DEC 21 19Z0
.A.S. Univ. of Florida
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Introduction .. .... ------------.... ----- ...-.------.-- .............................. 3
A nts .---.. -------.......... .. ...... -------- .......................... ....... 5
B edbugs ......-- ................--------------.. ...--------................................... 8
Lice --. ...................-------------..----.................................. 10
Chiggers --.......--------- ............---- --.. .......................... 12
Fleas .........------.. .. -..-..-- -------.............. ...........- 13
Flies ------....... ...---- ....... ------- ................ ............- 15
M osquitoes ------..----. -----------------................. ..........--.......... ...- -.. 17
M oths .................................................... ..... .................... 19
Roaches ..---. ................- .........- -----. .................... 21
Weevils --...... ---------------..........---.. ....................... 23
T erm ites .... . ---------.. .. .-... ---------------................. 25
In no realm of animate creation has nature displayed su,
diversity of design, form, mode of life, fecundity or persisten
as in the insect world. The zoologists place these animals
the class of insecta, of the phylum Arthropoda and whose scie
tific study forms that branch of zoology termed Entymolog
In this short treatis we are concerned only with a few of t
more pestiferous kind that infest dwelling houses and the cc
tents of same. The number of the species of insects that ha
been classified and named is approximately 300,000-which
more than half the number of words in the English language
thousands more have been found but have not been named.
The practical end of this discussion is not concerning t
structure, life habits, process of development or other biologic
features but HOW TO PREVENT AND DESTROY THE
In the limited space which we can use we shall confine t
subject to this in the main; other phases of the subject will
referred to incidentally as circumstances seem to require.
has been said by some very keen thinkers that the last gre
struggle of the human race for existence will be with the i
sects that prey on vegetable and animal life and pathogen
bacteria. Any agency of destruction that can be marshall
against these formidable foes will be for the advantage
Scientific investigation has discovered that houseflies car
the germs of typhoid fever, cholera, cholera infantum, tropii
dysentery, and other diseases. The germs are carried on I
feet, legs, and bodies and in the-digestive tract of flies.
Other insects carry the germs of certain diseases on th
roduces a particular disease. Yellow fever is caused by a
irticular parasite carried by a particular mosquito. Malaria
caused by a particular parasite carried by a particular mos-
lito. Cattle fever is caused by a particular parasite carried
r a particular tick. In each of these instances the insect has
bite the victim before the parasite which he carries can
iter the person or animal that is bitten. The parasite then
iters the blood stream and multiplies by the millions and pro-
ices the fever. It is not by this method that the housefly car-
es the causes of diseases from one to another. It is a scav-
iger and gets germs on its feet, legs, body, and in its ali-
entary canal. No germ seems to bother it that is pathogenic
The discovery of pathogenic germs placed the practice of
medicine on a scientific basis for the first time; prior to that it
id been empirical. The research of medical scientists has
-oven that a great per cent of diseases are caused by germs
id that each disease has its particular germ. Not all micro-
'ganisms are detrimental, but the pathogenic types are numer-
is and have wonderful powers of self-preservation and per-
etuation. Some diseases are thought to be traceable to fun-
, whereby vegetable growths fasten themselves on animal
isues. Science is not yet through with the task of isolating
e causes of some diseases.
Insects and bacteria would not come under the same discus-
on but for the fact that insects carry bacteria to human be-
gs and to other animal or vegetable life. We have included
ests that have nothing to do with health. Insects that annoy
e household, destroying clothes, carpets, books, food, the
mbers of the home itself, etc., are a part of the problem of
ieping the home free from the deprivations of the insect
"In the zoological sense ants are a very natural group oi
insects which forms the superfamily Formicoidea of the orlei
Hymenoptera. They are easily recognized by the elbowec
antennae, the conspicuous "waist" formed by a constriction
of the abdomen where it unites with the thorax, and general?
by the absence of wings. Ants live in societies which inhabit
nests of various kinds: each society consists of numerous wing
less, sterile, worker individuals together with males and egg
laying females. The fertile males and females are commonly
winged and they eventually leave the nest, often in great
swarms: mating takes place in the open, and the fertilize(
females (queens) cast their wings and proceed to-found nev
colonies. Ants exhibit a great variety of food preference
many are carnivorous, others feed upon nectar and honey
dew, some gather in seeds, etc., and some live on fungi whiel
they cultivate. "-Encyclopedia Britannica.
There are various kinds of ants which may inhabit thi
household, or its surroundings. Chief among these are the re(
ant, the black ant, the Argentine ant, and the carpenter ant
(This does not include the white ant or termite.)
The Red Ant-The red ant is only about one sixteenth of ai
inch long. Because of its very small size, it gets into every
thing that is not almost hermetically sealed. It may come ii
great swarms to a source of food supply, and it seems an almost
hopeless task to get rid of them. Some of their number will ac
as scouts to try to find food, and as soon as they have discover
ed some, report to the community. The scout will then lea(
swarms of the workers to the food, and together they wil
transport the food to their nests for safekeeping.
The one redeeming feature of the red ants is that the:
destroy bedbugs. It has been suggested that these ants migh
be introduced into dwelling houses for the purpose of extermi
nating bedbugs. If the ants would leave after they had don
this, all would be well; but if they chose to become permanent
dwellers it would be a question whether any gain had beei
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soil. Perhaps we are more deeply indebted to them for de-
stroying these ground larvae than we realize.
