Many, many years ago, close-knit communities would spend hours together in the course of a year sharing from their own experiences what worked and what didn’t when it came to gardening and farming. Much of that old-time, best gardening advice and wisdom has been passed down to younger generations, but unfortunately, most have been lost. […]
Unfortunately, pests are a fact of life. Actually, they’re a necessary part of the ecologic chain, but it’s hard to remember that when they’re invading your home and garden. Ever since buying our home in the country, we’ve been battling various types of pests. Adding a vegetable garden in our backyard just gave us one more battleground for that fight.
Granted, insects and rodents must eat, but why do they have to think it’s my job to feed them? Like many people, I’ve got enough trouble feeding my family, and once pests have been into my food, it’s pretty much spoiled for use by my family. But even without that, hearing my wife scream every time she sees a cockroach or ants invade the house is tiring. Fortunately, she doesn’t scream about mice.
Of course, if a major disaster occurs, problems with these pests will only increase. As scavengers, insect and rodent populations tend to grow in the wake of disasters, living off the abundance of food available to them.
Unlike some people, I am not really in favor of using chemicals to control pests. First of all, I have pets that I want to protect. Insect repellents are nerve agents and rat poison is, well, poison. So they can both harm my pets. They also pose a risk for the grandchildren that will soon be visiting my home. Besides, in that post-disaster world that I just mentioned, those means of controlling pests may not be available to me.
The first real step in gaining victory over these pests came when we started making changes in our food-storage techniques. From the very beginning, we had problems with ant infestations, maybe because our home had sat vacant for over two years before we bought it. When they got into the pantry and spoiled a bunch of food, we realized that we had to store it better.
Now, just about everything in the pantry that’s not canned is stored in rectangular food storage containers. We have a variety of different sizes and shapes, allowing us to fit the container to the item. Most of the foods that ants can get into are repackaged as soon as they come home from the store.
Another of our favorite storage containers is five-gallon buckets. As preppers, we are accustomed to buying in bulk, so we extend that to our normal purchases, as well. I also like galvanized trash cans. Although hard to find, they are ideal for dog food and feed for the chickens.
This also does a fairly good job of protecting them from rodents. Although I have a few buckets where rats have gnawed at the lids, they have yet to get inside one of them. Lids are replaceable anyway, so no problem.
We have mice, rats and possums living in the field behind our home and in our backyard. So, it’s inevitable that they’ll get into our home. Proper storage has stopped them from getting into our food, but that hasn’t kept them out of our home. A mouse can squeeze through a space as small as six millimeters, so it’s virtually impossible to seal a house from them.
The oldest, and probably best solution for rodents is having a cat or two. Don’t overfeed them, as that can dull their hunting instinct. I really can’t see any reason why anyone who doesn’t have allergies to cats, wouldn’t have one. Just consider it part of your prepping tools.
Unfortunately, I am allergic to cats, so we can’t have one. But we do have dogs. One of them, a black lab, is a great hunter. If there are any mice or rats around, she finds them. If she can’t get to them (most of the time), she’ll let me know they are there. Then I can dispatch them with a pellet gun I keep for that purpose. So far, we’ve only had one rat manage to get away from us.
Unless you’re far, far out in the country, I’d recommend against using even a .22 pistol for shooting rodents, even with “rat rounds.” Discharging a firearm is illegal in most municipalities. While a .22 is fairly quiet, if the neighbors hear it and call the police, they have to respond. If there is any evidence that you discharged a firearm, like a hole in the wall, you’ll be in trouble. The mice and rats aren’t worth a night in jail.
We don’t kill the possums, although I have a hard time convincing my dog of that. Even though the possums like to eat my grapefruit, they also eat ticks. We have a problem with ticks in our area, so I’m glad to have them around.
We use urine to help keep rodents out of the garden. While not a perfect solution, animals mark their territories with urine. Other animals, smelling this, understand the signal and will be wary. While some may still find their way in, many will avoid it. If you can train your dogs to pee around your garden, it marks it as their territory. Since that is a bit difficult to do, you might consider collecting human urine and pouring it around the perimeter of the garden. It will even act as a fertilizer, putting useful minerals in the soil.
