Ah, the smell of mothballs. That’s been the perfume scenting many entomologists’ experiences for the last 40 years or so. You always have to protect your collections from the attacks of dermestid beetles. Those little suckers are so efficient at eating dead things, they are commonly used to strip dead animals to their skeletons by museums. (You can watch a video of them devouring a pig carcass here. Not for the squeamish.)
Except…it turns out that mothball stuff is really bad for you. So, if we can’t fumigate things anymore…what do you do to protect your collection of preserved animals from insects?
Well, for bird skins, you put them in a plastic bag and freeze them. This photo is proof that there is a baggie for absolutely anything you need to bag up–including a 80 cm long preserved bald eagle.
Pretty much anything you might want to know about preserving a specimen–whether it’s clothing, a dead animal, or papers–can be found at the National Park Service Conserve-o-Gram website.