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Subject: Pest management

Pest management

From: Mary-Lou Florian <mflorian>
Date: Friday, January 4, 2002
On behalf of C. Preston Huff, Bill Minter <wmntr [at] aol__com> writes

>The following was posted on the Archives and Archivists list and is
>reproduced her without the author's knowledge or permission
>    At the Library of Virginia's new State Records Center we have a
>    Pest Eradication Chamber to treat incoming archival records that
>    happen to be infested with insects.  The chamber is actually a
>    specialized blast freezer which will reach temperatures of -40
>    degrees F.  The treatment cycle is -40 degrees F for 48 hours
>    then back up to room temperature for 24 hours and then we plunge
>    the temperature back down to -40 for an additional 48 hours. We
>    think that the chamber is effective in killing any critters that
>    we encounter but we want to make sure.  A biology professor from
>    the College of William and Mary and a graduate student are going
>    to study the chamber and help determine how effective it is in
>    an upcoming research project.

    C. Preston Huff, CRM, CA,
    State Records Administrator
    The Library of Virginia

I  hope the students are aware of the great deal of research that
has already been done on this topic. The literature is extensively
reviewed in my book,  Heritage Eaters,  Insects and Fungi in
Heritage Collections. James and James, 1997. The blast freezer is
used to prevent ice crystals formation in food.  Ice crystal
formation is essential for death of insects.  This is one of the
many reasons that the normal chest freezer in which the temperature
change is slow enough to cause ice formation in insects, is used.
The effects of this procedure on a number of artifact materials has
also been researched and shown to have no effects. The blast freezer
has been used in the past, i.e. the initial work on freezing insect
was done back in the 80's.  Empirical results show that it is
effective in killing most household insects.  The most important
thing to research before  the effect on the insects,  is the effect
of this dramatic regime of reduced temperature on the materials been
treated.  If there is no effect on the material them the research on
the effect on the insects can logically follow.  I would hope that
the students are aware of this.

Mary-Lou Florian

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:48
                  Distributed: Monday, January 7, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-48-003
Received on Friday, 4 January, 2002

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