Insecticide Shortage: How We’re Handling It in a Very Buggy Location

spraying bug spray or insecticide on arm.
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Since ancient times, mankind has been fighting tirelessly with a tiny enemy that has over us a huge advantage: evolution and sheer numbers. The scenario presented in this writing is an interesting one to consider, as we lived through the consequences of insecticide scarcity at home.

If you can’t get commercial insecticide, there are still solutions.

The importance of insecticides

Let’s elaborate a little bit about to expose the facts of what you do when you don’t have bug spray, repellant, or any other chemical product to get rid of disgusting and annoying insects, like cockroaches. These are the ones I hate the most, because of the stench they leave behind and all the mess they can do, even ruining your electronics. Mice don’t stand a chance with my OPCSADS, OR Organic Pest Control Search And Destroy Systems. She’s one-eyed so I presume this allows her to focus more precisely. I love her dearly.

I have bought the most toxic bug poison to spray my home just to make sure I’m not going to have a surprise at night. It works quite well, and the residual effect lasts for months. It doesn’t smell like roses, but I’m used to the scent of poisonous hydrocarbon vapors anyways after so much time in gas plants. Just what I need to feel at home.

As a side note, I recommended it to my neighbor and forgot to tell him that I usually use it to fumigate and leave the house the whole weekend. (It’s in the instructions anyway). The guy sprayed gladly all over the place, and went to bed, sleeping in his bedroom with air conditioning. At 2 AM, he woke up and had to go to ER in a hurry. Oh, well…he should have read the instructions. I spray that thing and leave home for a couple of days.

Anecdotes apart, the situation with bug control is one that I believe, once the disruption of normal life as we know it is finally present, is going to kill a bunch of people. If you don’t believe me, stop spraying your house for six months and go to your kitchen at night suddenly turning the lights on. The movie “Joe’s Apartment” is not 100% a joke. 

The development of industrial chemistry allows people a chance to fight against insects or varmints, responsible for keeping the demographic levels of humans through spreading disease and famine. History is there to prove it. 

Industrial insecticides have become a staple of modern agriculture, and their absence would undoubtedly have far-reaching effects. While some of these effects might be positive, such as the recovery of beneficial insect populations, others could be negative, such as the increased difficulty of pest management and higher crop losses.

What are some side effects of not having insecticides?

One of the most significant impacts of the disappearance of industrial insecticides will be on agriculture. Farmers would have to turn to more natural and holistic pest control methods, such as the use of natural predators and repellents. This would require a significant shift in the way that agriculture is practiced, as farmers would need to learn how to apply new techniques and adapt to a more hands-on approach to pest control.

This is worrisome. It could work for small or even medium-scale farming. However, how industrial farming companies will execute these policies is unclear. Back on topic, I mentioned the interruption of the manufacturing of chemical products.

Without my air conditioning, and not even another fan than the one in my A/C console (which needs gas refilling), sleeping in a tropical country or in summer can be a REAL pain. Mosquitoes and heat will make your life miserable unless you have a good mosquito net over your bed. And even so, you could find yourself having to spray now and then.

What will you do when you can’t get bug spray?

My solution is to get eucalyptus leaves, dry them, and burn them with some citronella oil at the same time. Not mixed up, but each one separated, say a citronella candle or oil lamp, and the leaves in a bowl. This leaves a good smoke cloud in the environment, but it will scare mosquitoes and similar bugs out of the bedroom. Be VERY careful with open flames and mosquito nets if you decide to go down that road. If you burn down your home, blame the mosquitoes. Just saying.

When I do this, to disguise the eucalyptus and citrus scent, I like to burn some incense, too. As a bonus, mosquito nets can provide some degree of nostalgia and are quite romantic.

Another related anecdote is this one.

My father remembers that when he was a little kid, his dad used to store grain in steel (recycled) drums. Mind you, we have a six months rainy season. And the other 6 months are seriously dry. Therefore, they needed to preserve food on their little farm. He learned as a young kid how to salt beef, among other means to preserve food. Like stacking corn with a permanent bonfire underneath, but this is material for another article.

My grandfather (the Italian one, not the Dutch one) then added a tablet for bugs, when the drum was half-full. It was a German product, “for bugs” he said. No Mylar bags, no oxygen absorbers, no nothing. Just some chemical stuff. It would sublimate and create an atmosphere toxic for bugs but innocuous for humans. Then the grain, with a little rinse, would be ready for cooking.

