Posts Tagged ‘sulphur powder’
All sorts of insects attack and prey upon human beings. Most common of those that attack the body directly are the lice and the itch mites. Less frequent are bedbugs and spiders. In the woods and in tropical areas chiggers and mosquitoes, ticks and the biting flies annoy mankind.
Chiggers are known scientifically as Trombicula irritans. They hook themselves on to the skin. The skin becomes irritated, and an intolerable itching begins. Red blotches appear, and blisters form. The chiggers do not burrow into the skin, but they inject a substance which dissolves and softens the tissue, and this causes the itching.
Infestation with chiggers can be prevented by putting flour of sulphur or sulphur powder into the stockings or underclothing when going into tall grass or weeds. Protection can be had by wearing leggings and by closing off the bottom of the trousers.
If you have been seriously bitten by chiggers, wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water and allow the lather to remain on the skin ten minutes before removing. Then any of the anti-itch preparations can be applied to keep the itching under control until healing has occurred.
Insect repellents such as DDT, freon with pyrethrum, and similar preparations can be used to remove chiggers from infested areas, as well as mosquitoes, moths, and other insects.
The louse is an annoying inhabitant on the human body. Head lice are such a frequent annoyance among children in schools that health departments usually give special instructions for their control. Several specialized mixtures have been developed for getting rid of head lice, body lice, and pubic lice.
To kill head lice, ordinary crude petroleum or kerosene mixed with sweet oil or olive oil, half and half, is rubbed well into the scalp. Then cover the hair with a piece of muslin for at least two hours or, better, overnight. Petroleum is poisonous and inflammable. Never let the hair get close to any open flame, such as a gas jet or a lighted match. When the muslin is removed wash the hair and scalp with soap and hot water and rinse well with clear water. Repeat this process as long as live vermin are found in the hair. Nits may be removed by wetting the hair thoroughly with hot vinegar, then combing with a fine-toothed comb. Dry the hair completely after such treatments before going out. For body lice, the body, all clothing, and all bedding may be thoroughly dusted with a suitable DDT powder.
Pubic lice are commonly called “crabs.” Specialized ointments including the old-fashioned “blue ointment” and “Gammexane” ointment, are used, rubbed thoroughly into the infested areas. If such lice get into the eyelashes, they should be picked off, with their nits, by a forceps. Itching from the bites of lice or other insects is controllable by ointments or lotions containing small amounts of phenol or menthol or camphor, such as 1 per cent phenol or menthol in calamine lotion or phenolated camphor in mineral oil.
The only venomous spider in the Western Hemisphere is the black widow. When a person is bitten by a spider the first step is to stop the absorption of the poison into the circulation. The wound can be disinfected with tincture of iodine or any other good antiseptic. If any considerable amount of poison has been taken into the body, the area of the bite can be put under suction.
Following the bite of the black widow spider, one feels a sharp pain. Then comes swelling and redness at the bitten spot, and the whole body reacts with dizziness and weakness, tremor of the legs, and even abdominal cramps. Small children may have difficulty in breathing and even stupor or convulsions. A serum or antitoxin has been developed, but has to be secured in most cases from the health department or directly from the manufacturer.
Bedbugs And Fleas
A bedbug bite usually appears as a raised blister with a red spot in the center. It itches and sometimes has a burning sensation. Bedbugs do not live on the human body but they do infest beds, bedding, upholstered furniture, walls, woodwork, and draperies. They usually come out at night, drawn by the odor of the human body. When crushed, the bedbug gives off a foul odor.
Because the bedbug bite itches, the bitten area may be masked by the results of scratching and secondary infection. People who wear pajamas, if bitten, are usually affected in the areas around the ankles, the wrists, and the neck. The only treatment usually required for a bedbug bite is application of a lotion of calamine, with menthol or phenol or camphor to relieve the itching. Any of the lotions usually used for itching may be applied to flea bites.
Fleas that infest rodents can carry diseases such as plague. Fleas are found everywhere. They may pass to human beings from dogs, rats, or pigs. When human beings are bitten by fleas the source of infestation should be found and eliminated. Flea powders are easily available at any drug store.
Scabies, also called seven-year itch, Cuban itch, prison itch, and similar names, is caused by the itch mite. It spreads amidst poverty, overcrowding, and uncleanliness. Usually scabies is transmitted by body contact.
The itch mite does not have the same habits as the body louse. The body louse lives in the clothing and feeds on the body, but the itch mite lives in the body under the skin. Any infestation of clothing or bedding by the itch mite is accidental. The itch mite tunnels under the skin. If the skin is cleaned and is free from crusting and secondary infection the little spots of invasion can be seen. The female mite burrows into the skin through the hair follicles and travels along a tunnel, which she creates. At the inner end of the tunnel she lays her eggs. After three to five days the eggs hatch, and the larvae burrow along new tunnels or come out of the old one.
Most common areas of infestation are between the fingers, on the backs of the hands, elbows, under the arms, in the groin, under the breasts, around the navel, sex organs, the shoulder blades, and the back.
After the body has been thoroughly scrubbed with hot water, the emulsion is applied with a brush or with an insecticide gun and the whole body is covered from the neck down. The emulsion is allowed to dry, and then after ten or fifteen minutes a second application is painted on. The patient then puts on his clothing and refrains from bathing for twenty-four hours. Then he is given another painting with the benzyl benzoate emulsion. After a second twenty-four-hour period he is instructed to bathe and put on all clean clothing. If these instructions are carried out carefully 95 per cent of patients are cured. The failures are given another course of treatment. The ointment called Gammexane, which is exachlorocyclohexane is also used effectively against scabies. The new treatments tend to replace the older use of sulphur ointment, pyrethrum ointment, and rotenone ointment.
The mosquito is proof of Kipling’s famous statement that “the female of the species is more deadly than the male.” The male mosquito does not bite. The female mosquito is out for blood. The mosquito does not really bite, but saws through the skin.
Investigators have found that mosquitoes prefer to bite some people rather than others. They have found, moreover, that some people react severely to mosquito bites, whereas others do not react at all. The attractiveness of an individual for mosquitoes varies from time to time. Mosquitoes that bite prefer places with lots of people, rather than those with just a few people or places that are empty. Mosquitoes are more attracted by numerous or unwashed sleepers than by a few people who are sleeping and who are well washed. Thorough cleansing with soap and water decreases the attractiveness of any individual for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted by warm objects, by lights at night and by dark objects during the day. Dark clothing is more attractive than light clothing for mosquitoes, and rough clothing is more attractive than smooth clothing. Mosquitoes prefer damp weather to dry weather, but in the cold seasons they prefer dry weather to damp weather. Mosquitoes prefer adults to children and men to women.
Mosquitoes carry malaria, yellow fever,West Nile virus and a number of other diseases. The mosquito can be eliminated by getting rid of pools of stagnant water in the surroundings, by spraying surfaces of water with oil, by the widespread use of DDT, and by other well-established health-engineering technics. The itching of the mosquito bite can be controlled by the use of one per cent menthol or phenol in calamine lotion or by the application of the ointments of antihistamines such as neohetramine, neoantergan, thephorin, pyrabenzarnine, benadryl, diatrin, and others.