1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

August 31, 2008

:244 Armadillo Repellent

Filed under: :244 Armadillo Repellent — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:244 EcoTip: If you have armadillos digging up your yard, they are looking for insects. This is certainly a non-toxic form of pest control, but can leave your yard a mess. Controlling the grubs using nematodes or other forms of biological insect control can discourage their digging, but armadillo repellent can help encourage them to move on sooner. 

The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection, [image number, e.g.,00199], courtesy of The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

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 Additional Information:

Arbico-organics has a wide variety of biological pest controls and armadillo repellent.

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August 30, 2008

:243 Guard’n Eye Bird Repellant

Filed under: :243 Guard'n Eye Bird Repellant — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:21 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:243 EcoTip: The Guard’n Eye is a 2′ diameter balloon with a large eye shape that frightens birds from the garden. This provides a safe non-toxic control to help repel birds from areas of your yard where they aren’t desired.

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 Additional Information:

For a while we were using mirrors and other flashy tree hangers in our yard to scare away the birds. In our case we weren’t trying to save our produce. We were trying to save the birds from our two cats. The neighbor complained that the mirrors were shining into their windows – Some times its hard to win. Anyway one cat has died and the other is now too old to care about birds (almost 19).

The Guard’n Eye would hopefully disturb the birds without disturbing the neighbor. It is available from ARBICO-organics.

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August 29, 2008

:242 Insect Pheromone Traps

Filed under: :242 Insect Pheromone Traps — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:20 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:242 EcoTip: Pheromones are used by insects to attract a mate. Many are currently available for attracting insects into traps where they die. Aerial spraying of pheromones is also being used as a method for insect control. The idea is to confuse insects so they can’t find a mate. While traps with pheromones seems like a good idea, exposing people by aerial spraying of entire communities has become quite controversial.

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 Additional Information:

A number of pheromone attractants and traps are available from ARBICO-organics.

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August 28, 2008

:241 Outdoor Flea Control

Filed under: :241 Outdoor Flea Control — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:19 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:242 EcoTip: About a week ago I suggested using flea traps for indoor flea infestations (:233). It is important to also break the outdoor cycle. This can be done by treating any outdoor area pets frequent with Steinernema nematodes. Steinernema carpocapsae are best suited for cooler climates, whereas Steinernema feltiae work better in warm climates. 

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :233

According to ARBICO-organicsbeneficial nematodes:

  • Nematodes will eliminate all types of pests that have a subterranean soil stage.
  • Nematodes are exempt from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations because they are not harmful to humans or animals.
  •  Nematodes seek and enter hosts in the soil.
  • Nematodes release bacteria which paralyze and kill the host.
  • Nematodes reproduce and feed upon the host while undergoing several life cycles.
  • Second stage juveniles develop waxy cuticles and leave the cadaver in search of a new host.

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August 27, 2008

:240 EM Power

Filed under: :240 EM Power — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:16 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:240 EcoTip:Manure management is an important step in controlling flys. Adding bacteria to manure piles, composters and pet waste disposal systems (:239) helps it break down faster.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :239

EM-Power is a bacteria supplement that can be used to help break down manure. It is available from ARBICO-organics.

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August 26, 2008

:239 Pet Waste

Filed under: :239 Pet Waste — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:14 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:239 EcoTip: Disposal of pet waste also uses up landfill resources and makes the trash can pretty nasty. The Doggie Dooley is an in ground pet waste disposal system that works like a septic system. It can be purchased at most pet supply stores. Or you can make your own by following the directions from Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture at http://cityfarmer.org/petwaste.html#pet

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 Additional Information:

According to the City Farmer website

Collect the dog doo and drop it into the basin. Sprinkle two of the packets of septic tank starter on top of the dog doo and add a litre or so of water. Cover the hole with the lid. Within 48 hours, the septic tank starter, which is non-caustic, and promotes natural bacterial growth will have begun its work and you can add more dog doo. You can then begin to add it daily.

Give the system a bucket of water a week and a packet of starter once or twice a month. The dog doo turns to liquid, most of which washes into the soil. What remains is a humus which should only need to be collected once every two or three years. There is no smell even in the warmest weather. Even the Vancouver Health Department declares them safe.

 

 

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August 25, 2008

:238 Soil Pesticide Residues

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.
1:5:10:226 EcoTip: There are a number of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT, and chlordane that have been outlawed, but still have residues present in soil which can find its way into buildings.
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Before purchasing land previously used for agriculture – it makes sense to have it tested. Organic labeled produce only requires no pesticide use for a period of 3 to 5 years, but some of these chemical pesticides have a half-life of 50 to 100 years. This means they will still be detectable for generations. 
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 Additional Information:
According to a May 2001 article by the National Association of Home Builders in Builder Magazine titled “Sins of the Farmer “:

50 to 70% of land developed for homes between 1992 and 1997 was former farm land. DDT, arsnic and other pesticides may have been used.

The New Jersey Deptartment of Environmental Protection found 5% of the New Jersey land mass is contaminated with pesticides from farm use.

You can arrange for telephone consultantion and on-site inspection and testing of soil and structures through my office at RestCon Environmental  – (888)-617-3266.
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August 24, 2008

:237 Insecticidal Soap

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:237 EcoTip: If your garden has bugs such as aphids a strong stream of water may be all that is necessary to wash them from the plant. The aphids can’t crawl back to the plant so they die, but the beneficial insects like lady bugs will fly to a new feeding spot. If a strong stream of water doesn’t work – try insecticidal soap. It doesn’t contain poisons but will kill insect pests. I’ve used a few drops of biodegradable dish detergent in a spray bottle successfully when I haven’t had the purchased insecticidal soap available.

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 Additional Information:

I found insecticidal soaps available at Home Depot in the garden section – In fact they are now stocking a nice supply of non-toxic pest controls.

If you can’t find insecticidal soap locally you can purchase it from ARBICO-organics.

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August 23, 2008

:236 Humanure

Filed under: :236 Humanure — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:10 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:236 EcoTip: Human manure may not be at the top of our thoughts when it comes to recycling, but it is a waste product that must be dealt with. The Humanure Handbook provides factual and practical information about how to safely compost human manure and then use it productively.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK

A GUIDE TO COMPOSTING HUMAN MANURE

3rd edition – Published September 1, 2005

by Joseph Jenkins

Despite all the books on manure and how to use it, human manure composting is not covered elsewhere, making THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK: A GUIDE TO COMPOSTING HUMAN MANURE a fine reference for any who would learn these basics. Now in its 3rd edition, THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK covers all the basics of human waste management, from septic systems to commercial composting toilets, sewers, and more. A history of various composting methods, science, and problems is accompanied by a healthy dose of humor plus a solid foundation of science into pathogens, pros and cons of competing systems, and more. If you’re an avid composter, there’s nothing like this on the market. Midwest Book Review

You can order the Humanure Handbook or download it for free at http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure_contents.html

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August 22, 2008

:235 Fried Dust

Filed under: :235 Fried Dust — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:05 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home’s indoor environment and the planet.

1:5:10:235 EcoTip: Fried dust is a term used to describe the burned chemical odor that occurs when dirty furnace systems are operated. The dust that lands on the heat exchanger inside the furnace will vaporize when it gets hot. This released volatile organic compounds that can be quite a noxious odor. An efficient furnace filter and a sealed duct system can help prevent dust from settling on the heat exchanger to eliminate this problem.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :042, :043, :110

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