Frequently our callers, especially from Florida, complain about the extreme difficulty in removing insecticide residues from carpeting. The problem is especially difficult when insecticide has been applied to a carpet in a vacation home or trailer. If the place is closed up for the off-season, the owners find a bad odor and stains from the insecticide when they return.
Insecticides are applied to control insects such as roaches, fleas, bed bugs and spiders. Insecticides are usually organophosphates or carbamates; some are chlorinated. The solvents and emulsifiers used are very strong and do not evaporate under usual conditions.
The organophosphates turn some red dyes to blue, leaving a dark blue to green spot. Other red dyes fade, resulting in a light blue to green spot. Accumulation from repeated treatment eventually causes discoloration. Simple hot water extraction (HWE) won't remove all of the odor and residue because the insecticide has decomposed and reacted with the carpet fibers.
We suggest applying Preface® at the high end of its dilution ratio to the entire area. Allow the product to work on the residue for ten (10) minutes. Then the carpet should be thoroughly cleaned using the HWE method. Any remaining residue may be removed with Saf-T-Solv®. However, unfortunately, options are limited if color changes have occurred.
We always recommend testing a small inconspicuous area; this way, results are visible and if there has been a color change the customer can be apprised and given the opportunity to decide whether you should continue or not. At this time, a release is also a prudent idea. The last thing we want is to be blamed for causing and or making the problem worse.
See the latest issue of The Clene-Times.
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