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16

Ants in your compost heap are not a problem. The ants can be a benefit by helping cut heap material in tiny pieces, making tunnels and spreading fungi. However, if your heap is their home (did you find ant eggs in your heap?) that usually means that the heap is not functioning properly. It may not be wet enough or not heat up properly. If you want the ants ...


15

Lidded bins tend to have this problem because they run hotter than traditional heaps and seem to be covered because of the lid. Do not underestimate the value of adding newspaper and card to the bin on a regular basis - every time you add anything else in fact. Often times the layers of dry should be as frequent and slightly thicker than the layers of moist (...


15

Compost heaps tend to have a lot of bugs. Most of them are good, they help in the decomposition process. However, when there are too many of one specific type you might want to take measures. The appropriate measures depend on the type of bug that is dominant. Most often the heap is too wet (damp is good, soggy is not), too compact and/or has not enough ...


13

You should figure out why you have so many flies in the first place. If they are reproducing indoors, addressing that source would be far more effective than plants. If they are coming in from the outside, plants might not be your answer either. They are likely to "lure in" as many new flies as they eat, giving you no net benefit. But if you are bent on ...


12

Since the food source that is attracting the rats is the food store next to you, you should talk with the owners of the store about taking one or more of the following measures: Make sure the rats cannot access any food or leftovers. This may be hard to do as rats can eat their way through various materials. Storing all food and garbage in metal containers ...


10

I know people who control slugs with toads and ducks. I once read an account of Britons using hedgehogs that were sort of a cross between wild and pets. You can make your garden friendly to toads by eliminating pesticide use, providing shelter such as broken terracotta half-pots and a water source like a small pond. If you can keep ducks as pets or ...


8

I took over a garden in an old house, which was completely infested with slugs, my solution was many-fold. I tried to remove the places for them to hide during the day, this certainly worked, but the population then settled at a reduced (but still there) level. It was really only when I found a hedge-hog on the road outside my house one winter, and ...


8

Outdoors Snakes and owls are the rat's natural predators out doors. If you can encourage their population in or near your yard you will decrease the rat population. Any bird of prey will hunt rats but Owls especially because they are nocturnal so they are most active when the rat is. Rodents are not fond of the smell of mint or citronella. Planting these ...


7

I know this isn't the answer you're hoping for, but since you do mention it toward the bottom of your question, I think it's still on-topic; yes, you would (probably) be more sustainable to just buy organic tomatoes at the market. Inefficiency of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) This is a recurring theme I see a lot: people mistaking sustainability for DIY. The two ...


7

You cannot possibly keep up with the fly population with carnivorous plants. Your typical venus flytrap will handle 2-3 flies a month. I raised carnivorous plants as a kid. Managed to get my flytraps to bloom and produce seed. In fall I would catch 30-40 flies, and freeze them for winter use. HI is correct. Some of the largest ones could handle a fly,...


6

Make up a batch of bone sauce and apply it to your tree trunks: The first pot is buried in moist soil leaving an inch or two above ground. The second, upper, pot if filled with bones and a screen goes between the two pots. Clay seals the pots. A small fire is burned on top of the pots for about two hours. Then the wood is pulled away and the pots are ...


6

You could try slug nematodes. These are parasites of slugs that can kill them. They occur normally in the soil, but their numbers are normally in balance with the slug population. The trick is to increase the number of nematodes to the point where the slug population collapses. The problem is that this causes the netmatodes' source of food to vanish, so the ...


6

You should try boric acid. Yes, it is an acid, but it is safe enough to be used as an eye wash for medical purposes. It is also toxic to ants and safe to use around the kitchen. I'm not sure if you consider it sustainable or not, but mixed with powdered salt or sugar, it gets rid of ants quite effectively. I'm not quite clear on what you mean about non-...


6

Lots of ideas.. Dark Side Diatomaceous Earth (Fossilized organisms so small it scratches them up, inside and out) Build a hot compost pile on top of it (If it can get rid of Comfrey, ants don't stand a chance) Entomopathogenic Fungi (but it requires you to morph the fungal Escovopsis culture into a non-sporulating form yourself) Be careful what you wish ...


