5 Effective Pest Control Methods

5 Effective Pest Control Methods

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Pests pose the serious threat to every living thing, be it human, animal or plant. There are many different kinds of pests including fungus, mosquitoes, flies, rats, fleas, termites, feral dogs and hence any living organism that has a harmful effect on humans, their surroundings, stock and food supplies. Pests can be controlled or at least reduced to a suitable extent by maintaining good hygiene. People should be made aware of throwing trash in the bin, keeping benches, cupboards, lawns, floor and other household items clean, and removing stagnant water from pools, roads, tanks, buckets, gardens, objects such as old tires and other water-holding containers left lying around which could collect water. Listed below are five types that can help you get rid of pests.

Effective Knowledge

You need to identify the types of pest that you are dealing with and their lifestyle. Only then you can make strategies to control them. Make no mistake in identification to save your cost and time on improper tactics. Learn where these pests are growing and their potential threats. If you’re unable to deal with all this hassle, then there are companies for this in almost any area, for example, pest control Tulsa, that help you evaluate the identity of pests, their habitat and accordingly help you prevent them from further growing and eliminating their existence if necessary.

Organic Pest Control Method

When it comes to limit the damage caused by insects and small animals, many people go for natural methods to target only pests and not harming other plants or animals in the process. In this way, potent and efficient predator traps and baits are used to kill pests. Sodium fluoroacetate (FCH₂CO₂Na) is a biodegradable poison mixed into baits to eradicate a range of pests. It is the most cost-effective method of providing pest control over difficult territory. Other products used in organic pest control are oil sprays, parasitic nematodes, floating row covers, insecticidal soap, etc.

Biological Control

This technique is mainly used in greenhouses but can be practiced outdoors too. In order to control pests biologically, natural enemies of the pest such as predators, parasites, pathogens are introduced which geographically interfere with their ability to breed and infect the pests with a fatal bacterial disease. Certain beneficial insects feed on larvae of pests reducing their further growth. This method is environmentally safe for your plants, your family, and natural wildlife as compared to the potential hazards of pesticides. However, the success of this process depends on the correct use of appropriate species under proper conditions.

Chemical Pesticides

There are thousands of chemical pesticides used today in homes, offices, stores, farms and many other places. Pesticides are hazardous, and they contaminate land, air, food, and water. Sometimes they are too dangerous for the people using them and other living organisms nearby too. Pesticides are available in solid, liquid and aerosol form, grouped according to the type of pest they kill such as insecticides are to kill insects, bactericides for bacteria, herbicides for plants. Pesticides can kill a detrimental animal through oral entry (through the mouth), respiratory entry (through breath) and dermal entry (through the skin). Before using a spray by yourself, always remember to read the label on a pesticide, and avoid contaminating uncovered food, drinks, utensils and other usable items lying around. If you find difficulty in handling pesticides by yourself, call pest control service providers to help you do the task.

Hygiene Control

There are fewer pests found where places are found clean, therefore, leave no venue and food for pests to grow on and reproduce. Control pests at home and offices by practicing good hygiene. Always clean up after meals, throw leftover food and residue in the trash bin secured in wraps. Wash and dry the dishes after use, keep all cupboards, floors, stoves and other household items clean. Always keep your food in a lid fitted container, flush the toilet after each use, seal all the septic tanks, drains and holes around pipes, make sure communities are disposing of all trash and burying it regularly or recycling it, clear weeds and debris from a garden, use fresh mulch and natural fertilizers. There will be far less chance of using pesticides if relevant hygiene factor is address properly.

If you want pest free resident, simply maintain a clean and healthy living. The use of pesticides to discourage pests should always be the last possible option.

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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

How to Feel Inspired When You’ve Lost Motivation

Hulbert writes about motivation, doing whatever he can to help put people in a position to create a better life for themselves. Read full profile

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Some days you wake up and right when you are going to begin your work, you feel a presence within you that stops you from doing so. You sit down, but you sit down quietly this time. Suddenly, that feeling where you once were so passionate and energized to take action just isn’t there anymore. You try to hype yourself up but it’s not working, and everything you do seems to be counterintuitive. You face the truth. You don’t want to work today and you don’t feel motivated to do anything but just escape. Without this motivation, you feel a little hopeless, lost, and stuck.

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. If you’re not a hundred percent passionate about your work, then it’s impossible to wake up everyday feeling motivated when you wake up. You might compare it to the ocean. Sometimes you’ll wake up feeling like a tsunami, other time you’ll feel like just barely drifting to shore. When you feel like drifting to the shore, understand that it doesn’t always have to feel like there’s no hope. You can still feel inspired when you feel like giving up.

1. Connecting the Dots

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” –Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs at a Stanford commencement speech said that giving this speech the students was the closest thing he came to graduating college. He’s never finished college. He recalls that the working class savings that his parents had made their entire life was being spent on his tuition on a college he says was as almost as expensive as Stanford. After 6 months, he couldn’t see the value in it and dropped out. Not knowing where to go in life, he decided to take a class in calligraphy. He, however, didn’t see any practical application for it in life.

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Ten years later, they were designing the first Macintosh computer, and it all came back to him. He used the ideas that he had learned in calligraphy class, including the different types of typography, and put it in the Mac. It was the first computer to have beautiful typography, which has affected the different types of typography that we use today. If he had never dropped out in collage, he would have never taken that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do today.

Sometimes when you’re trying to reach a goal, it’s impossible to connect the dots where you currently are. Somehow you just have to trust in yourself, and have faith that you will reach your dreams, despite not having the slightest clue or perfectly laid out road to where you are going. Nobody can connect the dots looking forward; you only can connect them when you’re looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future; you have to trust in something, whether it’s karma or destiny, but trusting yourself is the first step towards feeling inspired and having the motivation to move forward.

2. Allowing Your Environment to Predetermine Your Mood

“There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want.” –Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has always advocated the idea of using your environment to your advantage. He believes that controlling your environment is often much more effective than relying on self discipline. He finds that he writes the best between the hours of midnight and 1 AM to 3 to 4 in the morning. As he is writing, he will put a movie in the background so it will feel like he is in a social environment, even though the entire movie is on mute. Next to him may be a glass of tea. This is what puts him in the mood to do quality writing and make him so successful.

Look around your room right now or your workspace. Does it inspire you? Does it give you motivation? Is it noisy or quiet? Sometimes the hardest thing we do to ourselves is try to force ourselves to work in an area that is subconsciously telling us, “I can’t work here.”

And when you are constantly trying to discipline yourself, you will feel worse and be less productive. Instead try to build your ideal workplace and ideal time. Free it from distractions. Perhaps add a piece of artwork or a quote of your favorite person nearby you on the wall. Maybe add a beautiful plant in the corner to give you inspiration. If you feel more energy and enthusiasm during the night, schedule your day to work at midnight if you can. If you can realize the power of having a productive environment, you will naturally feel inspired and motivated to get work done.

3. Don’t Work So Hard

“Research now seems to indicate that one hour of inner action is worth seven hours of out-in-the-world action. Think about that. You’re working too hard.” –Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield was once giving a speech to an audience. He tells of a story of a chiropractor who went into his dream city, near Pebble Beach, and asked chiropractor associate if they could hire them. They told him no because they had 1 chiropractor for every 8 patients. Instead of letting his external reality which was out of his control determine his future, he went back to visualize and think about it, and something would come to him. He put a pen in his new office one day, and put concentric circles that he needed to go ask people in town that he was opening up a new chiropractor office and if they were interested in joining.

Over 6 months he knocked on 12,500 doors, talked to 6,500 people, and gathered over 4000 names to the people who wanted to go to his open house. He opened his chiropractor in a town he was told there was too many chiropractor. In his first month in practice, he netted $72,000. In his first year in practice his gross income was over a million in income.

