Butterfly King's Blog

 

 is where you can find ideas and steps to gardening, butterfly care, and becoming more green. Written by your friendly neighborhood Butterfly King and his wife, Danus Gillipus (Milkweed eating Butterfly Queen)!

Its that time of year, the garden is looking shabby.  Dead flower heads provide food for winter butterflies and birds.


 

DIY Ant Bait:

If your home is anything like ours you deal with ants from time to time. Once you see one you start to see them everywhere. My wife, Danus Gillipus, and I have quite a few pets and grandchildren running around. Our first priority, next to our butterflies, is making sure that they’re safe. We use cleaning products and pest control products that are safe to the environment and our little monsters. When we have ant problems we use an ant bait to trap and kill these little suckers. My wife even found ways to “pretty-fy” the traps.

Tools Needed:

1 Part Borax Detergent Soap 

2 Parts Grape Jelly

1 Container of Your Choice (Or Even A Bottle Cap)

 

Optional:

6 in x 6 in Tule Fabric Per Container

1 Rubber-band Per Container

1 Toothpick

1 Container Lid Per Container

1 Pair of Scissors

 

Bait Making Process:

Step 1: Mix together 1 part borax soap and 2 parts grape jelly.

Step 2: Pour mixture into your container.

Optional: Poke Holes into the side of your container and add a lid.

 

Optional Camouflaging Steps:

Step 1: Take tulle and place over container (no lid) and secure with rubber band.

Step 2: Cut tulle around container as you’d like.

If you'd like a visual tutorial check out our video!

This is something we make and use in our house often to ward off the ants in our home. These baits are safe around your home and children because this small amount of borax (and grape jelly) is not harmful if ingested.

 

- BK

April 9, 2016


 

DIY: How to Kill Grass and Weeds

How do you clear an area of all the grass? When our love and passion for butterflies began we needed to make room in our yard for out butterfly house and garden. We needed to clear out the grass in those areas without using harmful chemicals and not breaking our bank either. Here's what it took...

Step 1: Remove as much grass as possible by pulling or mowing on low. Then rake the area clean. 

Tip: You can use that grass for feeding chickens or add it to the compost rather than throwing it away.

Step 2: Place sheets of cardboards on top of the grass area you'd like to see removed. Leave cardboards there for three months; a great time to do this would be during the late fall through early spring). To keep cardboards in place use ground staples.

Tip: You can also cover your cardboard with weed cloth, completely optional.

Costco has great deals on cardboards!

Step 3: *Three months later* Remove cardboard sheets, till the soil, rake out the dried weeds and grass. Here the soil will be weed and grass free to plant a new garden.

 

 - BK

March 26, 2016


 

 

 DIY: How to Help Control Gnats

Fresh fruit is great to have in your kitchen, and certain fruit doesn't last in the fridge very well. However we've all noticed those tiny annoying gnats hovering our fresh fruit! How do you get rid of those little monsters?  We've said it before, vinegar is an amazing for any use. All you need is three things to help free your fruit from those itty bitty annoyances. 

1) Grab a clean, empty, soda bottle (Or any bottle you find useful).

2) Fill half the bottle with apple cider vinegar.

Tip: Don't have apple cider vinegar? Left over red wine is a great option! Why let it go to waste if you can put it to use.

3) Add a few drops of any dish soap in the bottle as well.

Tip: Dish soap removes the buoyancy of the gnats bodies, making them float to the bottom of the bottle.

4) Place bottle cap onto bottle, make sure it is secure.

 

5) Poke holes near the top of the bottle, just under the cap.

 

Tip: The smell of the vinegar attracts the gnats.

Be sure to replace gnat trap monthly!

This is great to hide somewhere in the kitchen and just leave to catch those nasty little gnats. Picking out a decorative container, or painting the bottles, can hide the gnat trap in plain sight. 

 

- BK

March 15, 2016


 

DIY: All-Purpose Cleaner

We have small grandchildren and many furry animals running around. We feel the need to clean our home in a non-toxic way but we don't really care for buying over-priced organic products. Why spend for when you can DIY? If you're looking for a cheap and non-toxic cleaner for your home you only need 3-4 things.

1) Use two cups of white vinegar and pour in clean a spray bottle

2) Add 2 cups of water

3) *Optional* For a more fresh scent, add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil

Vinegar is a great all purpose cleaner, we use it all the time in our home. 

 

- BK

 

February 20, 2016 


 

The Usefulness of Planting a Tree

Why Plant a Tree? That costs time, money, space; so why waste any of that? There are so many reasons, here are a few: 

 

1) One large tree can provide daily oxygen for up to four people.

 

 2) A large tree can absorb as much as forty-eight pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

 3) A large tree can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide in a [forty year] life time.  

4) Some butterfly friendly trees:

a. Aspens

b. Cherry Trees

c. Oaks

d. Willows

5) Plant a Nut Tree…And Reap a Good Source of Protein.

Tip: A harvested walnuts can last indefinitely in the freezer.  

 

-BK

February 6, 2016


 

 

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