Beetles Attack South Australian Museum

Australians have a fear of termites that will destroy their assets, namely their houses. Your home is the most valuable thing you have. Termites creep up on you. You are not aware that they are there until the serious damage they do can be seen. Some houses have to be literally rebuilt.

At the South Australian Museum, however, it is beetles who are doing the damage. Carpet beetles are attacking everything they come into contact with. The valuable insect collection is being destroyed very quickly. Something has to be done, so the state government is going to spend $2.7 per cent on cleaning up the roof space of the Science Centre where the infestation began. Unfortunately, there is no money designated to protect the insect collection.

If the beetles cannot find anything to eat they consume each other. Dead insects in the museum's collection are the ideal food. Insects have been stored in wooden cases for 150 years. In world terms the large array of insects is very important. Scientists come from all over the globe to use the specimens for research in medicine, genetics, biodiversity, biosecurity, taxonomy and climate change.

Fortunately, something can be done to protect the collection. Specimens can be put into cold storage in deep freeze, or kept in perfectly sealed crates specially made for them.
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