It’s happened again! A few days ago, I put a specimen (possibly a Pluteus) down for a spore print and covered it with a bell-jar, and when I came back (admittedly 2 days after, rather than the next morning), there was only an evil-smelling mush with a horde of maggots feasting on the remains. Specimen was unusable.
So has anybody any tips to stop it happening? I envisaged something like putting a mothball under the jar as well, but the fumes are toxic and carcinogenic. Has to be something that won’t interfere with the structure, or possible chemical tests.
I already routinely have to put slug pellets on the floor of the study. They only eat the book bindings…
John’s suggestion of acetone-free nail varnish remover (ethyl acetate) seems to be great. Put the specimen down for a spore print, put a piece of sponge with a dash of ethyl acetate on it, cover, and leave overnight. Attached pictures show the idea. A specimen on a slide, the sponge in an old coverslip box, and the glass cover. Next picture shows deceased maggots feet up on the surface of the shroom. Thanks John.
Many things will drive out maggots. An old mycologost friend of mine,French, would put mushroom caps in a lidded pan with an egg-cup full of petrol overnight. This did the trick quite nicely….of course, being French, he was evacuating the maggots in order to eat the muchrooms. Others of his nationality were not so fussy….they ate them maggots and all.
I have used PVC solvent to good effect. It has the advantage of being a blobby gel which just turns solid over a few hours, but maggots expire during this short time.
On a side note, I annually collect a kilo or two of H.repandum from a certain location which we shall visit later on. This year the blighters have “first flushed” rather early and are under attack from tiny, thready fly (unknown) larvae. I do not eat them as I find the smell of petrol repulsive.