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One of the exhibits at the STEAM Museum in Swindon, Wiltshire, is a World War II air raid shelter replica, containing life-like mannequins wearing period clothing and other textile items linked to the period. Textiles within the museum displays include blankets, carpets and even a model of a furry brown rat – representing life as it was during wartime Britain However, this very accurate display may not have been as lifeless as the museum would have hoped!
During a museum inspection of the air raid shelter, small moths were found to be active around the display, which turned out to be common clothes moth,(Tineola bisselliella).
The larvae of this small moth species - which is completely harmless to humans - derive their nourishment from protein contained within natural fibres, like the silk and wool fabrics of clothes, blankets and carpets within the display.
David Mitchell, STEAM’s building services manager said:“We already had moth traps located around our displays in order to get an early warning of moth activity - as we know the damage that these insects can do to the natural fibres contained within our exhibits. The last thing we want is for a valuable piece of history to be destroyed. So as soon as these moths were found, we called in the experts at Rentokil to give us a solution to control this destructive pest.”
David stressed the importance of avoiding chemical pesticides where possible as this is part of the museum’s Health and Safety Policy.
Rentokil recommended its new Heat Pod technology, advising that the treatment would kill all stages of the moth activity on the clothing, blankets and other items - even on the model furry rat!
Rentokil's Heat Pod works by creating a treatment zone for the affected area and using dry heat to carefully warm up insect-infested items to between 54°C to 60°C. All stages of an insect’s life cycle, from egg to adult, will die within a set time at these temperatures. While the treatment zone is heated to eradicate pests, it is not hot enough to cause damage to delicate items and fabrics.
<>Following the effective non-chemical Heat Pod treatment at the museum, David said:“The Heat Pod treatment was the perfect solution for this museum and so far, it has proved to be an effective way of getting rid of the moths. We are a number of months down the line and to date, our displays are still clear of the moths so we are very pleased with the treatment.”
STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, is one of Wiltshire’s top visitor attractions for full details click here to visit the museum website.
For information and advice on moth pests and Rentokil's chemical free Heat Pod treatment call us free on 0800 218 2210 or arrange for a Technician to treat your moth problem.