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Cleaning leaves?


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So I was driving down the street and saw huge bags of leaves and brought them home. Now im worried about pestisides. Is there any way to clean them or soak them and change the water a few times to be sure thier pestiside free? I live in austin and its pretty unlikely there is a problem but just wanting to be sure. Maybe put some with a test group of roaches? Any thoughts on random leaves?

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hello,

2 points:

- In France, the public tree don't received pestiside, I suppose that it's the same thing in US. The pestiside are used when you have something to protect, like fruit.( if it's leaves from fruit tree: I would put the leaves again).

- All the leaves canno't be used with cockroaches if you want to be sure that they can eat them; some leaves should be privileged: oak, chestnut....

In other words, go to forest with these bags (empty) and picks up a mixture of leaves. ;) It's less work finally (compared to actually wash the leaves and dry them) and less anxiety about your cockroaches.

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In america we are ruled by money not logic. So they spray any where. I found these leaves at someones home. They decide if they want to spray it or not. It wasnt a nice looking yard so I dont think they are spending much money but some people fear bugs so much they pay to spray as precaution. Crazy right anyone can get these chemicals.

Austin texas is know for its live oaks. My concern isnt with how to id trees. ;)

So it is actually illegal to just go to a forest and take leaves. The forests are either privatly owned or state owned. Private forest trespassers get shot at and state ones you get fines. They tell you at the parks if you take a pebble you will be fined.

I was able to fill my truck with 9 big bags which is good cause I keep a variety of bugs. Theres no where else to get that much leaves when you live in an apartment in the city legally.

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- In France, the public tree don't received pestiside, I suppose that it's the same thing in US. The pestiside are used when you have something to protect, like fruit.( if it's leaves from fruit tree: I would put the leaves again).

It really depends on the city, but I see guys spraying public trees with pesticides. Most Americans have the thought of "insects are disgusting, kill them all" so they drive both government run and private companies to spray everything. Nothing is safe in urban and sub-urban USA.

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Where I live, they spray for mosquitos every summer, so there's almost guaranteed to be at least some residue of pesticides on all the trees nearby. Plus I live in a farming community, so where one would normally pick up oak leaves and wood, there's guaranteed to be an orchard or field nearby that's been bombarded with pesticides.

Unfortunately I have to travel a good hour or more to collect wood and leaves in the hills. The leaves you collected may be pesticide free, but I myself get somewhat paranoid from where I collect plant matter that's going into my roach bins. If you have nowhere outside of city limits to collect wood, another alternative may be to buy some leaves and wood from cape cod roaches or another site.

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I would soak the leaves in hot water, rub them a bit, then take them out and dry them out on newspaper or something. Then cook them in your oven or microwave, to completely eliminate pests.

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I was thinking of doing a soak with vinegar and or bakeing soda. Those are both safe for roaches right?

They should be safe if you thoroughly rinse them afterwards. :)

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So it is actually illegal to just go to a forest and take leaves. The forests are either privatly owned or state owned. Private forest trespassers get shot at and state ones you get fines. They tell you at the parks if you take a pebble you will be fined.
:wacko::blink::o

wow..... I did not think that the difference between our two countries was so great ... I can go in public wood pick up leaves and dead wood without worry. Only the collection of oak acorns is prohibited.

You really do not seem to have a choice for your leaves.

After reflexion, the spraying of pestiside is normaly not made in winter, so if it rained this winter, the leaves should be already quite clean.

Finally, if the "insect killers" does not use pesticides in winter (insects were hidden to protect themselves from the cold, it is useless) , and if it rains in your area. :D;)

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Don't tell anyone about my pebbles.

So it is actually illegal to just go to a forest and take leaves. The forests are either privatly owned or state owned. Private forest trespassers get shot at and state ones you get fines. They tell you at the parks if you take a pebble you will be fined.

