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Make a Homemade Mosquito Trap With Ingredients You Already Have

The reason that mosquitoes are attracted to humans is because they want to suck our blood.  The way that they find us is by detecting the Co2 that we breathe out.  That is why this mosquito trap works so well.  It uses Co2 for bait. Mwa Ha Ha!

1st Gather your Supplies

  • 1 2 liter soda bottle
  • Sharp knife
  • Black paper
  • Tape
  • Candy thermometer

2nd Cut the top off the soda bottle and invert it

Cut the top off right at the place before it starts to narrow.  This is important.  If you cut it too high the top can fall inside the bottom.  Once you cut the top off, turn it over and place the spout down in the bottom half.  Now, tape the seam with any tape that you have.  Clear looks the neatest.

3rd Make a simple sugar syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions:

  • Bring on cup of water to a good boil.
  • Pour the sugar into the boiling water. (Careful)
  • Once you can see the sugar is dissolved completely, take the pan off the heat.
  • Stir in two cups of cold water.  Make sure that you stir it completely.
  • Let the solution cool down to 90 degrees F
  • Add 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, you don’t have to mix.
  • Pour the syrup into the bottle using the inverted top like a funnel.
  • The fermenting yeast will release carbon dioxide. Put black paper around the bottle since mosquitoes like dark places and carbon dioxide. This mosquito trap will then start working.  You can decorate the paper if you want to make it look cute.

TIPS: Put the trap in a dark and humid place, near by where you and your family hang out, for 2 weeks. You’ll see the effect. You’ll have to replace the sugar water + yeast solution every 2 weeks.

Crop Cover (Row Cover) is a Gardener’s Best Friend

Crop Cover (Row Cover) is a Gardener’s Best Friend

            In Horticulture, row cover (or Crop Cover) is any material used to cover plants as a protective shield primarily against cold and frost.  It is also used to protect against wind, rain, snow, sun, bird and insect damage.  American Nettings’ row cover is called Crop Cover, not to be confused with cover crops, which are vegetative crops that are planted to protect soil from wind and water erosion in between planting of a cash crop.  Crop Cover is know by many different names including: frost cover, row cover, frost blanket, frost protection, reemay, garden fabric, non-woven garden fabric, spun-bonded fabric, over-winter fabric, plastic row cover, plastic mulch, field cover, and floating row cover.

Crop Cover acts as a protective greenhouse that keeps plants warm and guards against frosts, while allowing sunlight and moisture to pass through.  This creates all the perfect conditions to increase the growth of your plants and produce bigger, better and earlier crop yields.  There are many different types of Crop Cover.  The three main Crop Covers (or row covers) that we will discuss are non-woven spun-bonded fabrics, plastic row covers, ribbon-knitted shade covers.

Non-woven Spun-bonded Fabrics:

The most commonly used Crop Cover is the non-woven spun-bonded fabric. Fabric Crop Covers are lightweight blankets made of spun-bonded polypropylene which is sunlight, rain and air-permeable.  American Nettings carries a lightweight and a medium weight crop cover.

The Medium crop cover weighs .9oz/yd (30gm).  It has a 70% light transmission and is UV Stable.  It protects from frosts down to 26°F and has a life expectancy of 2 years.  It’s great for extending the growing season by planting early in the spring and continuing to grow and produce late into the fall.  They also makes and excellent wind break for young transplants.  This row cover is ideal for over-wintering strawberries, herbs, small fruits, tender landscape plants and just about any perennial.

The Lightweight spun-bonded crop cover weighs .5oz/yd (17gm).  It has a light transmission of 85% and protects from frost down to 28°F.  Its life expectancy is 1 year.  The light weight crop cover, also know as floating row cover, is great for promoting seed germination.  Lightweight crop cover can be used all season long to defend some crops such as carrots or onions against birds, insects, harsh rain and light hail.  Other crops that require germination such as squash and tomatoes should be uncovered as soon as they start to flower.  In hot climates Crop cover may have to be removed to prevent excessive heat build up.  Lightweight can be double layered in the spring to have the same effects as the medium wt and then a layer can be removed when it warms up.