Now you may look at this and say knocking on 12,500 doors is hard work. To you it is, but to the man it was probably effortless. Jack Canfield says there are 2 types of action – outer and inner. Outer action is actually going out to do the action – whether it’s networking with people, going door-to-door to make a sale, or just writing at home. Inner action is other things like visualization, meditation, and affirmations.

If you’re trying to force your way into taking action, it could be a sign that you are working too hard. Most people won’t wake up and waste an hour visualizing, meditating, or affirming, and the first thing they think about is asking what do I need to do today? And when they get the answer, they feel miserable, as if their work suddenly weighs them down. But Canfield says that if you spend time to focus on your goals, you’ll receive good feelings – feelings that help you feel inspired and motivated to take real action.

Don’t try to paddle upstream. That’s just basically going everyday saying to yourself that you need to force yourself to work every day. Instead, paddle along the stream of the river. Trust yourself, let your environment work in your favor, and spend some a little bit of time putting yourself in a state before you work. Inspiration will come to you from different ways – inside and out – and give you the motivation to guide yourself towards reaching your dreams.

www.lifehack.org

How to Get Rid of Crickets & Grasshoppers

How to Get Rid of Crickets & Grasshoppers

Many gardeners experience the nuisance of crickets and/or grasshoppers in and around their homes every summer. If you have bugs indoors, you likely call an exterminator. If you have a garden to maintain, the problem can be somewhat more complicated, as these critters will feast on our hard work. However, fear not, we have solutions to get rid of the chirping invaders.

Difference Between Crickets & Grasshoppers

First things first, let’s identify our bugs. While crickets and grasshoppers are related, they are not the same insect and are often confused for one another. Thankfully, many of their treatment and prevention methods are similar.

Crickets

Crickets are not usually considered a “pest”, in the sense of pest control and maintenance. While both of these bugs can produce similarly loud noises, have large back legs that allow them to jump very high or very far, crickets are much smaller and are not known for the huge population spikes of the grasshopper, which can become problematic in some areas. Furthermore, crickets have antennae while grasshoppers do not, and primarily feed on dead or dying insects, which can render them a nuisance. Generally speaking, one or two crickets are not considered an issue. A huge number of grasshoppers is another story.

Grasshoppers

The United States is home to more than 1000 of the over 20,000 grasshopper species present worldwide. The lifecycle of the grasshopper includes between four and five phases, each of which resembles an adult grasshopper, just slightly increasing in size with each phase. During these phases, called “instars”, the insects will feed on your plants, though some species will only eat grass. After each phase, an exoskeleton is shed. Eggs are laid in bunches numbering up to 100 eggs each, typically in August through October. These eggs will hatch the following May. Infestations occur every 3-7 years and can last for up to five years each time.

Dealing with a Cricket or Grasshopper Problem

Simply put, crickets and grasshoppers are voracious insects that eat our plants. Furthermore, their “singing” may very well be keeping you up all night. How rude! Thankfully, these unwelcome visitors do not have to stay long.

Inspect Your Garden

Make sure you’re inspecting your garden regularly to stay on top of any crop damage, including and especially damage to the leaves. Often, this is the first sign of an infestation. This is also where the eggs for next season’s baby crickets or grasshoppers could be found. Vigilance is key when it comes to prevention.

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Getting Rid of Crickets and Grasshoppers

Natural Predators

As with other types of insects, one of the best ways to prevent or treat a cricket or grasshopper infestation in your garden is to encourage their natural predators. This means allowing birds and lizards into your area, along with introducing spiders, mantids, and possibly a few rodents if they are not already present.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

If you would prefer, you can also treat your garden with diatomaceous earth (DE) – a finely ground substance that will destroy the insect’s exoskeleton. The only drawbacks of DE are that the bugs must crawl through the powder and that it must be reapplied after coming into contact with moisture, so reapplications are necessary after watering or rain.

Using Garlic

A third option for cricket and grasshopper prevention is garlic. The insects are repelled by the smell, and it is generally widely available and safe. A garden barrier may be planted, or the bulbs may be crushed, boiled with water, and the resulting solution applied around the soil and sprayed onto the plants for additional protection.

