Surrey Heritage insect eradication service for museum and archive materials

Operative using blast freezer at Surrey History CentreSurrey History Centre is pleased to offer the hire of its blast freezer for insect pest eradication for most types of museum, library, archival and related materials.

Treatment consists of preparing the infested material in plastic film and placing it in a blast freezer where it is rapidly frozen down to -30°C and held there for 72 hours. After the 72-hour cycle, recovery to room temperature normally takes three days.

The treatment is proven to eradicate eggs, larvae and adult insects in paper, parchment, cloth, wood and other organic materials. It has been successfully used to treat historic documents, books, many types of artwork, costumes and even stuffed animals.

We are happy to discuss with you whether your objects are suitable for freezing and how they should be wrapped prior to treatment. Treated material should be returned to storage which is free from, and does not attract, insect infestation. Please contact us for advice on optimal storage conditions.

Effects of silverfish damage to paperThe internal size of the blast freezer cabinet is 81 cm wide x 61 cm deep x 141 cm high, and the cabinet must be loaded in such a way as to allow sufficient air space around each item in order to assist rapid heat transfer during the freezing process. As a result, load sizes will vary according to the dimensions of the individual items for treatment. As a guide, the freezer can hold 36 volumes, each 6 cm thick, and measuring 39 cm x 26 cm.

Service costs are as follows:

  • Handling charge per load £50 plus VAT
  • Each freezer load or part load £35 plus VAT

Our freezer is located at Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6ND. Clients are responsible for transporting their material to and from the Centre.

Any requests for the insect eradication service should be confirmed in writing with a schedule of material to be treated. On receipt of a written request, we will provide a quote including recommended treatment.

For further information, or to discuss a booking, please contact the Surrey Heritage conservator: telephone 01483 518737 or email


  • The blast freezer at Surrey History Centre
  • The effects of silverfish damage to paper

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