Organic Pest Control on Homestead Animals

Using organic insect pest control on farm animals, natural ways to decrease the pest population without chemicals.


| July/August 1971



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List of the most common insect pests of homestead animals.


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Several years ago it was possible to find advertisements similar to the following in many small farm publications circulated throughout the nation:

GUARANTEED INSECT CONTROL: Works on all injurious insects. Cheap. Easy. No sprays, dusts, or residues. Absolutely harmless to humans, livestock, pets and plants. Nothing else to buy, your first cost is your last. For kit and instructions, send $$$$ to . . .  

Well now, this was just too good to be true. So the dollars were sent, and in due time a small package arrived. The instructions were simplicity itself: "Entice the offending insect to alight on the large wooden block (marked A), and then smash it with the small wooden block (marked B)."

I don't know how financially successful the perpetrator of this scheme was . . . but human nature being what it is, he probably did quite well. It is to his credit that, at least, his product was ecologically harmless . . . which is more than can be said for today's insecticide salesmen. These modern conmen would have us believe that we will all starve to death if we do not use their biocides to destroy insects and they engage in a continuous search for ever more deadly products that they say are necessary to control the more resistant pests.

It should be evident that neither of these approaches has proven effective. The old "two-block" method has certain obvious limitations and the use of chemical insecticides for over twenty-five years has resulted in little, if any, reduction in the total population of bothersome insects.

There is, however, a middle road which we can follow to control the insects that bother our homestead animals. Let's consider some of the more common of these pests and methods for their control.





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