Planting a Trap Crop

Crickets and grasshoppers will also be attracted to grain crops and tall grasses. Planting a trap crop a suitable distance from your garden is another excellent way to prevent the bugs from feasting on your crops. Be sure to plant the trap crop early enough in the season for it to be ready, and keep it healthy throughout, so that it is always a favorite meal for your pests.

Hand Pick ‘Em

Of course, if you are already finding evidence of damage to your crops and adult crickets and grasshoppers around your garden, the fastest and best method for immediate removal is physical handpicking of the insects (and eggs!) and placement into soapy water. Be sure to check underneath all leaves for egg clusters. After removal, begin utilizing another method of pest prevention immediately.

Here on the farm, we have to contend with our fair share of pests, and we have certainly had to deal with crickets and grasshoppers! But, don’t despair if you’re dealing with a pest problem, there’s always a solution!

growingorganic.com

Homemade Spray for Fruit Trees

Growing fruit trees can be a rewarding, as well as delicious, practice, but keeping those fruit trees healthy can become expensive if you need to buy fungicidal sprays, pest sprays, and other fruit tree sprays. Making your own homemade spray for fruit trees is not difficult and does not require a lot of ingredients. Homemade fruit tree sprays are often less toxic and just as effective as the sprays you can buy in the store.

Preventing Fruit Tree Diseases

Prevention is the best method for dealing with fruit tree diseases, and a homemade compost tea is one of the best preventative methods for fruit trees. Make your own compost tea using compost from your garden in a ratio of about 1 cup of solid compost matter to 1 gallon of water. Allow to steep at least three days, then strain through burlap. Return the solids to the compost pile and add the liquid to a small sprayer. According to Rodale’s Garden Answers, in addition to providing nutrients when applied to the roots of plants, research has consistently shown than spraying plants with compost tea can prevent and reduce some diseases.

Dealing with Fruit Tree Pests

Soaps kill some pests, like aphids, by destroying their outer surfaces, and soap prevents other pests who would otherwise chew and destroy leaves but do not like the taste of soap. Make your own soap spray by mixing 1 tbsp. dish soap (not detergent) with 1 gallon of water. Spray on plants, including underside of leaves, and be sure to wash any fruit caught in the spray thoroughly before eating. Soap will not harm the tree, but it will get rid of unwanted visitors to your fruit trees.

Dealing with Unwanted Plant Growth at Base of Fruit Trees

If you have weeds growing at the base of your fruit trees, you may wish to apply a natural herbicide to get rid of the unwanted plants without destroying your tree. According to the «Dirt Doctor,» Howard Garrett, one of the best herbicides you can use is a spray prepared by using 1 gallon of 10 percent vinegar, 1 ounce orange oil, 1 tbsp. molasses and 1 tsp. dish soap. Do not add water. Add the mixture to a small sprayer and shake well before you spray any undesirable plants. This spray will not injure your tree if sprayed at the base, but it will if sprayed on the leaves. This spray should not be used to remove suckers from your grafted fruit trees. Those should be clipped off at the base of the growth.

All-Purpose Fruit Tree Spray

Although all fruit trees should be sprayed with a dormant spray each session to kill off any bugs who may have made homes in the branches over the winter, this spray, from Pest Control Options, makes a great year-round fruit tree spray to prevent fungus and insect invasions. Mix 1 cup compost tea, 1 tbsp. liquid seaweed, 1 tbsp. molasses, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. Murphy’s oil soap, and 1 gallon of water. This mixture should be lightly misted all over the tree, including the leaves. The molasses will absorb quickly into the leaves, and the seaweed and compost tea provide nutrients for your fruit trees.

