Predators in the Garden: Pest control post-collapse Part 2
If an insect is dealt with when younger, the damage they cause is minimized. Many times you'll see either eggs or young. Using something like a spray with oil in it will help to smother them, but oil will be hard to come by post-collapse. The easiest way to deal with them is either by using dichotomous earth or by using sprays with hot pepper juice in them.
Dichotomous earth is made up of the remnants of microscopic algae. The shards of their skeletons are so sharp that they cut certain pests like most insects because it cuts their exoskeleton. It also works well on fleas, cockroaches, and slugs. It will kill bees, so none should be applied to flowers.
The insects can't adapt, so they die. Pesticides poison, but some survive, and this immunity is passed to new generations.
Hot pepper juice, garlic, onions are things which naturally repel bugs. If you mix this with a little soap, then it will stay on the plant and not rinse off easily. Castille soap is typical and made from olive oil. You won't have olive oil, but you might be able to grow rapeseed oil (canola) and this has been previously discussed. . If one had some inexpensive liquid soap, you could use it too, but my guess is that you'll use that soaps for cleaning since it's more difficult to replicate. It all depends upon what you can trade for as well as how well you prep your supplies.
Making Castille Soap
If you didn't have oil, then you could merely mix in some some water, a small amount of lye from wood ash, plus the ingredients below:
[link to www.organicgardening.com
One easy way to deal with pests is removal. Simply collect and smash the bugs in a container. In some cases, some of the insects may be edible, and in a collapse, you won't waste protein. I've preciously mentioned eating june bugs, grasshoppers, and wood lice. All have a decent flavor and wood lice (rolypoly bugs) have a shrimp-like flavor. Grasshoppers especially are useful as a major protein source. It might be wise to actually raise them as a kind of livestock. Their bodies are dried and then crushed into a non-offensive protein powder, and this can boost the nutritional content of soups or could be added to make something to lather on bread. I know it all sounds weird, but many cultures eat insects.
[link to www.utne.com
Slugs can be eaten. They were in war-time Japan by boiling them. Personally I really like snails and garlic. That's a fine meal, but they contain parasites, so this means thorough cooking. I believe I made a post on eating them. Again, these could be raised on scraps and deliberately cultivated.
Earthworms are not pests, but incredibly helpful composters that aerate the soil. A healthy soil with loads of humus will be full of them. Then they'll deposit eggs and increase in numbers. Since earthworms also provide valuable calories and protein and were common food for the First People, they should be cultivated as livestock either to help the garden or to consume when hungry. See a previous posting on that.
These will be the majority of ways in which you control pests in your beloved garden. If you don't then your yields will really suffer and your family will grow hungrier.
You all will be very hungry all the time from November-June. That's just being honest. You'll be full and satisfied only if you have many many supplies and have learned how to trap well. Hunting will be very hit and miss. Some fishing will be possible, but given the huge depth of the drought, we must expect a drop in game and fish. Fish especially are restocked into streams by hatcheries. Those won't be around anymore. Trapping will quickly fade too.