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Title: A Treatise of Buggs
Author: Southall, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Treatise of Buggs" ***

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  _one day Old_
  _3 days_
  _1 week_
  _2 weeks_
  _3 weeks_
  _4 weeks_
  _5 weeks_
  _6 weeks_
  _7 weeks_
  _8 weeks_
  _9 weeks_
  _10 weeks_
  _full grown Europeans_
  _full grown American_

  _G. VanderGucht sculp._



  When and How they were first brought into _England_. How they are
  brought into and infect Houses.

  Their Nature, several Foods, Times and Manner of Spawning and
  Propagating in this Climate.

  Their great INCREASE accounted for, by Proof of the Numbers each Pair
  produce in a Season.

  REASONS given why all Attempts hitherto made for their Destruction
  have proved ineffectual.

  VULGAR ERRORS concerning them refuted.

  That from _September_ to _March_ is the best Season for their total
  Destruction, demonstrated by Reason, and proved by Facts.

Concluding with

  DIRECTIONS for such as have them not already, how to avoid them; and
  for those that have them, how to destroy them.


  Maker of the Nonpareil Liquor for destroying _Buggs_ and _Nits_,
  living at the _Green Posts_ in the _Green Walk_ near _Faulcon-stairs,


  _LONDON_: Printed for J. ROBERTS, near the _Oxford-Arms_
  in _Warwick-Lane_. M.DCC.XXX.

  (Price One Shilling.)




  First Physician in Ordinary to His MAJESTY; President of the ROYAL
  SOCIETY, and also of the College of Physicians.


Your ready Condescension to peruse the following Treatise, and to see
the Experiments of my Liquor, both in regard to its bringing out,
and destroying Buggs; as also that of its no ways staining Furniture;
was to me the happy Presage of your Favour, and Approbation of my

The Satisfaction of having this Treatise and Experiments approv’d by
You, the Best of Judges, was to me the greatest Honour I could wish
for; but the additional one, confer’d by your introducing me to the
_Royal Society_, and there having not only their unanimous Approbation,
but yours and their Thanks for my Discoveries and Intent of publishing
them, was beyond my Hopes, and a Pleasure so great, as to be past
expressing; in regard that it dissipates all my Fears for its Success,
and makes me justly hope it will meet with a candid Reception from, and
be of general Benefit to the Publick.

As to your Goodness, I must ascribe the happy Prospect of its proving
so, Gratitude obliges me in this manner to acknowledge it; and to be,

    _Your Much-Obliged_,
  _And Most Obedient Servant_,




_Being diffident of my own Performance, and desirous it should stand or
fall by the Opinion of the Best of Judges, was the Motive that induced
me to make my Application to that very Learned, truly Judicious and
commendably Curious Person to whom it’s dedicated: At the same time
determining, that if he approv’d of it, I would publish it; and if
he disapprov’d, that I would burn it. But it happily meeting his
Approbation, it now makes its Appearance in Print: Tho’ I must in
Justice to him acknowledge, it could not have so done so soon, nor
with such Embellishments, had he not only forwarded the Impression,
but directed and order’d the Copper-plate. As it has not only his
Approbation, but also, by his introducing it, the unanimous Concurrent
Approbation of (those great Encouragers of things useful) the Royal
Society; I hope it will not fail of meeting a kind Reception from the
Inhabitants in and about this Metropolis; by whom, as such a Treatise,
&c. was most wanted, for their Benefit and Ease it was at first chiefly

_Tho’ with such Helps as it now has, I am not without Hopes that it may
extend its Qualities to distant infected Places._

_I should think it a Duty Incumbent on me, and would wait on the
Venerable Members of the aforesaid Society, present when my Manuscript
was read, personally to return them my Thanks for the Honours
conferr’d on me. But as the Names and Places of Abode of most are
unknown to me, I humbly beg they will accept this Acknowledgement of
them, by their_

  Obliged and Obedient Servant,





As Buggs have been known to be in _England_ above sixty Years, and
every Season increasing so upon us, as to become terrible to almost
every Inhabitant in and about this Metropolis, it were greatly to be
wished that some more learned Person than my self, studious for the
Good of Human Kind, and the Improvement of natural Knowledge, would
have oblig’d the Town with some Treatise, Discourse or Lecture on that
nauseous venomous Insect.

