Welcome to Emergency Essentials!

Catalog Request

Gardening

  • Top 15 Pest Control Methods that are Natural and Effective

    For some time now, many people have sent me messages through email and Facebook asking how to stay pest free during summer. So I decided it was high time that I gave those people some answers.

    First off, a simple way to keep pests away is not to invite them to your living space. Most of these annoying pests need food and water for survival. So, maintain a clean kitchen, clear out the garbage frequently, and store food and drinks in airtight containers. These are a few tips on how to keep out troublesome insects and pests. Another way to avoid bug problems is by draining stagnated water and sealing off small cracks and holes. Also, NYCity Pest Control has a guide that has many homemade remedies to stay pest free.

    If the pests find their way in even after keeping the area clean, here are 15 natural remedies that you can follow to destroy the pests that trouble you.

     

    1. Ants

    Ants

    The pest that I’ve had the most trouble dealing with was ANTS! For such tiny creatures……boy they cause a lot of problems! Here are some tips that will help you to keep them away from your home as well as from picnic spots.

     

    • CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

    The kitchen counters must be free of crumbs and sticky spots at all time. Always close the sugar and honey jar after using it. Wiping the surfaces will save your home from pest attacks.

     

    • Cucumber

    Place cucumber slices around the kitchen or at the ant’s entry points. Many ants dislike the smell of cucumber.

     

    • Mint

    Mint Leaves

    Place a few mint tea bags in the areas where the ants are active.

     

    • Stop their entry

    Completely search the area and find out where these ants are coming. Cayenne pepper, citrus oil (it can also be soaked in a string piece), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds– place any one of the items in a small line near the entry points so that ants cannot cross.

     

    It is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton which is in talc-like format. If you sprinkle this powder on the ants, it will absorb the lipids from their exoskeleton (outer layer) and cause severe dehydration.

     

    1. Mosquitoes

    Mozzy

    • Block them

    Early morning and evening are the time when mosquitoes are the most active. They seek areas of still air as they are held back by the breeze. So always close the windows and doors that are opposite to the breeze.

     

    • Eliminate water

    By removing the standing water around your home, you can cut the breeding sources of the mosquitoes. Make sure to change birdbaths, wading pools and pet’s bowls twice a week. Clean the gutters in your house and keep them well-drained.

     

    • Candle

    Candle

    By mixing essential oils and melted wax you can make your candle to repel flies. Always remember to use ½-1 ounce of essential oils for 1 pound of wax. You can make the candles with any one of the following mixes.

     

    Mix 1-(Spicy)

    5 parts Citronella

    5 parts Lavender

    5 parts Clove

     

    Mix 2-(Bright)

    5 parts Citronella

    5 parts Lavender

    5 parts Peppermint

     

    Mix3-(Green)

    10 parts Citronella

    10 parts Cedarwood

    5 parts Eucalyptus

    5 parts Rosemary

     

    1. Flies

    Fly

    Make small sachets out of cheesecloth and fill them with crushed mint, bay leaf, clove or eucalyptus. Place these sachets around the house to repel flies.

     

    • Basil

    Plant basil in containers and keep them near doorways. Flies will stay far away from the area. While going for picnics, you can take a bunch of these leaves with you. You can also keep away mosquitoes by using these leaves.

     

    • Eucalyptus oil

    Oil

     

    To make a fly-free zone, dip some eucalyptus oil in a small cloth or rag and place it in the areas that are plagued by flies.

     

    1. Spiders
    • Peppermint

    Peppermint Plant

    Add a few drops of peppermint oil and a squirt of liquid nitrogen into a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture around doors, windows, lawns, cobwebs and in any other place where spiders lurk around. Peppermint gives a pleasant aroma, and it is not harmful to children and pets.

     

    In addition to peppermint oil, they don’t like the taste of citrus oil that contains lemon, lime, tangerine and wild orange in it. This oil will not kill the spiders, but they will avoid the places that taste of citrus. Purchase real essential oils and not the synthetic version.

     

    • Eliminate hiding places

    Spiders are mostly seen in dark and messy places. So keep away debris, wood piles, and lush plants away from the sides of the house. They can be repelled if they have fewer places to hide.

     

    An all-purpose homemade bug spray

    • 8 oz apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka
    • 45 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
    • 15 drops Lemon or Wild Orange Essential Oil

    Mix all these ingredients in a spray bottle and apply it generously. It will last 2-3 months if it is stored in the fridge.

     

    What are the pest control practices that you follow?

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner

  • Greywater Can Save Water

    Let’s face it. Most of us can’t do much of anything about where we get our municipal water.

    However, we can do quite a bit about how much we use.

    By recycling some of the water used in their homes, called greywater, some homeowners in north-central California cut their water use by an average of 26 percent, according to a 2013 study by Greywater Action.

    Greywater Washing MachineGreywater is used water from bathroom sinks, tubs and washing machines. One writer described it as gently used. Greywater recycling systems collect at least some of this water for landscape irrigation or flushing the toilet.

    Collection is as simple as sticking a bucket in the shower or as complex as the NEXtreater, an installed system that washes greywater, sends it through two filters and a UV light and stores it so it comes out looking and smelling like tap water.

    The three most common types of greywater collections systems are laundry-to-landscape, branched drain, and pumped, according to Greywater Action.

    Laundry-to-landscape is the easiest and least expensive. In fact, plans and directions are free online. It simply takes water from the washing machine and, using the washing machine pump, sends it outside. Branched drain also takes water from sinks and showers and does the same thing. Both go out to a mulch basin, basically a hole in the ground filled with wood chips, and out to plants.

    A pump system takes greywater, stores it in a tank and pumps it to where you want it.

    Greywater pipes are separate from pipes that go to sewage.

    Greywater Action’s study found that laundry-to-landscape systems can cost $250 to $2,000, depending on installation and permit costs (in some states, no permit is necessary). Branched drain systems cost from $400 to $3,000, pumped systems cost $600 to $3,000 and high-tech systems like the NEXtreater that filter and clean water can cost $5,000 to $10,000.

    Homes can be retrofitted for greywater recycling, said Ralph Petroff, Executive chairman of Nexus eWater, the company that makes the NEXtreater.

    “We think that, nationally, maybe 50 percent of the homes could do a full-house gray-water retrofit relatively inexpensively, and the other 50 percent would be either challenging or you could do a partial retrofit,” he said in an interview with Water Deeply.

    Greywater can’t be used for everything, according to greywateraction.org.

    Greywater Drip IrrigationFor example, the water shouldn’t touch the edible parts of garden plants. Therefore, a drip irrigation system is necessary and greywater isn’t for root crops like carrots.

    Greywater should not pool or create runoff and, unless it’s a high tech system, should be used the day it’s produced so it doesn’t start to stink. It shouldn’t be touched or ingested. A system needs valves so greywater can’t backwash into regular water.

    Normal laundry detergent won’t work with greywater either. It contains salts and boron that accumulate in soil. A story in Mother Earth News said boron levels in detergent should be below 0.1 mg per liter and sodium below 40 mg per liter, which is about as much as in some tap water. Detergent shouldn’t contain bleach. Most bath products are OK because they’re used in such small amounts, according to Mother Earth News.

    Greywater codes differ between states. Look for them in the state’s plumbing codes in its building department or in its environmental health department, Laura Allen wrote in “The Water Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape.”

    “Florida bans outdoor greywater use but allows it for flushing toilets. Georgia allows you to carry greywater in buckets to the plants, but you can’t get a permit to build a simple greywater irrigation system. Washington State’s code allows very small systems built without a permit (following performance guidelines), but all other systems have quite stringent requirements. Oregon requires an annual permit fee,” Allen wrote.

    Even though greywater can come with difficulty, using it could produce extraordinary water savings, according to waternow.com.

    “If just 10 percent of California’s 12 million+ households captured and reused greywater, the state could save 373,000 acre-feet annually. Just for comparison: The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir holds about 300,000 acre-feet. The proposed expansion of Shasta Reservoir would yield about 76,000 acre-feet annually,” according to its California Graywater Factsheet.

     

    How are you recycling your water?

