Interesting and Simple Way to Catch Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are a bane for home gardeners in most locations and they are worse in some areas than they are in others. There are many species, but the problem is that they eat vegetation, such as that found in the garden and flowerbeds. They have a voracious appetite, too. The tiny grasshoppers that hatch out from the eggs that are laid in the fall just under the surface of the soil tend to grow rapidly and in species that have wings, the grasshoppers can descend on a garden in the hundreds, literally eating the plants to the ground. When they reach this stage, when they can become migratory and move on after decimating a crop, they are commonly referred to as locusts. Technically, these aren’t locusts, they are grasshoppers, but it makes little difference. They can cause a huge amount of damage in a short amount of time. The news isn’t entirely bleak. Many kinds of spiders eat the small grasshoppers, more of the little ones are preyed upon by predatory wasps and there are other beneficial insects that will eat baby grasshoppers. Frogs and toads, lizards and snakes also take a fair share of the hoppers. However, one of the biggest predators for grasshoppers is birds. The feathered friends can become fat and healthy on a diet of grasshoppers. This includes domesticated chickens and ducks.¬† For this reason, many people would prefer catching the grasshoppers and feeding them to their poultry, rather than using poisons to kill the insects, Continue Reading →

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Making Homemade Cat and Dog Flea Repellent

Dog fleas infest dogs and cat fleas infest cats, but though the fleas aren’t interchangeable, they cause the pets to scratch. It doesn’t really matter where in the world a person is, either. The fleas are almost universal. Cats and dogs can literally scratch themselves until they are bloody. Fleas can also carry diseases and parasites. In a bad infestation, the pet can become anemic and if it is young or ill, a flea problem can spell the death of the pet. There are treatments for the fleas that can be purchased, but they are often expensive. What is more, they can contain chemicals that are poisonous to the pet. This is especially true of flea shampoos that commonly contain pyrethrin. Pyrethrin comes from a kind of chrysanthemum and it is toxic to pets, though it is extremely common in store-bought flea shampoo. Thankfully, it is cheap and easy to make your own cat and dog flea collars, spray and shampoo. They are safe and don’t contain chemicals (though the shampoo usually does, since it is shampoo, after all). To make your own flea repellent, slice lemons as thin as you can and put these in a jar. Add a few sprigs of rosemary, thyme and some mint leaves. Pour boiling water over the top, put the lid on the jar and let it sit for an hour or two, then strain out the juice, retaining it. This can be dabbed onto the pet or added to shampoo for flea Continue Reading →

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Healthy Homemade Tuna Fish Cat Food Treats

If you are the proud slave to a cat or know someone who is, a really great idea for a gift is to make homemade tuna fish cat food treats. It isn’t difficult to do and the result is something that is healthier for the cats than the store-bought treats that are available. Best of all, you will know exactly what went into the treats. It is best not to skimp on the quality of the ingredients with this recipe, unless it can’t be avoided. The blend is specifically meant to be healthy for cats. Where people are most likely to try to cut corners are with the oil and dry milk, so these should be explained. You should note that most cats have problems digesting cow’s milk or products made with cow’s milk. Cow’s milk will often give cats diarrhea, which can cause abrupt dehydration. For this reason, the recommendation is to use powdered kitten milk supplement rather than powdered nonfat milk. Powdered kitten supplement is much more expensive, but it is easily digested. Powdered milk is a last resort, though the treats would still be healthier than those you can buy in a store. In regard to the oil, you’ll see that the ingredient list specifies fish oil. Most often, this is cod liver oil, though most fish oils will work, as long as they are edible. The point is to avoid vegetable oil if possible. Most pet cats get far too many vegetables, grains and corn in Continue Reading →

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Making Your Own Essential Oils and Tinctures

Many plants have great qualities for use with everything from medicinal purposes, to scenting candles and soaps, to flavoring foods, to making rooms and clothing smell good. If you’ve looked at the price of essential oils or tinctures, though, you’ve probably noticed that they tend to be quite expensive. Part of the cost has to do with how the active ingredients are removed from the plants. Without going into details about the different ways this is done commercially, you can save a substantial amount of money by making your own essential oils and tinctures. It isn’t even particularly hard to do. The difference between essential oils and tinctures While it isn’t true in all circumstances, essential oils are normally used outside of the body and tinctures are most often taken internally. Technically, the difference between the two is that essential oils have an oil base and tinctures have an alcohol base or more rarely, a water base. Although some plants shouldn’t be consumed, I make it a point to make sure that the essential oils that I make are edible. That is, I won’t make the oils out of plants that are dangerous to swallow. That doesn’t mean that the essential oil will always be great to eat, but it does mean that they won’t normally be dangerous if they are consumed. Because of that, the oil base that I use is olive oil. It doesn’t need to be high quality virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Less expensive olive Continue Reading →

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