But as none such have attempted it, and I have ever since my return
from _America_ made their destruction my Profession, and was at first
much baffled in my Attempts for want, (as I then believ’d, and have
since found) of truly knowing the Nature of those intolerable Vermin:
I determined by all means possible to try if I could discover and
find out as much of their Nature, Feeding and Breeding, as might be
conducive to my being better able to destroy them.

And tho’ in attempting it I must own I had a View at private Gain, as
well as the publick Good; yet I hope my Design will appear laudable,
and the Event answer both Ends.

The late Learned and truly Valuable Dr. _Woodward_, to whom I first
communicated my Intent, not only approv’d the Design, but also the
Methods which, I told him, I design’d to pursue, to attain the desired
Effects: and at the same time was so good to give me some useful Hints
and Instructions, the better to accomplish an Affair, which he said
’twas his Opinion would be a general Good.

Not to make this Acknowledgement of his kind Assistance, would be
Ingratitude to my dear deceas’d Friend.

As I had his Approbation at the beginning, had he but liv’d till now,
I doubt not but the Discoveries I have made would have appear’d so
considerable and useful, as might have entitled me to his farther
Friendship and Assistance, in methodizing this Treatise for Publication.

But depriv’d of him, my first and greatest Encourager, I have ventur’d
to let it appear in the best Dress my Capacity will admit. Should the
Stile and my Manner of handling the Subject to be treated of, appear
uncouth and displease, I hope the Usefulness of it to the Publick will
make some amends for that Defect.

In treating on these Insects, some part of the Discourse may perhaps
at first View appear surprizing, if not incredible to the Readers:
But by giving them an account how I attain’d my Knowledge, and by
often reiterated Experiments prov’d them to be certain Facts, they
will soon alter their Opinion; and the whole, I hope, will not only
be acceptable, diverting and instructive to the Readers, but also
of universal Benefit to the Inhabitants in and about _London_ and

This Treatise being on a Subject as much wanted as any whatever, and
the Pains and Trouble I have taken to arrive at my Knowledge herein,
having been uncommon; it may be expected by the Curious, that I should
give some of the Reasons that first induced me to undertake a Discovery
so very difficult to appearance.

It may not therefore be unnecessary to acquaint such, that in the
Year 1726, my Affairs requiring my going to the _West-Indies_, I
had not been long there arrived, before, (the Climate not agreeing
with my Constitution) I fell sick, had a Complication of the Country
Distempers, lost the Use of my Limbs, and was given over by the best
Physicians at _Kingstown_ in _Jamaica_.

But, contrary to their Expectation, recovering a little, they advis’d
me to stay no longer in a Country, so prejudicial and dangerous to me,
than till I could get Shipping for _England_; and in the mean time
desired that as often as I was able, I would ride out for the Benefit
of the Air; which as soon as I had Strength enough, I did.

In one of my Journeys meeting with an uncommon Negro, the Hair or
(rather) Wooll on his Head, Beard, and Breast being as white as Snow,
I stopt my Horse to look on him; and he coming, as their way is, to
beg a little Tobacco, I gave it, and enquir’d if he had been always so
white-hair’d. He answer’d, no; but Age had made him so.

Observing that he moved briskly, had no Wrinkles, and all his Teeth,
I told him I could not believe him to be very old, at the same time
desiring to know his Age. His Answer was, he knew not himself; but
this he knew, that he was one of the first Slaves brought into that
Island, after the _English_ had taken it in _Oliver Cromwell_’s time,
and was then a great Boy.

By this account I judged, and might reasonably suppose him upwards of
ninety Years of Age.

Whilst we were in discourse, he perceiving me often rub and scratch,
where my Face and Eyes were much swelled with Bugg-Bites, asked if
Chintses, (so Buggs are by Negroes and some others there called) had
bit me? On my answering, yes; he said, he wonder’d white Men should let
them bite; they should do something to kill them, as he did.

