Saturday, July 26, 2014

Catnip Stronger Than DEET?

Catnip Stronger Than DEET?

Catnip "ten times stronger than DEET"?  

I see so many claims for "natural," alternative," "green," "organic," bug repellents that just don't work on mosquitoes!  Maybe they don't have many to begin with?  Maybe they have special mosquitoes?  lol  Maybe they want so badly for it to work well so they can claim they know a "natural alternative" that they go into it already deciding "it works great!"  I'd like a natural alternative to icky bug spray as much as the next person, but be realistic; and try these things out without deciding beforehand that they work so well.

I was skeptical but gave it a fair chance.  I whipped up a nice strong batch of Catnip repellent.  I was outside for almost exactly 2 hours and used up 3/4 of the spray bottle and was still getting eaten up by the mosquitoes.  I even had one try to bite my hand that was still wet from just spraying it.  I don't know where all these claims come from about just using this plant or that plant and how they work better than bug spray. 

I think the claim for the Catnip being ten times stronger than DEET is for Catnip oil; but if it's that much stronger, certainly, using freshly blended Catnip, made into a repellent (that people claim works great), should work at least as well as DEET.

The mosquitoes are so bad here this year, and the only way I get relief is by using bug spray with DEET.  I don't like spraying myself with chemicals, but it's better than getting eaten alive and being bit by insects that carry disease that can even kill you.  "..the lesser of two evils."  The only other alternative is to stay inside; and we have so few months with nice weather to get outside, that's no option for me!  :)
I see a lot of claims that even just having certain plants in your yard will repel mosquitoes too, like Peppermint, Catnip, etc., etc., yada, yada, yada.  If that's true, why are so many mosquitoes in my yard; and why are there mosquitoes chewing on my cat while he's chewing on the Catnip in and among the Peppermint plants?  Do I sound harsh?  Just tired of all the claims being thrown around.  :P

Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY Berry/Fruit Picker

DIY Berry/Fruit Picker
Attach a long pole or branch to the bottom.

These are for tree berries and fruit, not ground.

I saw a DIY berry picker out of PVC pipe (see below); and it looked like a good idea, something I could use here to pick June Berries (Sugar Plums) that are high up off of the ground.  Then, I realized that they have to heat the PVC to bend it down, and I thought why not just use the natural curve at the bottom of a plastic bottle and make one that way?

As far as instructions, there isn't much to say about it.  The plastic bottles I used were sturdy and thick, so I had to use tin snips to cut them.  Just cut some V-shaped "fingers" to pull the fruit off.  Put a long pole or branch through the hole at the bottom where the cap is or attach it to the side.
This one turned out pretty good, 
from a vinegar bottle.  It's even big enough 
to pick small fruit with, like small apples. 
It's nice and sturdy.

View from the back.

This was my first attempt with a baby powder bottle.  
It's okay, but I like the vinegar bottle one better.  

Here's the PVC one I was referring to. (source) 

This is a another version they
 have on the same web site, 
with a razor. (source)

You can also use a 2 liter bottle to 
make a larger fruit picker. (source)
(You can put a cloth in the bottom to keep 
the fruit from bruising when it falls in.)

applepicking 002c.jpg
This is what a store-bought fruit 
picker looks like.  You could use wire, 
maybe hangers, and make your own.
Use your imagination.  :)
Hopefully, this gave you a few ideas to make 
your own fruit pickers.  :) 

 Thanks for checking out my blog.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Re-Sealing a Flat Tire (tubeless)

Re-Sealing a Flat Tire (tubeless)
"Bead and Seal"

Don't try this if you don't know what you are doing.  Take the necessary precautions and proceed at your own risk.  ;)  Better to have a professional fix your tire, but it's good information to know in an emergency.

In a nutshell, you spray something like starter fluid, hairspray, or WD-40 into the tire, ignite it, and then put air in the tire right away to keep it sealed.

My friend Bob told me about this, and it worked great!  This was the method I used on my snow-blower tire (hairspray)...

I used hairspray since I didn't have starter fluid, which is what many people use to do this with; but apparently, there are different things you can use.  You can do a search for more information.  I personally wouldn't recommend lighting the spray from the can on fire like the video above.  The tire I sealed was very small, and I used a very long 11-inch match. You can use a blowtorch or something else to give you some distance from the tire.  Better to start with a little spray and have it not seal on the first attempt than to put too much in the first time you try this and have a bigger than necessary reaction.  Obviously, don't try it on or near flammable things.
Most video clips I've seen, they use starter fluid...

This guy used WD-40.  (click here)
(I couldn't get this video on the page for some reason.)

Update:  My friend Bob says "if you ever do that in warm weather, a mixture of about 5 to 1 of water and dish soap will help lubricate the tire bead to get it to seat and seal better."


Tires can be re-sealed with a ratchet strap too or a rope twisted and tightened around the tire.   A couple of video clips for that:

Tire Bead Definition:
Tire bead is the term for the edge of a tire that sits on the wheel. Wheels for automobiles, bicycles, etc. are made with a small slot or groove for the tire bead to sit in. When the tire is properly inflated the air pressure within the tire keeps the bead in this groove. When putting a new tire on a wheel, there is the problem of sealing or setting the bead; the tire will not inflate if the incoming air can escape. Some people spray starter fluid or WD-40 into the tire and then light it to set the bead.

Thanks for checking out my blog post.  
Feel free to leave a comment below.   :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

~Latest Edible Updates~

~Latest Edible Updates~

Canada Mayflower berries in Edible Wild Berries - (click here)

Added to Rose Hips  in the Wild Edibles post - (click here)

Three-Leaf Goldthread/Canker Root on Remedies in the Wild - (click here)


Dock Plants, Dock Seed Flour.. (click here)