     

  • 5 Uses for Rain Water - No Butts About It

    No Rain WaterIf you’re one of the millions living in a drought-stricken area this summer, you’re in for a doozy. The lakes are low, the sprinklers are off (or at least, they should be), and water restrictions are disrupting our casual regard for that precious liquid we call water. We are more aware than ever that we should be taking a more responsible look at how we turn on the tap, run the sprinklers, and even channel the little rain that falls on our yards and rooftops. And so I ask, “What should we be doing, now and in the future, to best use and conserve water?”

    Enter the water butt.

    Rain BarrelWhile doing some research about rain barrels, I was amused to find that our good neighbors across the pond (ie. the United Kingdom) describe them as “water butts.” Now I don’t know why they call them water butts, and I’m not going down that road to the obvious one-liners. But with a very dry summer on fast approach, in barrels or butts, it’s a good time to consider ways to collect every precious raindrop that may fall our way.

    Water butts are actually quite common in the UK, and like barrels, they collect rain from rooftops for future use. But once you have a butt-load (sorry) of water, or your barrel is full…what are you supposed to do with it? Let’s use the UK as an example we all can follow.

    The United Kingdom can be a rainy place, but they are also used to drought on a regular basis. That’s why, for centuries, the Brits have made it a regular practice to capture and use rainwater. By using their heads and their butts (sorry, again), they are able to channel rainwater for variety of different things, many for which we often use fresh tap water, in fact. It’s this blatant disregard for clean tap water, and the precious rain falling around us, that may soon send us up a dry river without a paddle. And so, using those Limies as our example, I give you…

    Five uses for your rain water!

     

    1. Drink It

    I hate to be Captain Obvious, but one of the most important roles water plays is giving us life. However, before you drink it, you’ll want to filter and treat it first. After all, most of that water is coming straight off your roof, which has who-knows-how-much dirt, pollution, and whatever-it-is-that-birds-leave-behind on it. But fear not, for once the water has been treated, it’ll be safe to drink. Boiling, chemical treatment, and water filters are all good methods for making your water drinkable. And you can keep on living.

     

    1. Cook With It

    This is pretty much the same as #1, except this relates to preparing food instead of straight-up drinking it. The same principles apply here. Even though you’re cooking your food, you’ll want to make sure you treat and filter rainwater before use. See the previous option for methods in making your water clean.

     

    1. Water Your Plants

    If you have a garden – flowers, vegetables…weeds – use the contents of your rain barrel to water them. Don’t waste precious potable water on plants that don’t care if it’s filtered or not. Since rain barrel water can become pretty dirty from just sitting there, be sure to avoid watering the tops of your vegetables. This prevents contaminating the edible, above ground portion of the veggie that’s hard to clean. This is especially true for leafy greens. And, as always, make sure you wash your vegetables thoroughly with clean water before eating them.

     

    1. Wash Cars and Windows

    Because rain water is free of calcium, chlorine, and lime, water from your rain barrel is a great option for washing your car. Since it’s soft water, it won’t hurt your car’s paint or damage windows. And, you’ll be saving some of that precious tap water for more practical uses, like drinking.

     

    1. Flush the Toilet

    This might not work as well in areas where rain doesn’t fill up your large rain barrel every week, but in places like Seattle, using your rain barrel to flush your toilet can save a ton on water. Actually, it can save closer to 9 tons of water, per person, per year. And that is when you use high efficiency, low-flow toilets. As it turns out, there are a number of places in Seattle already using this tactic. So if you live in a rainy state, this could be a unique alternative to literally flushing away your good, clean water and can also cut back on your water expenses.

     

    If those ideas don’t suit your fancy, you can always do what I did as a kid; collect pollywogs and keep them in your water barrel. Of course, you’ll soon have a large infestation of toads to deal with (see my future blog about all-natural garden pest control).

    The drought has had a positive impact on how we value and conserve water. If we do more like our English cousins and put tap water where our mouth is, and rainwater where our butt is (last one, I promise), we can help make sure there will be plenty of the precious liquid to go around. No buts about it, rain barrels can be a real life, and water, saver.

     

    What other things do you use your rain water for? Let us know in comments!

     

    Drought Click Bait 2

1-3 of 9

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
Back to Top