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Conserving: pests

There are many ways that our collection can become damaged. We take many steps to safeguard against this, and conserve our collections for future use.

Like any other building, we are prone to insects and mice, the main threats to our collections. Quarantine in a -30°C freezer is the best way to kill insect pests on freshly collected material or specimens that show signs of infestation. Once in the collection, the only line of defence against pests is to stop them getting in.

Conserving: storage environment

The specimens in the collection are deteriorating, though extremely slowly. Light, temperature and humidity levels in the stores are carefully controlled to slow down this process.

Temperature fluctuation

In your house, the temperature changes regularly during a 24 hour cycle.

In the Darwin Centre spirit collection stores, the temperature is a constant 13C all day, all year round.

Conserving: careful handling

Dust, handling and exposure to different environments take their toll on our many different collections.

Specimens need to be checked regularly for damage by pests or the environment, or for evaporation of alcohol.

Some specimens are too delicate to be handled. For these, our conservation laboratory is skilled in making exact replicas for study and display.