Days Gone By - stories from the past

FiF – Fix it Friday: Old natural remedies to rid your house of insects and vermin

Old natural remedies for dealing with insects and vermin

In the south, we’ve always had to deal with insects. I found the following suggestions in an old book and thought I’d share some of the ways our ancestors dealt with destroying insects and vermin. It isn’t like picking up a spray bottle as we do today.

“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 mopboards. Keep it boiling hot while using.”

Jacquard Products Jacquard Alum, 1-Pound

Powdered alum (Library of Congress)

“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.”

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past (Paperback)

By (author): Donna R Causey
List Price:$9.77 USD
New From:$9.77 USD In Stock

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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One comment

  1. What is Russia leather? in 1965 I was given a bottle of real perfume, Chanel’s Russia Leather. Smelled divine. Never knew what it meant. Info appreciated.

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