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Bug Blower Saved His Trees
When mites threatened his walnut orchards, Daniel Unruh fought back with a modified leaf blower. He used it to blast predator mites into his trees to attack the problem mites.
I didnt want to use chemical controls and kill off other beneficials, so I looked for a low-cost alternative, says Unruh.
Rincon-Vitova Insectaries told him that 15,000 californicus mites per acre would do the job. The only question was how to get them into place.
I thought about using a pollen dispenser like they use in almond orchards, but I didnt like the many turns in the plumbing, says Unruh. I had a backpack leaf blower and came up with an idea for setting it up.
He made a base frame of 1-in. sq. steel tubing and 2-in. flat bars with steel uprights to attach the backpack blower and the bug gun components.
Unruh used 4-in. diameter ABS pipe to make the barrel of his bug gun and attached it to an upright at a 45-degree angle to the base. A 4-in. ABS Y-fitting connects it to the blower air tube.
A second section of 4-in. pipe with a removable cap was mounted above the Y on the same upright. It serves as the holding chamber for the beneficials. It is connected to the Ys remaining outlet with a 2-in. pvc reducer, a length of 2-in. pvc pipe with a thin 2-in. wide slot cut in it, and a 45-degree elbow.
A card in the slot keeps the beneficials in the chamber. When the backpack is running, opening the slot allows them to drop down into the elbow and into the air stream. The airflow past the opening creates a Venturi effect that speeds the mites up before they hit the fast moving air.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daniel Unruh, 5166 State Hwy. 45, Colusa, Calif. 95932 (ph 530 330-0292; daniel95970@gmail.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2