Bugs in materials

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Dave Evans, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Dave -
    I'm sure all of the above advice is good, but overkill for the most part (sorry, Tim, I'm sure your feathers are now VERY clean of bugs). I think you will be fine if you use freezing as your only bugicide. Virtually all natural history museums now use freezing only for bugs, and museums get just about every kind of critter in, with various birds, mammals, herps, plants, etc. No need to use naphthalene or any other harsh insecticides.

    Keeping them out once the feathers are clean is the critical step. I store every skin or piece of fur in its own ziplock bag and these are stored in plastic bins with snug fitting lids. I keep some silica gel desiccant in the bottom of the bins to keep the humidity down (be sure to re-dry your silica gel in an oven or microwave every so often), which is good for the skins and also a bit of a deterrent to bugs or mold.

    Dick
     
  2. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    Yes, You are right Dick. Freezing and thoughtful storage is a good first line of defence and will take care of most bug problems. That is why I offered my solution as a final solution to be used if other techniques failed.

    I had a nagging bug problem in one of my fly boxes (my lake box) for a few years running. I had put it in our chest freezer repeatedly for a few months at a time during the winter. Still I had visible bug eggs and deteriorating flies. Particularly some of the natural fur dubbed bodies. Some bug eggs can survive extended freezing. Some even require it to hatch. What to do?

    My regimen comes from a friend I consulted about the problem who had spent a considerable part of her career as an independent textile conservator and restorationist being hired by museums, private collectors and a few governments of Middle Eastern countries were ancient textiles are an important part of their national heritage. Her advise for ongoing infestation that freezing did not cure was to go straight for the nuclear option before it spread. It made sense to me and it certainly worked.

    TC
     
  3. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Freezing is not an option for me. The spouse type unit forbids bits and pieces of feathers and fur in the freezer. She claims it contaminates her ice cream.
     
  4. Krusty

    Krusty Krusty Old Effer

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    Adam's Flea and Tick spray from a pet store.