This unexpected Expression excited in me a Curiosity to have farther
Discourse with him; and on my telling him, that for my part I should
be extreme glad to know how to destroy those Disturbers of my Rest,
and that if he would tell me how, I would give him some more Tobacco
and a Bit, (a Piece of _Spanish_ Money, there current at Seven-pence
Half-Penny:) On this he agreed to give me a Calibash full of Liquor,
which he said would certainly do it, following the Directions he gave

Possess’d of this, well pleas’d I went home, and tho’ much fatigued, I
could not forbear using some of it before I went to sleep; and to my
surprize, the instant I applied it, vast Numbers did, (as he had told
me they would) come out of their Holes, and die before my face.

These I swept up, threw away, and went to Bed, and had much better Rest
than usual, not being Bugg-bit then, as I always was before.

But what added to my Satisfaction, and further surpriz’d me, was, that
when I got up I found many more had come out in the Night and were dead.

On this, I conceiv’d so great an Opinion of the Goodness and Usefulness
of this Liquor, that I was resolved to endeavour, and if possible to
prevail on him to teach me how to make it; well knowing so valuable
a Secret was much wanted, and would be highly useful, if I lived to
return to _England_.

In order to obtain it, I got some _English_ Beef, Pork, Biscuit and
Beer, and some Tobacco, believing those sooner than Money or any other
thing would procure from the Negro, what I so much wanted and desired.

The next day early I went, and finding my Negro in his Hutt, I asked if
he could dress me some Victuals. On his replying, yes, if he had it;
I open’d my Store-Bags, took out one Piece of Beef, some Biscuits and
a Bottle of Beer, taking care at the same time he should see the rest.
We eat a Biscuit, drank some Beer, and to dressing the Beef with some
Yams out of his Plantation, he eagerly went: all Negroes being greedy
of Flesh, when they can come at it; some of them not eating any for
many Years together, but live altogether on the Produce of the Earth.

Whilst he was intent on Cooking and in a good Humour, I took the
Opportunity of telling him, I had used and so well approved of his
Liquor, that if he would learn me how to make it, all the Victuals and
Tobacco in the Bags, and what Liquor we did not drink whilst I staid,
I would give to him, as a Recompence for the Favour.

At first he refused, believing me (as I found by his discourse) to be
a _Creolian_, whom the Negroes in general hate; but upon my convincing
him I was an _Englishman_, and returning home, the good Chear prevail’d.

After eating together, into the Woods and Savannahs we went, to gather
such of the Materials as grew not on his Plantation, or that he had not
by him; and returning to his Hutt, to making the Liquor he went.

I remark’d well, and set down the Names, Quantities, and his way of
making and mixing the Composition; which being done, all the Bottles we
emptied of Beer were fill’d with the Liquor; with which I return’d to
_Kingstown_, being as well pleas’d with my Discovery, as the Negro was
with my Presents.

Having thus obtain’d my most material Point, I could not yet forbear
going every time I rode out, to see and discourse my Negro, and never
went empty-handed, being desirous to try if I could discover any thing
further from him or of him, and how he attain’d the great Knowledge I
found he had in the medicinal Virtues of Roots, Plants, _&c._

He inform’d me, that during about fifty Years that he was a Slave (in
which time six of his Masters had died) he oft wish’d for Death, and
sought no means to preserve Life, and was then so infirm, as to be
thought by his seventh Master to be past labour; and having been a good
and faithful Slave, his said Master gave him his Freedom, and the piece
of Ground I found him upon, to live on.

That Liberty having render’d Life more agreeable to him, he then
studied all means to preserve it, and having some knowledge of things
proper to preserve as well as support him, he had ever since planted,
_&c._ in his Plantation, things proper for Physick as well as Food.

And indeed his Ground might be called a Physick-Garden, rather than
a Provision-Plantation; for of the latter he only raised enough to
support himself, of the former to supply others as well as himself, and
frequently made Medicines for his sick Acquaintance and others with
success. This Account I had of him from many, as well as from himself;
which made me entertain so good an opinion of his Skill and Fidelity,
that I ventur’d to take a Medicine made by him, by the use of which I
found great Benefit in the restoring me to the Use of my Limbs.

’Twas owing to his Skill that he had thus preserv’d himself to so great
an Age; and ’tis my Opinion, he had attain’d to a greater knowledge of
the physical Use of the Vegetables of that Country, than any illiterate
Person ever had done before him.

Believing some of the Materials not to be had in _Europe_, I procured
of him a quantity, and soon after returned to _England_.

