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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 525 (499)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 525
Page 525

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 525

crawls away to its hiding place for a period of several days before feeding again. Hiding places can often be confirmed by the presence of clusters of small dark spots resembling over-size fly specks. These spots are the excreted wastes from digestion of blood meals. Feeding is normally in the dark, but when the bugs are extra hungry it may occur in broad daylight. Eggs are seldom laid at temperatures below 606 Fahrenheit. In heated buildings the life cycle requires 6 to 8 weeks. Under rather cool conditions (60 to 65 degrees) young bedbugs may live nine months with only a single feeding. Control measures are much the same as for lice except that bedbugs crawl to hiding places some distance from their source of food and lice remain near where they were dislodged. Bedbugs become approblem in dressing rooms and rest rooms, as well as around auditorium seats. DDT (either a 5 per cent spray in hydrocarbon-base oil or a 10 per cent dust) will clean up bedbugs and prevent reinfestation for over six months.


Fleas are extremely important from the health standpoint because they transmit typhus in the southeastern United States and plague in the West. Wherever fleas are found in the United States control should be primarily by elimination of animal hosts, which are usually cats, dogs, rats, mice, or squirrels. No such animals should be allowed around premises where the public is to be served, whether food or theatrical art. No matter how clean they are kept, if they are allowed the slightest freedom, cats and dogs will carry fleas. The other animals mentioned are themselves destructive, and for that reason alone, even if public health were not at stake, their presence should not be countenanced. They can be eradicated by means of poison baits, traps, or fumigation.

Fleas are tiny, Wingless, hard-shelled jumping insects which annoy people by biting them, particularly about the ankles. Fleas, in order to breed, must have blood to feed upon. The adult flea lays its eggs in the fur of the host but these eggs drop off in the animals bed or in cracks in floors and furniture frequented by the animal. In a few days,

THE CAT FLEA, in common with other types of fleas, is particularly important to health because it can transmit, in its feeding, various diseases, including typhus and plague. (U. S. D. A., BEPQ, photograph.)



SPOTS CHARACTERISTIC OF BEDBUG HIDING PLACES are shown here. The spots resemble overssize flyspecks and are the excreted wastes from the digestion of meals on blood. While bedbugs normally feed in the dark, they will, when extra hungry,'feed in broad daylight. Bedbugs sometimes become a problem in dressing rooms and rest rooms, as well as around auditoriums. DDT is a control. (U. 5. Department of Agriculture, BEPQ, photo.)

worm-like larvae hatch and feed upon organic matter. In 2 or 3 weeks, they form cocoons and change to adult fleas again. Because fleas may deveIOp for a month or two after the host animals have been eliminated, it is necessary to apply insecticides against the insects themselves, especially in places where the host animal has been in the habit of sleeping and running. Because adult fleas can only jump a little over a foot off the floor at the most, floors and upholstered furniture are the only locations that require treatment for flea control. DDT in either a liquid spray or a dust appears to be superior to all the older insecticides for flea control, primarily because this chemical exerts a residual action and kills the insects which hatch after application.

Mosquitoes and Flies

Mosquitoes and flies in their adult stage transmit a number of human diseases, notably malaria in the case of the anopheline mosquitoes. Since theatre management seldom has control over those areas outdoors where these insects breed, the elimination of breeding places will not be discussed here. The immediate problem is chiefly two-fold: first, screening (16 meshes to the inch) to keep the flying adults from coming indoors and, second, destruction with insecticides of those that succeed in entering. Until the present time, dy and mosquito extermination indoors could best be accomplished only with direct contact sprays of the ttflitii type, containing for the most part pyrethum, Lethanes 384 and 384 Special, or Thanite as the toxicant. Now, although the latter are still important for supplemental spraying, the basic treatment should be a residual contact spray of DDT applied to interior walls where flies and m0squitoes come to rest sufliciently long for the DDT deposit to take effect through their legs. Fly traps should not be used because the bait in the trap attracts flies without catching them all. Sticky fly paper is unsightly and so inferior in results that its use is mostly wasted effort. Electrical fly screens kill many Hies but they are expensive to install, the burned flies have

a foul odor and control is not satisfactory.


Blowflies are large, noisy, shiny flies, bluish, greenish or black in color. They develop in the flesh of dead animals. A temporary nuisance may be occasioned by the body of a squirrel or rat in a ventilator shaft or similar location from which white maggots migrate into view and transform into these obnoxious flies.


Clothes moths and carpet beetles breed in furnishings, wardrobes, and costume materials made of stuff of animal origin, such as wool, feathers, hair and furs. Silks are sometimes injured by carpet beetles, rayon by silver-fish. Clothes moths spin a silken webbing where they

THE YELLOWrFEVER MOSQUITO and that which transmits malaria should be known to theatremen, that they may promote (it= only for selfish reasons) the highest level of health. (Cornell University drawing.)
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 525