To Cure A Fruit Tree with Problems

All of the methods listed above are to prevent problems, but if you already have issues, you can try using the All-Purpose Fruit Tree Spray with one important addition: 1 tbsp. tea tree oil. This antibacterial oil can help get rid of fungus problems that already have a start on your tree, and also will help with out-of-control pest problems. Still, you may wish to consult a professional if you are worried about the state of your fruit tree or orchard to see if the tea tree oil addition is the right step for you.

www.hunker.com

Achieving and Maintaining Great Garden Soil

Johner Images / Getty Images

Soil is often viewed as the boring part of gardening. While garden soil will never be glamorous or even as interesting as choosing plants, there is a whole world under your feet that literally and figuratively is the foundation for your gardens. New gardeners are cautioned to put money and effort into improving their soil before they even consider planting, but few appreciate the wisdom in what they are hearing until they watch their new plants struggling for survival and demanding more and more food and water. In organic gardening, you learn to feed the soil and let the soil feed the plants.

The soil found in a typical yard will be about 90 percent mineral residue and only about 10 percent decayed organic matter. Yet it sustains a community of insects and microorganisms. The reason for adding additional organic matter to your soil is to provide food for the beneficial microorganisms that release nutrients into the soil as they decompose the organic matter. Earthworms and other soil-dwelling insects aerate the soil as they move through it and contribute more organic matter with their waste and decomposition. This makes for what is called healthy soil.

Pesticides sprayed on the plants will make its way into the soil and can kill the insects and microorganisms living there. Synthetic fertilizers contain salt, which can also kill the soil’s residents as well as build up in the soil and cause harm to the plants you are feeding. And synthetic fertilizers add nothing to the soil’s fertility.

When discussing soil, it depends upon on four things: texture, structure, pH, organic matter, and fertility.

Soil Texture

Soil texture refers to the size of the soil particles.

  • Sand: Sand has the largest particles, and they are irregularly shaped. This is why sand feels course and why it drains so well. Sand doesn’t compact easily.
  • Silt: Silt particles are much smaller than sand but still irregularly shaped.
  • Clay: Clay has microscopic-sized particles that are almost flat. Clay packs very easily, leaving little to no room for air or water to move about.
  • Sandy loam: Sandy loam is considered the ideal garden soil and consists of a mix of the three basic textures. However, don’t run out to buy sand to add to your clay soil or vice versa. Mixing sand and clay will give you cement. There’s more to the equation than just balancing soil textures.
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Soil Structure

Soil structure refers to the way soil clumps together. You can usually determine what your texture is by testing your structure. Squeeze a handful of damp soil into a ball in your hand. If you poke the ball lightly with your finger and it breaks apart, it is probably sand. If a bit more pressure breaks it, you’re dealing with silt. If it sits there despite your poking, you have mostly clay. To determine a more accurate reading of the percentage of each texture in your soil, try this easy experiment.

A good soil structure is crumbly. This allows plant roots to work their way through it, air can pass through, and water drains, but not so quickly that the plants can’t access it. If you’d like to test how well your soil drains, try a percolation test.

There are two basic ways to improve soil structure and they work in tandem.

You can loosen soil structure by tilling, and sometimes this is necessary. But tilling can over crumble soil and it kills the insects living there. So regular tilling is not the best option.

Another option is to add organic matter, which improves any type of soil. Compost, leaf mold, and manure are all decaying organic matter. They loosen and enrich the soil and provide food for the soil-dwelling insects.

Soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of your soil’s acidity (sourness, a measure of below 7.0) or alkalinity (sweetness, a measure higher than 7.0), with 7.0 being neutral. Most garden plants prefer a pH in the neutral range. Some plants are more specific in their requirements. Lilacs and clematis thrive in sweet soils. Rhododendrons and blueberries like a lower pH. You can adjust the pH in different parts of your landscape.

Generally speaking, if your plants are growing healthy and well, your pH is probably fine. If your plants are having nutrient problems or are not growing vigorously, it’s worth it to test your pH. If the soil’s pH is not within an acceptable range for the plants you are growing, the plants will not be able to access the nutrients in the soil, no matter how much you feed them.

