Windmill in my gallery

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    • #132182

      We are in the process renovating our long term galleries which includes the addition of a windmill.  The windmill we now own is about 75 years old, full size with a wooden tower and has spent the last year laying on a flatbed trailer at the edge of a field.  I have just been informed that the timeline has changed and that it will be entering our building in one week.

      I want the windmill I’m just not too big a fan of the associated wildlife that is probably attached to it.  At this point my plan is to call the local exterminator and have them spray it where it is unless someone can tell me why I shouldn’t or give me a more workable option.

      Thank you

    • #132187
      Becca DuBey

      Hello Nikkie,

      I don’t know where you are, but here in Wisconsin the deep freeze would have killed all the pests.  If you don’t have a natural deep freeze (winter!) I would suggest a you make use of an artificial one!  Wrap your windmill in cloth, then in plastic, sealing it as best you can.  If possible, make a hole in the wrapping  just big enough for a vacuum cleaner hose, reverse the air flow in a vacuume cleaner and suck all the air out.  The plastic will collapse around the structure. When finished, it should just take a minute or two, then seal the hole.  Then very carefully pack the windmilll onto a trailer and take it to an indoor freezer plant.  We brought about 5o oversized objects from years of outside storage to  our local meat locker after explaining that the object was sealed.  We kept it there for a week or two, then brought it home and let things slowly thaw out.  I understand size may be an issue here, and time also, but I hope this is helpful.

    • #132186

      Becca,  thank you.  Freezing was our plan, I even have a refer truck lined up based on the original timeline. My problem is with the timeline changing I now have to jump from what I want to do/is best for the artifact to what I have to do to not endanger the rest of the collection and that isn’t too bad for the artifact.

    • #132185
      Ron Kley

      I’m not a conservator, but have discussed the “bugs in wood” problem with conservators. I’ve been told that freezing, by itself, will not destroy all boring insects, but a fairly rapid repetition of freeze/thaw cycles will do the job. You’d need to contact a conservator or dig into conservation literature to quantify this generalization and develop a “recipe” for the number and duration of required cycles, and for the “target” temperatures recommended during the freeze and thaw cycles.

      Good luck!

    • #132184

      Spraying is undesirable for a museum artifact as well as people and the environment.  Also, spraying usually entails multiple sprays over time to kill anything in all its stages of life.  Have you considered anoxic treatment of the windmill?  NPS has published a Conserve-o-gram on anoxic treatment for pest management (attached).  If you have a museum in your area that has an objects conservator on staff,  it’s worth calling for some input.

    • #132183
      Olivia Primanis

      My colleague, Mary Baughman suggested that you post your query to  as the resources and people on that list may be helpful to you.

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