On my arrival at _London_ in _August_ 1727, I made some Liquor to
compare with his, (which I found exactly the same) whereupon I
set about destroying of Buggs, and found to my Satisfaction, that
wherever I apply’d it, it brought out and kill’d ’em all. At length
I advertis’d, had great business, and pleased every body, then
apprehending no return of the Vermin. But yet, to my surprize, tho’
I had kill’d all the old ones, young ones sometimes, in some places,
would appear.

To my Liquor’s being then so strong and oleous, that I durst not
venture to liquor the Furniture for fear of damaging it, I at first
attributed the coming of those young Buggs.

Whereupon I studied to find an Allay for that Quality; which at length,
after many Experiments, and with much difficulty, I found out, and to
such a perfection, that I can and do with safety liquor the richest
of Furniture, as well as the Wood-work of Beds; and tho’ the staining
Quality be taken off, the valuable attractive and destructive parts of
the Composition still retain their full Virtue.

Having gain’d this great Point, I then went on briskly, and destroyed
Buggs and Nits in all Beds and Furniture wherever I came: But yet Young
Ones from behind Wainscot and out of Walls would sometimes afterwards
appear, get to the Beds for better quarters and food, and become

This much perplex’d me; but these unforeseen and then unknown
Difficulties, which might have discouraged a less enterprizing Genius,
prompted me the more to find the Cause and Means to overcome them;
which I conjectur’d might best be done, by finding their Nature and
Method of Breeding, Feeding, _&c._

In order to it, I enquir’d of many Booksellers, if any Book concerning
them had ever been published; but finding none, I then made it my
business to discourse as many learned, curious, and antient Men as I
possibly could, concerning them; but all that ever I could gather from
either, was the following Account, how and when they were first known
to be brought and to breed in _England_.

_Viz._ “That soon after the Fire of _London_, in some of the new-built
Houses they were observ’d to appear, and were never noted to have been
seen in the old, tho’ they were then so few, as to be little taken
notice of; yet as they were only seen in Firr-Timber, ’twas conjectur’d
they were then first brought to _England_ in them; of which most of the
new Houses were partly built, instead of the good Oak destroy’d in the

In the above Account of their first coming, Esquire _Pitfield_ and Mr.
_White_, a Chymist, Men of great Probity and Curiosity, agreed.

And as the Sap of Deal is one of their beloved Foods, this probably
might be the first way they were brought. How they are still brought, I
shall speak to more fully hereafter, in my Instructions to avoid them.

Finding no satisfactory Account of their Nature, Breeding, and Feeding,
to be come at from others, I was resolved assiduously to set about
and try all possible ways to attain it myself. My first Step was to
purchase and try Microscopes, and all such Helps as could be got,
and to devise such others as might contribute thereto; by which I am
enabled to give you the following Descriptions of Buggs, _&c._ which
the better to illustrate, is annexed from a Copper-Plate, curiously
engraven by the famous Mr. _Vandergucht_, the different Species and
Sizes of Buggs, as well as one correctly and finely magnified.

I was not so fond of my own Performance, as to think my Treatise
merited so great an Ornament. But as the Learned and Judicious Sir HANS
SLOANE had done me the Honour to peruse and approve of my Manuscript,
and thought it worthy thereof, and also desired and directed the doing
the said Plate by so good a Hand; I should have been wanting to myself,
had I not, in deference and respect to his Opinion and Request,
annex’d the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Bugg’s Body is shaped and shelled, and the Shell as transparent and
finely striped as the most beautiful amphibious Turtle; has six Legs
most exactly shaped, jointed and bristled as the Legs of a Crab. Its
Neck and Head much resembles a Toad’s. On its Head are three Horns
picqued and bristled; and at the end of their Nose they have a Sting
sharper and much smaller than a Bee’s. The Use of their Horns is in
Fight to assail their Enemies, or defend themselves. With the Sting
they penetrate and wound our Skins, and then (tho’ the Wound is so
small as to be almost imperceptible) they thence by Suction extract
their most delicious Food, our Blood. This Sucking the Wound so given,
is what we improperly call biting us.