You can buy many types of pH testers in a garden center. You can also bring a sample into your local Cooperative Extension office to be tested for a nominal fee. Once you know what your pH is, you can begin to adjust it slowly. You add some form of lime to raise pH and a form of sulfur to lower it. What type and how much depends upon your soil and test results. Your Extension report and most testing kits will tell you what to do once you get your results.

Adding lime or sulfur to alter soil pH is not a quick fix. It can take months to register a change in the pH and you will need to periodically retest your soil to ensure it doesn’t revert to its old pH. It is sometimes easier to simply change your plants to suit your pH.

Organic Matter

Organic matter does so many wonderful things for a garden, that you should definitely take advantage of it. There would be no organic gardening without organic matter. Decaying organic matter is how plants are fed in nature. Unfortunately, most gardeners tend to remove any dead plant material that falls onto the lawns. It would be so much more beneficial to allow the fallen leaves to blow off into the bushes, where they will not only feed the soil but also prevent erosion and mulch the soil.

Organic matter added to garden soil improves the soil structure and feeds the microorganisms and insects. The more beneficial microorganisms your soil can support, the less bad organisms will survive. The good guys feed on harmful microbes such as nematodes and certain soil born diseases. They also release their nutrients into the soil when they die. So the more beneficial microorganisms that are in the soil, the more nutrients will be in the soil. And many types of organic matter add still more soil nutrients to the mix.

Organic matter also contains acids that can make plant roots more permeable, improving their uptake of water and nutrients, and dissolve minerals within the soil, leaving them available for plant roots.

Types of Organic Matter

Compost

Compost is the poster child of organic matter. Compost is any kind of decayed organic matter. You can make your own or buy it by the bag or truckload. Finished compost looks like rich soil, as it’s dark and crumbly with an earthy smell. By the time the compost cooking process is complete, weed seeds, fungus spores, and other undesirable elements that may have gone into your compost bin should no longer be viable. Compost can be added to your gardens at any time, either turned into the soil or used as a mulch or top dressing. While it is advised that you keep perennial weeds, pesticide-treated material, and diseased plants out of your compost bin, almost every other form of plant material is fair game, such as:

  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Garden waste (from weeding, deadheading, and pruning)
  • Vegetable peels
  • Sawdust
  • Straw
  • Paper

Manure

Aged animal manure is an organic material with an added bonus of soil nutrients. Animal manure must be aged for six months to a year before it is applied to the garden. Fresh manure will burn your plants, may contain bacteria that can cause illness from contact, and it stinks. You can add fresh manure to a compost heap, and let it age there.

Cow, sheep, and chicken manure are the most popular varieties, but there are several more. The manures to avoid because of their disease potential for humans include cat, dog, pig, and human.

Green manure. Green manure cover crops that are grown with the intention of turning them back into the soil. Obviously, this would be more useful in the vegetable garden or in a newly created bed where tilling will not harm existing perennial plants.

Different green manures offer different advantages. Some such as alfalfa are grown for their deep roots and are used to break up and loosen compacted soil. The legumes, clover, and vetch have the ability to grab nitrogen from the air and eventually release it into the soil through their roots. If allowed to flower, clover especially is attractive to pollinators and beneficial insects. All green manures will suppress weeds and prevent erosion and nutrient runoff in areas that would otherwise be unplanted. And they all assist with creating good soil structure and food for the microbes, once they are tilled in and begin to decompose. Popular choices for green manure include annual ryegrass. barley, buckwheat, clover, winter wheat, and winter rye.

Soil Fertility

The nutrients in your soil are the final component in building healthy soil. Just like people, plants need certain nutrients to grow and to fend off disease. Organic fertilizers can be made from plant, animal, or mineral sources and are basically returning what was taken from the soil. Organic fertilizers are released slowly, which means that plants can feed as they need to. There is no sudden change in the makeup of the soil, which might harm the microbial activity.

Building healthy soil is an ongoing process. By making healthy soil a focus at the start of making a garden, you will have a head start on creating a sustainable organic garden.

www.thespruce.com

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