The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Bacillus Thuringiensis

bt sprayingBt is a natural pesticide we've been using on our squash and cucumbers for a couple of years now. It was discovered in 1901 in Japan by Ishiwata, but didn't make it to the commercial market till the 1950's.

The strain we use only targets moth larvae, certain leaf eating worms and Gypsy moths, and is safe for animals, humans, and other insects.

We use the liquid type that you mix with water. The shelf life is only a few years in the bottle if you keep it out of the sun, but I've read the powder version will last longer.

Bt is a living organism and must be mixed with water that is not too hard (alkaline). If your water is hard you'll need to add some lemon juice or other citric acid to bring the pH where you want it.

It takes a couple of days for the bug to die once it's ingested, but this isn't a problem because they stop eating right away due to the damage done to their stomach lining.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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