By often nightly watching and daily observing them with the best of
Helps, having discover’d Males from Females, I determin’d, and then
did put up a Pair in a Glass, as believing that to keep them the Year
round, would be the only and best way to find the Nature of their
breeding, feeding, _&c._ and be a means to discover what had occasion’d
the Difficulties I had met with in my Endeavours and Practice of
destroying them.

As the Thought was _à propos_, and the Event having answer’d
Expectation, I shall now inform you of my Observations and Discoveries
thereby made.

As I put up the Pair aforesaid, so did I another Pair that day
Fortnight, and so every Fortnight for eighteen Months, did I put up
others, with various Foods.

The first, second, third, and fourth Pair lived, but did not presently
breed, it not being then their Season of so doing: But in about ten
Days after I put up the fifth Pair, they all spawn’d much about the
time of each other; and in about three Weeks the Spawn came to life.

Of the Spawn and different Gradations of Buggs, I shall now give you an
exact Account.

The Eggs or Nits are white, and having when spawn’d a clammy glutinous
Substance, they flick to any thing spawn’d upon, and by Heat come to
Maturity and Life. The Eggs are oval, and as small as the smallest

  Buggs of one day old, are white as Milk.

  At three days old, are Cream-colour’d.

  At one Week old, are Straw-colour’d.

  At two Weeks, are of the same Colour, with a red List down the Back.

  At three Weeks, List Copper Colour.

  At four Weeks, List Browner.

  At five Weeks, List deeper Brown.

  At six Weeks, the Sides brown, and the List hardly discernible.

  At seven Weeks, they come to be of their proper Colour, all over

  At eight Weeks, they grow bigger.

  Nine Weeks, Ditto.

  Ten Weeks, Ditto.

  At eleven Weeks, they are full grown.

_Vide_ the Plate done from _Europeans_ bred: under which is a single
one longer and larger, than our full-grown, being a full-grown
_American_ bred. ’Tis needless to give the Gradations of that Species,
because when they spawn and breed here, the Young degenerate, and are
of the _European_ Size.

As I wrote down the Time I put up all Pairs for breeding, and also
the Times they spawn’d, and observ’d and set down the Numbers they
generally spawn’d; I found by my account of above forty Pair so put up
with various Foods, not only their best-beloved Foods, but also their
Method of Breeding; of which, to render my Observations of publick
Service, I shall give you an account.

_Viz._ Their beloved Foods are Blood, dry’d Paste, Size, Deal, Beach,
Osier, and some other Woods, the Sap of which they suck; and on any one
of these will they live the Year round.

Oak, Walnut, Cedar and Mahogoney they will not feed upon; all Pairs I
put up with those Woods for Food, having been soon starved to death.

Wild Buggs are watchful and cunning, and tho’ timorous of us, yet in
fight one with another, are very fierce; I having often seen some (that
I brought up from a day old, always inur’d to Light and Company) fight
as eagerly as Dogs or Cocks, and sometimes one or both have died on the
Spot. From those so brought up tame, I made the greatest Discoveries.

They are hot in Nature, generate often, and shoot their Spawn all at
once, and then leave it, as Fish do.

They generally spawn about fifty at a time, of which Spawn about forty
odd in about three Weeks time usually, (but sometimes two or three days
more or less, according as the Weather proves more or less hot) come
to life; the Residue proving addle, as do often the Eggs of Hens, _&c._

Thus they spawn four times in a Season; _viz._ in _March_, _May_,
_July_, and _September_: by which ’tis apparent to a Demonstration,
that from every Pair that lives out the Season, about two hundred Eggs
or Nits are produc’d; and that out of them, one hundred and sixty, or
one hundred and seventy, come to Life and Perfection.

Some of the first Breed I have known to spawn the same Season they were
hatched; but so few in Quantity, and those so weakly, that the Winter
killed them.

I have also observed that in Rooms where constant Fires have been kept
Night and Day, they have been so brisk and stout as to spawn in the
Depth of Winter: but of all the Spawn I ever saw between _September_
and _March_, not one ever came to Life.

This plainly evinces, that Natural Heat only produces Life in the
Spawn, and that Artificial cannot.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus having shewn plainly the Number each Pair annually produce, I hope
their great Increase is so sufficiently accounted for, that it need no
more be wonder’d at.

