We have a collection of several thousand paraffin blocks (unsealed), and
an arachnid has been found in some.
The blocks date back as early as the 70's and are currently stored in
small cardboard boxes, 5-10 at a time, which are themselves stored in
plastic storage containers with lids. Some of the cardboard boxes
indicate moisture damage, though when and how this occurred is unclear.
The plastic containers are in a cellar without direct sunlight or
temperature control. The room seems a little damp, but testing indicates
the humidity was in the normal range (for office workers, not
necessarily paraffin blocks). It can also warm up a bit in winter as
heating pipes run through the room.
I'm looking for the best way to get rid of the bugs, while creating the
best conditions for the collection longterm.
Two options have been presented:
1. Fumigating the collection. This seems to be the simplest, and we
could simply leave the blocks in their current storage containers.
2. Obtaining fridges, putting the blocks into ziplock bags, storing the
blocks at -5 Cel. for several weeks to kill the bugs and then storing
the bags at about 4 Cel. from then on.
The second option is a bit of an issue, space and money-wise and I'm
wondering whether it's worth it. There don't seem to be many (any)
studies on such longterm storage of paraffin blocks. The blocks do/will
get used, and some (limited) feedback I've received is that the signal
strength is def. stronger in the more recent blocks than the ones from
Would -5 Cel really kill the bugs (and their eggs)?
Any exp. with dampness and temperature control for blocks?
Any feedback appreciated.
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