Another good rodent repellent is a mixture of:
- 1 cup diatomaceous earth
- 2-3 drops peppermint or lemon citrus essential oil
- 1/8 cup water
Mix the liquids together first and then mix in the earth until it is totally moist. Set in a container near entrances where rodents enter or in their holes. The smell will drive them away.
When we talk insects, we’re talking about a huge variety of life. In the home, cockroaches and ants are the big problems. But in the garden, there are many more to worry about.
A lot can be done to keep ants and cockroaches out of the home by using diatomaceous earth. A thin line around your home and garden will keep most insects out. While totally safe for humans and animals, this amazing substance is deadly for insects, cutting them like a series of knives.
There are a number of different natural solutions which work well for controlling insects. A spray made with garlic oil, peppermint extract or hot peppers, combined with dishwashing soap works to keep many insects at bay. These both act as repellents for bugs and destroy their skin, killing them if they come into contact with too much of it.
But my favorite means of pest control in the garden is to use good bugs to control the bad ones. I’ve had incredible results in using these, without creating any risk for my family. The food I grow in my garden is natural and chemical free. While I am sure that there are many more types of insects than what I am currently using, here is at least a partial list of the most common good bugs and what they kill:
- Praying mantis (one of the best) against anything smaller than it.
- Ladybugs against aphids & soft-bodied pests.
- Trichogramma against moth & caterpillar eggs.
- Fly exterminators (I don’t know what their actual name is, but you can buy them by this name) against flies
- Nematodes against grubs and many other soil pests
One nice thing about using these good insects against the pests in your garden is that once you have a good population of them living there, you shouldn’t have to replace it for several years, unless they run out of insects to eat or something happens to kill them off. They’ll stay on duty, generation after generation, protecting your garden and harvest.
What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
When mosquitoes become a problem, most people reach for time tested solutions. They spray themselves with chemicals, or they bundle up in long sleeve shirts and pants. They set up glue traps and electric fly zappers. Or perhaps they look for the source of the mosquitoes, such as nearby puddles of water, and remove them.
These are all effective solutions, but there’s another way that most people aren’t aware of. It’s a solution that appears to be more effective than any other by several orders of magnitude. Youtuber Dan Rojas recently unveiled his idea on a video, which shows you how to kill thousands of mosquitoes every night.
All this method takes is a large fan, a mesh screen, some rubbing alcohol, a few magnets, and a bottle of carbonated water. Basically, he leaves an industrial fan outside his home at night (which can cost between $100 and $300). He covers the fan with the screen and holds it in place with the magnets. The screen helps keep the fan in good shape, by preventing any bugs or debris from getting sucked in.
The bottle of carbonated water is opened and left near the fan. In case you’ve ever wondered how mosquitoes are attracted to mammals, it’s because they can detect the Co2 that we exhale, which is also what is slowly released from carbonated water. As the mosquitoes approach the water, they get sucked into the fan and pinned to the screen. After spraying them with rubbing alcohol they are quickly killed and can be discarded in your yard.
If you live in a region where the mosquitoes breed like mad, you’ll want to see this.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
What can be worse than to open up your stockpile, only to find that all of your food supplies have been eaten by something else?
Stockpiling supplies isn’t enough. You need to protect all of them from the pests that could leave your family hungry in a time when food will be scarce.
Venezuelans were eating dogs, cats and pigeons in 2016 because they couldn’t find any food. The Spanish and the Portuguese had to resort to food banks after the economic collapse of 2008. Incredibly, 1 in 7 Americans is on food stamps.
Unless you want to throw money away on food, I recommend you know what the biggest enemies of your stockpile are, and then take these easy steps to protect your food from all of them.
1. Rats and mice
The first things everyone thinks of when they hear the word “pests” are mice and rats. They can wreak havoc in your pantry, particularly if the only thing protecting your Mylar bags is 5-gallon plastic buckets. They will chew away plastic without a problem.
Now, there are various types of mice traps out there, including a few that are really, really cheap. But that doesn’t guarantee that your stockpile will be safe. The first thing you should do is put those plastic buckets into larger, metal buckets.