And having also shewn their seven Months Season of Breeding, if ’tis
admitted, as I think ’tis plainly apparent, that in the other five
Months, _viz._ from _September_ to _March_, when there is no such thing
as Spawn but what is addle, and consequently cannot come to Maturity;
it then naturally follows, that the Winter is the best Season for their
total Destruction: which I shall make more fully appear presently, but
must first refute two vulgar Errors.

The first is, That many People imagine they are dead in Winter. This
is a Notion so absurd, that it would hardly be worth mentioning, had I
not by Experience found it had prevail’d with many People of Sense and
Learning, as well as the Vulgar and Illiterate. The many Experiments
by me shown at the Hospitals in the hardest Frosts last Winter, and in
the Houses of the Nobility and Gentry, and to Sir HANS SLOANE the 30th
of _December_ 1729, will, I hope, be deem’d a sufficient Refutation of
that Error: For in the coldest Seasons the Application of my Liquor
with a Feather only, made the Vermin bolt out of their Holes, and die
before their faces.

This they will do all the Year round in the coldest or hottest
Weather. And I have seen, and do assert, they do bite in the cold
as well as hot Seasons: but as our Blood is not so apt to inflame in
Winter as in Summer, their Bites make but little Impression, and are
consequently the less regarded.

The second and most prevailing Error is, That Buggs bite some Persons,
and not others: When in Reality they bite every Human Body that comes
in their way; and this I will undertake plainly to demonstrate by

It is generally observ’d and granted, that a Person under an ill Habit
of Body, if he receives a small Cut or Wound, so slight as to be at
first thought a Trifle, such Person’s Wound by reason of such ill Habit
shall be attended with Inflammations and other dangerous Symptons,
and be longer under Cure than Wounds, which when first receiv’d were
larger, and consequently thought more dangerous. These Wounds shall be
immediately healed on Persons in good Habit of Body, such good Habit
preventing any Inflammations.

And as Fevers, and Swellings attending and prolonging the Cure of
Fractures, are accounted for the same way; why may it not by the same
parity of Reason be admitted, that the Bite or Wound of a Bugg should
swell and inflame such only whose Blood is out of order; and tho’ they
do bite, cause no Inflammations on any in right order of Blood?

The best Reason which can be given in support of this Error, is, That
where two Persons lie in one Bed, one shall be apparently bit, the
other not.

Buggs indeed, where there are two Sorts, may feed most on that Blood
which best pleases their Palate; but that they do taste the other
also, to me is apparent: And whenever that Bedfellow who is most
liked by Buggs shall lie from home, the other will so sensibly feel
the effects to be as above, that they will no longer think themselves

Of this I am sensible, that I daily am bit when practising and at work
in my Business, destroying them; and as they never swell me but when
out of order, from thence I infer, that not only myself, but all such
who are among Buggs, and do not swell with their Bites, are certainly
in good Habit of Body. But to return to my Subject.

Having shewn that they not only live in Winter, but asserted that to be
the best Season for their total Destruction, I must further observe,
that few People caring to trouble themselves about Buggs but when they
themselves are troubled by them, having confin’d the Attempts for
their Destruction chiefly to the Breeding-Season, has been the sole
Reason why the best Efforts for their Destruction have fail’d.

I do admit innumerable Quantities have been destroy’d, and much good
has and may be done in Summer: but should every old Bugg then be
destroy’d, you are yet not safe; for the Nits behind Wainscot and in
Walls, which cannot be come at, will by heat come to life, and your
work is partly to be done over again.

Whereas, on the contrary, if cleared out of Spawning-time, there is a
certainty, as there is then no Nits, that their Offspring cannot plague
you thereafter.

’Tis for this Reason I warrant what I do in Winter; which I cannot
pretend to do in Summer.

In Summer indeed I do destroy all Buggs and Nits too in Beds and their
Furniture, but Buggs only behind Wainscot and in Walls: for tho’ my
Liquor has an attractive as well as the destructive Quality, and
thereby does bring out and destroy every live Bugg; yet their Nits
being inanimate, cannot come to the Liquor, nor the Liquor at them.
Such Nits therefore will come to life by heat, and quit the Walls
and Wainscot for better Quarters and Food in the Bed, and so become
troublesome to you.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having thus given, I hope, a satisfactory Account of this nauseous,
venomous Vermin, I shall proceed to shew how they are daily brought to
_England_, and into Houses commonly; then give some necessary Cautions
how to avoid them, and Directions how to destroy them.

