Remove every article from the closet, scrub the shelves with lye, and then whitewash the closet walls. Next take a sufficiency of black wadding, and soak it in spirits of turpentine or camphor, or a mixture of both. Then with a fork or the point of a knife, stuff it close and hard into every crevice, crack, and hole, however small. United with the copperas dye of the black wadding, the camphor and turpentine will destroy or expel the cockroaches, so that for a long time you will see no more of them. If they return, repeat the remedy; which of course will be as effective if applied to the crevices about the kitchen walls or floors. Let the closet remain empty for several days. Then place on each shelf a small plate with dry chloride of lime to dissipate the smell of the turpentine.
The preparation of phosphorus called Levy's Exterminator, and which is to be had at the druggists', is very destructive to cockroaches, rats, and mice. Cover with it a slice of bread and butter, then sprinkle on some brown sugar, and lay it in places where these vermin have been seen.
A mixture in the proportion of three table-spoonfuls of meal, and one table-spoonful of red lead, wetted to a thin paste with West India molasses, if laid on old plates, and set about their haunts, is very efficacious in expelling cockroaches.
These remedies are all good; and if used persever-ingly and always resumed, as soon as the cockroaches begin to appear again, there will be but little trouble with these detestable insects. Nothing has yet been found that can banish them from a house so effectually as to preclude all danger of their ever returning. But much comfort is gained by even a temporary relief from them.
If an insect gets into the ear it may be destroyed by pouring in a little sweet oil. They have been sometimes enticed out, by applying to the ear a piece of ripe peach or apple.
Many houses are much infested with small brown cockroaches, which are especially troublesome and disgusting from their disposition to get into bureaus, wardrobes, trunks, and even band-boxes. They will soon depart, if bunches of pennyroyal (as fresh as you can get it, and frequently renewed) are laid in all the places where they have appeared, or are likely to come. Pennyroyal is to be generally bought in market at the very trifling cost of one cent a bunch. At any season it can be had at the druggists', and at the garden stores. Rags dipped in oil of pennyroyal, and laid about their haunts, will frequently expel these cockroaches. But every one that is seen should be immediately killed, and not merely brushed off, to run to another place. There is little difficulty in keeping a house free from cockroaches and all other vermin, if the remedies are applied in time, and with perseverance.
The very bad practice of using old bricks for cellar-walls and back-buildings, is the chief cause of new houses becoming immediately infested with cockroaches, etc. They have in this way been introduced at once into some very elegant mansions in Philadelphia, where old bricks have been used for the cellars; these bricks having originally belonged to old almshouses, long since pulled down. To buy such bricks, however cheap, is a miserable economy.