This past week I had an amazing idea that turned out really, really bad!
But first, some background: Months ago I had a pantry moth invasion, thanks to TSC's cruddy wheat bran. After buying traps I finally got rid of them, but not before I developed a spider invasion (because they like to 'catch' the moths). Tired of seeing spiders and flies and other pests around my beetle bins, I decided I would purchase some netting to cover my beetles. I searched online and found an inexpensive camping net, designed to keep mosquitoes away. It was the perfect size to cover all of my beetle towers, and I couldn't wait to share my awesome idea with the world!
After a week or so I uncovered the net to do my weekly sorting. This is when I found all 30,000 beetles DEAD! I happened to have a few thousand other beetles that weren't under the netting, and they are all still alive. After discussing with a few other farmers we concluded that the netting was likely the culprit. Though it wasn't labeled, the netting must have been treated or soaked in some type of bug repellent, which unfortunately killed the beetles. I don't know if soaking the netting first in water or vinegar would have removed the repellent, but just be careful if you purchase mosquito netting for your critters!
The lesson: If you ever get an innovative idea, test it on a few worms or beetles for a couple weeks first before applying it to your entire farm. Nothing worse than killing all your critters at the same time!