My Home

How To Keep Your Home Pest Free Using These 6 Simple Tips

While many of us are nature lovers, household pests such as cockroaches, ants, or fleas are certainly one aspect of nature we don’t want or need when within the comfort of our own home. As your grandma used to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which means that the most important step in pest management is keeping pests from accessing your home in the first place. In this article we will share with you six tips you can use to turn your home into a Pest Fort Knox, as well as some bonus tips at the end to get rid of the pests that have already become your housemates.

 

  1. Get thresholds or door sweeps at the bottom of all your exterior doors. Check the gap underneath the doors by lying down on the floor and seeing how much light filters under the doors. Insects are small so any gap that is even 1/16 of an inch is sufficient for them to gain entry. Give careful attention to the bottom corners of the doors as that is a common point of entry. Use caulk (refer to Tip 3) at the bottom edges and sides of the door thresholds to keep out insects. If you have a garage, fit the doors with a bottom rubber seal. Sliding glass door? Line the bottom track with foam weather stripping.
  1. Check your utility openings, meaning places where pipes, wires, cables enter as well vents, as these are common entry points. Plug the smaller openings with caulk and the larger ones with steel wool.
  1. Use caulk for any cracks you find around your doors, windows, etc. When choosing your caulk, use a high quality silicon or an acrylic latex. Silicon caulks are more flexible however latex caulks are easier to clean up (just use water) and you can also paint over them. Home design tip: Use caulks that are clear when dried instead of the pigmented ones so your careless mistakes are less noticeable. Other than choosing a good caulk, you also want to get a high quality caulking gun; features that a good gun would have would be a ‘back off trigger’ to stop the caulk flow, as well as a built-in ‘knife’ to cut the tip from new caulk tubes and a nail to pierce the internal seal. Make sure you clean all the cracks and crevices prior to applying the caulk.
  1. Do you have any gaps or tears in your door and window screens? Time to repair them as this is how insects enter.
  1. For crawl space vents, attic vents, and roof vents, install wire mesh (also known as hardware cloth). Get the quarter inch ones and make sure you wear protective hand wear when handling and cutting wire mesh as the edges are extremely sharp.
  1. You can also consider treating the exterior of your house with insecticides. This is not as effective as the sealing and plugging tips we shared above, however we also understand that total sealing is a very tedious and time consuming process. You can find exterior house treatments that have insecticides as an alternative to comprehensive sealing, be aware that many of these are chemical pesticides.

 cockroach dead on borax powder

Bonus Tips

Now that you know how to strengthen the walls of your home against the invading horde, here are two highly effective ways to kill your current unwanted houseguests. Note: These methods are not effective against mothers-in-law.

  1. Diatomaceous Earth – This is a natural silica precipitate that is found in our earth’s sediment layers. It is the fossilized remains of diatoms, which were single-celled organisms that lived in our oceans millions of years ago. This tiny silica particles, which are completely organic and non-toxic, slice into the waxy exoskeletons of the insects and lodge in their pores, and begins draining the lipids and oils from within the insect, causing death by dehydration, usually within 2 days. Sprinkle the earth in a thin layer in areas where you think your insect guests traverse; again, make sure the layer is thin so that the insects don’t walk around it instead. You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth in your garden.
  1. Boric Acid – Known by the generic household name of Borax, this is a slow acting poison for insects although it is fairly harmless to humans (a mixture of Borax and soap can even be used to make ‘Borax slime’ a popular science activity for kids). Because it is a poison, it has a force multiplier effect, and is particularly effective against roaches which eat their dead. Check out this article on killing roaches for more great tips on how to eliminate roaches at home in under a week. Use in a similar method to diatomaceous earth, except keep its use indoors and avoid food preparation surfaces.
My Animals

Types Of Chicken Coops You Can Try Building In Your Farm

chickensIf you’re reading this article, then it likely means that you are considering or have already decided on becoming what is colloquially known as an ‘urban farmer’ and raise your own backyard chickens. Most likely you started with your own herb and vegetable garden and decided to up your game from there. Or maybe you were simply swayed by those undercover videos of the horrific conditions that livestock endure in factory farms. Or maybe you’re doing this simply for health reasons and you would rather have most of your food be completely organic as well as antibiotic and growth hormone free.

