[Histonet] Paraffin blocks (reprise)

From:Ari Liebkowsky

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 
the 1980s.

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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