My cowboy uncle from Arizona told me he used to clean his clothes after a cattle drive by putting them on an anthill. Was he telling me the truth?

My cowboy uncle from Arizona told me he used to clean his clothes after a cattle drive by putting them on an anthill. Was he telling me the truth?

Bronco Buster

TWMag.com Forum

Yup, your uncle was right. Cowboys often cleaned their clothes by placing them on an anthill as it helped get rid of lice and other pests. Kit Carson wrote in his autobiography about a trail ride during inclement weather. He holed up in a tipi, and when he awoke the next morning, his clothes were full of lice. He took them off and laid them over an anthill—the ants picked it clean in no time.

Or there’s the method suggested by my uncle when I was a little kid. He recommended taking a razor and shaving a path down the middle of your chest. Then he told me to set the unshaven side on fire and, using an ice pick, stab the little suckers as they flee. Thankfully, I was never so dumb as to try his method.

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