I have a question:
What are your personal opinions on putting uniforms in the freezer to kill moths and beetles? Most of the uniforms I now own were in closets for who knows how long and only a couple uniforms show no signs of these bugs. And if not the freezer, what methods do you all have to get rid of these destructive bugs (and keep them away)?
That is a great question..
Here is what we have done in the past.
When a new aquisition comes in the doors we have to immediately quarantine the items and segregate them from the collection to prevent any type of contamination.
The freezer option works very well, but it is not just a one time thing. It should be done at least 2 times. Here is why..
Step 1. It is suggested that you first vaccum the item (using a museum grade vaccum) or by putting a mesh screen (window screen material) over the uniform so the suction will not pull the fibers of the uniform. Vaccum all the pockets and inside and outside of the uniform as well as the sleeves, liner ect.
Step 2. Put the item in the freezer for 24 hours and freeze the item (uniform, hat, etc). The first deep freeze will kill all living bugs and pests that you may not see..
Step 3. Defrost the item for 24 hours, revaccum the item
Step 4. Refreeze the item again for 24 hours. The second freeze will kill larvae and eggs that may have hatched since the first freeze. (It is thought that the first freeze will not kill everything becasue the bugs think it is a hybernation cycle)
Step 5. Defrost and repeat Step 3.
Step 6. If you want you can refreeze the item for a third time if you feel that the item was really infested.
After step 6 you can still segregate the uniform or what have you from your collection for another few weeks so you can observe the item to see if there are any other pests that survived.
We do this at the museum on occasion