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LESSON XII. PREVENTION OF PESTS.
Household pests are annoying, dangerous to health, and destructive to property. Pests carry disease germs from one person to another and from other animals to human beings. Absolute cleanliness in every part of the house is essential if the place is to be kept free from pests. As a rule, pests flourish in dark, damp, dirty places. The housekeeper can keep her place free from pests with the proper care. If pests get started, the housekeeper should know how to exterminate them.
A few simple methods of extermination are here given:
Bedbugs.-Kerosene should be poured into all cracks and a brush, dipped in kerosene, run briskly over all surfaces. Care must be taken to have no fire in the house while this is being done. Windows should be open and the room kept free from dust. In four days this should be repeated, to kill any bugs that may have just hatched.
Cockroaches and waterbugs.-A solution of 1 pound of alum to 3 pints of water should be poured into all cracks. Insect powder and borax are also effective. Absolute cleanliness and freedom from dampness are necessary if the house is to be kept free from roaches.
Ants. Oil of cloves or pennyroyal on pieces of cotton batting scattered about in the places where ants appear will drive them away. Saturating the nests with coal oil will destroy them. Food which attracts ants should be removed from places which they are apt to reach.
Rats and mice are best exterminated by the use of a trap or some preparation like "Rough on Rats." Traps should be set nightly and should be scalded and aired after a mouse has been caught. Rat holes may be stopped up by sprinkling with chloride of lime and then filling with mortar or plaster of Paris.
Mosquitoes breed in swampy places or in old barrels or kegs or tin cans which hold stagnant water. Therefore, if the swampy places be drained and the grounds about the house kept free from stagnant water the housekeeper will generally not be troubled with mosquitoes. Empty barrels or kegs should be inverted and old tin cans should have a hole punched in the bottom so that they will not catch water. All high weeds near the house should be cut down and destroyed so that they will not provide a damp place to harbor mosquitoes. If it is impossible to get rid of all standing water, the breeding of mosquitoes can be checked by pouring kerosene oil on the water. One ounce of oil on 15 square feet of water is sufficient. This will have to be renewed at least once in 10 days. The doors, windows, and ventilators of the house should be well screened as a protection against mosquitoes.
Flies are one of the greatest carriers of typhoid and other germs and filth of all sorts. They can be gotten rid of only when the breeding places are destroyed and the flies killed as rapidly as possible. Materials that attract flies should not be exposed in and about the house. The house should be well screened with wire mesh or mosquito netting to keep out the flies. A fly swatter should be kept at hand. Stables should be cleaned daily and the barn lot frequently sprayed with kerosene, creoline, or lime.
Fleas will be troublesome if cats or dogs are kept in the house. These house pets should be given frequent baths, the rugs on which they lie should be brushed and shaken daily, and the floors washed with soap and water and wiped with kerosene.
Moths are apt to develop in woolen garments unless the garments are thoroughly shaken and absolutely protected by wrapping in newspaper and put away. Woolen garments that are used only occasionally should be kept in a light, dry place, handled frequently, and hung in the sun occasionally. Moths or carpet beetles can be exterminated from carpets by applying kerosene.
Give this lesson at a time when the girls are asking about the household pests or when the school is suffering from some pests. It would be well to have the lesson in the spring just before school closes, so that the girls can put into practice what they learn. It may be desirable to devote the efforts to the destruction of one particular pest. For example, a fly crusade may be inaugurated.
METHOD OF WORK.
If there are pests in the schoolroom, discuss their habits, what seems to attract them, where they come from, etc. Have girls report any pests they have at home. Explain why they are dangerous, tell how they can be exterminated, and assign to each girl the extermination of one household pest. Have her report each day the success of her efforts. Continue this work for several weeks.
LESSON XIII. REMOVING STAINS, BLEACHING FABRICS, AND
As garments and household linens are apt to become stained and thus lose their attractiveness, it is well to know remedies for the most common stains and the principle upon which their removal depends. All stains should be removed as soon after they occur as possible. Boiling water will loosen and remove coffee, tea, and fresh fruit stains. The stain should be held over a bowl and the
water poured upon it with some force. Cold water will remove stains from blood or meat juice. Soaking will help in the removal of blood stains. Rust stains can be removed by wetting the stain with lemon juice, covering with salt, and placing in the sun. Stains from stove blacking, paint, and grass can be removed by soaking in kerosene and washing well with soap and water. Ink stains can be removed by soaking in water, removing as much as possible, then soaking in milk. Stains from cream and other forms of grease can be washed out in cold water, followed with warm water and soap.
White cotton and white linen materials can be bleached by exposing while damp to the sunshine. If left out overnight the bleaching process is made effective by the moisture furnished by the dew and frost. A stream of steam from the teakettle may also help the bleaching process.
