For certain types of infested articles where the use of chemical insecticides is not permitted or desired, complete control of all stages of fabric pests can be achieved by sealing the article tightly in a polyethylene bag, removing as much air as possible, and placing it in a deep freezer for three days at -200°F. This treatment may take longer for bulky articles or when using commercial freezers that maintain temperatures of -50°F to 0°F, for which at least two weeks are recommended. In other cases, fumigation using vault fumigation methods may be required.
After the appropriate sanitation and infestation source reduction measures have been implemented, a thorough inspection can guide an extensive program of insecticide applications. Residual pyrethroid insecticides like permethrin, labeled neonicotinoid insecticides like dinotefuran, and various non-residual materials such as synergized pyrethrins or other non-residual pyrethroids are used for spot treatment or more general applications, as necessary.
During the inspection process, critical areas of infestation such as baseboard areas and under furniture should receive special attention. In carpets, rolling the carpet back several inches to a foot from its edges wherever possible and treating the underside of infested areas is important. In furniture, insecticide should be applied around seams, buttons, cracks, and crevices, and padding areas, while void areas within furniture, such as under seating or seat backs, can be dusted with a residual insecticide.
All insecticide sprays should be applied lightly and rapidly to avoid excessive application or fabric soaking, which frequently results in staining.
Depending on the length and density of the carpet pile, specialized rakes or combs may be used to help allow the spray to penetrate down into the pile more effectively. Sprays may be applied as either water-based or oil-based formulations, with water-based sprays being preferable where foam or rubber pads or backing are present behind fabrics.
Before treating carpets or upholstery, any stains that are already present should be noted, and the client will be informed. Finally, we check for dyes that are sensitive to certain insecticides and keep in mind that foot traffic or sunlight can interact with some chemical residues over a period of time, leading to staining that may not be apparent shortly after the initial treatment dries.
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