The only thing about metal buckets is that they’re pretty pricey. A 6-gallon metal bucket with a lid is more than $20 on Amazon … so you’ll probably only put some of your foods in them at first, while you also focus on the other ways to keep mice out of your pantry. (Figuring out the entry point and isolating the room, setting up mice traps, etc.)
A better solution is to get one or more of those galvanized trash cans. They’re about $35 each, but they can fit more buckets. Keep in mind that metal containers are more fire-resistant than plastic ones, meaning that in case of a house fire, your stockpile could get away unharmed.
2. Pantry moths
The good news is that moths have a harder time getting inside containers than do mice. So, if you have #10 cans or glass jars, so long as they are properly sealed, they should be enough.
Nevertheless, having them in your pantry requires to always be careful not to keep containers open. There are plenty of tricks known by pest control folks on how to take care of them. For example, one gentleman I read on a survivalist board suggested using pheromone traps and a portable steamer to make sure not only the moths but also their eggs are removed from your pantry. Sounds like good advice.
Out of all the pests we talk about in this article, you’re probably going to hate the sugar ant the most. That’s because it’s attracted to comfort foods (such as honey) as well as sugar. Some of the things you can do to get rid of ants include:
- Block as many entryways as you can. Yes, I realize they are really small and can come in through many different places, but this will decrease the chances of them being successful.
- Ants hate vinegar and lemon juice, so mix a 50-50 solution with water when you clean your pantry. They help clear those trails that they leave to attract other ants.
- Sprinkle cinnamon, mint or black pepper throughout your pantry; ants do not like them.
Of course, it isn’t just comfort foods that ants like. Pretty much any type of food will attract them. I realize you know how to keep your 5-gallon plastic buckets safe but don’t forget the extra items you bring to your pantry, such as pemmican or seeds. Literally everything should be kept in airtight containers.
Spending a few extra dollars on ways to keep pests at bay could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.
What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
Winning the war against summer garden pests without harsh chemicals. Summer is here. And so are the myriad of insects, animals and pests that love to invade you and your landscape! From Japanese beetles, tomato hornworms, aphids, cabbage worms, slugs, rabbits, and
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6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden Starting and maintaining a garden takes hard work, patience, and some basic awareness. Don’t let garden pests ruin all that hard work, and your beautiful garden, by taking some preventive steps that are easy and effective. BugsBeGone site …
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Securing your underground bunker from unwanted nighttime visitors and pests is a step many preppers overlook. Unwelcome strangers and people attempting to steal supplies may not be a large concern depending on how far off the grid you’ve placed your bunker. However, there is nowhere that a determined pest seeking food and shelter won’t go, and unfortunately no single way to deter them. The key is to identify weak points and take proper precautions to ward off pests from the get-go.
Identify, Prevent, Deter
There are a few types of wildlife pests that can be a serious issue for owners of underground bunkers. Every bunker needs proper ventilation and generally, houses significant amounts of food storage and water. Sure, your bunker ventilation can be concealed from passerby, but camouflage isn’t going to fool those pests with twitchy noses and empty stomachs. Spring is prime seasons for squirrels, raccoons, mice, skunks and bugs.
To prevent any unwanted pests around your bunker, keep all garbage and organic debris separate from the location. Once living in your bunker, burying your garbage isn’t going to cut it. You can bury it but do so far away from where you’re located.
The location of your bunker will play a role in the types of pests you may encounter. If the ground cover around your bunker is ideal for grubs or beetle larvae, then treat the area to prevent pests (like skunks and raccoons) that feed on these insects.
If you are near any type of farming or harvested crops, you might have mice. With this year’s high yield of crops there is likely to be an increase in mouse numbers which means all bunkers near areas of harvest should be wary of mice infestation on their food and grain storage.
The best way to deal with these pests is to proactively prepare your home and yard in advance of the spring. Consider installing tamper-resistant covers on your ventilation openings and look into an air-filtration system to safeguard you against unwanted pests entering through your ventilation. As a bonus, it will also work against environmental toxins that may become a threat. An NBA filter is a great addition for any bunker.
Maintenance is Key
Once you’ve identified the types of pests you’re up against, you can defend your weak points and make a plan to maintain these changes so pests never become an issue. Critters of all shapes and sizes can cause issues for bunker owners.
