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3 December 2008

Natural insect traps

I've forgotten who asked, and can't find the comment, but someone wanted more information about how to use diatomaceous earth (DE). We use it on our chickens when they have lice. This doesn't happen often but you can bet your bottom dollar, when we bring new chooks in, they will have a few lice, and they spread. To apply the powder, we catch the chook and rub the DE all over the bird, making sure we cover under the wings and around the vent. And that's it! Make sure you don't breathe in too much of the powder and make sure you buy natural DE, not the one they use in swimming pools filters.

For cockroaches, just sprinkle the dust behind the fridge, or wherever you've seen the cockroaches running around. Don't expect them to die immediately. It takes a couple of weeks. Soon after they have contact with the DE they search more for water, so you might see them more often just after you put the DE down. It's harmless to humans, dogs and cats, except if they frequently breathe the dust in.

On benches, where I don't want DE spread around, I place upturned jar lids to which half and half borax and white sugar is added. The cockroaches eat this and die a few days later. You can hide these little traps behind your bread bin or canisters. This also works for ants, but I replace the sugar for honey if I'm trapping ants.

A couple of readers wanted the recipe for tuna loaf - it's just like a meat loaf, using fish instead of meat. I write about it in July so the recipe and photos are here.

Thank you all for the lovely comments on yesterday's post. Newcomers to simple living will read those and think they might make a start, I'm sure it was a great encouragement.

Sorry for the quick post today. I'm in a hurry for something. See you all tomorrow!


  1. Good morning Rhonda,

    I turn my computer on first thing in the morning and its like greeting a nice neighbour when your blog appears and I just have to respond. I've copied down your Tuna recipe which looks delicious. Hope your day goes really well.

    Blessings Gail

  2. Thanks for this info. Do you just rub the earth over the dogs as well and on what regularity please ? Cherrie

  3. I've only just caught up with yesterday's post and was delighted to think that there are so many newcomers to your blog. Your inspiring words are what is needed in the world right now. Even someone like me, a "simple liver" for years and a reader from your blog's inception is still learning a thing or two from you and just love feeling connected to a wonderful on-line community.

    If Donetta is still wondering about using bi-carb soda for hairwashing, this is all I do:-
    simply use anywhere between 1 to 3 well rounded teaspoons of dry powdered bi-carb, depending on the length of your hair. I put it in a small plastic cup, add a small amount of water, a swirl around to dissolve, spread evenly over wet hair, massage through as you would shampoo and rinse thoroughly. Hair is squeaky clean. I use a rinse of apple cider vinegar (one part vinegar, three parts water) to act as a conditioner (which is rinsed out). It took my hair about a month to adjust (it was a little dry at first) and now I only have to wash it once a week. Hope this is helpful.

    Regards, Marilyn

  4. Borax and white sugar.....I wonder would that work on "fire ants?" Do you know? Because if it does, I'm investing in a barrel of borax.

  5. Thanks Anonymous,

    Thats just the info i was after as well. What a great bunch of people visit your site Rhonda.

    Blessings again Gail

  6. Being from S. Texas, I have had to deal with fire ants. I don't know if the borax would work on them, but I would certainly try it if I still had to put up with them. They are not fun, they are called fire ants for a reason - they both sting & bite and it burns like fire!
    My sister has used DE on her dogs for years, for flea & tick control. She's had very good results with it.

  7. DE is wonderful stuff! I use it on all of my animals, both internally and externally. I use it for pest control on my animals externally and give it internally to those who need a calcium/mineral boost. My chooks eat it fine sprinkled over their feed but it's a little bit harder to get all my rabbits to eat it. :)

    I also use it in the garden, for fertilizer, nutrient boosts and it helps a little in keeping pests away.

    Thank you for all the wonderful posts and I look forward to reading your book when you finish it! I live in Oregon and a lot of people around where I live are eager to live more simply and naturally, so your book will probably sell really well over here!

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog. :)

  8. I read an article you wrote in Warm Earth Organic Gardening, July/Aug 2008 edition and enjoyed it very much.
    We have an orchard and used the Organic Bait that is expensive. We only had a few fruit fly and that was when we put the bait out more weeks apart than recomended. We baited every tree which is more than they say to. We have previously sprayed the fruit for fruit fly and still some would come. We had less fruit fly last season with this bait.

  9. Hello everyone!

    Thanks Gail. : - )

    Cherrie, yes rub it all over the animal, the insects must come in
    contact with it for it to work.

    Hi Marilyn. I thought about you as I was getting ready for bed last
    night. I wondered why you hadn't posted for a couple of days and hoped
    you were ok. I'm pleased to see you here today.

    Donetta, I use bicarb the same way Marilyn does. It's really good.

    Rhonda, we don't get fire ants here, love so I can't tell you if it
    would work or not. I would try borax or DE on them. As Ottermom said,
    it's worth a try.

    Anon, thank you!

    Donna,thanks. I gave up writing for the lovely people at Warm Earth
    when I had to concentrate more on my book. I hope to do more work for
    them in the future. Thanks for that advice. I'll let you know how we go.

  10. We sometimes have to off a nest of yellow jackets. We don't like to; they seem to be decent predators, but they get vicious in August.

    When you have located the hole in the ground, upturn a glass bowl over it (at night when they are at rest) and pack earth around the edges for a seal. They see daylight the next day, but can't seem to figure out how to dig out, because the light tells them they're not blocked up. Or something. Anyway, in our experience they starve out.

  11. Thank you for the great information. It may come in handy some day.

  12. Just catching up on the posts and thanks for the information on the DE - will now look around for a source locally. Have just discovered it is great to read the comments regularly as well as your daily posts. My DH has warmly embraced your blog as well after I shared a recent posting with him - you focus on many of the issues we are currently highlighting and trying to adopt in our lifestyle. Bought some cotton yesterday (couldn't find the Lion brand in our local Spotlight but found another 100% cotton) and have started on my first washcloth - might even get my Mum some cotton and get her knitting again too!

  13. THank You, Thank You, Thank You for your tips with cockroaches. What a perfect solution! I already have it in the cupboard for laundry powder making!!


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