Lately, it seems that every day there’s yet another new report
of a bedbug infestation somewhere here in the Big Bad City.
The little buggers are showing up in every conceivable location,
from hotels to clothing stores, newspaper offices to schools,
and apartment buildings to Broadway theaters. According
to one recent local TV newscast, the little creepy crawlers
have now headed to the library, particularly the children’s
section. Maybe they heard there was to be a story hour?
In any event, as I was browsing through a few of my historic
cookbooks today, I came upon an intriguing solution to this
buggy problem. There, in Lydia Child’s The American Frugal
Housewife (1833), was this remedy:
An ounce of quicksilver, beat
up with the white of two eggs,
and put on with a feather, is
the cleanest and surest
Poison is right. Quicksilver is mercury.
Hmmm, maybe I’ll find some other ideas….