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 mold/mildew?

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  

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