Flea. We give a cut of this troublesome parasitic insect, although probably, most of our readers are but too well aware of its form ; for it is ore of our commonest household nuisances; we have it here, however, in its magnified proportions, and a horrid monster it looks, with long muscular, spiny legs, well adapted for leaping, and scaly body, neck, and head, beset with hairs, and armed with two lancets within a sheath, for piercing the skin of its victim, and a proboscis for Bucking up its blood. Into the natural history of the creature, it suits not with our present purpose to enter at any length ; we may just say that its scientific name is Pulex irritans, and that the female, of which the above is a representation - the male being somewhat smaller, and different in shape, as shown in next column - deposits her eggs, some twenty or thirty in number, in the crevices of boards, or amid collections of dirt, or rubbish of any kind, from whence in six or eight days emerge the whitish, greasy-looking maggots; these, when a fortnight old, envelope themselves in small cocoons, and after remaining in this state about ten days, come out as perfect Fleas, ready to make war upon men, women, and children, but especially affecting those who have the most tender skins. How to get rid of them ? is the anxious question with all careful mothers and tidy housewives. Cleanliness and indefatigable hunting, we reply; there is nothing to be done without trouble, and catching this nimble skipper, requires both quickness and patience in no ordinary degree. When there are Fleas in a bed-room, let the carpets be taken up, and the floors frequently washed, and then sprinkled with a strong decoction of Wormwood; among the bed clothes, put a bag filled with Dry Moss, the odour of which is said to be very offensive to them, as is also that of fresh-gathered Pennyroyal leaves. As a trap for them, some use Alder leaves, gathered while the dew is on them, to this the Fleas adhere. and may then be easily taken. Mercurial Ointment rubbed in the joints of the bedstead, and Sulphur fumigations, are also said to be efficacious in killing or expelling them ; Sweet or Train-oil they cannot abide, and to drive them from their last stronghold, the coat of the cat or dog, it is but necessary to pour some along the back, and then rub it in with the hand, until it is well incorporated with the hairs. Here is a choice of remedies; but all will be of little avail without cleanliness - personal and otherwise. Only dirty, negligent people, are much troubled with Fleas, unless they are necessitated to live in old houses, of which they have long had possession, or in localities extremely favourable to their propagation ; the efforts of such should be constantly directed to keeping them under, and the above information may probably assist them. They are often extremely annoying to sick persona, and irritable children, depriving them of rest, and thus retarding restoration to health; for this reason, the Family Doctor is bound to wage war against them ; besides, they inflict severe bites, and make ugly marks on the skin; now, although Flea Bites are proverbially small matters, yet, they sometimes cause serious inflammation, not to speak of the disfigurement; they should be rubbed over with a little Cold Cream, and if much inflamed, kept wet with a lotion of Elder Flowers with a few grains of Sugar of Lead dissolved in it.

Flea 596Flea 597