Moth Attack & Market Opening-G. Totten Sioux Falls

As soon as I turned on the light this morning somewhere around 6AM, a short but frenetic battle scene took place in my upstairs bathroom, as I tried to dissuade no less than four large moths from feverishly batting into my face, the mirror, the walls and all.  I’ve seen them on my car in the morning this week as well, and they must be what are hitting me on the head when I walk out onto my deck in the evenings.  There I was, whipping a large bath towel about, knocking down decorative stuff, having little effect.  Two of the offenders eventually went into the sink, but the others took flight out the door and are now who knows where, likely holding up in my bedroom.

All a part of the season, I guess, although I don’t recall having such trouble with them in previous years.  I asked a few co-workers today if they are having similar experience with the moths, and they concurred.  I hope it’s not a sign of lots of insect trouble after the unusually mild winter.  If so, we may be in for a long battle. On a better note, I’ve not seen any earwigs yet, but on completing a bi-annual vacuuming of my under stairs storage area, I found what looked like either skeletal or calcified remains of the biggest centipede ever documented this far north of Missouri or Nebraska.  It literally gave me a shiver.  I couldn’t even bear to vacuum it, but got out the dustpan and broom instead. 

While I hold fast to keeping my lawn and garden pesticide free, I do spray my lower level interior and around the foundation several times a year to keep bugs out of my home.  I didn’t always take this measure until a visiting daughter found an odious bug on her toothbrush, alerting me to the situation.  Now, I very judiciously use a light insecticide around the unfinished areas, the laundry room, under those same stairs, in the window wells and under sink areas, a small concession to a cleaner, more comfortable home.  Even that monster centipede didn’t last very long, and he sure was a big one. 

That brings me to a story of one of my granddaughters and an interior infestation I had to battle some years back. I guess she was about three at the time, and was afraid of bugs in general, especially the large black ants that would turn up alarmingly in unexpected places.  Well, we noticed that was about the same time that when speaking of her extended family, she began to refer to her uncles as uncle this and that, but her aunts were always called by their first names only.  This went on for some months, until her mother finally asked her why she did this. She responded with the predictable alacrity of a three-year-old, “I don’t like ants!”  Well, that made sense. 

This is also the time of year when the yard can quickly overwhelm. Grass is growing enough to need mowing at least once a week if not every ten days, dandelions are in full force and weeds are beginning to cover un-planted garden beds.  The trusty garden hoe is still a great tool to simply uproot small, light surface weeds in open areas, and I have something that looks like a hoe, but is more an opened triangle on the business end, with a soft blade  that works equally as well; it kind of wiggles back and forth as it works through the top of the soil.

And here is a home remedy weed killer offered to me this week by Rebecca Tews from Crooks.  It’s a little scary to use, so a word of strong caution; be careful not to spray it on anything you want to keep.  Like the product Roundup, it will take out anything, but unlike Roundup, it has a long residual life in the soil (Roundup has only a 24-hour residual effect in the soil), making it unsuitable for use in the garden.  But for broadleaf weeds in those difficult places to clear by hand, careful use can work as well as a general herbicide, and if you are critically exacting in the yard, it can take care of your thistle and dandelions. 

Herbicide-Free Weed Killer (not for use in garden beds or around flowers!)  It is non-selective and will destroy any plant life that it contacts.  

1 gallon of white vinegar
1 cup of table salt
1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
Mix everything together making sure the salt is completely dissolved (I have seen similar mixtures that you heat on the stove top then cool to dissolve the salt, then add the liquid soap). You can then pour this into a one of those sprayers you can get at any garden center.  Spray this solution directly onto the weeds you want to get rid of, preferably on a hot, windless day.  Store any seasonal leftovers indoors so it does not freeze).

I may try it behind my fence, just the small line under the chain link by the landscape timbers that is so difficult to reach behind. 

Finally, This coming Saturday, May 5th marks the opening day of the market!  This season also marks the market’s 100th year–quite the celebratory season.  

Look for the following and hope for fair weather, my friends.

Flowers, both as cut flowers and bedding plants.
Flowering baskets.
Bedding plants such as tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, herbs.
  micro mix
Hand made candies
Home canned goodies
Wood fired pizza
Natural beef
Poultry, eggs

We’re off and running.