The Small Black Ant-This ant is approximately the same
size as the red ant, though he may be a trifle smaller. How-
ever, it may be easily distinguished from the red ant since it is
very dark in color. The black ant is not strictly a house ant,
since it sometimes builds its nest under stones in the yard, or
even in the open. Their nests are marked by small craters of
soil around the entrance. It seldom invades the household un-
less in search for food.
The Pavement Ant-The pavement ant is not a native of this
country. It is widely distributed in Europe and is a common
meadow ant of that country. It is not known when this ant was
brought to this country. There are wide differences in opinion
as to the date.
It builds its nest under the pavement or under stones in the
yards of dwellings. From these places of vantage and close-
ness to dwellings it has acquired the habit of entering houses,
and at times has become as much of a pest as the red ant.
The colonies of the pavement ant are usually very large,
and they may sometimes be found in masses of a quart or more
by lifting stones in the yard or by lifting flagging in the paths.
The Large Black Carpenter Ant-The natural haunts of the
carpenter ant are decaying stumps or logs. They may often
be found on the trunks of large trees, especially oak. How-
ever, they have a habitiof leaving this natural environment and
taking up their abode in dwelling-houses. Here they may do
severe damage to rafters and beams.
The queen of this species of ant builds her own nest, and has
nothing to do with the others. Here she may be found brood-
ing over a few eggs, larvae, coocoons, and small workers.
The Argentine Ant-The Argentine ant is not known to ex-
ist in Florida. Therefore it will not be treated in this bulle-
tin. Suffice it to say that it is one of the most vicious and
destructive of all the species of ants.
MtlnIUUb U1_ UUMRA I INU AN I Z
Since no ant colony can be thoroughly exterminated as long
as the queen is alive, all methods for permanently getting rid
of them must be effective in killing the queen. In the great
majority of cases some liquid has proved to be more effective
than other agencies. The reason for its great effectiveness,
both against the queen and the colony as a whole, is the fact
that it is more penetrating. A solid material will not easily
reach the lower rooms of the ant house, and a gas is both in-
convenient and dangerous to the user.
There are several liquids which are effective in killing ants.
Probably the most effective of all substances is carbon bisul-
fide (CS.). The liquid itself is poisonous to ants, but to add to
its effectiveness, it vaporizes very quickly. The gas thus lib-
erated penetrates every nook and corner of the ant house,
killing practically all of them. Caution-Although this sub-
stance may be used with perfect safety in the open or away
from fire it must not under any condition be brought near a
flame while in the hands of the user. It is very highly inflam-
mable, and under certain conditions is explosive. When being
used in the yard or in some place where it could do no damage,
it may be purposely exploded by igniting it with a long pole.
A candle, torch, or other substance that will burn easily may be
used on the end of the pole to set fire to the carbon bisulfide.
The operator should, however, always remember to keep at a
safe distance. The explosion thus obtained will serve to drive
the fumes even further into the ant house, providing a better
chance of killing all the ants.
Another substance which is very effective in killing ants is
gasoline. It may be used in exactly the same manner as carbon
bisulfide, which we have just discussed. However, it will be
found to be much cheaper than carbon bisulfide, and will be
almost as effective.
The reader may have noticed that the two preventive thus
far discussed are of such a nature that they would be worthless
for use inside the house, especially in the kitchen. If taken
into the body in any appreciable amounts, they are both pois-
onous. Moreover, the danger of an explosion from ignition
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their use there. Obviously, then, we must turn to some other
substance or substances for inside use.
A very effective method of controlling ants is to treat
sponges with some kind of syrup, honey, or other sweet sub-
stance, and place them in the house where the ants are most
numerous. If desired the sponges may be put in cans which
have had holes punched in them. The ants will readily pene-
trate the pores of the sponges in order to get the food. They
may then be killed by dropping the sponges and all into boiling
water. The sponges may be recharged and the process re-
peated as long as the ants persist in remaining, or until they
are all killed. Usually they are so bewildered and discouraged
by such great losses in numbers that they abandon the house
Various forms of arsenic poisoning have also proved very
successful in killing ants. In addition to this there are many
kinds of patented sprays and insecticides which may prove
satisfactory, at least in repelling the ants if not in killing them.
The bedbug is looked upon by many people in the upper
strata of society as a joke. Perhaps the reason for this atti-
tude is the fact that these people are seldom if ever molested
Nobody knows when or where the first bedbug existed. Ap-
parently he has been man's bedmate as long as humans have
slept in beds. The reason for the name "bedbug" is perfectly
obvious, since man's bed is his favorite retreat. It seems that
there are several reasons why bedbugs prefer to be in and
around beds than any other place. First, they are afforded a
large amount of protection in the cracks and crevices of the
bedsteads. Second, they find that the various forms of bed-
clothing offer excellent habitats for them. The third and most
important reason for their choice of a bed as a retreat is
based on one fact: the bedbug is a parasite. He lives on human
blood, just as the tick and various insects can do. And what
tter place and time is there for an insect to prey upon man
an when he is asleep in bed? In the daytime he would be
lickly brushed aside when apprehended or encountered, but
night he is at liberty to bite when and where he pleases.
ie venom injected, and the method of biting are such that a
te from one of these insects is such that oftentimes the bite
not felt for some time after it is made.
Judging from its size, the bedbug can inflict a terrible bite.
ie so-called Mexican, or assassin bedbug is possibly capable
inflicting a more severe bite than any other insect. Its
te has been likened unto that of a rattlesnake-in effect,
ough not in method. The resulting pain is intense, and is felt
a considerable part of the body. Swelling invariably results,
id in severe cases such ill effects as faintness or vomiting oc-
xr. The sickness may be prolonged weeks or even months.
is believed that many of the poisonous bites often attributed
spiders are really the work of these bedbugs. Fortunately,
iwever, these more ferocious varieties of bedbugs do not exist
anything like the abundance of the smaller, and less harm-
1, varieties. It is seldom that one of the large ones is en-
untered, and the important thing to remember in disposing
them is not to pick them up, or even touch them.
METHODS OF CONTROL
'here are, of course, various means of combating bedbugs. It
ay be said that the task of bedbug eradication with the mod-
n beds of today is a much easier task than it was with the old
pe beds, or even the old slat beds of a few years ago. In
ese old beds there were many more hiding places for the
igs than there are in the new spring beds.
Probably the best way of killing bedbugs in the house is
- fumigation with hydrocyanic acid gas. This gas may be
stained from either sodium or potassium cyanide. It may,
rwiever, harm the paint on expensive furniture.
Another method of destroying bedbugs is with gasoline or
,rosene. However, these two agents are very like to take
C the paint on the bedstead. They may be used freely be-
A good way of getting the bugs out of the mattress is to ex-
pose the mattress to the sun for a few hours. This will not kill
the bugs, but it will drive them off.
Still another method, which is quite often used, is to pour
boiling water on the bed frame, being careful to get the water
in all the cracks. Here, again, however, is the danger of harm-
ing the paint, but if properly used this method is very effective.
Turpentine put into the cracks and crevices with a large
feather is effective.
There are three kinds of lice that infest the body of man.
Like the bedbugs, they are known to have existed as far back
as any history is kept. Herodotus and Aristotle referred to
them in some of their writings, and so have many other natur-
alists. These three types of lice are commonly called the head
louse, the body louse, and the crab louse.
As in the case of the bedbug, human lice are nothing more
than a loathsome thought to the vast majority of cleanly peo-
ple. Here again it is the dirtier class of people that is affected.
Especially in time of war do men suffer from these pests.
Men are often forced to stay in trenches for extended periods
of time without a bath or a change of clothing. Since the louse
lays its eggs in the seams of the clothing and in other places
where they are hard to remove, the troops are very greatly
affected. Lice are also prevalent in prisons, jail camps, labor-
ers' camps, slums of cities, and other unsanitary places.
All three kinds of lice are alike in that they all have approx-
imately the same kind of mouth parts. These mouth parts are
not fully understood by anyone. They are drawn back inside
the head when not in use. This makes the task of examining
them a very difficult one. The mouths of all three are the
blood-sucking kind. No chewing lice have ever been discov-
ered. The bites thus inflicted, though scarcely noticeable at
the time, becomes as annoying as fleas and bedbugs. Scratch-
ing is inevitable, and the skin becomes rough and bronze-
rrers 01 lle IilMCte Urrt litu iLCvYia nillUVVl l.k UVlUto a a.tlV *
,nch fever, and relapsing fever. The first two of these
*re very prevalent during the great World War. At this
ie the mortality of typhus fever alone was usually between
and 70 per cent. Tile other two were not quite this high.
METHODS OF CONTROL
Head lice are possibly more easily dealt with than the others.
iey may be killed by soaking the hair in a 2 per cent solution
carboic acid for a few minutes. The lice themselves and any
gs which they have laid may then be removed by combing
th a fine-tooth comb. At the end of the treatment the head
would be thoroughly washed with warm soap and water. An-
ier method of treatment for head lice is to thoroughly sham-
o the head with a solution of equal parts of kerosene and
ive oil. This also should be washed out an hour or two after
is applied with warn water and soap. In some instances
may be necessary to clip the hair in order to remove all
ices of lice and eggs.
It may be somewhat harder to get rid of body lice than head
e. In the case of body lice it must be remembered that such
*e and eggs as may infest the clothing must be destroyed, as
el as those on the body. Many methods for accomplishing
is have been devised. One of the best is to heat the infested
othes in a steam oven for 20 minutes. If a steam oven is not
-ailable a dry oven may be used. Another way to kill lice in
e clothes is by fumigation in a tight box with carbon bisulfide
* carbon tetrachloride. During this time the victim should
ithe thoroughly with hot water and soap, or with the kerosene
Ad olive oil mixture. Sleeping quarters should either be
eated with live steam or the same as in the case of bedbugs.
The crab louse is nluch harder to deal with than either of the
hers. The reason for this is that it is so easily transmitted
'om one person to another. It seems to infest only that part
the body at the crotch of the legs and in the armpits. For
iis reason it is likely to be deposited on bath room appliances,
pecially toilet seats. From these appliances it may be trans-
itted to other people. The generally accepted remedy for crab
.e is Mercurial ointment. Herms advises a mixture of 10 parts
mercuric oxide, I part salicylic acid, and 69 parts of vaseline
Also, the application of kerosene and vinegar followed by a bath
in warm soapy water has been found to give excellent results.
In the case of a bite from any one of the three forms of lice
zinc oxide ointment will give a soothings effect to the skin.
CHIGGERS, OR RED BUGS
There seems to be some controversy as to what red bugs (oi
chiggers) really are. The best authorities say that they are the
immature forms of different kinds of mites. It is noticeable:
however, that red bugs have only three pairs of legs while the
mites have four. It is believed that the extra pair of legs is
formed when the chigger becomes the adult mite. There is alsc
some dispute as to how the chigger goes about biting his victim
Some think he bores in at the root of a hair, some think he goes
down the sweat pores, and still others think he makes his own
hole and does not bother with either hairs or pores. The best
authorities seem to cater to the last of these theories. However
important these and other issues of debate may be, we will not
go into a lengthy discussion of them here. We know that we
have often been bothered with them as a result of a picnic or a
trip to the woods. Let us, therefore, turn directly to their treat-
METHODS OF CONTROL
One of the best means of preventing red bugs from attacking
an individual is to dust powdered sulphur inside the stockings
and underwear. Of course this precaution can be taken only
when one knows that he is going to a place which is infested
with redbugs. A hot bath immediately after a visit to a place
contaminated with redbugs will usually get rid of them before
they can do any damage.
Baking soda, a weak solution of ammonia, alcohol, and cam-
phor are also useful in removing or lessening pain inflicted by
Redbugs may be removed from lawns by dragging a piece of
cloth which has been soaked in kerosene over the infested area.
not harbor redbugs.
Kerosene (coal oil) and gasoline are both effective in killing
redbugs. They may be appllied directly to the skin where re(
bugs are, which is easily determined. Mercurial ointment c
zinc oxide ointment are soothing to the bites, and will kill th
Fleas are harmful to man in two ways. First, they are th
carriers of the germ which causes the dreaded bubonic plague
and second, they may inflict bites -whicli are very painful an
annoying even though they are not poisonous.
There are three kinds of fleas that are prevalent in this court
try. They are the human flea, the dog flea, and the cat flem
However, any of these species will readily attack man. In th
case of most household pests, when a victim is found, the pes
hangs on for dear life, sometimes even burying a part of its bod
in the skin. This, however, is not true of the flea. lie will read
ily go from one person to another, or from one animal to ar
other. The chief animals which are subject to attack by flea
are man, dogs, cats, rabbits, skunks, hogs, rats, mice. Buboni
plague, which he carries, occurs in man, rats, mice, certain:
ground squirrels, and some other rodents.
The flea has piercing mouth parts with which he takes blooi
to and from his body. Should he bite a person having buboni
plague, he would suck some of the victim's blood into hi
stomach. Here the disease germs would be multiplied, and ex
pelled into the blood of the next victim.
One of the most interesting things to notice about fleas is th
remarkable power which they have in their small legs, especially;
the hind ones. It is estimated that a flea can jump more thai
200 times his own length. In comparison to this a man couh
easily jump over the United States Capitol building in Wash
ington. And the walls of jails would have to be a quarter of
mile high. Fleas may easily jump a distance of 12 to 14 inches
in one jump, and they may jump as high as 7 or 8 inches.
It is evident that in ridding a house of pests the first thing
to be done is to remove the source of the pests. In the case of
fleas this source will nearly always be found to be a cat, dog, or
other pet. Such pets should not be allowed to stay in the house,
for if they are, sooner or later the house will become infested
with fleas. Pets should be provided with mats to sleep on, and
the mats should be cleaned out at least once a week. The pets
themselves should be kept as clean as possible by washing them
in a solution of creolin made by adding two to four tablespoons
of creolin to each gallon of water, or by frequently dusting them
with powdered pyrethrum. When using this latter method, the
fleas that fall off should be caught on a paper or cloth and
burned. Another method of ridding pets of fleas is to bathe
them in certain miscible oils or creosote dips.
The problem of ridding a house of fleas is much harder than
that of ridding pets of them. One of the best ways to treat an
infested house is to fumigate it with hydrocyanic acid gas. The
fumigation should be started about 8 o'clock P.M., and left until
the next morning. The windows should be opened from the out-
side, and the house should not be entered for at least two hours
ifter it has been opened up. Burning sulphur may also be used
for fumigation instead of cyanide. Both of these methods are
injurious to paint and furniture.
Another method of killing is to sprinkle napthalene flakes on
the floor of the rooms and close all the doors tightly for several
hours. This is a very excellent way.
The author has achieved excellent results by spraying creosote
lip over an area infested with fleas. This method was used
inder a house to rid the ground of them, and might be harmful
;o furniture if used to any extent on the inside.
In ridding a house of fleas it may be necessary to take up all
;he carpets, and thoroughly wash all the floor space with hot
water and soap. This is for the purpose of getting them out
Af the cracks of the floor, and other places Awhere they might
be hiding. In extreme cases it may be necessary to replace the
carpets with rugs. There is no better place for the larvae of
leas to develop than in the thick matting of a carpet. It not
only affords protection to the insect during its various stages
of development, but it will probably contain enough dust con-
taining organic matter for the insects to feed upon.
Sometimes fleas may be driven out by the persistent use of
lpyrethrlul. The material should be sifted in the carpets, along
the base boards, and in any cracks between boards of the floor.
However, in some cases this treatment has utterly failed.
Another method which has been used successfully is to
sprinkle benzine on the carpets and floor. However, in doing
this it should be remembered that benzine is highly inflammable,
and care should be taken not to get it near a fire.
Even fly paper has been successfully used in ridding a large
room of fleas. In one instance thie fly paper was tied around
a man's legs, and as he walked about the room hundreds of
fleas became stuck fast as they jumped on the paper.
It has been said that oil of pennyroyal will drive fleas out of
a room if it is sprayed thoroughly therein.
There is probably no household pest known that is more an-
noying and more dangerous to man than the common house fly.
To begin with, the fly is filthy. lie much prefers to be in a pile
of manure or other filthy place than in a clean place. Also-
the fly has various liabits and features about him that make him
very adapted to carrying various kinds of bacteria. For exam-
ple; when a fly lights on a surface he immediately sets to work
with his proboscis to rub the surface. When lie has rubbed it
slightly rough, and has got some of the surface into solution
with his saliva, he proceeds to suck it up into his body. Thus
any germs which happened to be on the surface would be sucked
into his body also. These germs are more than likely to be
deposited on the next surface which the fly lights on. In many
cases lie may light on food, dishes, various kitchen and eating
utensils, etc. Consequently, the fly is excellently adapted to
carrying disease germs in his alimentary canal. In addition to
this lie is provided with microscopic hairs on the bottoms of his
feet and on the sides of his legs. These hairs, especially the ones
i the feet, are constantly kept sticky with a solution excreted
the fly for the purpose of aiding him to walk upside down
without falling. Unfortunately, also, it is very effective in catch-
g and holding disease germs which it may come in contact
The disturbing thing about the fly is that he can carry so
any different kinds of disease germs. It is known to carry
e germs which cause typhoid fever, tuberculosis, cholera,
7sentery, infantile diarrhea, leprosy, anthrax, tapeworms,
lokworms, roundworms, whipworms, opthalmia, yaws, ery-
pelas, gonorrhoea, septicaemia, absesses, and gangrene.
It is the fly's unending curiosity that makes him so great a
sease carrier. He seems actually to get into everything. This
why he is so likely to come in contact with such a great variety
METHODS OF CONTROL
The best way to get rid of flies is not to allow any more to
.tch. The favorite place for flies to lay their eggs is in manure
)referably horse manure). For this reason all stables and
rns should be kept as clean as possible. Where they have
,ors other than dirt they should be scrubbed at least once a
eek. If a pile of manure is left standing for over a week, in
e summer time, it may, on some occasions, be found to be full
the larvae of flies (maggots). In a short time these larvae
11 become pupa and will eventually become adult flies. It has
en thought in the past that flies in the larvae stage would eat
i enough filth to make up for any damage they might do when
ey became adults. However, since it has been found that flies
rry so many disease germs this theory has been proven to be
long many, many times.
Another precaution which should be taken against flies is that
dwelling houses should be screened. Of course this will not
stroy any flies, but at least it will keep them from entering
e house and going about at will.
In cases where fly paper is used it is better to use sticky
per than poisoned paper. There is always the danger that
isoned paper will come in contact with something that it
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should be hung in strips where the flys are most numerous, and
any fly that touches it will become stuck fast. When the paper
is covered with flys it should be disposed of and replaced by
There are, of course, various patented insecticides which may
be effective against flies. But in most cases it will be found
that they act as repellants rather than destructive.
It is also true that various kinds of devices have been made
for the trapping of flies. This may prove effective when used
over a garbage can or other small place frequented by flies, but
usually it will prove very futile since so many more flies can
be hatched. (A pound of manure can produce about 1200 flies,
and this is considerably more than a trap could catch in a long
Another important item in controlling flies is to do away with
open privies wherever it is possible. These provide very excel-
lent breeding places for flies and are also more than likely tc
contain some disease germs. If it is not possible to have ade-
qate sewerage disposal as in the cities, the privy should be placed
over a creek or river. If this is not possible it should be built
away from the house, and if the household is dependent on a
well for its water supply the privy should not be near this well
because it will contaminate the water. Moreover, if a privy
must be built away from running water, it should be disinfected
regularly with some disinfectant such as lime or chloride of
lime. The disinfectant should be provided in a convenient box.
and a paddle or small scoop or large spoon should accompany
it so that some of the disinfectant can be scooped into thie pit
It is important that everyone should know how to prevent
ever (sometimes known as chills and fever). The germ which
!auses this disease must undergo a certain stage in its develop-
nent while in the body of a mosquito. The other stages can take
)lace in the human body. Thus we see that if there were no
mosquitoes there could be no malaria. To narrow the subject
lown still more we may say that there would be no malaria if
ve could stamp out even one species of mosquito-the one
mnown as the malaria mosquito. The other diseases transmitted
)y mosquitoes, known as yellow fever, filariasis, and dengue or
)reakbone fever, could in the same way be wiped out if we
wouldd rid ourselves of mosquitoes.
There are more than 350 different species of mosquitoes known
o exist in North America. The three most common of these
types are the Culex (common), Anopheles (malarial), and the
Wedes (yellow fever). All mosquitoes pass through a complete
metamorphosis, and to do this they must have water that is not
n rapid motion; stagnant water is better. With this fact in
nind we turn to preventive measures.
METHODS OF CONTROL
Since mosquitoes cannot reach the adult stage without having
iad water in which to breed, the best method of combating them
s to not permit water to stand stagnant. If this water cannot
)e disposed of, it may be rendered unfit for mosquitoes either
)y pouring oil on the surface or by using chemicals in dust
orm, such as paris green or sodium arsenite.
In some cities and towns a mosquito inspection force is
maintained by the city government. In such instances every
louse and lot in the city limits is inspected regularly for the
arvae of mosquitoes (wiggle tails). It is also the duty of this
orce to turn over any receptacle which contains water or which
night contain water after a rain. In the case of barrels full
f water that have been set aside for use in an emergency such
s fire, it is the duty of the inspector to see to it that mosquitoes
lo not breed in the barrels. He may order that some preventive
ie placed on the water surface for this purpose. This method
f mosquito prevention is indeed very effective when carried out.
"lrt 11JtLIiUi uV |Ae\ %!IILIII JIH I UIjqLUi C-1 UI laI [ 1r uulleN (
water is by the introduction of tolp-feeding fish or minnow
These fish will feed on the larvae of the mosquitoes.
Another precaution which should be taken against mosquito
is the screening' of all houses. This should be done carefully ar
completely, since the mosquitoes are so small that they can enti
through very small cracks.
Mosquitoes may be cleaned out of a house by means
pyrethrum sprays, certain comlnmercial oils, or by fumigants.
When one must be exposed to mosquitoes gloves, netting, al:
repelling oils will prove effective. Of all thle mixtures and col:
pounds that have been developed for repelling mosquitoes pro
ably thle best one is oil of citronella.
Moths are different from most insects that bother man in th;
they attack property instead of man himself. There are ar
number of different kinds of moths, and each species attacks
different kind of property. Some moths feed on clothing ar
may cause considerable damage in this way. Others feed c
certain crops such as grain, grapes, berries, peas, potatoes, et
Of course it would not be possible to discuss each species
moth which is known, but it is interesting to note that in evei
case where damage has been done by moths it is the moth
the larval stage that does the damage. It is also interesting
note that practically all moths except the clothing moth are a
traced by light. At night hundreds of them may be seen flyir
around a light bulb if it is possible for them to gain access to i
METHODS OF CONTROL
Cloths Moth-Clothing that is in daily use is rarely attack(
by moths if ever. But when clothes are packed away for
season they are in great danger of an attack by mothlis if n
properly packed. The method which is most commonly in u
and which is probably as good as any other for protection
clothes that are packed away is to sprinkle napthalene flak
over the goods at thle rate of one pound to 10 cubic feet of space
Clothing should be thoroughly shaken and brushed before it is
packed. This may get rid of any moths or eggs that infest it.
Another substance that will give complete protection from moths
and will kill all stages of the insect is paradichlorobenzine. It
is used in the same way as napthalene.
Infested clothes may be freed from moths by fumigation with
carbon bisulfide. This also will kill all stages of the insect.
Cedar chests are effective in keeping adult moths out of cloth-
ing, and will kill any larvae that hatch out in the clothing, but
if larvae are introduced into cedar chests after they have de-
veloped to any extent, they will eventually mature into adult
Heating will kill all stages of the moth, and clothes will not
be damaged by moths if they are kept in cold storage. (45 F.
Other Types Of Moths-The most effective method of killing
moths other than the clothes moth is by spraying. It has been
found that spraying with lead arsenate will give almost com-
plete control of this insect. Three pounds of this chemical to
50 gallons of Bordeaux mixture is a very good proportion.
The Silver Fish Moth-A second kind of moth that is very
destructive to books etc. is called the silver fish moth. This
moth has no wings and its body is only about 1-3 of an inch
long. Books that are packed away in dark, damp rooms are
almost certain to be attacked. This suggests that any valuable
books or papers should be stored in light airy rooms. The fre-
quent use of powdered pyrethrum on the books and on the
shelves about them will give added protection. This powder
must be renewed often because it looses its strength. In badly
infested houses this moth may even attack starched clothes,
stiffened silks, and similar fabrics which remain packed away
for any length of time. Another way of combating the fish moth
is to put a mixture of white arsenic and paste on pieces of card-
board and place them where the moths can easily get to them.
Roaches are undesirable from the mere fact of their presence
and their disgusting tendency to get into everything. Under
certain conditions they may make themselves more annoying
than any other pest. It has been said that persons in the house-
hold have no adequate notion of the roach as a pest. Indeed, it
is in large hotels and restaurants, on board ships, and about
bakeries that they become serious as pests.
Reaches seem to like anything that has any kind of paste in
it. It is this liking that leads them to deface books by eating
patches of the binding. They also will destroy wall paper at
times for this same reason. In Jamaica they have been known
to eat such leather articles as harness, saddles, gloves, boots,
shoes, etc. Many times on board ships they have devoured the
ship's whole supply of biscuits. They are also very fond of
cake. In one case they were known to ruin 300 cases of cheese
which had been stored on a ship. Roaches have been known to
eat the corks from bottled wine, cider, and porter, and one in-
stance is recorded where they actually ate off the eyebrows of
several children. They also attack the toe nails and finger nails
of sleeping persons. Thus we see that they are not in any wise
very particular about the kind of food that they eat. The one
thing they have a great dislike for is castor oil. For this reason
castor oil is sometimes used on leather articles as a preventive.
There are four kinds of roaches that are prevalent in this
country. They are commonly called the Australian roach, the
German roach (Crotonbug), the Oriental roach, and the Ameri-
can roach. As we would gather from their names, the Ameri-
can roach is the only one that is a native of this country. The
other three were brought over here on ships. They have all
gradually spread until today they are as plentiful as the Ameri-
can roach. All of these roaches seem to be migratory, especially
the German roach. An army of them was once seen marching
across a street in the rain. They were intent upon entering a
building there, and were stopped only by coals of fire.
METHODS OF CONTROL
It is often a very difficult task to rid a house of roaches. Their
flat bodies enable them to hide in cracks and crevices where it
is almost impossible to reach them. This suggests some type
Hydrocyanic Acid Gas-Hydrocyanic acid gas can always be
used as a fumigant. It will kill any animal life with which it
comes in contact. It must be remembered, however, that all
valuable furniture should be removed from it, since there is
danger of harming the paint.
Carbon Bisulfide-Carbon bisulfide is also effective in killing
most forms of animal life, but it is not nearly so dangerous to
handle as cyanide. If a room is to be fumigated with carbon
bisulfide, the liquid should be poured into shallow vessels and
allowed to remain for 36 to 48 hours. During this time it will
evaporate and penetrate all parts of the room. The room should
be kept closed as tightly as possible. Caution-Carbon bisul-
fide is absolutely safe to handle as long as it is kept away from
fire. But neither the liquid nor the gas should in any way
be brought near to a flame. They are highly inflammable and
under certain conditions they are more explosive than gaso-
Pyrethrum-Powdered pyrethrun may be dusted liberally in
places where roaches are with some degree of success in killing
them, but it has been found that this substance is more effective
when moistened and molded into cones. The cones should be
thoroughly dried in an oven, and then they should be set fire
to at the top. They will burn slowly and the fumes are effective
in killing roaches. However, this substance must be obtained
fresh if it is to be of any real benefit.
Sodium Fluoride-Sodium fluoride is rapidly coming into use
in the killing of roaches. It is used in powdered form and may
be obtained from any drug store. It should be dusted in the
cracks and crevices and other places where the roaches are likely
to be. It is, however, somewhat dangerous to man, and should
not be breathed or allowed to come in contact with the skin.
Traps-There have been various kinds of traps devised for
the catching of roaches. The most effective one seems to be
some kind of glass jar or other vessel with very smooth walls,
several small boards leaning from the top of the jar to the
floor, and some kind of bait on the inside such as moist bread
or cake. The roaches will walk up the boards and fall in the
jar in order to get the food, but they will not be able to climb
back out. They may be killed by boiling water.
Borax-Borax has been used very successfully in the killing
of roaches. It should be sprinkled about exactly as powdered
pyrethrumn. It must be used persistently and generously. In
this way whole premises have been successfully freed of the
There are countless varieties of weevils that feed on grain and
other crops in the field. But, however, since this bulletin deals
only with such pests as come in and immediately around the
house, these field weevils will not be treated here. It is only
those weevils that attack household goods that we are interested
The Granary Weevil-These weevils lay their eggs in a small
hole which they make in a grain of wheat bean or corn. When
the egg hatches the young weevil feeds on the inside of the
grain. Thus it is sometimes very hard to locate these weevils in
grain. However, they will usually make their appearance in
the finished product. They have been found in shredded wheat
biscuits, and even on Pullman dining cars, where one pays for
the very best quality of food. The corn and bean or pea weevil
are the ones that most concern the people of Florida.
The rice weevil is the second one that enters the household.
It, and the granary weevil are really the only two that come
under this classification. As one would suppose, it gets its name
from the fact that it was first found in rice. The rice weevil
is supposed to have originated in India, and from there it has
spread all over the world. It is the most harmful of the two
that inhabit this country, but it is not as widely distributed as
The rice weevil feeds upon the grains of rice and often in-
vades boxes of crackers, cakes, and other bread-stuffs, and is
may remain in the field, but in the winter it will retreat to barns,
houses, or any other place where grain is stored.
METHODS OF CONTROL
The most effective method of combating weevils is with
carbon bisulfide. This liquid should be used at the rate of 2 or
I pounds to every 1000 cubic feet of space.
A good way to keep weevils from infesting various kinds of
;eed is to store the seeds in tight dry goods boxes. The boxes
should be filled to within 3 or 4 inches of the top. If weevils
should infest them they should be treated with carbon bisulfide.
aution--No form of fire whatsoever should be brought near
he carbon bisulfide until the fumes have thoroughly dissipated
a the surrounding atmosphere.
The best thing to do with any small box of cereal, crackers,
ir other food that has become infested with weevils is to throw
t away entirely.
All stages of weevils will be killed if a temperature of about
30 degrees can be maintained for several hours.
PREVENTING DAMAGE BY TERMITES OR WHITE ANTE
By T. E. SNYDER. Senior Endomologist. Dirition of Forcest Insects
Bureau of Entomology
Farmners' Bulletin 1472
Revised to June, 10930
TERMITES AND THEIR HABITS
DISTRIBUTION AND FORMS
Termites, or "white ants," are destructive native insects o:
which 44 species occur in the United States. They are dis
tribute throughout the country, although in the southern
southwestern, and Pacific coast regions, where both the subter
ranean and nonsubterranean kinds occur, they are more number
ous and injurious than elsewhere.
These so-called white ants are not true ants, although the)
shade trees, shrubs, and flowers, but also truck and field crops
and, in California, grapevines. The principal food of termites
is cellulose, which they obtain from either dead or living vege-
Termites in the United States are mainly species of subter-
ranean or wood-boring habit and are not so spectacular or com-
mon as the mound-making or tree-nesting termites of the
Tropics. Very few termites in this country have habits which
make them conspicuous, or come above ground into the sunlight,
except during the annual colonizing swarm; hence they largely
escape notice until they become injurious.
TERMITES WHICH ARE SUBTERRANEAN IN HABIT
Subterranean termites live in forests, building their nests in
the wood of standing timber, logs, or stumps, in cleared land,
any wood in contact with the ground or, in the plains, in a
labyrinth of underground passages in the earth, usually under-
neath wood or vegetation.
PREVENTING DAMAGE BY TERMITES OR WHITE ANTS
Termites are soft-bodied and always conceal themselves with-
in wood, in the earth, or within their earthlike carton shelter
tubes. The grayish-white, soft-bodied, wingless, sterile "work-
ers" are in reality the destructive form. These workers make
the excavations occupied by the colony and enlarge and extend
them as the colony increases. They live underground or
within the wood, are blind, and shun the light; as a re-
sult they are rarely seen. In burrowing through wood the
workers often completely honeycomb it, usually following
the grain and eating out the softer, thin-walled, larger-celled
spring or new wood. They are able to penetrate the hardest of
woods, provided they have access to moisture in the ground. In
extending their galleries in wood and vegetation, subterranean
species carry moisture with them by means of moist excrement
mixed with earth.
TERMITES WHICH ARE NONSUBTERRANEAN IN HABIT
The nonsubterranean termites which are injurious, attack
wood directly; but, instead of following the grain continuously,
they excavate through it longitudinal chambers of limited
length. The sexual adults, after they have lost their wings, and
the young or nymphs, are the destructive forms. Their pellets
of excrement are regularly impressed, and sometimes completely
fill or block up the burrows in a compact mass; they are often
expelled as dry droppings from the infested wood. These
termites are destructive to the woodwork and furniture in build-
ings, as well as to living trees. Apparently they can exist with-
out the great amount of moisture necessary to the life of
termites which are subterranean in habit.
Insecticides.-Either carbon disulphide or carbon tetra-
chloride can be used to kill termites in the soil if it is moist and
not compact. Small holes should be made near the infested
plants and a small quantity of the liquid chosen poured in and
the holes immediately closed tightly with earth. Calcium
cyanide'3 has also been found effective, but it should not be
placed near living plants; it mixes readily with and enriches the
soil and gives off an insecticidal gas which shoi d not be inhaled,
(is it is poisonous.
An effective control may be found in the use of kerosene nico-
tine oleate or a 5 per cent kerosene emulsion.'" If the green-
house benches are infested, but for any reason can not be re-
placed, they should be soaked thoroughly with this emulsion, as
should also the ashes and sand under the pots on the benches.
This may be done by removing the potted plants from a section
of the bench, spraying that section, and moving the pots on the
bench to cover the treated area, thus giving access to another
section. Potted heliotropes and geraniums have been treated
directly with the 5 per cent kerosene emulsion without injury to
the plants, and the white ants in the soil of the pots were all
killed. The soil should be wet down before this spray is used.
This treatment should be given late in the afternoon and be fol-
lowed early the next morninmo with a thorough syringing of the
soil with water to wash out thie surplus oil. It is important to
remove all infested pots from thie bench as soon as the infesta-
tion is noticed and to destroy the termites with kerosene emul-
or "white ants'
wings, and material sto
entrance. Damage tc
specially serious in th
States, and the tropic
The woodwork of b
of termites by proper
ed with preservatives
already established ii
with the ground and
To construct build
make their foundation
or concrete, including
basement to support
flooring in basement
gravel base. Where ,
ticable, use timber inim
not allow woodwork t,
sink untreated timber
Complete dryness o:
and flooring is an imn
from attack. Provid,
wooden flooring and 1,
In regions where i
woodwork should be 1
To eliminate termit
ine the foundation tin
:round is es-
un the attack
f wood treat-
-1 in contact
illars in the
:e walls and
floors on a
rete, and do
laDle to extend irneir galleries iarrller allMl \wini erisl.
Nonsubterranean termites can be killed in infested wood by
e use of insecticides.
Injury to livin- vegetation is occasionally serious, especially
the Southern States, the Southwest, and the Pacific Coast
ates. It can be prevented by clean cultural methods, deep fall
owing, and the use of insecticides.
Genera Reticnlitermes Holingren, Leucoterines Silvestri. Ainiternies Silvestri,
Genera TPernmopsis Heer, Kalotermes Hagen. Neoterines Holingren. Crypto-
mles Banks, etc.
'Two ounees of cailchiutm eyanitlde to 1 square yarl of gi'ronil is recommiiended.
'Kerosene eiiilsiin is atde as fiolliws: Kprosrine. 2 gralliioS: fishi-oil snap.l
e-half ioiund; watr. 1 gallon. IDissolye the soail in liht v-atecr anid pour in
oil slowly. wiith iinstalint stirrlillg to emlll sify.
Dilution : If ;, gallons if water be added t to the alle stock cPinilsion it
11 give 40 gallons oif 5i per c'nit kerosene emulsion.