Non-woven Spunbonded Fabric

Non-woven Spunbonded Fabric

Plastic row covers: 

Plastic row cover is made out of clear plastic (polyethylene).  This type of Crop cover must be carefully managed because it is much less forgiving and more labor intensive then fabric covers.  Temperatures under plastic can be as much as 30° higher then the outside air.  You can Vent them on warm days and close them at night and on cold days.  Plastic row covers that are slitted don’t require venting but you also can’t close them up at night.  For those gardeners that live in Warmer Southern areas can use Colored or shaded plastic.  The coloring blocks out some of the sunlight, reducing the heat inside the tunnel.   Plastic cover should be suspended over the plant and not touching the delicate foliage

Plastic crop cover

Plastic crop cover

Ribbon-knitted Shade Cover: 

Knitted shade cover is made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and is a knitted fabric. It is strong and can last up to 8 years. This material comes in different shade effects from 20% to 90%.  When used as a row cover less shade effect is desirable.  If there is too much shade the plants will grow slowly. This product is forgiving in that it allows natural airflow and rain and water penetration unlike plastic. It also protects from light frosts, strong winds and hail. It will not hold as much heat in as the fabric cover but it will allow excess heat to vent better then plastic.  Works great for warmer areas that are more concerned with protecting plants from sun rather the protecting plants from cold.

Ribbon knitted shade

Ribbon knitted shade

Crop Cover is Easy to Use:

Crop Cover is so versatile. The possibilities are endless.  A whole book could be filled with technique for using Crop Cover.  Lets talk about three easy ways to use crop cover in the garden.  One way is to create a Crop Cover tunnel over rows.  The Second technique is to drape Crop Cover over a trellis row.  The third way is to use crop cover as a floating row cover.

A protective tunnel formed with row cover is sometimes called a cloche. More often, a cloche, or bell jar, refers to a covering made of glass or plastic, placed over individual plants to provide similar protection as row cover.  You can make the tunnel supports with Just about any material such as 9-gauge wire, rebar and wood.  My favorite hoop material is 1” PVC pipe.  It’s strong, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to get.  Pound a 2’ piece of rebar 1’ in the ground and leave 1’ sticking out on either side of the row.  Slide one end of the PVC pipe over one rebar.  Then bend and push the other side of the PVC over the top of the other rebar.  Voilà, You have your first hoop.  Repeat this process every couple of feet all the way down the row.  Suspend the Crop Cover over the hoops and you have a tunnel.

Crop Cover Tunnel

Crop Cover Tunnel

Drape Crop Cover Over a Trellis Row:

Urban gardeners to grow on trellis rows in order to produce more in small spaces and to get higher yields per plant then growing on the ground.  It just so happens that trellis row is perfect for draping Crop Cover over.  You don’t have to do any extra work. The trellis itself becomes the framework for the perfect little microenvironment under the Crop Cover.  Drape the Crop Cover over the top wire of the trellis and pin the bottoms o the ground like a tent formation.  Easy as Pie.

crop cover trellis row

crop cover draped over trellis row

Floating Row Cover:

The first two techniques are great but I’m a big fan of keeping things simple and over the years I have come to realize that there is always stupidly simple technique for doing just about anything.  For Crop Cover this technique is called floating row cover.  You can cover newly seeded beds or transplants with light to medium weight fabric crop cover.  Leave plenty of slack in the material to allow for growth.  Seal and secure the edges and leave it alone.  The plants will grow and lift the crop cover up with them as the go.  That’s what I call low maintenance.  There is no need for elaborate structures or hoops, which leaves more time for the good stuff in life.

crop cover directly over plants with no supports

crop cover directly over plants with no supports

 Secure the Edges:

No matter which technique you use you must secure the edges of the Crop cover in order to seal in the warmth and moister as well as to seal out the sneaky birds and insects.   Bury the edges to make a seal.  Then you must secure the edges from being blown up by the wind or burrowed up by pests.  You can use any number of materials that you have lying around the house such as brick, rocks, 2×4 and old tires.  You get the drift.  Be careful because rock with sharp edges can tear the fabric and let unwanted guests in.  One really clever way that I have seen is to fill old water bottles with water and lay them around the edges of your fabric.  My favorite way technique is to pin down the fabric with plastic fabric pins from American Nettings.  The pins have a loop handle on top, which makes it so easy to push them in and take them out when you need to work with your plants.  You can use them year after year and they are not very expensive.  They also help your garden look neat and tidy verses looking like a bunch of debris blew in on a windy day.

