Days Gone By - stories from the past

Fix-it-Friday – Bug Exterminators – transcribed from an 1874 newspaper


Hot alum water is a recent suggestion as an insecticide. It will destroy red and black ants, cockroaches, spiders, chintz bugs, and all the crawling pest which infest our houses. Take two-pounds of alum and dissolve it in three or four quarts of boiling water; let it stand on the fire until the alum disappears; then apply it with a brush while nearly boiling hot to every joint and crevice in your closets, bed steads, pantry shelves, and the like.

Brush everywhere

Brush the crevices in the floor of the skirting or mop-boards, if you suspect that they harbor vermin. If, in white-washing a ceiling, plenty of alum is added to the lime, it will also serve to keep insects at a distance. Cockroaches will flee the paint which has been washed in cold alum water.

Medley Hills Farm Alum Granulated Powder (Food Grade)

Chalk and Ants

Sugar barrels and boxes can be freed from ants by drawing a wide chalk mark just round the edge of the top of them. The mark must be unbroken or they will creep over it, but a continuous chalk line half an inch in width will set their depredations at naught.

Moths in Woolen Garments

The ravages of these pests may be prevented by the use of the following receipt: Mix half a pint of alcohol, the same quantity of spirits of turpentine, and two ounces of camphor. Keep in a stone bottle, and shake before using. The clothes or furs are to be wrapped in linen, and rumpled pieces of blotting paper dipped in the liquid are to be place in the box with them, so that it smells strong. This requires renewing about once a year.

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WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

By (author): Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey


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