What do you get when you mix equal amounts of water and cider vinegar in a jar with one or two drops of dishwashing soap?
According to a friend of ours, you get a trap for fruit flies. At this time of the year, along with all the fresh fruits and vegetables from our gardens also come those annoying and tiny fruit flies that buzz around our products.
This mixture attracts them to the essence of cider vinegar and dishwashing soap removes the tension from the surface of the water so that when they fall into the bottle they sink directly into the bottom. She says it works great!
An effective Hillbilly mouse trap can be made by filling a 5-gallon bucket a couple of inches from the top with water, smearing peanut butter on the top edge of the bucket or pouring grain or feed for cattle to float on the water, then supporting a board at an angle from the floor to the top of the bucket for a ramp.
Mice looking for an easy meal will try to hang on the edge to get peanut butter or lean over the water to eat a floating food and finally end up in the drink.
After hearing from my brother last night about everything that has to happen to protect his garden from deer and other creatures where he lives in the deep woods of southern Ohio, I referred to a book by the Master Gardener of the United States Jerry Baker, entitled "Bug Off," in which he presents bushels full of home remedies to keep all kinds of creatures, especially raccoons, rabbits and deer, out of the gardens and truck patches.
Raccoons are the bane of the sweetcorn patch. Jerry recommends cornering all electric fans that can be redeemed in garage sales, then using outdoor extension cords, placing them throughout the garden and running them up all night for several nights in a row to dampen the interest of raccoons.
Evidently, raccoons hate the smell of bleach and ammonia, so fill the margarine containers with both liquids and place them among your most vulnerable plants.
As a hunter, I know that raccoons have very sensitive feet and this obstacle uses that weakness against them. Around the perimeter of the garden, place a 3-foot-wide strip of fragments of broken pots, irregular stones, thorny sticks of rose or brambles, wire mesh or anything else sharp or prickly and the raccoons refuse to cross it. This requires more work but will last longer.
Rabbits can devour a patch of vegetables overnight. Much of Jerry's advice to deter rabbits focuses on fencing fences and making their garden or garden less attractive by removing the nearby roof, growing rabbits don't like them and keep them away from the garden with plants that They can't resist. He, however, has a couple of novel suggestions.
The first is a spray that he calls Hot Bite Spray, made with cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, ammonia and baby shampoo. He guarantees that any bug that knows this will never come back for a second bite (contact me for the formula and instructions).
The other suggestion is to buy a ferret or make friends with someone who owns a ferret and offer to take care of children.
Recently, someone asked me how to keep deer away from their grapes and berries, and a friend of mine in Minnesota, who runs a full-time animal control business, recommends an electric fence around the waist around the patch. Jerry Baker takes that one step further and says to rub the fence with peanut butter. The smell of peanut butter will make it smell or lick it, which will cause a blow to the tongue or tongue, and will never come back.
Instead of washing or throwing your husband's old, smelly socks and sneakers, hang them around the patch of your truck. Jerry calls this a classic trick of chasing deer.
The trappers use all kinds of odors and odors from animals, and Jerry says that the urine of any major predator will send the deer running. Coyote urine is available, and you will never notice a little sprayed around your garden, but the deer will surely run away.
These are just some of the newest suggestions that Jerry Baker has to prevent four-legged bugs from wreaking havoc on his products, and this book is one of many he has published with the same kind of homemade suggestions.
Although there really is nothing "crazy" about any of these remedies as indicated by the title, I thought I could get your attention and make you read more, and if you are reading this sentence, I would say it worked!
So eat well while continuing to explore Kansas outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]