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MailTribune.com
  • August 15, 1913

  • To the editor: I have been asked to give an expression regarding sanitary conditions within your city, and if you will kindly allow me space in you valuable paper, I will appreciate the courtesy.
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  • To the editor: I have been asked to give an expression regarding sanitary conditions within your city, and if you will kindly allow me space in you valuable paper, I will appreciate the courtesy.
    In looking around, such conditions as have come under my observation, lead me to think that that in this regard Medford is about upon a par with many other cities throughout the state, except in a few particulars.
    However, upon our arrival here, one very objectionable condition was impressed upon us very strikingly, and that is the presence of the swarms of flies.
    I feel that I can safely say that in no other city in Oregon have I seen so many of these disease spreaders as are to be found here.
    Grocery stores, markets, eating rooms and other places are alive with them and in a window of a vacant store room, upon a central street, there are thousands of them, living, dying and dead, and it all goes to prove that your people have not solved the fly solution of which is both practical and possible.
    First of all, the fly must have a home, especially in his younger days, and those who have gone into his habitat have found it to be the manure pile, the garbage can, and such places where animal or vegetable refuse is allowed to collect or decay.
    The only real effective work in exterminating him is done through looking after these breeding places. Remove garbage every day; remove manure once a week or more often. Sprinkle all of these places with a solution of creosote preparation, or mix common hand plaster with the manure.
    Feed him formaldehyde diluted with water and sweetened with sugar.
    Let all join in the roundup, and you will soon get results. Let each one look to his own premises, and when yours are thoroughly cleaned and free from the pest, then help your neighbor.
    It has been proven that the fly does not travel far — from one to three hundred yards, but he never looks at anything outside that radius, whether it be the baby's bottle, some choice dish which you are preparing for luncheon, or the decaying body from the wayside or any portion of filth that is offensive to human beings. Misdirected efforts of protection from his visits are worse than no attempt at all.
    I have observed mosquito netting over fruit that seemed to be there for the purpose of detaining him and in one of your grocery stores observed a large showcase containing flies, and bread with a large number of flies for each loaf of bread ...
    — J.D. Mickle, Oregon dairy and food commissioner
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