Gardeners often don’t realize gardens make for great firefly habitat, helping to replace lost natural habitat. The common firefly — the Big Dipper firefly (Photinus pyralis) — readily takes to an organic habitat. The trick is to make your garden as inviting as possible for fireflies to take up residence.
Gardens are meccas for food fireflies eat. If you have fought off snails, slugs, various insects, worms then fireflies can lend a hand by helping to control these pests.
Fireflies spend up to 95% of their lives in larval stages. They live in soil/mud/leaf litter and spend from 1-2 years growing until finally pupating to become adults. This entire time they eat anything they can find. As adults, they only live 2-4 weeks. Females that have mated successfully need a place to lay eggs. They will lay eggs in many spots, but gardens offer an oasis with a source of soil moisture good for larval development.
Some inventive tips for attracting fireflies:
- Don’t rake leaves and put them on the curb. You are raking up firefly larvae and throwing them away.
- Collect bags of leaves to make “Bag Compost”. Collect 5-15 bags.
- Wet bags down in a shady lawn area. Keep moist/wet for 3-6 months or up to a year.
- Bags will attract snails/slugs. This is food for growing fireflies.
- In Spring, put bag compost in your garden. Put it in mounds and till it into your soil.
- Repeat each year. It might take as long as 5 years, or as quick as that same year, to get fireflies in your garden.
Other ways to help attract fireflies:
- Assess your soil health.
- If you have poor soil, introduce nutrients such as bag compost, leaves, and organic matter.
- Till your soil or use a no-till technique such as using a broadfork to open soils. This is especially important if working in a native area to avoid disruption of habitat. Tilling or using a broadfork to loosen soil adds some aeration and prevents soil from compacting.
- Avoid use of broad spectrum pesticides, especially lawn chemicals.
- Turn off outside lights and advocate for local “Dark Skies” policies to control light pollution.
- Buy land to protect species.
- Let log and leaf litter accumulate. Segment an area of your land/yard to remain in a natural state.
- Plant trees and native grasses. Grasses and forbs help retain soil moisture.
- Don’t over-mow your lawn.
How to Catch a Firefly
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SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM
SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM, 2001. Music for SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM by Anders Remmer
The SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM is a low cost system that enables persons to move around, change their whereabouts and live in various environments. One unit supplies space for one person. It is mobile both on land and water. One person can move it slowly, either by pushing it like a wheel, walking inside it or on top of it On water it can be rowed, moved by a kite or hooked up to a vessel, for example, a ferry. The unit rests on one flat side and can be anchored in lakes, rivers, harbours or at sea. On land, it can be placed in city spaces, fields, forests etc The SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM takes up very little space and can easily be placed in a discreet way. It can be buried in the ground, exposing only the entrance. It can also function as a comfortable space inside existing buildings Several units can meet up and form temporary communities The unit can be hooked up onto existing infrastructure like telecommunication lines and electricity cables (for example, by connecting it to street lamps).
If special devices are added, the unit can supply its own energy The SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM can also be used for transporting different items and it can provide protection for persons when they participate in situations like demonstrations.
The SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM is constructed from a cylindrical polyethylene tank. The tank was chosen for its non-toxic material, low weight and its ability to roll. A spherical tank would also work, but standard tanks of that shape are rare and expensive. Various devices are attached to the tank, adding different functions. Caterpillar tracks of rubber are fixed to rubber knobs on the tank. They protect the tank during transportation, add friction and make it easier to steer the unit. They also function as protective fenders when the SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM is moored. The caterpillar tracks can be removed.
On one of the flat sides, a small and a larger hole perforate the unit, and function as an air intake and entrance respectively. A removable lid covers the entrance, which when left half-open also supplies air, while keeping rain out. Whenever a person is inside the unit, it must be left either halfway or fully open. The air intake provides a constant supply of fresh air Three eyebolts, fixed to the surface, function as points to which the unit can be moored on water or whenever it is exposed to strong wind. This can be done by using the rope that is coiled up around the air intake. A paddle as well as a hand bilge pump is attached to the unit. The bilge pump can be used for supplying fresh water or for removing water or other liquid. It also functions as a vacuum cleaner. The bottom is covered by a foam sheet that insulates the unit and also functions as a mattress Fixed to this is a box which contains equipment for cooking, a container for drinking water, a torch, a sponge for removal of condensed water, and a tube which can be fixed to the bilge pump. When the box is emptied of these items, plastic bags can be fixed to the box, which then functions as a toilet seat. Because the materials are not fireproof, cooking must be done outside the unit. Elastic strings at the bottom hold the foam mattress in place and can also be used to secure the box as well as other items during transportation of the SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM.
