Greetings friends,

I was able to very effectively clean mold (or at least kill it) off beetles and other insects by applying with a fine paintbrush a solution of thymol dissolved in ethanol on the specimens. That is one more treatment to try on your series of beetles.


Luc Leblanc

Curator of the William F. Barr Entomological Museum

University of Idaho, Department of Entomology, Plant pathology and Nematology (EPPN)

875 Perimeter Drive MS 2329

Moscow, ID 83844-2329

Phone: 208-885-7079

L'enfance de l'art est la jeunesse du coeur - Sol.


From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Margaret Thayer <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 9:27 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: moldy specimens
Yes, that's the one Derek Woller sent a link to in the first reply to Andy's message yesterday. 

Margaret K. Thayer, Ph.D. 
Curator Emeritus and Lecturer (Committee on Evolutionary Biology)
Field Museum and University of Chicago

O: 312.665.7741 (direct)

Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60605

On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 9:44 AM, Jim Walker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
There's an article I was just made aware of yesterday ( that says Lysol is a good removal tool. I haven't tried it myself, but it certainly seems like a possible (and easy!) solution. 

James (Jim) Walker, M.S.
Assistant Curator | UMSP, Entomology |
1980 Folwell Ave, 219 Hodson Hall, St. Paul, MN 55108
University of Minnesota |
j[log in to unmask] | 612-301-2238

On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 5:14 PM, Johnson, Paul <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Plain household ammonia works well. Soaking a specimen will also loosen appendages for repositioning. I use an ammonia soak for genitalia dissection softening, too. 

Lysol spray works well, too, and is good if you have a box or drawer of specimens to treat.

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Alan Mudge <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 11:57:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: moldy specimens
I have found a 50:50 solution of plain ammonia and water to be a good all purpose cleaner and have not had any problems with discoloration etc.

I don't have much experience with them but would an ultrasonic cleaner be useful in this case?


From: "Andy Deans" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 8:26:33 AM
Subject: moldy specimens

Hi all,
We received a recent donation of old beetles that are covered in mold (or mould if you like):
I was hesitant to accept them, given their condition, but the donation came with $$$ and the specimens appear to otherwise be in great shape.

Can anyone recommend a treatment? I considered removing the mold mechanically with a fine brush. That would be labor intensive, but the collection is relatively small (about two USNM drawers).

Thankful for any help,

Frost Entomological Museum
Penn State