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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 529 (503)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 529
Page 529

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 529

tions may be emphasized. Structural planning prior to construction, cleanliness not merely in the ordinary sense but with the prevention of insect development. in mind, the provision of cool, dry storage facilitiesethese and other factors are of tremendous concern in terms of dollars and cents.

Structural Planning

With but little extra expense at the time of construction a building can be made reasonably termite resistant. Metal termite shields installed properly, use of lumber which has been pressure treated with a suitable wood preservative wherever wood must be placed in contact with the soil or within a few inches of the ground surface, are important measures in this direction. Because termites favor moist ground and damp wood in which to work, a well-drained location should be chosen. Cross-ventilation beneath all parts of a structure will aid greatly in keeping both soil and wood in a dry condition, and unattractiVe to termites. Building specifications for termite control should conform to the recommendations of the United States Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine.

At the same time that termite-proofing is considered, thought should be given to rat-proofing. Detailed directions are presented in Conservation Bulletin 19 by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington 25, D. C.

Carpet beetles and fleas breed in lint and other debris in floor cracks. Therefore, wooden floors should be as free from wide cracks as possible.

Cockroaches prefer narrow crevices near sources of water in which to hide. They like to feel their roof snug against their backs! Buildings can and should be constructed to eliminate favorable hiding places for roaches. Sinks installed so as to leave a space of 2 inches behind them do not harbor many roaches.


Cleanliness is important in insect control. Certain details of the cleaning routine in one establishment may be responsible for keeping down insects that become annoying in another place, although the latter appear superficially to be just as clean. Often the little things about cleaning, such as attention to outof-the-way corners, count most in insect control when practiced day after day or month after month. Regular and intelligent inspections of the condition of building and furnishings should be made at least once a month.

Thorough cleaning of furniture by vacuum with particular attention to deep crevices behind cushions and between seat and back will remove both eggs and insects. Waste materials and worn-out articles should be disposed of promptly to avoid providing unnecessary breeding places.


The use of insecticides, contrary to the common attitude, should be regarded in general as supplementary to preventive measures. Insecticides are to be applied with care because most of them are poisonous, at least to a certain degree; moreover, they may have a deleterious



THE COMMON SILVERFISH feeds on such things as glue and the starch in sizing, wallpaper, and starched goods. He is also fond of rayon. DDT sprays and dusts are good controls. (Cornell Universin drawing.)

effect upon interior finish and furnishe ings.


DDT, short for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, is that new wonder material put into practical application in the United States first for protection of our armed forces against louse-borne typhus fever. So much publicity has been given to DDT that the erroneous belief may become general that this compound is a panacea to use against any insect life and that it will supplant all insecticides previously recommended. Remember, however, that:

(1) DDT must be properly compounded commercially as a spray or dust before it can be utilized as an insecticide. DDT is not soluble in water and the crystals cannot be ground fine enough for dusting purposes with the usual equipment.

(2) DDT will not kill some kinds of insects any better or even as well as other insecticides we already have.

(3) DDT must be applied carefully according to directions or results will not be any more satisfactory than with other


For spray purposes DDT is recommended at 5 per cent in a hydrocarbon base oil of the kerosene type. For dusting, it is recommended at 10 per cent, usually in pyrophyllite (Pyrax) as the diluent. DDT appears to be particularly effective against flies, mosquitoes, bedbugs, lice,'fleas and clothes moths. The most outstanding advantage in its use is its residual action, ffproofing" areas or articles against re-infestation in some cases for over six months. Thorough application of DDT spray to fabrics such as rugs and carpets will "mothproof" them for awhile. DDT liquid sprayed liberally onto interior walls, theatre seats, etc., will eliminate flies, mosquitoes (except those just flown in and not yet exposed to the DDT), bedbugs, lice and Silverfish. .

DDT must be regarded as poisonous although it is not as dangerous in this respect as many insecticides already in common use. Like all insecticides, however, it should be handled carefully. It is believed that only the oil-base DDT spray will penetrate the human skin. If any considerable quantity of the liquid is to be handled, rubber gloves should be worn and the hands later washed thoroughly with soap and water. Brief wetting of the hands with the oil-base insecticide will cause no ill effects.

Although DDT dust can be used against cockroaches the different species vary in their susceptibility to this insecticide.

Sodium Fluoride

, Sodium fluoride or a mixture of pyrethrum and sodium fluoride, long standard cockroach powders, appear to be as reliable, perhaps more so, than DDT. Sodium fluoride is poisonous to man if taken internally in sufficient amounts but if used carefully in roach control no harm will follow. If much is to be applied, however, irritation of the nose and throat should be avoided by wearing a dust mask or several thicknesses of cheesecloth over the nose and mouth. The powder should be applied with a mechanical duster with which the insecticide can be forced deep into crevices behind pipes and sinks, or wherever else cockroaches are observed to hide. The idea is to hit as many roaches as possible directly so they will die immediately (within an hour or so). Those not so hit will have to run through the powder a considerable distance to be affected. It is best to apply the powder in the evening and not to clean it up for 2 to 4 days. Repeat the application each week or two until all cockroaches disappear. The advantage of the mixture of sodium fluoride with pyrethrum is that the latter ingredient excites the insects and makes them run through the sodium fluoride.


A promising new insecticide is benzene hexachloride, a British development under the name of Gammexane or 666, but little is yet known regarding its practical possibilities. Contrary to the early claims made for its superior qualities, however, it is not as effective as DDT against some important agricultural pests. No reliable information is yet available re
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 529