Handling Crop Covers (row cover)
Working with fabric row covers may seem awkward at first.  Lightweight fabric tends to blow around while you’re putting it in place on windy days. The fabric can also tears easily on sharp edges.  But, with a little time you will get the hang of it.  Here are a few tips:

  • The fabric can be cut with scissors to fit over rows or used as-is for wide-row plantings.
  • You can purchase Crop cover in small convenient pieces or you can buy large roll and continue to cut off of that same roll year after year.
  • At the end of the season, shake the covers to loosen dirt and debris, and make sure they’re dry before you put them away. Fold or roll them up and store them in a clean dry place
  • Save all the cut or torn pieces of cover, cut them up into small pieces for patching larger sections of cover that have small holes. You can use waxed dental floss to sew them.

Conclusion:

It’s rare to find gardeners that are satisfied with the length of the growing season.  Luckily, Crop cover can provide a solution for the irresistible urge to go out and start planting as soon as possible.  Crop Cover fabric is a good tool for all gardeners because it is versatile and has an extremely low cost and huge benefits. Spun-bonded Crop Cover Fabric is the favorite choice.  They create a barrier that keeps the wind, cold and pests out, while allowing water, air, sunlight and soluble fertilizers to pass through. Wow!  They can increase your production as much as 25% while decreasing your labor and stress.  That’s why the commercial growers use it so much.

Got Pest Birds? Here’s How to Scare Birds Away

While bird populations in North America have dropped considerably in the past 40 years, birds tend to nest or rest on the nation’s coasts where nearly half the U.S. human population lives or works. Most birds serve an important role in the ecosystem, but three species of birds in the U.S. are considered pests. Birds categorized as pests include the pigeon, the house sparrow, and the starling. As pests, they can be legally controlled with no justification other than the property owner’s displeasure. Of course, there are many other reasons to scare birds away.

Besides being a nuisance and defacing homes, boats, buildings and monuments, pest birds also pose a serious health hazard. Because of their easy and far-reaching mobility, they can vector an alarming variety of serious diseases. Among these are histoplasmosis (a lung disease that can be fatal if untreated), salmonella, ornithosis (a lower or upper respiratory disease resulting in fever, chills and headache), pseudotuberculosis (causing fever and abdominal pain), and several other diseases, including West Nile Virus via

parasites (like fleas and mites) that live on their bodies or grow in their droppings.

If you want to scare birds away, it helps to know a little about the birds we regard as pests. The first of our fine-feathered friends is the pigeon. Initially introduced from Europe as pets, pigeon populations have expanded almost exponentially and are now considered by many to be pests. These birds congregate in huge numbers and contaminate public areas with their droppings. They deface both stone and metal monuments, and present a serious risk to aircraft.

Next up is the starling. An imported species not native to North America, starlings nest in roof soffits, electrical boxes, and structural crevices of buildings. Young starlings often gather in huge flocks where their droppings deface and damage structures and monuments, park benches, playgrounds and other areas.

Finally, there’s the sparrow. These small birds build fancy nests in gutters, electrical boxes, roof soffits, door housings, and other man-made openings. Sparrows often create expensive problems when they clog rain gutters and downspouts. Their elaborate nests in electrical equipment can cause electrical shorts and fires.

So how to scare birds away?

For pigeons and large birds, one proven and highly effective methods is the use of Bird Spike strip. They look menacing, especially to pest birds, but they won’t harm them. The spikes simply discourage birds from landing. Some bird spikes are made of rigid unbreakable polycarbonate. Others employ flexible stainless steel. Another option is the Bird Spider. The spider arms flagellate with the breeze to scare birds away. Spiders are available in a wide range of diameters to deter different bird sizes and cover wider and wider areas. They require little or no maintenance and they won’t harm birds.

One of the most economical ways to scare birds away is through the use of Bird Scare products. These flashy, twirling objects and banners use iridescent reflective foil and shiny tape to create an “Optical Distraction Zone” that discourages pest birds from landing. An unusually effective bird scare product is the inflatable balloon with lifelike reflective predator eyes. These scare-eye diverters are easily attached in areas frequented by birds. Some even feature glow-in-the-dark backsides to repel birds at night. Bird scare products can be easily set up in and around patios, vineyards, pool areas, overhangs, gazebos, boats and other troublesome areas.