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After reading this thread I decided to take some leaves from my front yard. They are mostly ash leaves mixed with the leaves of whatever trees my neighbors have in their front yards. Do you think that a soak with vinegar and baking soda would eliminate pests? I'm assuming the leaves are acceptable for roaches, as they are all hardwoods. I don't want to bake them in the oven/ microwave. With my track-record of fires, I wouldn't be surprised if I set water on fire in the oven/ microwave.

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After reading this thread I decided to take some leaves from my front yard. They are mostly ash leaves mixed with the leaves of whatever trees my neighbors have in their front yards. Do you think that a soak with vinegar and baking soda would eliminate pests? I'm assuming the leaves are acceptable for roaches, as they are all hardwoods. I don't want to bake them in the oven/ microwave. With my track-record of fires, I wouldn't be surprised if I set water on fire in the oven/ microwave.

Oh come on, putting wet leaves in the microwave for four minutes shouldn't start a fire, if you're careful. :D I've done it many times, always kills all the pests, and I have never had a fire.

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Oh come on, putting wet leaves in the microwave for four minutes shouldn't start a fire, if you're careful. :D I've done it many times, always kills all the pests, and I have never had a fire.

Not in my microwave. I set a can of beans on fire in the microwave, and it was almost fully filled with water! 30 seconds and even wet sticks begin to crackle. It heats a few specific areas to really high temperatures which concentrates the heat and is a recipe for fire. It does this to food too. Bugfarm said 48 hours in a deep freeze would do the trick. I'll soak them in vinegar, rinse them in the bathtub, dry them in the sun, and then freeze them in the deep freeze. Considering it's winter and pests will be in fewer numbers, I think I will be fine.

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Not in my microwave. I set a can of beans on fire in the microwave, and it was almost fully filled with water! 30 seconds and even wet sticks begin to crackle. It heats a few specific areas to really high temperatures which concentrates the heat and is a recipe for fire. It does this to food too. Bugfarm said 48 hours in a deep freeze would do the trick. I'll soak them in vinegar, rinse them in the bathtub, dry them in the sun, and then freeze them in the deep freeze. Considering it's winter and pests will be in fewer numbers, I think I will be fine.

I think you're overthinking it a bit.. If you're sure it's free of pesticides, just toss it on into the enclosure. I think whatever the roaches benefit from the leaves will be washed away by such a process. They seem to benefit from rotten, old leaves and wood straight from the forest floor.

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Not in my microwave. I set a can of beans on fire in the microwave, and it was almost fully filled with water! 30 seconds and even wet sticks begin to crackle. It heats a few specific areas to really high temperatures which concentrates the heat and is a recipe for fire. It does this to food too. Bugfarm said 48 hours in a deep freeze would do the trick. I'll soak them in vinegar, rinse them in the bathtub, dry them in the sun, and then freeze them in the deep freeze. Considering it's winter and pests will be in fewer numbers, I think I will be fine.

Did you put the can in the microwave? You're not supposed to put metal in a microwave, you can easily start a fire like that. Still, sounds like you need a better, safer microwave! :P

Freezing does not always kill some pests, including mites. Still, it's better than just dumping the stuff straight in the cage I suppose.

I think you're overthinking it a bit.. If you're sure it's free of pesticides, just toss it on into the enclosure. I think whatever the roaches benefit from the leaves will be washed away by such a process. They seem to benefit from rotten, old leaves and wood straight from the forest floor.

While sterilizing the leaves probably gets rid of some nutrients, it is better to clean them than to let harmful pests and fungi into your enclosures. Once you have such pests, it can be almost impossible to eliminate them. The roaches do just fine with sterilized leaves/wood, and the pros of sterilising far outweigh the come.

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Did you put the can in the microwave? You're not supposed to put metal in a microwave, you can easily start a fire like that. Still, sounds like you need a better, safer microwave! :P

Freezing does not always kill some pests, including mites. Still, it's better than just dumping the stuff straight in the cage I suppose.

While sterilizing the leaves probably gets rid of some nutrients, it is better to clean them than to let harmful pests and fungi into your enclosures. Once you have such pests, it can be almost impossible to eliminate them. The roaches do just fine with sterilized leaves/wood, and the pros of sterilising far outweigh the come.

