Control of textile pests

In many cases it will be sufficient to wash or clean the infested materials or to spray them with one of the many good insecticides available on the market. These substances contain a contact poison dissolved in petroleum or mineral turpentine. They can be sprayed by the appropriate vacuum cleaner attachment or by an aerosol where the insecticide is packed under pressure and released by pressing on a knob. Aerosols are, of course, more expensive to use and are not really suit- able for the treatment of furniture.

Upholstered furniture should be sprayed until the covers are quite damp, and this may require, for example, at least half a litre for a sofa.

Large objects which are difficult to treat at home can be sent for gas treatment, but this may be expensive, depending upon the distance to be travelled. Such treatment should involve the use of cyanide gas or methyl bromide.

Treatment by gas will kill eggs, larvae and adult insects, but it will not protect against a fresh infestation.

A severe period of frost can also be used, the furniture being placed outside when the temperature is likely to fall to at least -10° C, at least during the night. The furniture should be brought into the warmth again during the day. This process should be repeated for a couple of days, for although moths can tolerate low temperatures for quite a long time they are quickly killed by alternating heat and cold.