It is chiefly employed in destroying rats and other vermin, and in driving rabbits from their burrows.
One day there appeared upon the scene a piper clad in a fantastic suit, who offered for a certain sum of money to charm all the vermin into the Weser.
This proves a temptation to the vermin too great to be resisted.
The cultivation of osiers is attended with many disturbing causes - winter floods, spring frosts, ground vermin and insect pests of various kinds, sometimes working great havoc to the crop.
One advantage of using edgings of this kind, especially in kitchen gardens, is that they do not harbour slugs and similar vermin, which all live edgings do, and often to a serious extent, if they are left to grow large.
The various species of rapacious animals are disappearing, together with the colonies of marmots; the insectivores are also becoming scarce in consequence of the destruction of insects; while vermin, such as the suslik, or pouched marmot (Spermophilus), and the destructive insects which are a scourge to agriculture, become a real plague.
The comparatively rapid growth of the tree is its great recommendation to the planter; it is best raised from acorns sown on the spot, as they are very bitter and little liable to the attacks of vermin; the tree sends down a long tap-root, which should be curtailed by cutting or early transplanting, if the young trees are to be removed.
The blackbird feeds chiefly on fruits, worms, the larvae of insects and snails, extracting the last from their shells by dexterously chipping them on stones; and though it is generally regarded as an enemy of the garden, it is probable that the amount of damage by it to the fruit is largely compensated for by its undoubted services as a vermin-killer.
Powell contends that in a proper sense none of the Indian tribes was nomadic, but that, governed by water-supply, bad seasons and superstition (and discomfort from vermin must be added), even the Pueblo tribes often tore down and rebuilt their domiciles.
It acts as a weak antiseptic. It is used for enriching coal gas, as a vermin killer, in the manufacture of certain azo dyes, and in the preparation of phthalic acid (q.v.).
Species of mungoose (Herpestes), species of otter, Mustela erminea, and two ferrets, one of them with tortoise-shell marks, tamed by the Afghans to keep down vermin; a marten (M.
P. 39 1), who made a collection of 50 different specimens of the vermin which infested his bedroom in Guayaquil.
Poisonous amounts of phosphorus are frequently taken or administered, criminally or accidentally, it being easily accessible to the public in the form of matches or of vermin pastes.
It is stated to form with alum-water a size or cement highly offensive to vermin, and with two parts of wheaten flour the material for a strong bookbinder's paste.
In Normandy the farmers still employ children under twelve to run through the fields and orchards armed with torches, setting fire to bundles of straw, and thus it is believed driving out such vermin as are likely to damage the crops.
To gamekeepers and those interested in the preservation of game, all animals such as the pole-cat, weasel, stoat, hawks, owls, &c., which destroy the eggs or young of preserved birds, are classed as "vermin," and the same term includes rats, mice, &c. It is also the collective name given to all those disgusting and objectionable insects that infest human beings, houses, &c., when allowed to be in a filthy and unsanitary condition, such as bugs, fleas, lice, &c.