Chemicals have made our life easier. Replacing them with natural products is not easy nor cheap, and not even close as efficient, maybe. Unless we have the means to process and refine, purify, and increase the content of the active components in the products, bugs will be a part of our life.

The good part is, as long as we can freeze stuff, we can combat bugs inside our PET bottles. Keep reading.

While these natural methods for pest control can be effective, they can also be more time-consuming and less reliable than industrial insecticides. This could lead to higher crop losses and lower yields, which will impact food production and availability.

Another important consideration is the impact on the environment. The widespread use of industrial insecticides has had a significant impact on beneficial insect populations, such as bees and butterflies, as well as on other animals that rely on these insects for food. Without these chemicals, these populations could recover, which would have positive impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity.

However, the disappearance of industrial insecticides will lead to an increase in harmful insect populations. Without effective pest control measures, these insects will proliferate and cause damage to crops and ecosystems

Here are some other solutions

Overall, the scenario presented in this writing highlights the complex and interconnected nature of agriculture, the environment, and human society. The widespread use of industrial insecticides has meaningful impacts on these areas, and their sudden disappearance will require significant changes and adaptations. While there may be some positive outcomes, such as the recovery of beneficial insect populations and a more natural approach to pest control, there are also potential negative impacts, such as increased crop losses and the proliferation of harmful insects.

To address the challenges presented by the disappearance or scarcity of industrial insecticides, a combination of methods will be necessary. 

A friend of mine told me when I tried to mention to him how important it was to have some food stored (back in 2010-2011?) that ants, weevils, and other bugs would make the perishables like rice, grains, and pasta un-edible in a few weeks. Of course, I informed him that previous freezing for 24 hours would kill the weevil eggs; and some laurel leaves inside the container where pasta and rice were would keep other bugs away.

In the lapse of 2015-2017, a can of bug spray was like 4.5$. These are imported from China, Brazil, or Colombia. The local industry that once manufactured it was destroyed, and the remaining ones are working at a minimal capacity. (This was intentional to extract capital out of our financial system). We can find them easily now, but we rely heavily on foreign products when we were once independent.

As far as things go, I believe that getting a good product that can last 25 years of shelf life is the way. There is not too much need to get expensive spray cans. They lose the propellant with time, making them less than ideal for long-term storage. That is for economies where consumption is always in place, in a continuous loop. Back in the days before pressure cans, they sprayed the poison with a tin hand pump. Someone told me once that his dad had painted his Harley with one of these pumps! And this was in the early 60s. Go figure.

Here’s what I’ve used.

I do not remember if I mentioned this earlier, but I could afford, back in the days of the fat cows (before 2012), a mist sprayer that would allow me to fumigate my home in a heartbeat and it is great for fumigation inside a greenhouse also. We do not want to kill pollinating agents, so be very careful when using mystifiers. However, I stored it (mind you I was 3,5 years far away from home) in a place where heat affected the main hose, and it became brittle, disintegrating itself entirely in my hands once I took it out to use it.

Until now I haven’t been able to replace that hose, and I will need it to spray my coffee and citrus plants. Keep this in mind if you are willing to sponsor the acquisition of this spare, and I will write an article about how well it worked with the product I mentioned earlier. Getting products in bulk, in liquid form, instead of pressurized canisters is surely much cheaper anywhere in the world. If you have some common sense and follow the safety procedures, it should be easy enough. 

I am a professional with laboratory training and have done a few things that could be considered a hazard, including taking red-hot steel out of an oven with the right tools. Just make sure to not take your sandwich with poison-soaked gloves, or do some other silly stuff and you should be all right.

Disclaimer: use this advice at your own risk, read the labels, use protective equipment, and if something goes wrong and you feel like increasing your good karma, I am here to receive the material possessions you want to get rid of before the final countdown. 😀

Stay safe, and keep tuned!

What’s your take on this insecticide issue?

Do you think we’ll see a shortage of insecticides or bug spray? Would you use any of these solutions? Do you have an alternative to bug spray? If so, what do you use instead? Let us know in the comments.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on PatreonDonations: paypal.me/JoseM151

J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

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    • Recycled PET soda bottles work great, too. I´m working as well on some of this, but it´s a low-priority project by now.

