Freezing is an effective and safe method of eradicating an insect
infestation. The infested textile should be rolled or folded,
and then packaged in clean, clear 3-4 mil. weight polyethylene.
Remove excess air to prevent risk of condensation in bag, but
avoid damaging the textile by compressing it too much. Seal the
package with duct tape (other tapes such as masking or packing
tape do not hold their seal during the freezing process). Small
pieces can be frozen in heavy weight food grade zip-lock bags.
Place the packaged textile in a chest freezer for a minimum of
1 week; most refrigerator freezers do not reach the necessary
low temperatures of -4 to -13°F (-20 to -25°C). It is
imperative that the freezer not be opened at any time during this
process in order to maintain a constant temperature.
After freezing, allow the textile to completely thaw before removing
it from the package. Condensation will appear, but only on the
outside of the package. Inspect the textile carefully, and if
you dont feel certain everything has been killed, repeat
the above procedure. Finally, carefully vacuum the textile to
remove frass and insect debris before returning it to display
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING is essential in preventing any kind of infestation.
PERIODIC INSPECTION of textiles and/or storage areas is necessary
for insect control.
SCREEN windows, airducts and chimneys to prevent the entry of
PROPER STORAGE facilities include a dry, clean environment.
PROPER AIR CIRCULATION, 45-55% relative humidity, and a temperature
of 68-72°F in storage areas will prevent mold and mildew.
For Additional Information:
CCI Notes 3/3, Canadian Conservation Institute (1997). Controlling
insect pests with low temperature. Ottawa: CCI
National Pest Control Association
8100 Oak Street
Dunn Loring, VA 22027
(consumer hotline: 2-3 EST, Monday through Friday)
Pest Control Technology
2803 Bridge Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(journal; technical leaflets)
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center-West
Beltsville, MD 20705