As these Insects abound in all foreign Parts, especially in hotter
Climates more than they do here; ’tis on that account all Trading Ships
are so over-run with them, that hardly any one thing, if examin’d, will
be found free.

And as by Shipping they were doubtless first brought to _England_,
so are they now daily brought. This to me is apparent, because not
one Sea-Port in _England_ is free; whereas in Inland-Towns, Buggs are
hardly known.

This Metropolis therefore, as having the greatest Number of Shipping,
has had the greatest Number imported, and consequently bred in it.

You that are free, and would avoid a foreign Supply in your Houses,
examine well all things from on board Ships before you admit them into
Lodging-Rooms. Chests and Casks, Linnens, and Paper, being stiffened
with Paste, afford them Food, and are consequently most dangerous.

If you have occasion to change Servants, let their Boxes, Trunks, _&c._
be well examin’d before carried into your Rooms, lest their coming from
infected Houses should prove dangerous to yours.

Examine well all Furniture that comes in, before you set it up, Beds
especially; which I recommend should be plain, and as free from
Wood-work as possible, and made to draw out, that the Wainscot and
Walls may be better come at, to clear them from Buggs and Dirt.

Deal Head-Boards, and Head-Cloths lined with Deal, or Rails of that
Wood, avoid.

Also Beach-Bedsteds, for all such afford them much Harbour and Food.

If for Ornament you use Lace, let it be sewed, not pasted on, for Paste
they love much.

Oak-Bedsteds, and plain Wainscot Head-Boards, and Tester-Rails of that
Wood, allow them the least Harbour, and no Food; such therefore I

If you put out your Linnen to wash, let no Washer-woman’s Basket be
brought into your Houses; for they often prove as dangerous to those
that have no Buggs, as Cradles, and Bugg-Traps made of the same Wood,
often do to those that have them: for the Wood they are made of,
affords them much Convenience of Harbour, and great Nourishment.

Upholsterers are often blamed in Bugg-Affairs; the only Fault I can lay
to their Charge, is their Folly, or rather Inadvertency, in suffering
old Furniture, when they have taken it down, because it was buggy, to
be brought into their Shops or Houses, among new and free Furniture,
to infect them.

Builders are more blameable than they: for in Houses built for Sale,
old Wainscot-Doors, Chimney-Pieces, &c. are oft put up for Cheapness,
painted over, and pass for new; thus the Houses in _Hanover_ and
_Grosvenor-Squares_, _&c._ were supplied before inhabited.

In taking of Houses, new or old, and in buying Bedsteds, Furniture,
_&c._ examine carefully if you can find Bugg-marks. If you find such,
though you see not the Vermin, you may assure yourself they are
nevertheless infected.

       *       *       *       *       *

To such as have, and would destroy them, I shall now proceed to give
full Directions. In order to do it effectually, and to lessen your
trouble, the first necessary thing to be known, is their Marks.

Buggs, tho’ nasty to us, are so cleanly to themselves, that they quit
their places of Harbour to come out and dung, and their Excrements
leave a Mark or Stain like that of a Fly, but somewhat blacker; and
wherever you see such Marks, if on Wood, look for the nearest Crevise,
Knot, or Streak; if on Walls, for the nearest Crack or Hole; if on
Furniture, for the nearest Seam, Lace, Tape, or Fold, and there
assuredly are the Vermin, and there apply the Remedy.

In Winter-time, few, if any, are to be found by day-light in the
Furniture of a Bed; but in the Wood-work, Wainscot, or Walls only.

In the Summer they are all over, and every Lace, Tape, Seam and Fold
must be examin’d, as well as the Crevises, Joints, and Carving in the
Wood-work, for the Marks, and the Remedy applied accordingly.

In Winter-time, though they lie in pretty close Quarters, yet are they
easily destroy’d with any thing that will attract or entice them to it.

If no such thing you have, give me leave to recommend my Liquor; on the
Application of which, at all Seasons of the Year, they will come out,
and immediately die before your Face.

