Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wisdom with Antibiotics

Many different brands of this product exist.   In Mexico, a refrigerated lactobacillus drink can be purchased at most grocery stores.

One example of a vaginal anti-fungal which also can be used per rectum for rectal thrush infections.  Ask your physician for guidance for this.

    Antibiotics are necessary evils. As many of you know, an antibiotic is useful in order to limit the replication of bacteria so that our bodies can gain a stronghold and ultimately defeat the infection.    Many minor infections can be treated topically (with antibacterial creams or even pine oil derivatives)  However, a true antibiotic taken by mouth cannot defeat an infection which is viral, or a fungal infection.  In fact, an antibiotic will make a fungal infection worse.
        "Why then" you ask, "Did my doctor prescribe an antibiotic when I had a viral infection ?"  Generally, it is best not to prescribe an antibiotic for a viral infection. Occasionally, however, it is done in order to treat an additional evolving bacterial superimposed imfection, or a sinusitis, for example, which can occur when a viral infection leaves us compromised enough that we catch the next bacterial infection to which we are exposed. There are trade offs for doing this though.  Using antibiotics more frequently means that we expose the normal complement of bacterial flora in and on our bodies, and we make ourselves more prone to infections with more resistant bacteria.   For example, when my eldest children were babies, amoxicillin was taking care of bacterial infections that most infants and toddlers had.   Now, this is often not the case.  More and more antibiotics have had to be developed in order to effectively treat bacterial infections which have developed resistance to some antibiotics or groups of antibiotics.  Additionally, some types of antibiotics treat certain types of organisms effectively, and make little or no difference to others. It is therefore important to let your physician select the antibiotic you take (after informing him/her of any allergies)  I know the temptation to steer your physician is great, but you should try to resist this. