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Whatever credit these means may have gained with the people, they are far from having the efficacy of prayer, or the worth of the remedies I am about to prescribe. It is true, that it is impossible totally to exterminate insects, both because their number is too great, and because it augments at every instant, by the rapidity with which they multiply.—: Hqwever, we ought not to despair of finding the means of reducing-them in number, or of preventing their excessive multiplication. There are several ways of preventing their increase; the easiest and molt natural, in my opinion, are the following. By spreading on the ground, aslies mixed with pigeon's or goat's dung, not only insects newly come forth, but thole about to be hatched, are destroyed. To take advantage of the time before insects deposit their eggs, i» likewise a very sure way. By destroying the old" one?, we rid ourselves of the generation they would hare produced; and, we thus perform in an instant, what we would not fail to have been employed in during the whole ccurie of a year. But should the seascn anticipate our intentions, we must seek thtir nests in, the furrows and clefts of trees. Irj. truth, the industry of infects, in choosing places, in which their brood may be in safety, makes it impossible but some of them must escape our search. They hide their eggs, sometimes under the earth, sometimes under the bark of trees, sometimes in walls; but, if in one province, the country people would use stratagems on their part, it is certain they would ensure that profit, of which they are often frustrated.— There are some husbandmen who plough their grounds in autumn, as soon as the cold begins to be felt. The practice is a good one; for the plough, in opening the foil, throws the eggs of grasshoppers and locusts, and other insects on the surface, where they perish either with the frost, or by rains, or they are eaten, by the birds. We cannot defend fruki • 1' tree^ trees from the ravages of caterpillars, better than by carefully pruning them. By this they acquire much more sap; and, as these insects are not fond of a too abundant juice, they seek elsewhere a food more to trleir taste. If the approach ot winter obliges them to gather together in the nests which they form at the extremities of the branches, they must be taken off, before the spring has made any progress.
It is possible that these means may not be practi, cable at all times; but then, other stratagems must be fallen upon, to stifle the evil in its birth. If ca-: terpillars, ants, and other insects roam over the ground, and have not yet got upon the tree* they are in search of, a stratum of ashes or of chalk must be laid at the bottom, which will obstruct their passage. I believe this to be infallible; for besides, that they are enemies to all constraint, they would be so embarrassed by these substances, that they would not be able to disengage themselves. Twisted straw, clay, wool and cotton, are likewise successful obstacles to their ascent. Circles of them are put round ■ the stem of the tree, and, if a little resinous substance is added to them, the tree will be out of danger. Let us change the cafe, and suppose that insects have alrea-* dy got upon the trees, plants, and bullies, the hand must then be employed. But, there are some times; when this is done with greater success than at others, as in the morning, the evening, and during rain, These times are preferable to any other part of the day, because coolness and humidity cause insects to collect together, and then they form heaps, which, may be crushed at once. If, moreover, they have gained the top, and that the height prevents their being reached with the hand, the tree must be fha-> ken, or a pole, with rags at the end of it, employed, to sweep them off. But expedients must be suggested by circumstances. There is not a cafe, in which, the industry of man may not remedy, in whole, of in part, the injuries sustained from insects. Some put honey in water, and place bottles, filled with the mixture, in different places: others put hollow vessels, smooth, and varnished on the inside, among their heaps of fruit and corn. These baits have the happiest effects; the first leads insects to drown themselves; the second entices them to a precipice, over which they fall into the vessel, and then may be thrown into the fire, or into boiling water. Another snare, the success of which is not less happy, for securing fruit-trees, is, to lay the trunk over with glue. The most common artifice, made use of against locusts, is to dig a ditch in the ground, a yard in breadth, and as milch in depth. A number of per? sons are then set to strike the ground from right tQ left, and continue to drive them, till they fall into the ditch, which is then filled up. The most proper time for this experiment, is the period before they have got wings, or when these are too much wetted with the dew to be used; otherwise,"they would take flight and render the labour ineffectual.
Frelh straw, often renewed in a bed, is another secret against fleas, which every body knows, and ha? an interest in practising for their own repose: however, it is right to mention, that no perfect tranquillity can be expected, while these are allowed to conceal themselves in rough boards. The aversion they have for certain things, is a circumstance which betrays them, and furnishes us with arms for their ruin, as for that of other insects. The greater part hate smoke; and therefore, no sooner feel it, than they fly, or are suffocated, when they cannot avoid it in time. It is therefore probat>le, that fumigation is noxious to them, especially, if, among the burnt matters, there are any substances whose smell is disagreeable to them j such as amber, orpiment, sulphur* UT, coriander, black cumin, scabious, garlick, wormwood, bdellium, galbanum, myrrh, storax, incense, owls feathers, bats dung, hair, horns of quadrupeds,, and a number of other things of this nature- We can also destroy or drive away insects, by watering the places where they are found, with quick-lime, felt dissolved in water^ with dwarf elder, coloquintida, cumin, rue, and other bitter plants boiled; or* with the gall of an ox, dissolved in water. Besides fumigation and watering, there are poisons which kill insects, such as arsenic, orpi„ient, hellebore and pepper prepared with common water or milk. Fire and water are of themselves assistances as speedy as infallible. To inundate meadows for eight and forty hours, will certainly destroy the ants that infest it. Boiling water, poured into their holes, not only destroys their magazines, but their young. Fire must: be applied at the proper time, that is, when locusts and other insects are still in their unwinged state; then straw laid on the ground, and set on fire, will effectually destroy them. Gun powder may be used against flies, by being put into a pistol, without ramming it, and discharging the pistol, when the flies are collected on some sugar, spread on purpose, or ie may be mixed ,with bruised sugar, and strowed in a> line, and then set fire to; but as these methods may be attended with some danger, they are to be used with caution.
We have mentioned above, the wounds inflicted on man and other animals, by different forts of insects \ we come now to the proper means of curing them. It often happens, that what causes the disease, affords the remedy, and thus, one insect sometimes cures the wound made by another, either by crushing it, and applying it to the part affected, or by anointing the part with olive oil, in which a number of the fame species fcas been infused* Mud may also be used as a cataplasm
plasm, especially when the wound is recent; and* though it may not have the power of effecting a radical cure, yet it may moderate the heat of the part, and so prevent inflammation. Some rather chuse bruised herbs, such as laurel leaves, thyme, savory, marjoram, rue, and other aromatic plants; others prefer urine, with which they carefully bathe the wound.
Mercury is of singular effect, not only for per* sons troubled with vermin, but for those whose skin, flesh and bowels are affected. This metal is prepared in three different ways; boiled in water, it serves as an apozem; mixed with topical remedies, as an unguent; with purgatives, it becomes physic; and in whatever wa) it is uled, it always produces the desired effect. Another way of curing the fame disease, is, to make a decoction of garlic, scordium, lavender, laurel berries, and tamarind leaves, in which the body or parts affected are bathed. A balsam, composed of oil of spikenard and laurel, of hellebore and flowers of sulphur may be substituted for the former; To give them additional strength, little bags, filled with saffron, may be worn under the armpits, or camphor may be applied to the pit of the stomach* not forgetting a frequent change of linen, which has passed through a solution of salt or sea-water. For vermin, which infest those parts which it is indecent to name, the shortest and most tolerable way is, to to use a balsam, made of the juice of wormwood, of scabious, aloes, quick silver, sulphur, oil of tobacco*, and dulcified mercury. For internal remedies, I advise the essence of myrrh, or the tincture of antimony, corrected with the cream of tartar, spirit of hartshorn, elixir proprietatis, essence of eentaury, and in short, all thole medecines, in which mercury is an ingredient. There are other insects, which are very troublesome, because they appear under the skin of