Cockroaches, insect collection Minimize

November 2004. Papua New Guinea insect collection reported a cockroach problem and asked how to control it.

It was asked whether the cockroach problem was inside the specimen storage units (store boxes, entomological cabinets, drying cabinets, etc.); that is, are the cockroaches getting to the actual specimens? If so, you will have to exclude them by using only good quality units with close-fitting lids. Any infested units can be disinfested by deep-freezing them for 1 week. (But of course they can be reinfested afterwards if not sealed.) A cockroach problem on the premises probably calls for a more traditional commercial pest control solution. It seems the problem occurs when the insects are pinned and left on the bench overnight before placing in cabinets.

A similar problem occurred in Samoa, with lizards, and the only solution was to put the pinning boards in sealed containers before transfer to permanent storage.