Don’t allow any of these animals a point of access into your bunker if you want to prevent contaminating your food and water supplies. If infestation gets to a point where you can’t fend off the intrusion, make the call to hire a trusted pest control service to eliminate the problem now and prevent it from becoming an issue again in the future.
With surveillance, proper storage of food and supplies, along with adequate tamper-resistant covers and shields for the various entrances to your bunker, you can prevent any pests from giving you a yearly headache or suffer the loss of any vital supplies. Plan, prepare and maintain, that’s the only way to keep those little buggers out.
About the Author: Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn’t have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Most people like to think that if society collapsed, the most common cause of death would be at the hands of other people. They like to imagine that the apocalypse will be filled with action packed shootouts and marauding gangs of looters. Obviously there would be a lot of violence if society collapsed, but the truth of the matter is that violence would be a secondary concern.
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Mother Nature Has Plans of Her Own
This is evident if you only take a quick look throughout history. During the most tumultuous times in human history, it wasn’t violence that killed the most people, but disease and starvation. Even during war, when violence reached its apex, most of the soldiers didn’t die from violence, and that remained the case until the 20th century. During the American Civil War for instance, for every three soldiers who died on the battlefield, five died of disease.
It’s important to remember that if society were to collapse, it would be tantamount to traveling back in time to when modern amenities didn’t exist. And without those amenities, there are a ton of pathogens that can kill you. So before you blow your entire prepping budget on guns and body armor, consider some of the many unglorified ways that the collapse of society could cut you down.
These are the Seven Likely Causes of Death When the SHTF
The world was a hell of a scary place before the invention of antibiotic medications. Any nick or scratch could lead to an untreatable infection, and communicable diseases often ran rampant. Nowadays our antibiotics can treat these diseases, but just barely. As various strains of bacteria become immune to these treatments, we’re rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic world that looks an awful lot like the old world. If society collapses then these souped up diseases are going to be unleashed without any inhibitions. Tuberculosis, staph, typhoid, strep throat, MRSA, and E. Coli will become all too common.
2. Water-Related Illness
If society collapses, people are going to suddenly find themselves reliant on local water sources, and unfortunately those water sources are going to be contaminated. It’s often the case that natural ponds and stream are already unsafe to drink, but the same disaster that cuts off your tap is going to make that water even more dangerous.
Without running water, people will be forces to leave their waste in their immediate environment, where it will likely mingle with local water sources. This among other unsanitary conditions can cause a whole host of water-borne diseases including gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, intestinal parasites, Diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, and even polio. Here are 9 common water-borne illnesses to prepare for in a disaster scenario.
3. Mosquitoes and Rats
It takes all the might of modern civilization just to keep certain pests in check. But when the garbage trucks stop showing up and the swimming pools turn green, you can bet that the rats and mosquitoes will proliferate like crazy. And they’ll be carrying diseases that are the stuff of nightmares. Rats will carry the hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and the plague; and in North America, mosquitoes will most likely be carrying dengue fever. Here are some tips to rat-proof your preparedness supply closet.
4. Cold Weather
A lot of people will be forced to go without adequate shelter after the collapse. So when winter arrives, you’re going to see a lot more weather related ailments. We’re all very familiar with flu season, but most people don’t realize that cold weather conditions can spawn numerous diseases, most of them respiratory related. Between the lack of sunlight, people crowding indoors, and the poor circulation caused by cold weather, there will be more cases of strep throat, pneumonia, croup, bronchiolitis, ear infections, and the stomach flu. To prepare for this, understand that hospitals and medical care may not be available (or too dangerous to get to). You may want to consider storing natural remedies, herbal poultices and tinctures to assist in these cold weather ailments.
In a roundabout way, malnutrition would probably be the leading cause of disease after the SHTF. That’s because your diet is tightly linked to the quality of your immune system, so if you’re not getting enough calories, protein, vitamins or minerals, you’re more susceptible to every ailment under the sun. However, malnutrition is most associated with conditions like scurvy, rickets, pellagra, goiters, and beriberi.