Equipment Needed For snail Farming
The equipment needed for snail farming are not much, neither are they too expensive to get.
Basically, all snails need is a moist area that is shady. While for you, you just need a cage to keep the snails for strolling away.
Agro4africa discusses agriculture with the intent that our readers consume the information to become commercial farmers.
So, this article will outline all the materials needed for snail farming.
Some of the materials overlap with the requirements for subsistent snail farming and for pet snails.
If you have not done so already, you should read How to Start Snail Farming Business before starting your snail farming business.
This will guide you step by step on how to successfully run a commercial snail farm.
Now, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Equipment Needed For Snail Farming
For ease and proper management of your snail farm, use the following equipment
They include the following:
1. Water tanks
Snails need water every now and then, so you need to always have water available in your snail farm.
Keeping a large water tank on your farm will ensure that you always have provision for water.
With a wheelbarrow, you can comfortably move large quantities of snail at harvest.
You can also use a wheelbarrow to move larger quantities of soil to the farm site.
Another important use of wheelbarrow is for moving the snail feed from one snail cage to another.
Especially when the farm is too large to be carrying heavy loads around.
3. Small weighing scale
A weighing scale is a measuring instrument for taking a measurement of the weight of snails.
There are analogue measuring scale and more recently the digital weighing scale.
I prefer the digital weighing scale because it gives a more accurate measurement of the weight of snails in grams.
4. Watering can
Snails like their environment to be moist at all time, so you need to always moisten the snail farm.
A watering can is a snail farming equipment you can use to spray water in your snail pens.
5. Shovel and Rake
You need a shovel in your snail farm for moving loam soil into the snail pen and for changing the soil in the snail housing.
Shovels come in handy for digging and moving dirt in a free-range snail farm.
The rake is used for cleaning the surrounding of your snail farm.
It can also use it to turn the soil in the snail pen when searching for eggs under the soil.
6. Hand Trowel
When you want to dig small holes or mix snail feed, you can use a trowel.
Another time when a trowel comes into work in snail farming is when you are incubating your snail eggs.
You use the trowel to move soil to cover the eggs slightly for so that they can hatch.
7. Water and feeding troughs
When serving snails crushed foods like calcium, use a feeding trough to put the food so that it does not become moist in the already damp soil.
You can also use a plate with shallow depth to serve as a feeding or water trough for snails.
The water trough serves as a provision for the snails to drink and bath. Just make sure the water trough for snail is not too deep so that they don’t drown in it.
8. Hoe and Cutlass.
A hoe is used for digging in and around the snail farm. You can use a hoe to dig the floor of your snail pen when searching for snail eggs.
Both hoes and cutlasses are very useful for weeding the environment of the snail farm to maintain hygiene.
9. Plastic buckets.
Plastic buckets are used for carrying water and snail food around the snail farm.
You can also use it to carry snails around when you are sorting your snail pens.
10. Plastic Spoons and Plastic Plates (with lid)
To increase the hatchability of snail eggs, do not pick the eggs with your hand.
A plastic spoon becomes very important at this time of your snail farming journey.
After picking the eggs, you can put them in a plastic plate containing a soil mixture suitable for hatching the eggs and then cover the lid.
11. Hand Sprayer and Water Hose
The essence of the hand sprayer is for pest management while the what hose serves as a means of spraying water round a very large snail farm.
To use the water hose, you can attach a shower cap at one end of the hose while the other end is connected to a tap.
This type of construction makes it easy for you to spray water in the entire snail farm without having to carry heavy buckets of water and watering can.
Here we have it. Complete 11 necessary equipment for snail farming business.
Did I miss anything?
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