Whatever your reason for deciding to raise backyard chickens, you’re going to need to build or buy a chicken coop to house said chickens. If you are wondering how to build your own chicken coop, take a look at this DIY chicken coop building guide. Before jumping at the first chicken coop you see, you will need to understand that not all chicken coops are created equal and that there are in fact several types of chicken coops, each with their own particular advantages and disadvantages. In today’s article, we will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the 4 main types of chicken coops.

 

Chicken Tractor

A chicken tractor has nothing to do with an actual tractor at all; it is in fact a small, portable, and bottomless chicken coop. It’s called a tractor because it can be used to put the chickens to work, work meaning fertilizing your yard or garden.

Advantages: A chicken tractor is very easy to use, build, and acquire. Due to its small size and lightweight nature, it is also a very convenient option. You can move it around your yard easily to fertilize different parts or for different foraging options for your chickens. You can use it as permanent housing or as temporary shelter for day jobs.

Disadvantages: Due to its small size it can only house a small amount of chickens, especially if it’s being used as their permanent housing. If you only use it on a temporary basis however, then you can fit more chickens in there.

 

Pastured Poultry Pen

This is simply a larger chicken tractor, usually measuring about 10 x 10 x 2 feet. These pens are designed to be moved about once per day to provide the chickens with fresh grass.

Advantages: This is an easy and budget-friendly way to start a larger flock. It is also heavier and large enough to withstand wind and provide protection from predators. While difficult, it can be moved by one person and can easily be scaled by simply building more. Its uses are also versatile; you can use it as permanent housing for a small flock, raising meat chickens, young laying chickens, or mother hens with chicks.

Disadvantages: If you have a larger number of chickens, they can easily decimate the ground within a single day. Also, even though it can be moved by one person, that person will have to be pretty strong so know your own physical limitations.

 

Mobile Chicken Coops

While the above two types or coops are also mobile, this chicken coop is not bottomless and usually comes with tires attached at the bottom to allow easy moving. Mobile chicken coops can vary greatly in size meaning that while the smaller ones can be moved by hand, the larger ones will probably be have to be hooked up to a vehicle of some sort.

Advantages: Like most mobile coops, chickens get access to fresh food every time it is moved. And depending on your climate you can keep moving the coop so it’s not too windy, for better sunlight exposure or for more shade.

Disadvantages: As mentioned, larger mobile coops cannot be moved by hand so it can be inconvenient.

 

Traditional Chicken Coop

This is the traditional chicken coop with an attached run that many people have and what usually comes to mind when people think of chicken coops.

Advantages: If you do not have a particularly large backyard, there is no point in having a mobile chicken coop. The static coop also has the potential for the most accessories such as roosting perches, hanging feeders, automatic water dispensers, etc. for maximum comfort for the chickens and more convenience for you. This design is also the best for protection against predators.

Disadvantages: While accessories can make things more convenient, the static coop means the owner will have to clean it regularly as the manure will not naturally fall on the grass and fertilize it. Further, if you leave your chicken run bare, which is most often the case, it is only a matter of time before the vegetation is gone and the soil is contaminated from excess manure.

My Musings

My Very First Post

rooster

Hello everybody, a very warm welcome to my blog. This is my first post on my first blog, so bear with me if I sound a little odd. I started this blog to record down my farm to plate journey in our beautiful country, Ireland. All these years, I have been eating my food mindlessly, not knowing where it came from, who grows it, how has it been grown, how has it been killed, etc. All that mattered was that it was yummy, fast and convenient. However, my girlfriend has recently taken an interest in knowing how her food gets to her plate and along the way, she has influenced me too!

I now care and want to find out everything I can about my food source. I have also started rearing my own chickens so that I can have fresh eggs every other day. I have not yet eaten any of my chickens, however I may probably do so once there’s more of them. Knowing where my food comes from is very important to me and let me tell you this, eggs have never tasted so good before! My chickens make the best eggs but that’s probably because I feed them only nutritious grains and none of that pellet crap.