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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 530 (504)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 530
Page 530

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 530

garding its effect upon pests of buildings.


Pyrethrum is utilized either as the ground dried flowers of the pyrethrum plant imported from Africa or South America, or as sprays containing an extract from the flowers. Pyrethrum dusts made by absorbing the extract in talc or a similar carrier are said to be more effective than the ground flowers themselves because the effective agent is present on the exterior of each dust particle instead of being dispersed within the particle where it cannot come in contact with the insect. Pyrethrum is most important for its excitant qualities when added to sodium fluoride and other killing agents. When used alone the effects of pyrethrum often wear off so that the insects recover. Pyrethrum is not poisonous to higher animals and man, although it does affect persons who have ragweed hay-fever.


Rotenone is the insecticidal principle present in derris roots from Malay and Java and in cube and timbo roots from the Amazon region. Rotenone dusts are excellent for treating pet dogs and cats to control fleas and lice. They have not become popular generally with pest control operators, probably because rotenone is slow in its action. They are, however, effective against cockroaches and many other household pests, and such insects do not recover from the effects of rotenone. This insecticide has the advantage that it is non-poisonous in anything but massive amounts.


Insofar as possible, fabrics, such as carpets, upholstering, and tapestries susceptible to insect injury, should be made moth-resistant (often referred to as timoth-proof") to protect against clothes moths and carpet beetles. The preparations used commonly are water solutions of fluosilicates. Arsenicals are less effective, less resistant to cleaning, and more dangerous to health. Oil solutions containing such insecticides as DDT are said to have some value. Some fabrics intended for upholstering are made moth resistant during manufacture. uMothproofingii solutions are not designed for killing insects by direct contact, but to make the fabric unappetizing or poisonous to moth and beetle larvae. The degree of effectiveness and permanency is dependent upon the thoroughness of application. It pays to have valuable furnishings made moth resistant by a commercial operator with proper highpressure spray equipment.


Fumigation is the treatment of a closed space (box, room, or entire building) with a poisonous gas. On a large enough scale to kill insects in an entire room or building it is dangerous to the person doing the fumigation. No effective gas is known which is not highly poisonous to man. For this reason fumigation with such chemicals as cyanide must (and

THE FIREBRAT is named because it lives in hot places around steam pipes and furnaces. As with Silverfish, firebrafs can be controlled with applications of DDT. (U. S. Department of Agriculture, BEPQ, photograph.)

most cities have ordinances covering this point) be done by an experienced and licensed fumigator with a permit for each individual job. By judicious application of other forms of insecticides, however, fumigation can usually be avoided. It is a nuisance because it usually requires closing and sealing an entire building for upwards of 24 hours. Even so, it may be the most expeditious means of cleaning up a serious infestation which has gained too much headway to be quickly controlled by spraying or dusting. No inexperienced person should attempt large-scale fumigation and for this reason detailed directions will not be given here.

It is convenient sometimes to fumigate a small box or trunk full of articles which should be entirely freed of insects before they are sealed up in storage. Two chemicals are relatively safe for this use. One is carbon tetrachloride, a common non-flammable cleaning fluid About two cupfuls should be used for fumigating a trunk. It will not injure clothing if the clean chemical is sprinkled directly on the fabric. The trunk must be tightly closed immediately and kept so for 24 hours or longer. Mixtures of ethylene dichloride and carbon tetras chloride (mixed 3 to 1 by volume) are also effective, one cupful being used for a trunk. The trunk should be tight and the temperature kept up to at least 70 degrees. Fumigation is even much more effective if the temperature is 80 or 90 degrees. Do not breathe more of the fumes than necessary while treating the trunk, and do not work in the same room for more than fifteen minutes at a time during the first 12 hours. Do not use carbon disulfide as a fumigant because it is too flammable and explosive for this purpose. Sulfur dioxide produced by burning sulfur is highly effective against insects but its use is not recommended. It is destructive to the tensile strength of fabrics, bleaches dyes; and its production involves a serious fire hazard. Formaldehyde has no value. as an insect fumi THEATRE

gant although it is used against various fungi and bacteria.

Soil Treatment

Soil treatment with chemicals is a frequent practice in termite control, either by itself or in conjunction with the reconstruction of foundations, etc., to isolate the wood from the ground and prevent the insects from reaching wooden elements. Termite control operators, however, often place too much emphasis on chemical treatment of the soil. As recommended at present this practice in brief consists in pouring orthodichlorobenzene or a mixture of 1 part coal tar creosote and 3 parts light fuel oil into a narrow trench dug around piers, drain pipes, and along concrete or brick foundation walls. Sodium arsenite is often applied but is dangerous because it may poison water supplies. Shrubbery is liable to be injured by soil treatment chemicals unless precautions are taken. Treatment of woodwork in place, sometimes advocated, is not very satisfactory, because the oil carrier often utilized is inflammable and will not penetrate the damp wood most liable to termite attack.

Poison Baits

Rats and mice not only damage furnishings themselves but they provide breeding places for fieas which they may infect with disease organisms. These vermin are repelled by liberal dustings of sodium duoride wherever they run. If trapping is employed it should be sys tematic and on a considerable scale. Rats in particular are easily made suspicious. Baiting with poisoned food baits is often most productive of results. Directions for the control of rats and mice respectively are described in detail in Conservation Bulletins 3 and 36, which may be obtained free from the Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, Washington 25, D. C.


Further details relative to the identification and control of insect pests of buildings can be obtained from the United States Bureau of Entomology and'Plant Quarantine in Washington 25, D. C. The following free literature is of particular interest to theatre management: U. S. DEPT. or AGRICULTURE LEAFLETS No. 101, thnjury to Buildings by Ter mitesf

N0. 109, itEliminating Bats from Builde ingsiy

No. 144, ifCockroaches and Their Controlf

No. 145, "Clothes Moth"

No. 146, thedbugsii

No. 147, itHouse Ants"

No. 149, lfSilverfishf

No. 150, tiCarpet Beetles"

No. 152, "How to Control Fleasi, No. 182, ffHousefly Control"

No. 186, "Domestic Mosquitoesf

No. 189, iiPsocids, Annoying House Pestsi,

No. 192, uCentipedes and Millipedes in the House"

U. S. DEPT. or AGRICULTURE CIRCULAR No. 369, tilndustrial Fumigation against Insectsf

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 530