And the Scams Go On

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 12 Mar 2019, 16:56

I heard about Diotomacious Earth in an unusual situation that has nothing to do with filtering. My wife's brother-in-law owns a few buildings in which he rents out apartments. He's always doing some kind of maintenance and is the go-to guy when you can't figure out how to do something. We got to talking about bed bugs one day. He claims they are impossible to get rid of once there is an infestation. He has tried a few things when the need arose but only one method seems to be effective. He claims that if you sprinkle Diotomacious Earth around the the baseboard and trim in your house, that will get rid of the bugs. The theory is the earth clogs up their legs and they can't move around freely, at which point they die off. Eventually the whole population can be exterminated that way.

Fortunately I never had to test out his theory. I'd not know where to buy Diotomacious Earth anyway. :grin:

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 13 Mar 2019, 11:00

DE is a minuscule crystalline substance, large enough it won't hurt us, but small enough it will cut up the veins inside larger insects, like roaches, don't know about bedbugs though, and also as you pointed out, coats their sticky feet so they cannot climb or in some cases even move very well, so they die off.
You can buy DE at any place that sells swimming pool supplies, it usually just says swimming pool filter powder on the box, until you look at the ingredients list. Should be 100% DE.

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 13 Mar 2019, 13:38

Hopefully I'll never need to use DE for the purpose my wife's brother-in-law does. I did have a notion, however, to get some and put it along the doors and windows to keep the spiders out. We don't really have a lot of them in the house, but just one is too many for me. LOL Not sure it would be the same deterrent as it is for bedbugs, but I do know it would keep ants out for sure. Ants rely on a chem trail to navigate and I'm certain the DE would absorb it and confuse the hell out of them even if they managed to plow thought it.

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 14 Mar 2019, 11:54

I use White LIthium Grease that smells to high heaven in three wide bands around the poles my hummingbird feeders are on.
Those crazy ants will sacrifice themselves to build a bridge over the three bands in order to get to the feeders.

The only thing I've found that really works to keep ants off the feeders is to buy a cheap dime store basketball and cut it in half, them drive the mounting pole through it and slide it up so it's a little ways under the feeder.
This also doubles as a bird waterer too.
The cheap basketballs are limber enough you can turn them inside out on the pole to clean them.
I hold them in place with silicone glue top and bottom of the hole I made.

I've tried DE outside and it doesn't seem to do any good once it gets damp from the dew.

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 14 Mar 2019, 12:53

That's a pretty clever trick with the inverted basketball. I don't see how that keeps the ants out of the feeder if they are clever enough to bridge over the moat you build ... unless you are coating the half sphere with the lithium grease. I haven't been feeding any birds down here, but when I did many years ago the squirrels were more of a problem than the ants. I don't really mind feeding the squirrels, but they are hungry little critters and eat a LOT of bird food. They are one reason I stopped doing it. There seems to be a healthy population of humming birds around this house. I'd like to get a feeder for them but I understand it has to be hanging. I don't have a good place to hang it from other than then underside of my deck. That would feed the birds, but I'd not have the pleasure of seeing them chow down. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 15 Mar 2019, 11:39

Two of my hummingbird feeders are pole mounted. One of those is a garden pole designed for holding a hanging plant.

Ants don't usually swim across water, and the basketball was kept filled with water for the birds to drink.

I didn't bring it with me when I moved south because my neighbor asked if they could have it.
But I made a super duper bird feeder that allowed for birds of all sizes to get to their favorite foods, and the squirrels could dine on the larger stuff on the top, along with some larger birds.

To picture it, think of a Pagoda turned upside down, well sorta.
This might work, think of a Frisbee.
At the very top was a large 14" diameter Frisbee with an array of 3/8" holes drilled near the center.
This sat on top of a ten inch high 2-1/4 sq. mesh cylinder 10" in diameter.
The next assembly was like the first, except the Frisbee was 12" in diameter with 1/4 inch holes.
It sat on an eight inch high 1-3/4 sq. mesh cylinder 8" in diameter.
The assembly below that was a 10" Frisbee with 3/16" holes, and it sat on a 6" 1-1/4 mesh cylinder.
At the very bottom was another 8" Frisbee with only tiny 1/16" holes for water drainage.