A more technical approach to scare birds away involves the use of Electric Shock Bird Repellers. Ideal for pigeons, seagulls and larger birds, these repellers use electrified tracks to impart a mild electric shock when birds try to land. The pest birds are not injured; the mild “jolt” just changes their roosting habits so that they move on. The tracks are easily mounted on signs, ledges, rooftops, and flat or curved surfaces. Some manufacturers offer low profile tracks that are virtually invisible from ground level. Other manufacturers offer electric tracks with a flow-through design to prevent water from damming up on rooftops and other surfaces.

Imagine the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard and you’ll get an idea of what our next category of bird scare products sounds like–at least to a bird. Known as Audio Bird Deterrents, they produce ultrasonic sounds that annoy birds. Ideal for walled-off or enclosed areas like sheds, parking garages, and overhangs, these audio devices will scare most birds away–birds like pigeons, sparrows, starlings or seagulls.

There’s also a category of products that use chemicals to scare birds away. Known variously as Foggers or Misters, these bird deterrents utilize an aerosol delivery system to disperse a food-grade, non-lethal aerosol of methyl anthranilate. Approved by the EPA, this chemical irritates pest birds and deters them as they fly through it. Ideal for large areas, many systems feature multiple remote spray units that can cover areas up to one square mile. These environmentally friendly systems won’t harm birds and won’t affect electrical equipment.

Finally, there’s the family of motorized products that work quite effectively to discourage pest birds from landing. These bird repellers utilize rotating arms to scare birds away. Ideal for parapet walls, roofs, signs, billboards, or any flat surface, some are battery powered, others use a plug-in power source. And some are even solar powered.

Getting Rid of Pest Birds

For many people, their home is their greatest asset.  It provides shelter, equity, and sense of accomplishment so it is without surprise that most people will do whatever it takes to protect the value and aesthetic properties of their home.  Unfortunately, humans are not the only creatures who seek refuge in a house.  Pest birds such as pigeons and sparrows find most any house to be a suitable nesting location. Once a bird begins construction on a nest, it is next to impossible to get rid of them.  The solution: Solve the problem before it begins.  Factors such as disease and property damage further encourage homeowners to get rid of birds to avoid any potential problems.

Birds are very simple creatures but can present some complex problems when nesting on a home.  They will seek out any nook or crevice that will provide sufficient shelter.  They prefer to be near a food source, so it is always good to check and see if there is any available food.  If there is one, get rid of it.  This includes bird feeders, trash, pet food, etc.  Once birds have established a viable food source, there are very few things that will deter them.  After eliminating any potential food sources, getting rid of birds will be much easier.

When attempting to get rid of birds on a home there are three basic kinds of deterrents.  These include physical, visual, and sound deterrents.  Each different type of deterrent has its place in keeping a home “bird free”.  By examining these three types of deterrents, one will have a better understanding of how to get rid of birds on a home and hopefully avoid any potential problems.

First off, physical bird deterrents are always the best way to get rid of pest birds.  By completely blocking off they’re nesting or perching areas, it forces them elsewhere.  The most common types of physical bird deterrents are bird spikes and bird netting.  Of course, there are other types of physical deterrent, however the majority of the time either netting or bird spikes will do the trick.  To understand this, one must have an idea of where the most common nesting and perching areas are on a home.  Beginning with the top of the house, birds will often times perch on the roof peak of the structure and the chimney.  These areas are used more as a lookout post rather then a nesting area.  When encountering this, it is best to install bird spikes along the edges of the roof along with the chimney area.  Another option for this situation would be the application of Bird Gel.  Bird Gel is applied with a caulking gun and creates a sticky surface that pest birds can’t stand.

After discussing the potential damage pest birds can cause along with solutions, it is easy to see why household bird control is growing in popularity.  When it comes down to it, no person wants any animal defacing their home, especially when it comes with the risk of disease.  By getting rid of pest birds, one can ensure the aesthetics and equity of their home and more importantly the safety of those living there.

Bryan Donoho has been involved in the bird control industry for the last 7 years.

Pest Control for Your Vineyard

Protecting your vineyard grapes from the environment is a challenge that takes some cunning. Throughout the growing season you will want to ensure that your grapes are protected from disease as well as from pests like birds and insects, but also deer and other large grazing animals that may roam free where you live.

