn’t a realistic/safe option?

Thanks for any help (and apologies for cross-posting).


Dave J. Clarke, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Integrative Research Center
The Field Museum
1400 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60605
+1-773-573-2000 (cell)