Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pest Control

    In late 1938 or early 1939 I, my mother, and my sister Betty were still living with Grandmother and Granddaddy Jones, and we had moved to one of the little wooden frame houses on the old George Watts place, about one and a half miles west of Chipley. This house was about a quarter of mile south of the Old Bonifay Road, on the west side of a dirt road running from the Old Bonifay Road to US Highway 90, or the Old Spanish Trail.

    The land across the road from the house was pasture land, with a good many cows grazing about. At night we would all sit out on the front porch, while the grown folks talked about nothing in particular and the children did whatever they could get away with.

    At the beginning of these nightly sessions either Granddaddy or Uncle Walter would go across to the pasture and gather a bucketfull of dried cow chips. Back on the porch the chips would be placed on a homemade grate atop another bucket, and set afire. After a few minutes the fire would go out but the chips would continue to smolder, generating a smoke the odor of which was distinctive but not offensive.

   The smoke kept mosquitoes away as effectively as any modern-day product.


  1. Amazing! Good memories ~ love the "whatever they could get away with!" I can almost see the fireflies...

  2. Guess I could pick up enough of these on our camping trips to eliminate the need for citronella. Hope the farmers don't mind my invasions into their fields.

  3. Had no idea that cow chips could be so useful...repellant and fertilizer! Wow I learned something new :-)