Fungus and Disease

There are several diseases that can harm the grapes in your vineyard. Some common ones are mildew, fungus and black rot, all forms of fungus and so fungicide is the most common cure. However the right cure is necessary for the right disease. Most disease is recognized by its effect on the vine leaves. Examine the plants in your vineyard regularly and once grapes are visible, inspect those too for signs of decay. For example, small yellow spots with dark brown centers could be signs of phomopsis cane. Generally, leaf discoloration, or spots on the leaves are signs of problems. You might also see a film over the leaf or the berries may show signs of rotting before they are ripened.

Insect Pest Control

Some of the most common insects that affect vineyards and threaten your grape production are moths, leafhoppers and beetles. The Berry Moth lays its eggs directly on the grapes. The young larvae eat their way through the center of your grapes, leaving tell-tale holes. Leafhoppers tend to accumulate on the underside of the vine leaf. Leafhoppers don’t do that much damage unless they become densely populated and then they can damage the crop. Rose chafers and Japanese beetles feed on the grape clusters as they mature on the vine.

You need to be as careful with your remedies as you are in detecting problems with your vineyard grapes, since grape growing is a delicate art. Seek expert advice if you suspect an insect problem. Many experts recommend treatment only when the infestation is severe. Vines can often withstand mild infestations.

Animal Pest Control

Perhaps the most serious threat for most grape growers are the birds. A flock of birds can wreak serious havoc on the small harvest of a hobbyist’s vineyard. The best protection against damage from birds is a physical barrier between the crop and the outside world. Netting will let in light and moisture, and allow the air to circulate around the grapes while protecting them from birds and other animals. Because of the way vines tend to grow along a trellis, it is a relatively easy project to install nets to protect your grapes. Make sure the nets are high enough that the birds can’t get to the grapes if the net sags in the wind or rain. Remember it’s not just grape eating birds that will flock to your vineyard but also birds in search of the insects that they might find there, so keeping your grapes insect free will also help to keep away the birds.

Other ideas include visual repellants, such as artificial hawks, scarecrows and shiny aluminum pie pans but none of these protect your vineyard as well as a physical barrier.

For deer and other grazers, the best protection is the use of odor repellents. Deer will graze on the vines themselves, the leaves and the grapes. They can devastate your crop if they are present in the area where you live. Hunting stores may be able to supply coyote scented products (coyotes hunt deer). Human scented products are also effective.

Once your vineyard is underway, keep your eyes open and your nose to the ground to spot unwanted pests and deal with them immediately to protect your grape crop.

Mark Pollack is a grape growing expert. For more great tips on how to control pests in vineyard grapes and other grape growing information, visit http://www.bestwinegrowingsecrets.com.

Vineyard Pest Control-Are Pests hurting your Vines

There are many categories of pests that may put your grapevine in risk : disease, insects, birds and deer. Amongst the most usual sicknesses influencing vines are black rot, mildew, phomopsis cane, leaf spot, and fungus. The most repeated signs of these common grapevine illnesses are leaf discoloration, fruit decay or a film of slime covering the leaves. In the case your grapevine comes down with any of these, or other, diseases, a fungicide can be used to mend the issue. Insects:Insects can be another problem influencing your grapevine. However, vines can endure a whole lot of insect damage and there’s infrequently times you’ll need to do something to regulate this type of pest. Some of the most typical insects that will jeopardise your vine are:Birds:Birds are doubtless, one of the most damaging pests that your grapevine will encounter. Some folks find relief by installing a net over their grapevines, establishing a physical barrier between the birds and the fruit. Nevertheless, this net must be removed during the winter months to stop topping over the plants. Another option to regulate a bird problem in your grapevine is to use visible repellents to guide the birds away from the vineyard. The most popular visual repellents employed by grape growers are aluminum plates, faux hawks, owls or snakes. Deer:An extra kind of pest that is less common to encounter is deer. to stop this problem, many growers effectively use odor repellants -such as soap, coyote, human or dog hair- to drive the deer away. Given all the tough work that will go to growing your vine, keeping pests away must be one of your top concerns. If you identify the issues that can have an effect on your grapevine and do something to prevent, the growing process should be both productive and rewarding. .

Pierre Duponte is a grape growing expert. For more great tips on
Vineyard Pest Control and how to make wine visit http://www.grapegrowingwinemakingtips.com/.