6

Compost probably won't work, as you need something that emits carbon dioxide. Something starchy (eg potato, flour), chopped into small pieces, and mixed with some yeast and water may still work as well as sugar. However, as @THelper says in his comment directly against the question, the swamp is probably the wrong place to put a trap to get an effective ...


6

Methods There are several methods of livestock disposal to choose from, each has its own benefits and drawbacks. While there may be no correct answer for everyone, there are better approaches - especially as we factor in sustainability. Inspiration for this Q&A layout is drawn primarily from Amundson (2013). While this book concerns husbandry (see ...


6

My wife and I have about 100 free-ranging chickens. For bug control, they are a mixed blessing. Chickens eat just about any kind of insect they can find, excepting small ants, and thank goodness they don't appear to eat bees. But they also eat frogs and lizards, which also eat insects. We try to create environments where the frogs and lizards can hide ...


5

Install mosquito nets in your windows and/or doors. This can be done very low-tech of course. (I.e. tape a net to your window.) But on the high-tech end, houses in Japan have nets in every window and most doors. Depending on the type of window, different models can be installed. Frames that open like a window, frames that open like a sliding door, etc. I ...


5

To the extent you can cultivate predators (certain birds, frogs, etc), you will have a wonderful, on-going, biological control system that will keep them under control. For the cockroaches problem I mentioned before I have started trying to cultivate frogs and lizards around the perimeter of the house. The same should work with slugs. This means focusing ...


5

From your link it seems likely that you're seeing a net increase in mosquitoes: dense populations can be useful in reducing mosquito problems I take that to mean that you need a lot of dragonflies to see a small reduction in mosquito population. My experience is that having a vigorous frog population eliminated mosquito larvae from the ponds the frogs ...


5

At best, the pond is a local source of mosquitoes. Predators such as dragonflies can only achieve a balance: if the mosquito numbers decline, so will the dragonflies. Frogs If the pond cannot be covered or drained, I would encourage you to consider frogs, as Mσᶎ suggested. Worldwide, frogs are in decline, so introducing local species to the pond would seem ...


4

Surely the most natural solution would be for the human population to reduce the deer population by eating them.


4

Spray the plants with soapy water; a natural vegetable-based soap will work fine (no more than about a tablespoon per 2 liters of water). Make sure to spray the undersides of the leaves too. However, do first check for ladybugs or other aphid predators; if there are any such predators present, there is no need to spray at all (and the soap would kill them ...


4

If you can maintain good hygiene in the kitchen (so there's little they can eat in there that will help them breed) then glue traps may be effective enough to keep the population low. I keep a couple of them on the top of the kitchen cupboards, and the cockroach population seems to be under control despite using no sprays whatsoever.


4

The comments in this discussion looked helpful, including discussion of why standard ant control techniques don't work with leaf cutter ants. http://crphotos.blogspot.com/2009/05/leaf-cutter-ants-and-biological.html Unfortunately the link that is referenced in the comments no longer works directly. It looks like the resource has been moved to the ...


4

Not close to any conventional methods, but might help. Setup a audio speaker system that can play a sound of the animal which foxes in your region are afraid of (eagles, coyotes, wolves etc). Let this system automatically play the noise periodically (every 30 mins between mid night and moning). Or if you could some how detect motion using a webcamera/...


4

I would suggest a combination of methods to control the mosquitoes. The Lethal ovitrap is one approach, but if we look at the mosquito life cycle, we see multiple points of attack. Adult breeding. Government and Aid Agencies breed and release huge numbers of sterile male mosquitoes to interrupt breeding in some parts of the world. I assume that such an ...


4

My position on mosquitos is that they are welcome to live where they belong, and to serve their purpose there. I just don't want them biting me. Therefore I would not try to kill them in the swamp. I would instead try to: keep them out of the guesthouse keep them away from guests if they do get inside the guesthouse keep them away from guests in the ...


4

Possums are not farmed in New Zealand or in Australia. They're an Australian native, where most species are protected. The brushtail possum that's a major pest species in New Zealand is only minimally protected in Australia as it's very common. To the best of my knowledge there is no possum real industry in Australia, just some experimental outlets. So ...


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