First, LOL! I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT! XD I tell this story to people all the time, and you're the first one to catch that. I didn't ever think of that! I guess that's the reason why it caught fire lol.

Second, I agree with your statement on sterilization. I did toss some bark that I had pulled off a dead tree into a roach bin without sterilization, and there were no pest organisms on it, and the bark seems to be doing just fine as well as mold is concerned. However, because leaves are found on the ground, they are more vulnerable to carrying pests. Said leaves have been buried under snow for several weeks now, so I'm not as concerned about mites as I normally would be, but I'm sure that if the cold doesn't kill them, the vinegar will.

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What kinds of pests are transferred into the enclosures, that are so hard to eliminate? I'm not familiar, but curious to know. As for the mold and fungi, if it affects the keeper with allergies and such, I can understand. But I don't think it's any more harmful to the roaches than any mold and fungi they encounter in the wild. There's all kinds of fungus in the tropical environments many roaches come from. I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't suffer from allergies much, and I also run an air purifier in my roach room, and have yet to experience any negative reactions to the wood and leaves I put into my enclosures.

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First, LOL! I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT! XD I tell this story to people all the time, and you're the first one to catch that. I didn't ever think of that! I guess that's the reason why it caught fire lol.

Second, I agree with your statement on sterilization. I did toss some bark that I had pulled off a dead tree into a roach bin without sterilization, and there were no pest organisms on it, and the bark seems to be doing just fine as well as mold is concerned. However, because leaves are found on the ground, they are more vulnerable to carrying pests. Said leaves have been buried under snow for several weeks now, so I'm not as concerned about mites as I normally would be, but I'm sure that if the cold doesn't kill them, the vinegar will.

Omg well that explains it! I once accidentally put a potato covered in aluminum foil in my microwave, there was a mini light show of sparks and fire in there, lol! :lol:

Yes it's always possible to be lucky and not get any pests, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Just last month, I put some unsterilised leaves in a couple of my cages. A few weeks after, my roaches started getting attacked by entomophagous mold. Luckily I was able to save most of the roaches and I gave them new substrate, decor etc., but still, if I had just sterilized the leaves the whole thing would have most likely never happened.

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What kinds of pests are transferred into the enclosures, that are so hard to eliminate? I'm not familiar, but curious to know. As for the mold and fungi, if it affects the keeper with allergies and such, I can understand. But I don't think it's any more harmful to the roaches than any mold and fungi they encounter in the wild. There's all kinds of fungus in the tropical environments many roaches come from. I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't suffer from allergies much, and I also run an air purifier in my roach room, and have yet to experience any negative reactions to the wood and leaves I put into my enclosures.

As I said, entomophagous mold, mites, nematodes, mites, oh wait, did I forget to mention mites? I have several different species of mites in my enclosures, all of them seem to be more prolific than my springtails. I HATE them. :angry:

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What kinds of pests are transferred into the enclosures, that are so hard to eliminate? I'm not familiar, but curious to know. As for the mold and fungi, if it affects the keeper with allergies and such, I can understand. But I don't think it's any more harmful to the roaches than any mold and fungi they encounter in the wild. There's all kinds of fungus in the tropical environments many roaches come from. I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't suffer from allergies much, and I also run an air purifier in my roach room, and have yet to experience any negative reactions to the wood and leaves I put into my enclosures.

Mites are the worst. They can directly harm your roaches, and you can never get 100% of them out. Phorid fly and fungus gnat larvae and pupae are also nasty things that can be hiding in leaf litter. As for mold, your roaches will not be used to and adapted to the native molds in your area. They are used to living with the molds in their natural environment. And who says roaches don't die from molds in the wild? I'm sure it happens all the time!

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As I said, entomophagous mold, mites, nematodes, mites, oh wait, did I forget to mention mites? I have several different species of mites in my enclosures, all of them seem to be more prolific than my springtails. I HATE them. :angry:

OH BEAT ME BY TWO SECONDS! You win this time @Hisserdude!

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