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Cleaning Cellars, Rats, Roaches

In the spring, cellars should be swept, and all refuse vegetables taken out; if left till warm weather, they will become putrid, and endanger the health of your family. The sprouts should be rubbed from the potatoes; all the barrels should be moved and swept under. Have boards laid on the floor for meat and fish barrels, and after they are emptied, have them washed and drained ready for use. Empty flour barrels should be swept out and the heads and hoops saved. Have lime sprinkled over the cellar floor twice during the summer, or oftener if it should be necessary. If the windows are kept shut in warm weather, the air will be unwholesome. Do not trust to servants, examine and see that it is done thoroughly.

The apartments where cold meat and milk are kept should be cobwebbed and swept once a week, and the safe washed out at least that often. If the cellar is paved with brick, keep a part of it washed clean, to set cold meat and milk on; cover them with tin pans and put a weight on the top if rats are troublesome. If there are rat holes have them stopped with pieces of brick, and broken glass bottles; never use ratsbane without the greatest caution, as it is a dangerous remedy. No food or milk should be in the cellar at the time, and keep it locked up all the while it is there. I have heard of lives being lost by it. Have water set about in pans for the rats to drink, and after three days, clear it all away and have the cellar cleaned and aired before putting any thing in it. Several persons have been in great danger from burning the arsenic; when it is used it should be put deep in the ground and covered up.

Mice are kept under by a good cat, and traps. If roaches are troublesome, set bowls or deep dishes, with molasses and a plate on the top, with room for them to get in, and set it close to a wall. I have seen hundreds caught in this way in one night, and it is much safer than setting any thing poisonous about the kitchen or pantry. They should be burnt in the morning, and the dishes set again at night. If you find a closet infested with ants, remove every thing that will attract them, scald and clean it well, and they will soon leave it. It is said that strips of cotton or linen dipped in spirits of turpentine, and placed about the closets, will drive them away.

Mats should be placed at all the outside doors, and at the top and bottom of the cellar stairs.


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