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.
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.