In Summer they lie in more open Quarters, and spread, and then are not
in any measure to be reduced, but by such Liquors as you may safely
touch the Furniture with all over: if none such you have, you may
depend that mine will not stain or any way hurt the richest Velvet,
Silk, or Stuff, not even Scarlet, which almost every thing else will do.

On account of these excellent Qualifications, the Liquor has its Name
of _Nonpareil_, and of this, if minded to do it yourself, you may have
a Bottle for 2 _s._ sufficient for a common Bed, with plain Directions
how to use it effectually.

If the Trouble of doing it your selves be disagreeable to you, you may
have it expeditiously done by me or my Servants, and your Beds, or such
Part as is necessary, taken down and put up again in full as good,
if not better Order, than they were before, and alter’d, (if I see
Opportunity or Occasion) and made to draw out, on my usual easy Terms.

As I have occasionally mention’d what Sort of Beds I would have you
avoid, give me leave to add and assure you, that Beds may be made full
as warm as usual, and very ornamental, and yet be so very handy, as
that any one of your own Servants might take all down and clear them of
Buggs, Dirt, and Dust, and put them up again in a quarter of an Hour;
and to this Fashion most Beds may be alter’d, several Persons having
lately done so by my Directions to their very great Satisfaction.

Those that have a mind to have new Beds thus made, or old ones alter’d,
are to observe, That the Head-posts of the Bedsted are to be no higher
than just to support a Wainscot Head-board, the Tester-lath supports
the Rod as usual; in the Rail are to be nine Holes drilled in, but
not quite thro’; the two at the Head, to take off and hang on, (at
Pleasure,) two Upholders drove into the Wainscot or Wall; in the other
seven, thro’ Eye-let Holes, at proper Distances in the Tester-cloth,
are to be seven Balls or carved Branches to keep the Tester-Cloth
tight; to which the Head-cloth, and inside and outside Vallens are to
be fixed: so that by taking the Lath of the Upholders, and taking
out the Balls, they all come off together; and thus made, may be
commodiously and immediately clear’d, clean’d, and put up again, to
fasten on the Head-board: And keep your Head-cloth down tight in its
Place and Form. You have Hooks and Eyes to take on and off at Pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *

Persons wanting to be clear’d and kept free of those nauseous venomous
Vermin, shall be attended by the Author on the following Terms, _viz._

  To clear a Bed-sted with Moulding-Tester, Wood Head-Cloth, Head-board
  and its Furniture, 10 _s._ 6 _d._

  Bed-steds with single-rais’d Tester, Moulding, Head-Cloth, Board and
  Furniture, or Chair-beds and Furniture, 8 _s._ each.

  Bed-steds with ditto Tester, plain Head-cloth, cover’d Head-board and
  Furniture; and Field-beds and Furniture, at 7 _s._ each.

  Four-post Bed-steds, or Canopy-beds, with plain Furniture, 6 _s._

  Press-beds, Chest of Drawers Beds and Bed-steds, without Furniture,
  5 _s._ each.

  Wainscot Walls, Hangings, _&c._ behind and near the Bed-sted are
  clear’d with the Beds at the above Prices: but if spread all over the
  Room and Furniture, then an additional Price is expected.

  For Expedition and Safety, and to prevent Trouble to his Customers,
  or Impositions on them or himself, the Author takes his own Servants
  with him, to take down and put up such Parts of Beds, Wainscot,
  Hangings, _&c._ as he finds necessary; and always puts them up
  in full as good, if not better Order, than he finds them. Of his
  Servants he has good Security, and will be answerable to his
  Customers, for their Fidelity.

  _N. B._ If he any ways damages the Furniture, he will pay for the

       *       *       *       *       *

Persons about taking Houses, Lodgings, or buying Furniture, paying for
Surveying, shall be attended, and at first View be justly and truly
inform’d if the Premisses be Buggy, or free from Buggs, by


  At the _Green-posts_ in the _Green-walk_ near _Faulcon-stairs,



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Transcriber's Note

On p. 28, "seeond" has been changed to "second".

The book was printed using the "long s" (ſ), which has been replaced
by a modern "s" in this transcription. Inconsistent or archaic
spelling and punctuation have otherwise been kept as printed.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Treatise of Buggs" ***

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