The collapse of society would destroy every kind abundance that the modern world provides us, and in return, the only thing that would be in abundance are the dead. Dead bodies, especially the kind that were infected with disease to begin with, pose a serious health threat. Without a functioning society, and with bodies piling up faster than they can be buried or cremated, these cadavers would litter our towns and cities, and would most likely pose a serious threat to local water supplies.
Overshadowing many of these medical ailments will be disease. In fact, many believe that disease would be the real killer if the world fell apart and would dwarf the number of casualties caused by violence. Diseases are opportunists and tend to surface at a time the conditions are right for them to flourish. A long-term emergency would be just the right time, wouldn’t you say? These 10 diseases could become common medical emergencies. Make sure you have a well supplied medical closet and a sick room prepared for these issues.
There is a Silver Lining
As bleak as that sounds however, there is a silver lining. Prepping to prevent disease and infection is a lost less intimidating, and a lot more affordable than preparing to face-off against your fellow-man.
In fact, it’s as simple as stocking up on very general supplies that you should be accumulating anyway. Having plenty of food, toiletries, basic medical supplies, and water purification tools, will go a long way toward keeping you safe from the ravages of disease.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
Invasion of the Pests! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! There are lots of terrifying scenarios that come to mind when you mention a post-apocalyptic scenario. Most of this is based on the vicious behavior of the human animal. When we talk about home invasion, riots and murder these are all threats … Continue reading Invasion of the Pests!
Birds are spectacular creatures — full of grace and elegance, truly creatures of beauty that God placed on the earth for our enjoyment and to showcase His magnificence.
Ever since I was a small child, I have loved to watch birds as they battle against the wind, climbing almost out of sight and return moments later to snatch some seed from a feeder or rest upon an outstretched tree branch to sing a song of joy.
Birds just seem happy — unencumbered and unbothered by changes in temperature, light or season. They make me and millions of other people happy as they put on shows of color and poise in our gardens or along our windowsills.
Besides their tremendous entertainment value, birds do serve a number of purposes, which makes attracting them to your yard that much more important. Birds provide:
Pest control. A great number of birds enjoy dining on insects such as aphids, spiders, mosquitoes and other bugs that we don’t really want hanging about our yard. Attracting birds will keep these insect populations under control.
Pollination. Birds such as hummingbirds, orioles and others sip the nectar from flowers and play an important role in pollination. Without pollination we would not have thriving gardens.
Weed control. Some birds such as sparrows, finches and towhees can be very helpful when it comes to controlling unwanted plants in your landscape.
Education. Besides entertainment, watching birds in your backyard gives an upfront chance to study local wildlife. This is a wonderful experience for the whole family and makes for a very worthwhile nature study.
Conservation. As more and more habitats are being disrupted from development and human intrusion, birds, like other animals, need places to land. This is equally important for local birds as well as those that are migrating.
So, for whatever reason you see fit, here are some ways that you can attract more of these amazing creatures to your yard:
1. Food. In order to attract a wide variety of wild birds to your yard, it is imperative that you offer a diverse buffet of seeds, suet, nectar and other fitting treats. To know which type of food to offer, it is first important to learn about which kind of birds are in your area and which birds might stop during their migratory flight. A variety of feeders are also important — platforms, suet feeders, hanging feeders, etc. – in order to attract a wide variety of birds to your yard. Confused about foods? Then check out this North American bird feeding chart.
2. Water. Many people may offer a variety of food but forget about water. Water is essential for birds just like it is for humans. Birds prefer moving water, but just about any water source often works. Install a moving water feature or even a bird bath, and watch the birds flock to your yard. Be sure to keep your water source clean and in good repair for best results
3. Shelter. Birds need a place to get away from predators and foul weather and a spot to birth and care for their young. Plant native bushes and trees, and put up birdhouses and nesting boxes according to the type of birds in your area.
4. Habitat. It is imperative that you create a welcoming habitat for birds if you desire to attract a variety to your yard. This will include trees, shrubs, grasses and plants. Native plantings are always best. Do research on what types of plants are native to your location before planting. The more you can mimic what is found in the wild, the more the birds will feel at home.
Have fun with your bird visitors!