  • There are plenty of non-toxic ways to deal with insects. Borax kills cockroaches, mints keep ants away, geraiums to keep away mosquitos (there are some you can rub on your skin.) Diatomaceous Earth has a plethora of uses, in the garden, for livestock, and in food storage.

    • Kimberly
      Please remember there are two DE’s one for swimming pools which is hazardous to the human body.
      The FOOD grade DE is the one which a human can use on food and for other purposes.
      I am sure you are aware of this matter, but we must remember not everyone is aware of the fact two are manufactured, with two totally different usages.

  • I have lived in a number of dang hot places with high humidity and bugs.
    As a result, I opted to live way up here in the Great White (i.e. snowy) North.
    Do we still have bugs, of course. We have flies, mosquitos, black flies for two annoying weeks in May. Every year one dive bombs into my mouth, sending me into something cross between a choking fit and vomiting. Those weeks, I carry a bottle of water with me.
    But at least we do not have cockroaches up here.
    People joke about the mosquito being the State Bird of South Carolina. Then I went to boot camp at Paris Island and then I understood. Get bit by one of those suckers and you are at risk of passing out from blood loss!
    We do have bug “juice” on hand. Rarely use it.

  • I live in the Pacific North West, and it gets pretty moist here. With all the rain it makes everything grow 10x larger than normal including the bugs. We have a quarterly service right now that sprays our “complex”, but our additional acreage is left wild purposely. We control weeds using a mix of bleach and water and insects with more natural sources like Dr. Earth Products. We distribute our stuff using 2-gallon plastic pump spray containers with rubber hoses and plastic wands with adjustable nozzles that regulate flow from stream to spray to mist. They also have a strap on them so you can carry them on your back. I purchased them several years ago, 2 for about $16.00 online at Sportsmans Guide. They sat in my garage for a few years in the box before we even used them because I was I’ll. I just broke them out last year and they work like a charm so far. The CO. that makes them is called: Real Work Equipment. I have seen other types of spray containers made out of different materials Jose that might suit you better than plastic and rubber, but I couldn’t pass on the price and the free shipping. We have stocked up on the ingredients to make the natural insecticides in the Dr. Earth products if need be, whether they are fungal in nature or type of insect. This brand has a wide range of products. We use Dr. Earth because we have Dogs and we like them alive, not licking up pesticides.
    For Mosquitoes, we use “Skin so Soft” on our bodies and also burn citronella oil, lavender, and other herbs to rid our areas of mosquitoes when we camp or just sit outside at the fire pit. For fun, we will catch a few and saddle them up and let my one-year-old granddaughter ride them. Jose if you see any product you like from Sportsmans Guide or Real Work Equipment, let me know, I would be happy to donate to your cause. Daisy can give you my e-mail address. Cheers!

  • HELPFUL HINT: Take vitamin B1 tablets to keep from being bitten by mosquitos, which leaves an itch behind.
    —Over 40 years ago, we were living on a dairy and they had a flea infestation, which spread to our yard and house. I was pregnant at the time and even had bites between my toes and fingers. I didn’t want to use chemicals directly on my skin, so the doctor suggested the B1 tablets to keep them from biting me.
    —B1 is what makes a multi-vitamin smell like vitamins. And it does the same thing to your blood after a few days. The mosquitos don’t like it. They land on you, go to suck your blood, then change their mind. Because they leave, they don’t have the chance to deposit their mosquito juice that forms the itch in your skin. It has worked for me for over 40 years.
    —And for my dogs, I have been giving them brewer’s yeast tablets for decades, which are the same as the B1. The B1 tablets don’t have a taste, but the brewer’s yeast tablets do. Funny thing, they don’t like the B1 tablets, but they think the brewer’s yeast tablets are tasty treats and gobble them up plain. I get them online from Vitacost at a reasonable price.
    —I take one B1 tablet every day all year long. In the summer, when we have the monsoon rains here in southern Arizona, which brings out the mosquitos, I take 2 tablets every day. It is a good thing that they are fairly inexpensive as vitamins go.
    —I give our current dog 1 brewer’s yeast tablet twice a day at her feedings. She has had no trouble with fleas or ticks in her entire life (12 years).

    • Awesome thank you! I’ve never heard that before. There is supposed to be one type of blood mosquitos prefer but I can never remember it. All I know is they love my husband’s blood, they don’t like mine so much.

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