Saturday, June 15, 2013

The battles of the seasons

I Am starting a war against the cottonwood borer! 

Last year there was one couple and they near killed a tree in the drought. This year I've seen at least 6 couples. While its been educational to watch them mate and then search for the root system and deposit eggs, I fear for the health of the trees! 

Since I dispise pesticides, I am using diatomaceous earth to dust the base of the tree. Once that had a chance to work, I will soak the root system in a neem oil spray with the hopes of defering any larva that do hatch from chewing through the root system. Sadly, this huge beattle, roughly 2" long with even longer antenna, are not interesting to the chickens. They hiss and are pretty intimidating, and i am a million times bigger than they are! 

All this comes after an interior attack on fleas and chiggers that, fortunately, did not resort to using a bug bomb. It was close though. Instead we DEed the carpet, let it sit for an hour, vacuumed. Then a few days later, vacuumed again to remove hair and trick flea eggs into hatching and then salted the rugs before vacuuming again. We have also washed all animals and bedding, neem oiled the dog and the carpet and the furniture, and resorted to frontline on the furry ones. The bites on us humans have significantly decreased, though the coating of baking soda paste for itch relief is still a daily application.

On to overcoming a bout of swimmers ear involving trapped lake water and a three year old. The miracles of hydrogen peroxide, lavender and eucaliptis essential oils and coconut oil! Now to stop the nasal drainage before we end up with a chest infection!

If all the time I've spent watching tinker bell movies hadn't been riddled with whining, itchy bites, fever and vacuuming I'd say I've been pretty lazy the last few weeks. Sleep has been nearly absent since the munchkin's fever raged in the nighttime until the clog loosened. Now she's coughing all night and requiring I sleep in her bed, while I toss and turn trying not to scratch. Needless to say, I'm tired!

 Fortunately we did get to take a break to go camping with some amazing friends! (How we acquired the plugged ear in the first place.) I'm hoping for a little break from maintaining healthy balance around my homestead for a while and find a moment for relaxing myself. 

Here's to a peaceful summer!

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