What is your advice for attracting birds? Share it in the section below:
Plants vs. Pests
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live”
Learn how to use plants to repel venomous and disease-bearing pests, such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and spiders. These creepy-crawly, biting bugs, can mean anything from a minor itch to death. And while there are a number of natural remedies for many kinds of bug bites, it would be even better not to get bit in the first place.
In order to avoid getting bitten by one of these pests, most people reach for the common, toxic bug repellents, such as DEET. DEET is known for its effectiveness. The only problem is that DEET can lead to health problems. This might be a mild skin irritation. But for children, DEET can spell more serious, neurological risks. DEET must be diluted for use with adults, and even more so with children. Plus, it is not to be used at all by infants under 2 months old.
Where does this leave us when we are faced with the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus? What about West Nile Virus, Eastern or Western Equine Encephalitis, or dengue? And what about the diseases carried by ticks and fleas. That covers everything from Lyme to plague. And let’s not forget about spiders, many of which seek shelter in firewood piles, and are attracted to the heat of a warm cabin during cold spring nights.
Do we just douse ourselves and our homes with questionable chemicals? Sometimes, DEET and such products are absolutely appropriate. They are certainly effective. But, what if we are in a TEOTWAWKI situation and supplies run out?
Join me to learn all about plants and essential oils shown to repel common pests that can make you sick. Some can be just as effective or even more effective than DEET as repelling pests. Plus, non-chemical ideas for pest control for infants who shouldn’t be exposed to any of these options.
Herbal Prepper Website: http://www.herbalprepper.com/
Join us for Herbal Prepper Live “LIVE SHOW” every Sunday 7:00/Et 6:00Ct 4:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Plants vs. Pests” in player below!
Planning and setting up your own survival garden is no easy task. It requires knowledge, precision and a bit of practice to get it done. But once you got the project going, doesn’t mean you can just let nature take care of everything while you relax and await to pick the fruit of your labor. Mother Nature works both ways and that which creates, can also destroy. Leaving things to chance is not an option, so you have to take your role as a farmer seriously and watch out for those pesky insects, that if left to their device, can destroy everything you worked so hard for. It takes a bit of studying the phenomena in order to understand it, so you can identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and what’s the best method to apply according to the amount of damage that has already been inflicted. If the infestation is light, picking the insects by hand should suffice, but if we’re talking heavy infestation, you’ll probably have to resort to insecticides. Next I’m going to walk you through a list comprised of some of the most common garden pests and how to read the signs they leave behind.
They are probably THE worst garden pest imaginable, as they have no preferences when it comes to garden vegetables; they simply go for everything that’s green. The easiest signs to read are visual: you know you’ve been attacked by aphids if you happen to find clusters of small, soft-bodied on buds and growth tips. Sticky secretions can also be found from place to place and leaves tend to get curly. Aphids never invade in small numbers and it’s very unlikely hand-picking will do you any good. The best way to deal with them is to spray insecticidal soap or neem oil. There are also specialized poisons that can be sprayed directly on the vegetables, but I strongly advise you to consult a specialist before purchasing or using such products.
They’re food of choice is usually cabbage, carrots, turnips, squashes, spinach and radishes. Their presence is clear if you happen to find wilted plants or yellowish quarter-of-an-inch insects on the root of the plants. The first thing you need to do is to actually stop the flies from laying their eggs near the seedlings: simply put plastic or paper shields about 4 inches in diameter near the plants. If the situation gets out of control, you’ll have no other option but to drench the soil in root maggot insecticide, but do so under the supervision of a professional.
These tiny flying insects have a real craving for tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and sweet potatoes. They’re easy to spot as they’ll easily fly around from plant to plant if disturbed. If in large numbers, they can cause serious damage to plants, because they’ll feed on the nutriments of the underside of the leaves. Light infestations can be easily dealt with by simply spraying neem oil or water. But if you’re dealing with heavy infestation, get the right poison for the job, according to a qualified professional.
Slugs and snails
They’re not the fastest insects out there (possibly the slowest), but don’t get fooled: they can inflict serious damage to your tomato, carrot, lettuce and turnip crops. They are voracious eaters and if you happen to find irregular patterns of holes in the plant’s leaves or stems, doubled by slime trails leading from plants to plant, you’re dealing with slugs or snails (or both). During the day they rest under all sorts of debris, so removing them out of the way and keeping the garden as tidy as possible will keep you out of harm’s way. But if you’re dealing with infestation, you’ll need more than just a tidied up area. You can simply attract and drown them in shallow pans of beer or special baits that are available on the market.
