Nematode Termite Sprays, Adobe Housing, Noxious Weeds, Acid Rain Controls and More

News items from the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

| July/August 1983

  • lightning over farm
    Farmers have a greater risk of electrocution than line workers, electricians, construction workers, or tree trimmers.

  • lightning over farm

Position Change on Steel Shot

The National Wildlife Federation reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has backed away from its advocation of steel over lead shot (lead pellets are toxic when ingested by ducks and geese). The Federation noted that fish and wildlife service employees were recently ordered to turn in all copies of an agency-produced film extolling the effectiveness of steel shot. When the national wildlife federation refused to turn in its print of the film—for which it had a bill of sale—FWS accused the organization of stealing it!

Nematodes as an Alternative to Chemical Termite Sprays?

 A Berkeley, California man has developed a solution laced with those microscopic crawlers, nematodes, that he sprays into foundations or injects in the beams of termite-infested houses. The inventor of the spray, Andrew P. Wilson, claims that in tests last year, 98% of the wood-chewing insects in the homes he treated were dead it three days. The spray is said to be both harmless and substantially less expensive than chemical fumigation.

Adverse Drug Reactions

 According to the American  Medical Association, the number of new drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration more than doubled between 1980 and 1982. And the FDA warns that, while all of the new drugs have been thoroughly tested, the possibility of adverse reactions does still exist. Physicians and patients should be alert to possible side effects of the new chemical remedies, and promptly report any that occur.

Australia Offers Build-your-own Adobe Housing... low-income first-hole buyers willing to exchange their own labor for the usual cash deposit. A professional builder erects the load bearing timber frame and the roof of the house, and the owner then makes and lays the earthen block walls.

Noxious Weed Threatens Waterways

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has warned that hydrilia—a native weed of central Africa-has infested rivers, lakes, and streams in at least nine states. The aquatic plant (which builds a thick mat on the bottom of a waterway and thus reduces its flow) has been found in locations from southern California to the Potomac river. Scientists are studying naturally occurring chemicals, insects, and fish to find something that deters the weed.

Arboreal Tax Break

"How to Take Reforestation Tax Deductions and Tax Credits" shows how you can easily deduct tree-planting expenses—retroactive to 1980!— on your returns. The form-filled manual is available for $11.95 postpaid from Leray Press, Dept. TMEN, Box 130, 103 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park, New Jersey 07432.

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