; 'PLAGUE HUNT IN INI>IA. ; i Bubonic plague, which every year carries off thousands of the pool* in India, and every now and then rises like a flood and overwhelms whole cities, districts, and even provinces, is always due to the presence of rats. It is caused by the bite of a tiny parasite, and that parasite has only one natural home, the soft skin of the rat. When the rat" dies the "flea" deserts the cooling body and fixes on the first warm organism it can find. If its. new home is the human body; there you have a case of plague-—perhaps the start of an epidemic. No spasmodic efforts can be tolerated in the face of a danger so terrible an that. War must be waged on a .scientific plan. For several years the j municipal authorities of Bombay; always the most heavily stricken of Indian cities, have been carrying on such a war, and their campaign is gradually coming to success. The whole city is mapped out into districts, and to each district is assigned a gang of rat hunters under a carefully-trained inspector. There are two methods of attack—by poison and by traps. Each evening about 5000 little cubes of bread, Kmeared over with rat poison and dipped in powdered sugar and flour, are distributed by these gangs over the-. buildings of. the whole city, the position of eadh cube being carefully noted lest any should go astray. About the same time another small army of hunters goes out with some 3000 traps of the familiar cage variety, baited witli fi«h, coooanut, and bread, and places them in positions which long experience ha« shown to be the most ''likely." Next morning the gangs go
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RAT-KILLING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9611, 16 May 1919
RAT-KILLING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9611, 16 May 1919
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