Monday, November 14, 2011

First Snow in North Georgia Appalachians

It's mid November and 70 degrees in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sky is overcast and the ground is a mélange of colors, except for my yard. My yard alone has captured the first snow fall, and it is a beautiful sight.

Actually, it is diatomaceous earth. In a nutshell, it is the fossilized remains of hard-shell algae. It is food-grade and harmless to humans and animals—unless, of course, you breathe in large volumes of the dust. It is a flour-like substance and has innumerable uses.

My issue is with fleas in this humid environment. Layers of decaying leaves makes my yard (and the surrounding area) prime real estate for these little buggers, as well as gnats. In a previous post, I declared gnats the state insect of Georgia. Well, enough of all of them.

My poor puppy Mello, was just miserable. After Rocky cat found a wolf worm, the cats have, unfortunately for them, reverted to house pets. The cats and the dog stay completely away from each other, which is why neither Rocky nor Lola has fleas. Mello, who plays and rolls in the leaves, does. We spend hours training and playing in the yard and the fleas were having a feast.

All three animals had a flea pill from Mountain Dog Boarding, a dip, an oatmeal bath, and a brushing. All bedding was washed in hot water with vinegar. Almost $200 later and Mello still can’t sleep through the night—which means I don’t sleep through the night.

Enter diatomaceous earth and the 2011 snowfall in Mineral Bluff, GA. DE is non-toxic and safe enough to eat—they use it in grain silos after all. So, here’s hoping the fleas AND Georgia’s favorite insect, the gnats, will enjoy my white yard. Much better than attempting to RAKE!!

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