Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cast Iron Cookware

I have written on the safety of cookware before so won't go into this in great detail.  As a sum up - anything teflon or non stick is toxic to your body and should be avoided - not to even mention plastic, the evil of all evils.

I have been using stainless steel, ceramic and glassware to cook in and have found that it works really well however was reading up about Cast Iron the other day.  First of all, I was amazed at how cheap Cast Iron cookware is.  $19 from Walmart for a 12 inch pan - what a deal!  Apparently Cast Iron Can leach iron into the food you are cooking, depending on the food as it varies - which is great in our case as my husband is anaemic and very low in iron so I welcome any ways to increase the iron in his food.  The newer the pan too, the more iron leaches out also.  Info on the study is here.

If you have young children though it is best to avoid cast iron cookware and stick with stainless steel, ceramic and glassware as it can also give too much iron.  Too much iron can be a problem as the only way to get it out is by loss of blood - for a woman this is ok with the monthly cycle but for a man the only way is by regular donating blood.

I have used my new 12 inch pan and really like it.  I researched for tips on cleaning and like this method.... rub salt on it with water to clean it, then season with some oil and put on element or in stove till it's dry (so it wont rust).  Not a hassle at all!  One day I hope to get a Le Creuset dutch oven to add to my cast iron collection too!

Interested in your experience with cast iron or other cookware too so feel free to comment below!

Update on Pest Control

Just an update as promised,  it appears the earwig problem is now solved.  I used both the ecosmart problems.  The Home Pest control was easy to use and the smell was not offensive at all.  No further earwigs in the bed.   YES!

Friday, August 17, 2012

DILEMMA: Earwig Infestation In Our Home!

For the past three months we have been battling earwigs.  I guess it could be worse, I mean at least they are harmless - and their nippers on the back do nothing.  At least they aren't spiders or silverfish or cockroaches, I try to console myself!  Not only have we been having earwigs but these little critters are mostly making appearances in our bed and bedroom of all places!  I researched a lot when we first found them and have no idea why they would be in our bedroom - we have the air conditioning on 70 F this whole hot summer,  which is meant to be too cold for them.  I change and wash the sheets every week so there is no dampness or anything they would be attracted to in there?  I vacuum weekly?  The first time I had one crawling up my arm UNDER the sheets creeped me out.  I pulled the bed out and found one even under our mattress protector!  Some under the box springs.  Got rid of them and cleaned and put tea tree oil all around. Totally grossed out by this stage. I think they drop onto the bed out of the air conditioning vent right over the bed.

The months have gone by with frequent earwigs - probably seeing at least one a day. The other day was the final straw though - I was lying on the bed under the air conditioning vent and felt something on my neck - it was quite a big earwig... I'm guessing it dropped out of the a/c vent.  (I taped the electrical outlets in case they were coming through there... the windows have been shut and locked for months so they can't get in there so the a/c vent is the only option).  THEN to make matters worse that very night another earwig crawling up my arm in the middle of the night! Yuck!  My husband had some encounters in the bed also with one on his ear and on his back at another time.

The whole thing of it being near his ear creeped us both out because I read that though people dismiss it as a wives tale, earwigs do actually go in your ears and there's many stories online of people who've found them in their kids ears etc. Again YUCK!  So I've been sleeping with cotton in my ears these last months every night.

Ok so that last middle of the night encounter was just the straw that broke the camels back. I was sick of fighting these disgusting things in my house, let alone my bed!  I contacted our apartment manager who promptly wrote back to say she knows I don't like chemicals but the place will have to be treated by the pest man around the base boards as they can't risk this infestation affecting all the other apartments also.  This was the WORST news I could get, I should have expected it as that is a standard response, but me, trying desperately to keep chemicals out of our home and being very successful for over a year now could not bear the thought of losing all we had worked for just like that.

I started researching to see what safe alternatives are out there and was excited to find Ecosmart which is an organic and safe spray made of essential oils and non toxic ingredients.  Even better you can get it at Home Depot and Walmart!  I presented the idea to our manager and she said that is fine to use that.  I am going to use Ecosmart Home Pest Control inside the house round all the base boards and doors and windows. Then I'm also getting Ecosmart Organic Crawling Insect Blocker to put all around the perimeter of the apartment. I assume they are getting in somewhere round the air conditioning units so will put lots around there.  Hoping the combination of the two will end our problem once and for all.

Interested if anyone else has any experience either with this brand or other alternatives?  I know neem oil is safe and non toxic for gardening and use it outside on my pot plants, it seems to work well.

I have yet to spray the apartment but plan to do so this weekend.  I will let you know how it goes!