Thursday, April 19, 2012

YUCK - What is that in my flour?

Indian Meal Moth - Pantry Pests
Adult Indian Meal Moth
More than likely that gross bug in the flour (or cereal, dried fruit, spice jar, or whole grain) is the larvae of an Indian Meal Moth Plodia interpunctella. The Indian Meal Moth is by far the most common moth that infests food products. This guy is going to show up because it infests food at the market, dried pet food, and even birdseed. While it’s almost inevitable that this pest will find its way into your pantry, there are ways to contain the problem.

Revenge Moth TrapsFirst we can use the moth's own natural instincts against them. When the female is ready to breed, they emit a sex pheromone that is only discernible to the male. These pheromones are synthesized and embedded in lures that we can use at home to attract the male moths. The moth traps have a sticky, non-toxic substance and when the moths fly to the lure – they are caught in the trap. By isolating the males, the reproductive cycle is broken.

The other safe method for eliminating larvae and adult moths is to use food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Food grade Diatomaceous Earth can be placed on top of grains and rice while stored; it can be ‘puffed’ into the corners and along the edges of your kitchen cabinets. DE is an odorless, non-toxic white powder that consists of finely ground fossilized shells. The powder is abrasive to the small cells of an insect and the sharp edges lethally cut through their exoskeleton.

I’ve been using the traps for a long time now and have not had any infestations in our pantry. They are the kind of workers that we all want – silent, ever-vigilant, effective, and inexpensive.

See these and other natural pest control products on our website. Pantry Pests

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Magic of Corn Gluten

Corn Gluten pre-emergent herbicideMother Nature is amazing and corn gluten is one of her better gifts to gardeners! Corn gluten is nature’s weed and feed product. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t have the potential harmful side effects of a chemical. A natural by-product of processed corn, corn gluten is completely harmless to humans, pets, livestock and wildlife.  It is very interesting to note that corn gluten will not harm plants that are established (rooted with true leaves). 

So how can corn gluten help in the garden? Glad you asked…

Corn gluten can be used as a natural pre-emergent – to suppress weeds. Specifically, corn gluten inhibits the seed from germinating by drying it out as it cracks open to sprout. This action stops the development of roots – stopping the growth of the weed.

While its primary use is to stop weeds, corn gluten also has a high nitrogen count: 9-0-0. This nitrogen acts as a fertilizer and helps to green up established plants and lawns. 
Here are some of the weeds that corn gluten effectively controls:

• Barnyard grass
• Bermuda grass
• Crabgrass
• Creeping bentgrass
• Curly Dock
• Dandelions
• Foxtail
• Lambsquarter
• Pigweed
• Plantains
• Purslane
• Redroot Bigweed
• Smart weed

Continued use of corn gluten will actually diminish weed populations from year to year.
Safe, effective and easy to use…what more could you want from a natural herbicide?
Take a look at Orland’s Safe-T-Weed on our website and discover the amazing benefits of corn gluten for yourself.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Enzyme Cleaners – Clean and Green


Is it wrong to love a cleaner? I have recently become fascinated with enzymatic cleaners and I like them so much that I have gotten rid of my old cleaners and plunged headlong into this brave new world.  Here are the signs that you may be a candidate for enzymatic cleaner bliss:
ü      You feel frustrated with expensive products that don’t really work.
ü      The room you’re cleaning smells worse than when you started.
ü      The chemicals have not only made your sink shine but also ate away the grout between your tiles.

I like being amazed, but I like the science even better.  How do enzymatic cleaners work?    Well it’s pretty straightforward.  The enzymes are proteins that catalyze (speed up) a chemical reaction.  An enzyme cleaner works by attaching to the stain, spot or other organic nastiness (pet urine comes to mind).  Once connected to the offending organic matter, the action begins and the enzyme begins to break down the material. 

Enzymes basically break organic material into its basic components which are then ‘recycled’ by the planet.  Stains are gone, odors are gone – and you are left with a clean and sweet smelling environment.  Best of all, enzyme cleaners are not harmful to humans, pets, or aquatic life.

Specific enzymes break down different families of organics:
  • Amylase enzymes break down starch-based stains.
  • Lipolase enzymes break down fat-based stains.
  • Protease enzymes break down protein based stains.
 Here is a short list of ways our staff has used this amazing product:

1.      Clean out slow or clogged drains – REALLY!
2.      Clean up pet stains – including urine and blood.
3.      Remove skunk odor from clothes and skin and fur.
4.      Remove soap scum and gunk from tubs, showers, and sinks.
5.      Mopping floors.
6.      Cleaning out kennels and stalls.
7.      Remove wine stains.
8.      Clean up and kill mold and mildew.
9.      Cleaning stainless steel appliances – inside and out.

The enzymatic cleaner that we carry is Tweetmint by SafeSolutions.  I recently lent my bottle of Tweetmint to my college aged son and apparently it worked so well that I am not getting the bottle back.  We also offer EarthEnzymes Drain Opener. This product is specifically formulated to clear clogged drains without harsh chemicals.