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Letters To The Editor

What is Bt pest control?

Dear Editor,

I’ve read about “Bt” being used as an organic pest control. Can you tell me what this is and where do I find it?

Beginning Gardener


Dear Beginning Gardener,

Bt is a bacteria (Bacillus Thuringiensis) which is used to control cabbage worms, tomato hornworms, gypsy moths, and a variety of other pests. The insects this bacterium affects quit eating and die within 2-3 days of ingestion. It is deadly to plant-eating insects but pretty much leaves beneficial insects alone. You can use it up to the day of harvest. It is sold under the brand name Thuricide. Now, there’s another pest control called Spinosad, which is a Bt alternative. It’s from the fermentation of soil bacterium called Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Spinosad, however, works on both ingestion and contact. If you’re raising bees, you’ll probably want to stick to Bt products for safety’s sake.

The Editor


Any Hope For Mean Chickens?

Dear Editor,

I was given a few chickens by a friend and I’ll just have to be honest… two of them are as mean as junkyard dogs. They’re very aggressive to the others, peck on them all the time, and have drawn blood more than once. Is there any way to tame these two birds down? They are the better egg layers in the bunch.

Bloody in South Carolina


Dear Bloody in South Carolina,

Once chickens get a taste for blood and aggressiveness, there’s not much you can do. Either separate the two aggressive ones from the rest of the bunch or start dragging out the pots and pans and being preparations for making a batch of chicken soup.

The Editor

One comment

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