1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

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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July 23, 2008

:205 Drain Cleaning Bacteria

Filed under: :205 Drain Cleaning Bacteria — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 7:20 am

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

1:5:10:205 EcoTip: Odor problems in drains may be because of the build-up of grime with bacteria. In order to reduce bacteria levels it is necessary to eliminate the organic material that has built up. This is the same debris that eventually leads to clogs. A bacterial enzyme drain and trap cleaner is preferable to the use of caustic chemicals.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :203, :204

Think of this a using “good” bacteria to fight “bad” bacteria. By treating your drains on a regular basis, the bacteria that cause odor problems and the grease and organic materials that cause clogs are broken down and flushed out of the pipes into the sewer system without the risks and harm from the chemical drain cleaners. Bacteria can also help keep septic tanks and lines clear so they don’t need to be pumped so often.

Roebic is one brand of bacteria based cleaners that is readily available. Their biological sewage treatment products are certified 100% biodegradable by Scientific Certification Systems, Inc. of Oakland, California. They have additional good information on drain and septic care at their website http://www.roebic.com/septicintro.htm.

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July 22, 2008

:204 Check the Trap

Filed under: :204 Check the Trap — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:47 am

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

1:5:10:204 EcoTip: All drain connections to the sanitary waste system must have a U trap (sometimes called a p-trap) that holds a few inches of water to prevent sewage gases from flowing back into the building. Sometimes the trap becomes dry allowing gases to back-flow creating a nasty odor. If you have odors coming from a drain, make sure it has a trap and try pouring a couple of cups of water down the drain. Tomorrow’s tip will deal with something else to try if this doesn’t work.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :203 

Think about your daily water use. Sometimes an odor will develop in an infrequently used drain – like in an unused guest bath or a floor drain hidden under a washing machine. These will dry out and start to smell. In addition to being obnoxious – sewer gases aren’t healthy – So make sure the traps don’t dry out.

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April 4, 2008

:095 Slugs & Snails

Filed under: :095 Slugs & Snails — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 4:19 am

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

1:5:10:095 Tip: Slugs and Snails can quickly ruin a garden. Most baits for slugs and snails are quite toxic to pets, children and the environment.

One nontoxic alternative is the beer trap. You can make one by sinking a can or jar up to its rim in the ground then filling it with an inch or so of beer.

Tomorrow I will talk about keeping the slugs and snails out of potted plants.

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Additional Information

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This pre-manufactured Garden Slug Trap uses beer as bait to trap slugs. I’ve used the can method described above for snails and slugs both, but not tried any of the premanufactured units. It doesn’t look like snails would be able to get into it. It is available from Clean Air Gardening.

King County Hazardous Waste Management Program has a pdf on making your own beer trap at http://www.govlink.org/hazwaste/publications/SY_SlugTrap.pdf

slug-trap.jpg

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