They prefer melons, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers. If you stumble across wilted plants or just wilted growth tips, then you might suspect you have a borer problem. And if you happen to spot small holes drilled in the plants (usually where wilting begins), than you know for sure you have a borer problem. Plants can still be salvaged from borer infestations by simply cutting out the borer, but if they get to infest the base of the plant, it’s compromised and needs to be torn out. In order to avoid such an obnoxious parasite, spray the base of the plants with the right kinds of insecticide during late spring / early summer, but only under the supervision of a professional.
There are many varieties of beetles out there and they can affect all sorts of crops imaginable. Beetles don’t need special methods when it comes to detection: they’re easy to spot as many are brightly colored and shiny, and they’re feeding methods leave irregular holes in the foliage. As they’re not that hard to catch, picking them by hand would be a cost-effective method if you’re dealing with light infestation. In the case of heavy infestation, just spray the area with the appropriate insecticide, recommended by a qualified professional.
Gophers don’t have very specific cravings, and go for everything they can get their tiny paws on. They’ll voraciously eat any sort of root they’ll stumble across in their underground tunnels. But they also eat the above-ground plant if not disturbed; the mostly prefer carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. If left unattended they can ruin a whole garden in a matter of days.
The most eco-friendly approach in dealing with your gopher problem would be to encourage the presence of birds of prey in the vicinity, by placing bird baths or keeping the garden as tidy as possible so they’re easily spotted by the winged predators. But if the bird method seems a bit drastic, you could just let your dog or cat to roam freely in the garden. Gophers are easily scared and will behave if constantly pressured. Flooding their tunnels is also effective and easy to do.
Dealing with garden pests is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either. There’s a solution to any sort of problem you might stumble upon and nothing can stop you to achieve your goals in survival gardening. But I strongly advise you to never deal with poisons and insecticides on your own, always consult a specialist in the matter before doing so. You not only risk damaging your garden, but also your health. Pest poisons and insecticides are very dangerous if not handled properly.
By Alec Deacon
The post Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. That’s the survivalist’s mantra. When gathering and storing resources for your family’s protection, it’s important to always have one eye on the worst case scenario. It’s also important to be realistic about where the biggest threats to your safety can come from. An attack can happen […]
The post Trouble Within: Why Pest Control Is Key to Your Survival appeared first on Expert Prepper Blog.
Protecting Food from Pests
How can you keep the pesky creatures from getting into your food and ruining it, before your family gets a chance to eat it? You need to consider where you store your food and how to keep it safe from pest contamination.
We would all love to have the perfect, dry basement that maintains a steady 65 degrees F, but very few families have that luxury. Most of us are dealing with damp basements, hot garages, tiny closets and wherever else we can find. You have to do the best you can with what you’ve got.
The key is proper rotation. Those 10 pound cans of food, that boast 25 year shelf lives, are only good that long when stored in “ideal” conditions. If your storage area is warmer than the recommended storage temperature, you likely will have a 5 to 7 year maximum shelf life.
Heat isn’t your only enemy. Pesky mice and bugs must also be considered when storing food.
Flour can be stored for a year on a shelf. It is a recommended hat you keep in it in the freezer for a bit, to kill off weevil eggs, that are very common in flour. It will take about a week in the freezer to kill the larvae. Bags of flour left on the shelf, especially a warm shelf, are ideal hatcheries for the bugs. Kill them before they get a chance to contaminate your flour.
Ok, don’t freak out. The fact is that you have been eating bug larvae, but you’ve managed this long.
If you do open a bag of flour and see little bugs you have 2 choices:
- You can throw it away. The old adage, “when in doubt, throw it out” might be your chosen method for dealing with this.
- Many people just sift the flour and continue on.
The Power of Bay Leaves
Bay leaves can be used for more than soup. They make great bug deterrents for dry foods.