Some colors are set by the addition of a small amount of acid to the first water in which they are soaked, while others are set by the use of salt. It is necessary to try a small amount of the material before dipping in the entire garment in order to be sure of results. Vinegar should be used for blues; use one-half cup to one gallon of water. Salt is most effective for browns, blacks, and pinks. In most cases two cups of salt to one gallon of cold water will be enough.
The towels used for drying dishes or the linen used for some school entertainment may have become stained with coffee, fruit, or some other substance. Make this the basis of a lesson and have the girls bring other things from which they wish to remove stains. Each girl should have an article from which to remove a stain. Let this lesson be preliminary to the lesson on laundry work.
METHOD OF WORK.
Examine the various articles at hand from which stains are to be removed. Discuss the method of removal and have each girl work on her own stain until it is as nearly removed as possible.
LESSON XIV. WASHING Dish towels, SCHOOL CURTAINS, ETC.
Dish towels should be thoroughly washed out at least once a day. Wash one piece at a time (cleanest first) in warm soapy water and rinse in clear water in another pan. Hang up in the sun, if possible, so that the air will pass through. Boil at least once a week in soapy water to keep fresh and white. Sunshine and fresh air are valuable for the purpose of bleaching and purifying.
Wash the school curtains in hot, soapy water; boil, rinse, and blue slightly. A small amount of thin starch may be desirable for the curtains. A thin starch can be made as follows:
RECIPE FOR THIN STARCH.
cup cold water.
Add the cold water to the starch and lard, stir until smooth, then add the boiling water slowly, stirring constantly. Boil for several minutes in order to cook the starch thoroughly; then add one pint of cold water and a small amount of bluing. Dilute if necessary.
Hang the curtains in the sun to dry, shaking well before putting on the line and folding the edge over at least 6 inches. Be sure to have a clean line. When dry, fold carefully. A short time before ironing, sprinkle well.
It may be desirable to give this lesson earlier in the course, if cooking lessons are being given and dish towels are in use, or if the school curtains are badly soiled. Other articles may be washed if time and facilities permit.
METHOD OF WORK.
Discuss briefly the need for laundry work and the general principles. Have the girls each take a turn washing the towels or curtains; examine the article after it is washed and give careful directions for the boiling, bluing, and starching. While these processes are being completed, have some of the girls prepare the line. Have two girls appointed to bring the towels in off the line before they go home from school.
LESSON XV. IRONING.
To do good ironing it is necessary to have a firm, unwarped ironing board. This should be covered with some thick woolen material and a white muslin cover that is clean, smooth, and tightly drawn. The thick cover should be tacked on, while the top cover should be pinned so that it can be easily taken off for cleaning. A heavy holder should be provided for handling the irons. Irons should be clean and smooth. Paper should be kept at hand to keep the irons clean and a piece of beeswax, sandpaper, or salt should be provided for keeping them smooth. A small cloth should be used to wipe off the iron after using the beeswax. A newspaper should be spread on the floor to protect any pieces that may hang down that far while being ironed. The coarser towels should be ironed first, as the irons grow smoother the longer they are used. Starched pieces should not be
ironed until the irons have become very hot. Every piece should be ironed until perfectly dry. If the article is first laid smooth it will be easier to iron it and keep it in shape. As soon as ironing is completed the articles should be hung up to air out well.
Arrange to have the ironing lesson just as soon after the laundry lesson as possible. It will probably be easy to borrow the necessary equipment from near-by homes. Each girl can be appointed to bring something that will contribute toward the equipment and one girl can be appointed to have the fire ready and another to put the irons on to heat before the lesson hour.
METHOD OF WORK.
Call the girls together early in the morning or at some other time previous to the lesson period and give them directions for sprinkling the articles to be ironed. When the class hour comes, demonstrate the method of ironing, folding, and hanging the articles and have the girls take turns doing the work.
LESSONS XVI AND XVII. CARE OF THE BABY.
Because young girls are fond of little children and must often help their mothers with their baby brothers and sisters, they should know how to care for them. It is essential that they understand the following points: The little body needs protection. The head is soft and the brain may be injured by hard bumps or pressure. The skin is tender and is easily irritated by the bites of insects, friction, etc. Kicking, wiggling, etc., are necessary to the development of the baby's muscles, but the baby should not be played with all the time for it is well for it to lie quietly a portion of the time while awake. It should not be made to sit up until ready to do so. A desire to creep should encouraged. Standing or walking should not be taught the baby until it tries to do so for itself and then it must be helped very carefully.
The baby should have plenty of fresh air and should be allowed to spend much of its time out of doors. In cold weather the baby must be warmly covered and sheltered from high winds. Its eyes should always be protected from strong sunlight.
Regular hours should be observed for sleep and the baby should be put to bed early at night. If the house is not well screened, a mosquito bar should be put over the baby's crib. Clothing should be light and loose, so that the body can move freely.