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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Your Fly is Undone.....

Summer will soon be here. You will be opening your windows and even with all that screening some little pesky fly will get into the house. If the cats don't get them first there is always the modern wall art created when you use a fly swatter. The modern method of preference is bug spray. You get to see the little buggers smack into a window and writher as their nervous systems shut down. I've been known to use hair spray on them in the past. Nothing like a kamakazee fly with locked wings smacking into a wall or the floor!

So, what did people do in the past? Well, from the great big book of everything, the 1909 edition of "Household Hints and Discoveries" comes this.

Preventitives Against Flies

Flies are said to abhor sweet clover. Place in bags made of mosquito netting and hang them about the room.
Or sprinkle about the room oil of sassafras or oil of laurel. The latter has been used by the butchers of Geneva from time immemorial.
Or use oil of lavender or lavender buds.
Or soak houseleeks for five or six days in water, and wash pictures, furniture and woodwork with the decoction.
Or boil onions in a quantity of water and wash picture frames, moldings and delicate woodwork, using a soft cloth or a brush.
To prevent flies from settling on windows, wash them in water containing kerosene and wipe with a rag moistened in kerosene.

To Make Poisonous Fly Paper

To make poisonous flypaper dissolve 6 drams of chloride of cobalt and two ounces of brown sugar in one pint of boiling water. Saturate blotting paper with this solution and put a small square of the paper in a saucer of water, or use the solution itself but remember it is a deadly poison.
Or mix 1 teaspoon of laudanum and 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar wit 2 tablespoons of water. Expose in saucers. Keep away from chidren and pets.
Or boil 1/2 ounce of quassia tips in 1 quart of water and add 8 ounces of molasses or brown sugar.
Or dissolve 2 drams of mastic of quassia in 1/2 pint water, and add 2 tablespoons of molasses or brown sugar.
Or make a strong green tea and sweeten with sugar.
Or mix 1/2 teaspoonful of black pepper and 1 teaspoonful of sugar with 2 tablespoonfuls of cream.
Or mix 1 tablespoonful of black pepper, 1 tablespoonful of molasses or brown sugar, and the yolk of 1 egg. Beat to a paste. Flies will eat freely any of the above if exposed where they congregate and will be killed by them.

To Make Sticky Fly Paper

Melt 1/2 pound of rosin and dilute to a consistancy of molasses with 4 ounces or more of sweet oil or lard oil. Spread this with a brush on two or more sheets of manilla wrapping paper, leaving an inch or more margin all around. Place the sticky surfaces of each pair of sheets together and when wanted, pull them apart. This is also a preventative against ants and other insects.


At 2/06/2006 3:58 PM, Blogger K said...

Yuck, those remedies sound like people preventatives, too! Reminds me of my grandmother. She hangs a milk jug from the ceiling of her porch in the summer. It's supposed to ward off something - maybe mosquitos? I'm sure this will be a shocking revelation, but it doesn't work.

At 2/06/2006 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone finds your post who has the serious problem of CLUSTER FLIES (bane of a New Englander's existence) i thought i'd put in a plug for **Cluster Busters** - they have them at my local Agway and online, and they do the trick without icky fly paper or toxins. I don't rememeber ever seeing flies this bad farther south, but up here in whenever it thaws, they come out of the woodwork (literally) and swarm the windows. Happy early spring!! Looks like Punxatawney Phil might have been wrong after all.

At 2/07/2006 1:05 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

Mmmmmmm...wash my house in essence of onion--great idea! ;)

The lavender or sweet clover doesn't sound like a bad idea though.


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