Put a few leaves directly into the dry foods, like beans, or line the containers that you are using to store your food. If you are using the very common 5-gallon food grade buckets for your dried foods, 10 bay leaves should do the trick. You can even put bay leaves into your flour after you have frozen it to give it added protection.
Plastic Totes and Mylar Bags
Mice are not deterred a bit by plastic bags or cardboard. They will chew right through it to get to the good stuff inside.
To prevent this put your food inside food grade 5 gallon buckets or tightly sealed totes. Things like rice, flour, beans, pasta and sugar are better kept free of mice when stored in totes. These are also ideal for stacking and are easily organized. Label these containers for easy identification. I label mine with paint labels, from the local hardware store… and the color is a code for the food inside. I hope there won’t be groups of thieves who are out to steal people’s paint!
Mylar bags are fabulous for long-term food storage needs. They protect food from air, light and critters when sealed properly. You can find these bags in a variety of sizes. Once you pack your food inside, you will vacuum out the air and moisture, before sealing with a hot iron. These bags can be opened and sealed again, which makes them super nice to have in your food storage supplies.
Food Storage Basics Series:
- Part 1: Making a Food Storage Plan
- Part 2: Think Ingredients
- Part 3: Math, Recipes and Shopping Lists
- Part 4: Storing Your Food Storage
- Part 5: Storing Water
- Part 6: Storing Dairy Products
- Part 7: Building Up your Food Storage
- Part 8: Protecting Food From Pests
Powdery mildew is a common white or gray fungus that can impact a variety of plants. Luckily it’s easily identified and can be treated. Most of the time powdery mildew is more of an aesthetic issue, but it can impact the health of your plants. If left untreated the fungus can start to take nutrients from the plant, leaving plants vulnerable to sunburn and causing leaves to wither.
There are several options for treating powdery mildew organically, so finding the right method for your plants should be a breeze.
Consider these solutions to get rid of powdery mildew on plants:
1. Baking Soda
If, like most families, you have baking soda in your home, this treatment can be a great option for affected plants. Mixing sodium bicarbonate with horticultural oil and diluting with water creates a highly effective treatment for powdery mildew. Test your diluted mixture on a small area of the plant first to make sure it isn’t too concentrated.
The drawbacks of baking soda? It can build up in the soil, and requires a new application every week. Baking soda is more effective as a preventative measure than as a cure.
Garlic extract is a perfect home remedy that’s not only easy to make, but organic and safe for your family and plants. To make this treatment, blend 2 bulbs of fresh garlic and a few drops of liquid soap with a quart of water. Once the mixture is well blended, strain and refrigerate. Dilute this concentrate with 1:10 parts water before spraying plants to prevent germination of spores. Once the powdery mildew spores have germinated, a much higher concentration of garlic extract is required to cure the mildew.
Cow milk diluted with water is a common natural way to get rid of powdery mildew, and almost everyone has milk in their home. Milk may be especially effective for zucchini and other types of squash but will work on everything from melons to roses. Treat powdery mildew every week but alternate between methods.
Mouthwash is made to kill germs, which means it will also destroy powdery mildew spores. Mouthwash is very potent so be sure to test a small part of the plant first and dilute with water at a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part mouthwash.
Unlike most mildews, powdery mildew thrives in dry conditions, so watering your plants can help treat or prevent mildew. Overwatering your plants can lead to different problems so it’s best to use this method sparingly. In fact, it’s a good idea to alternate treatment methods anyway, since building a resistance to treatment methods is a possible concern.
How to Prevent Powdery Mildew
While powdery mildew is rarely fatal for plants, it’s a hassle nonetheless. Prevention methods can mean a lot less work later, since curing plants is always harder than preventing illness.
- Avoid shady areas to make sure plants get plenty of sunlight.
- Remove any dead foliage from the area around the plants.
- Give plants plenty of space to provide airflow.
- Make sure soil is draining properly.
- Avoid over-fertilizing plants.
Treating common diseases organically will keep your garden healthy and safe for the environment and your loved ones. With all the different treatment options available, it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that works for your garden. So when powdery mildew appears, fight back and take control of your garden once more.
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The post 5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Powdery Mildew on Plants appeared first on Earth and Honey.