Now’s your chance to fight fleas through the whole season without chemicals!

flea-1.jpgIf you have pets that come in contact with your lawn, Beneficial Nematodes are an excellent weapon to use against fleas and their larvae. These Nematodes are microscopic and live below the soil surface. They like a moist environment, so our warm wet springs are a perfect time to apply them. As flea larvae emerge, they are eaten by hungry nematodes. Nematodes do not harm worms, birds, plants or the environment, in fact they are part of the environment and are found the world over.
Beneficial Nematodes are sold live on sponges that can be stored under refrigeration for a week or two before use. A few gallons of water is used as a carrying agent. This concentrate can be applied through a pump sprayer or with the use of a watering can.
Nematodes are available at local nurseries – I spoke to the nice folks at Portland Nursery for tips about applying in our region. The best time to apply them to fight fleas here in the Northwest is when the soil temp is over 50 degrees. Applying in late April or early May would be the perfect time to expose the emerging flea larvae to their nematode predators. Nematodes need moisture to establish themselves, so watering the lawn well before application is useful, as well as watering them in after applying. One sponge has about 11 million beneficial nematodes, which will cover about 1000 sq ft., and costs about $14- $16 dollars. Soak the sponge in a bucket of water to activate the nematodes, then put a cup or so in a watering can and fill up the can with water. there’s no real formula – you want to make your bucket of nematodes spread evenly around the yard one watering can at a time. You can use a clean pump sprayer for this as well, but if any chemicals have been in the sprayer, they will affect the nematodes. They will thrive as long as there are larvae to eat, but when there is no more prey, they die out. Some people reapply a few times during flea season to make sure they’re covering their bases.

Great Article about Help with Vet Bills for Low Income Pet Owners

I just read a great article on Itchmo – a blog I check frequently for interesting pet stories. The author did some good research on some of the opportunities out there for people who need financial help with their vet bills. If you or someone you know is in need of help, or even just interested in helping organizations like these to raise funds for low income pet owners in need,check out this link: News for cats and dogs – Help for Low-Income Pets

This week is World Water Week! Check out the Tap Project

india_2.jpgWhoops! I’m coming in a bit late on this one, but there’s still time! From March 16th through Saturday March 22nd, The Tap Project (a UNICEF-founded project that started in NYC and now has spread to other cities across the nation) invites people to dine out at participating restaurants and donate as little as $1 for their glass of water. Money raised goes to providing safe drinking water to children in developing nations. Check out the website for the Tap Project and click on “restaurants” to see the cities and their participating restaurants. You can also donate on that website. One great thing to do even if you don’t plan on dining out: get this website into the hands of your favorite restaurant, and encourage them to participate next year.

For every dollar raised a child will have 40 days of safe drinking water. Having just done a posting on our country’s bottled water habit, I feel like this could be a bit of a way to make up for our wasteful ways. Being conscious of wastefulness when other people don’t have the luxury of being wasteful with their resources is a big step in the right direction for creating a sustainable lifestyle, don’t you agree?

Are you still on the bottle??

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It’s beginning to be outrageous to me that people are drinking so much bottled water without realizing its tremendous environmental impact. Though the nutritionally aware part of me is glad that people are drinking water instead of soda, the sheer volume of bottled water consumed has created a product with enormous impact. Though many other beverages also travel a great distance to consumer, these beverages do not flow from your home faucet nearly for free.
Things to consider:

You’re paying a huge amount of money for something that may or may not be as good for you as your tap water (and up to 40% of bottled water is simply tap water, bottled). If you’re worried about quality, you can buy a great faucet filter for not much money- if you add up what you’re paying per gallon of bottled water in a year ($1-$2 per bottle, vs. .0015 cents per gallon of tap water), you might be surprised at the total – what else could you have purchased with that money?

I love this quote from this fantastic article from Fastcompany.com : “In San Francisco, the municipal water comes from inside Yosemite National Park. It’s so good the EPA doesn’t require San Francisco to filter it. If you bought and drank a bottle of Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days with San Francisco tap water before that water would cost $1.35. Put another way, if the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.”

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Dog playing in the Snow

This video is an absolute riot – Happy Winter! (this is better with the sound off, in my opinion).

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Wow! Dogs Help to Study Endangered Wildlife

dogtrackingbyboat.jpgThis is an amazing article about how dogs’ amazing noses are helping wildlife ecologists to better study endangered species. Did you know that dogs can identify up to 18 separate species from the smell of their feces? Not only does that make finding a particular species in a vast area of wilderness easier, but dogs can also track a variety of whale species from the deck of a boat, even tracking them from up to a mile away. Look at how much fun that dog’s job is for him!
Read the whole article here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21980526/

Research Study Shows Dogs Can Classify Complex Photos And Place Into Categories | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

doglearning.jpgThis is an interesting article discussing dogs’ abilities to identify and categorize images. I love that there is really an increase in cognitive studies of dogs – for a species that is so closely tied to humans, we know so little, scientifically speaking. Here’s the article I found on Ichmo:
Research Study Shows Dogs Can Classify Complex Photos And Place Into Categories | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats