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Preventing Moth Damage

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



1. Moths in Carpets, to Prevent.—Wet the floor around the edge of the room thoroughly with spirits of turpentine before laying the carpet, apply with a brush as you would paint; it kills the nits or eggs under the base, and also prevents further nesting. Salt sprinkled freely about the edge and over the whole carpet, while sweeping, is not only a preventive, but it also helps to remove dirt, and if damp, prevents dust from rising while sweeping.

2. Moths in Carpets, To Destroy, Without Taking Up.—On parts of a carpet where moths are suspected lay a coarse towel, slightly wrung out of clear water, spreading out smoothly; then place a piece of firm wrapping paper upon the wet towel to keep in the steam, and iron it thoroughly with a hot iron. If thoroughly done, the heat and steam kills them. Repeat at any time if satisfied more have hatched and come out from under the base - or other hiding places. It does not injure the carpet, nor fade the colors, and does not need hard pressure, as it is the heat and steam that kills them.—The Household.

3. Moths in Upholstered Furniture, Certain Remedy, Also-Good for Furs, Flannels, etc.—A writer in and of the Grand Rapids, (Mich.) papers says, upon these subjects: "A sort of trade secret among upholsterers for ridding upholstered furniture of moths, is the following"; and gives an example: " A set of furniture that seemed to be alive with the larvae (the insect moth in its first stage of development,) from the time it came new, and from which hundreds of these pests had been picked and brushed, was set in a room by itself. Three gallons of benzine were purchased at 30 cents a gat--Ion, retail. Using a small watering pot with a fine rose sprinkler, the whole upholstery was saturated through and through with the benzine. Result-Every moth, larvae and egg were killed. The benzine dried out in a few hours, and its entire odor disappeared in 3 or 4 days. Not the slightest harm happened to the varnish, or wood, or fabrics, or hair stuffing. That was months ago, and not a sign of a moth has since appeared. The carpets were also well sprinkled all round the sides of the room, with equally good effect. For furs, flannels, indeed, all woolen articles containing moths, benzine is most valuable. Put them in a box; sprinkle with benzine, close the box tightly, and in a day or two the pests will be exterminated, and the benzine will evaporate on opening,"

Remarks.—In using benzine, as stated in connection with cleaning gloves, remember there must be no fire nor lamp burning, as the vapor of it carries the fire to the stuff itself, which is very inflammable, and explosive. With this care it is safe.

4. Moth Powder, To Put Away Furs, Woolens, etc.—Lupulin (flour of hops), 1 dr.; Scotch snuff, 2 ozs.; powdered gum camphor and black pepper, each, 1 oz.; cedar sawdust, 4 ozs. Mix thoroughly, and strew (or put in small paper bags) among the furs or woolen goods (after they have been thoroughly whipped with small rods) which are being put away. This powder contains some of all the best-known preventives. But if moth eggs have already been laid in them, unless the whipping takes them out, they will hatch and start their destructive work, unless the benzine or some other " killer " is used; hence it is best to keep an eye on them occasionally, and whip thoroughly again if any are seen. This whipping the moth and their eggs out, then sealing up in boxes or paper bags, is from the Boston Transcript, which adds: " If you shut moths out, and shut none in, you are perfectly safe." Not a doubt of it.

Cracks and Small Holes in Walls, To Fill.—Mix plaster of Paris to the consistency of soft putty, and apply immediately and smooth with a case-knife, will make it as nice as a mason would do it. Mix but little at a time as it sets quickly, unless you work it over every minute or two; but after it "sets" or becomes hard it is not good even to work over after that. If you have a nice, white sand, a little of it may be mixed in, but it does very well without it.

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