I poured the seed mixture in the top Frisbee, only the large peanuts, corn, peppers, and meal pellets stayed up there.
Bird activity would cause the smaller seeds to fall through to the tray below. Then again to the tray below that.
The smallest seeds and thistle would eventually end up in the bottom tray.
I have a parrot, gave the cockatoo away, so what the parrot does not eat gets added to the top tray of the bird feeder also. So this way the squirrels have something to eat, but cannot get to the smaller seeds for the other birds.
BlueJays and Blackbirds are too big to fit inside the top mesh, where the cardinals can enter with ease.
Below that is where the smaller birds can get in, and the very bottom is for the tiny finches.
This way there is something for all, and the smaller seed is protected from the larger birds.

Now the one I had back home as mentioned above, also had a plastic snow sled over the top, about a foot up to keep rain out. The one I have down here is not as fancy, one less tier, and made using the three common sizes of chicken wire. No where near as strong or as fancy as the one made using welded wire fabric like I had back home.

I only put out about 10 to 12 ounces of seeds per day, plus whatever was left over from the parrot.
It is my early morning ritual as I walk up to the office each day.
I also bring the crust off my bread and toss it on the ground for the few rabbits and turtles that hang around.

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 15 Mar 2019, 14:56

You gave new meaning to the "Trickle Down" theory of economics. LOL It seems as if you could have applied for a 501 c 3 tax exempt organization rating for running a conservancy in your back yard. :grin: No doubt the local critters appreciated your generosity to your neighbor too. They didn't have to go very far to look for a new food pantry when you left town.

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 16 Mar 2019, 12:04

I think I mentioned my next door neighbor down here before. She passed away now, and her walk-in gazebo feeder has gone to pot. It was originally for people, basically an octagonal pavilion with a roof. She covered the outside with the large hole chicken wire to keep the squirrels and large birds away from her feeders inside. But then under what used to be the seats, she also had feed trays for the larger birds and critters, and no screening down that low.
Outside the screening, and under the roof she hung hummingbird feeders. I was jealous of the number of hummingbirds hers attracted. But the number that visit my feeders has gone up considerably also, and in leaps and bounds after she passed away.
I also have rabbits and turtles who have large families in my backyard. Not as many turtles as we used to have though, since the large pile of tree trunks and branches has almost completely decomposed. I still add some back there but not enough to keep them happy I guess. Now, since I can't trim like I used to, we are getting more snakes, yuck.

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 17 Mar 2019, 08:22

Don't know what it is about snakes, but few people take a liking to them. I can tolerate them at a safe distance, but my wife will run away until they are out of sight. We only had a few grass snakes up north and so far I've not seen any down here in O'Fallon. I guess they don't like marshy clay soil or something. We do have a single rabbit that likes to nest under one of our baby fir trees. I think she had a litter last year but I've not seen more than that one rabbit hopping to and fro. This morning I've seen a few birds on my deck. They are indigenous to this area and look like sparrows, but they are something else. Seeing them on my deck means they are building a subdivision underneath in the rafters. I hate when they do that, but hesitate to disturb the nests. And no, I won't feed the little homesteaders either.

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 17 Mar 2019, 11:18

I had a big problem with squirrels at my Creve Coeur home. They would chew around the soffit vents until they could get in the attic, and you wouldn't believe the damage they did up there, or the wiring they chewed up.

My mom used to carry a little garden snake in her pocket when she was young, said it was to scare the boys away, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by yogi » 17 Mar 2019, 19:39

Somebody I met a while ago told me they hang rubber snakes around their garden to keep the critters away, especially birds. It's not just any rubber snake either. I forgot where they bought the ones that worked, but I'm thinking it was Toys-R-Us. I guess birds can tell fake snakes from real ones most of the time.

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Kellemora
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Re: And the Scams Go On

Post by Kellemora » 18 Mar 2019, 12:25

We used Plastic Owls, but they had to have real glass eyes, not painted plastic eyes.
In other words, they were not the decorative kind, but the functional kind who's head could move a little in the wind, and they really did look real, even up close.
If a plastic owl was 5 bucks, then these functional kind were 35 to 55 bucks, depending on quality.
They didn't work to well for keeping rats out of the feed room though, hi hi.
The rubber snakes didn't work to well either.
But the big ole Rat Traps worked wonders, but a chore to keep them emptied and reset.
Couldn't use bait traps because of the livestock and other good critters.

We also had both gray and brown squirrels. The gray squirrels were the equivalent of rats, as far as the feed bins went, but the brown squirrels never bothered much around the farm.

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