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To Destroy Insects and Vermin

Dissolve two pounds of alum in three or four quarts of water. Let it remain over night till all the alum is dissolved. Then with a brush, apply boiling hot to every joint or crevice in the closet or shelves where croton bugs, ants, cockroaches, etc., intrude; also to the joints and crevices of bedsteads, as bed bugs dislike it as much as croton bugs, roaches, or ants. Brush all the cracks in the floor and mop-boards. Keep it boiling hot while using.

To keep woolens and furs from moths, be sure that none are in the articles when they are put away; then take a piece of strong brown paper, with not a hole through which even a pin can enter. Put the article in it with several lumps of gum camphor between the folds; place this in a close box or trunk. Cover every joint with paper. A piece of cotton cloth, if thick and firm, will answer. Wherever a knitting-needle can pass, the parent moth can enter.

Place pieces of camphor, cedar-wood, Russia leather, tobacco-leaves, whole cloves, or anything strongly aromatic, in the drawers or boxes where furs and other things to be preserved from moths are kept and they will never be harmed. Mice never get into drawers or trunks where gum camphor is placed.

Another Recipe. — Mix half a pint of alcohol, the same quantity of turpentine and two ounces of camphor. Keep in a stone bottle and shake well before using. The clothes or furs are to be wrapped in linen, and crumbled-up pieces of blotting-paper dipped in the liquid to be placed in the box with them, so that it smells strong. This requires renewing but once a year.

Another authority says that a positive, sure recipe is this: Mix equal quantities of pulverized borax, camphor gum and saltpetre together, making a powder. Sprinkle it dry under the edges of carpets, in drawers, trunks, etc., etc. It will also keep out all kinds of insects, if plentifully used. If the housekeeper will begin at the top of her house with a powder bellows and a large quantity of this fresh powder, and puff it thoroughly into every crack and crevice, whether or not there are croton bugs in them, to the very bottom of her house, special attention being paid to old furniture, closets, and wherever croton water is introduced, she will be freed from these torments. The operation may require a repetition, but the end is success.


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The White House Cookbook (1887).

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