This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
The following is a popular preparation: To half a gallon of kerosene oil add a quart of spirit of turpentine and an ounce of oil of pennyroyal. This mixture is far less dangerous than benzine. The pennyroyal as well as the turpentine are not only poisonous but exceedingly distasteful to insects of all kinds. The kerosene while less quickly fatal to bugs than benzine is cheaper and safer, and when combined with the other ingredients becomes as efficient.
Where the wall paper and wood work of a room have become invaded, the usual remedy is burning sulphur. To be efficient the room must have every door, window, crevice, and crack closed. The floor should be wet in advance so as to moisten the air. A rubber tube should lead from the burning sulphur to a key-hole or auger-hole and through it, and by aid of a pair of bellows air should be blown to facilitate the combustion of the sulphur.
Some housewives are partial to corrosive sublimate for bedbugs; but it is effective only if the bug eats the poison. The corrosive sublimate cannot penetrate the waxy coat of the insect. But inasmuch as people insist on having this a few formulas are given.
Common soap...... 1 av. ounce
Ammonium chloride ............ 3 av. ounces
Corrosive sublimate 3 av. ounces Water enough to make 32 fluid-ounces.
Dissolve the salts in the water and add the soap.
This will make a paste that can be painted with a brush around in the cracks and crevices. Besides, it will make an excellent filling to keep the cracks of the wall and wainscoting free from bugs of all kinds. The formula could be modified so as to permit the use
of Paris green or London purple, if desired. A decoction of quassia could be used to dissolve the soap. The latter paste would, of course, not be poisonous, and in many instances it would be preferred. It is possible to make a cold infusion of white hellebore of 25 per cent strength, and in 1 quart of infusion dissolve 1 ounce of common soap. The advantage of the soap paste is simply to keep the poisonous substance thoroughly distributed throughout the mass at all times. The density of the paste can be varied to suit. Kerosene oil or turpentine could replace 6 ounces or 8 ounces of the water in making the paste, and either of these would make a valuable addition.
Another paste preparation which will meet with hearty recommendation is blue ointment. This ointment, mixed with turpentine or kerosene oil, can be used to good advantage; especially so as the turpentine is so penetrating that both it and the mercury have a chance to act more effectually. It can be said that turpentine will kill the bedbug if the two come in contact; and kerosene is not far behindhand in its deadly work.
Blue ointment...... 1 ounce
Turpentine......... 3 ounces
Stir well together.
There is no doubt that the liquid form is the best to use; unlike a powder, or even a paste, it will follow down a crack into remote places where bugs hide, and will prevent their escape, and it will also kill the eggs and nits. The following substances are the most employed, and are probably the best: Kerosene, turpentine, benzine, carbolic acid, corrosive sublimate solution, oil pennyroyal, and strong solution of soap. Here are several good formulas that can be depended upon:
Oil of pennyroyal.. . 1 drachm
Turpentine........ 8 ounces
Kerosene oil, enough to make 1 gallon. Put up in 8-ounce bottles as a bedbug exterminator.
Oil of eucalyptus... 1 drachm Eucalyptus leaves... 1 ounce
Benzine........... 2 ounces
Turpentine........ 2 ounces
Kerosene enough to make 16 ounces. Mix the turpentine, benzine, and kerosene oil, and macerate the eucalyptus leaves in it for 24 hours; then strain and make up the measure to 1 pint, having first added the oil of eucalyptus.