The destruction of herbarium specimens by insect pests is a serious problem. Major pests of concern include book lice and cigarette beetles. The Florida Museum and UF Herbarium have designed proactive pest control protocols in order to prevent collection damage.
- All incoming dry plant materials, whether shipped, hand-carried by visitors or just removed from a plant press, must be either frozen in the herbarium's freezer (14 days) or fumigated at UF Pest Management Services (usually a few days). Our freezer facilities are limited, so large sets must be routed through Pest Management.
Herbarium Freezing Procedures
- Put the completely dry material in a box and seal the box with plastic tape; - or - bind the material between cardboards and place the bundle in a plastic bag and seal it.
- Clearly label the box or plastic bag with your name and the date. If you require significant space you will need to make prior arrangements with the Collection Manager. Such material is typically routed through UF Pest Management.
- The freezer should be set at or below -20°C (-4°F) and the material should remain at this temperature for a minimum of 7-14 days. If you put a large amount of material in the freezer, allow time for it to chill to the proper temperature.
- After removing the box or bag from the freezer let it sit until the material is at room temperature. This will help reduce the amount of moisture the material may absorb from condensation.
- Once the material is at room temperature it should be unpacked and stored in a herbarium cabinet. Consult with the Collection Manager if you do not have cabinet space assigned to you.
- Please only remove your own boxes from the freezer. See the Collection Manager if there is not sufficient space in the freezer.
UF Pest Management Services Procedures
- Contact UF Pest Management (Don Orth), 352 392-3410, to arrange for the fumigation.
- Location: Building 683 on UF campus. Enter, "683" on the UF Campus Map to highlight the building. The fumigation chamber is actually on the right side of the entry road (N of Bldg. 683).
- The specimens should be secured in boxes and clearly marked:
University of Florida Herbarium, Florida Museum of Natural History, 370 Dickinson Hall
Attn: Kent Perkins, ph. 352-273-1990.
- Pest Management will deliver the boxes to the Herbarium.
Book lice: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IG094 / http://www.americanpest.net/resources/fabric-and-paper-pests/booklice.asp
Cigarette beetles: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/stored/cigarette_beetle.htm
Drugstore beetles: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/stored/drugstore_beetle.htm