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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 524 (498)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 524
Page 524

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 524

Management Can Beat Its Insect Problem

Last Word in Insecticidal Ways and Means Are Set Forth by Noted Cornell Scientist

Human activities with few exceptions are affected in one way or. another by the ravages of destructive insects, and the buildings in which we gather for enjoyment of the theatrical arts receive their share of this attention from vermin. Some insect species endanger human health, while others cause heavy financial loss through damage to structure and furnishings of the theatre or to the goodwill of the public. The presence of cockroaches and similar vermin in halls and washrooms is liable to be observed and result in withdrawing customer patronage due to a reputation for unsanitary conditions.

The number of insect species that regularly become destructive around theatre premises is comparatively few and fairly easy to recognize. Many other kinds, however, occur now and then. This increases the problem, but for the most part if certain principles of control are followed, the insects can be eliminated successfully even if their exact species remains undetermined.

The most important factor in avoiding heavy financial losses from insect depredations is the ability of the person in immediate charge of a building to recognize an insect invasion before it gets out of hand and to see that suitable measures are employed for eliminating it. An eye alert to appreciate an incipient infestation can be the means of avoiding the drastic and expensive fumigations and repair jobs that careless or uninformed management is likely to entail. The old adage about an ounce of prevention being worth a big chunk of cure is just as true todayeat least, in insect control.

Often if an insect infestation becomes serious the most prudent solution is to employ the services of a pest-control operator (exterminator). Be careful,


Insect Toxicologisl o! the New York State College 0/ Agriculture at Cornell University

THE BODY LOUSE, natural size up to 1/6 inch in length, can be easily controlled on theatre seats by an oil-base contact spray or a 10 per cent DDT dust. (U. S. Department of Agriculture, BEPQ, photograph.)

however, to select an operator with an established reputation for reliability. Sometimes it is an economical arrangement to contract for the regular protective services of the operator. Unfortunately, smaller towns are frequently without exterminator services and too distant from them reasonably to expect an operator to answer their calls. Then it becomes more than ever necessary for the lccal manager to Atknow his bugs? and to direct their control himself.


Where large numbers of people frequently assemble indoors vermin such as lice and bedbugs are liable to be introduced.

Lice normally remain in a persosz clothing where they can enjoy the pleasant climatic conditions provided by the body warmth of the human host. They only accidentally become dislodged and then crawl around, for instance, in a the BEDBUGS ars sucking insects, feeding for the most part on the blood of man. Right is a bedbug before, and at the left after, enlargement. It requires from three to five minutes for these little suckers to get their fill, and then they crawl off for several day's recuperation from the gory binge. Bedbugs are controllable by much the some methods as for lice. Since bedbugs crawl some distance from their source of food. control measures must be more intense. (U. 5. Department of Agriculture, BEPQ, photographs.)


atre seat. Lice cannot breed separated from the warmth of their human hosts.

Bedbugs, on the other hand, are not so likely to be carried on the person, but once they become established in cracks in theatre seats they can gorge theme selves with blood during show-time and in a few weeks develop new generations amidst steadily replenished food supplies. Bedbugs may also be introduced in a building in second-hand furniture, baggage, and laundry.

Human Lice

Human lice are Wingless, sucking insects with three stages of development: egg, immature form, and adult. The eggs, called tinits," are attached to hairs of a persons head or laid in the seams of his underclothes. The young, immature lice are similar to the adult, but smaller and lighter-colored. The mature louse is light gray, moves rapidly, and becomes as large as one-sixth inch in length. The life cycle, from the time of laying the egg until the next generation becomes mature, averages 16 days for the body louse. Unfed adults live as long as 7 days at about 63 degrees Fahrenheit; if fed, they may live up to 46 days. Infested garments or other fabrics, kept at ordinary room temperatures, will be entirely free of living lice and nits if no access to a meal of blood is allowed for a period of 30 days. Liberal and thorough applications of an oil-base contact insecticide or a 10 per cent DDT dust will control human lice on theatre seats. A general building fumigation will kill all stages, but should not be necessary.


Bedbugs are also Wingless, sucking insects with three stages of development. They, however, are brown in color with a broadly rounded, dat body. When crushed they give 01f a characteristic ttbuggy" odor. Although they feed principally upon the blood of man, they sometimes attack such animals as pigeons, sparrows, and squirrels which may infest a building. It only requires 3 to 5 minutes for a bedbug to obtain a full meal of blood and then the bug

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 524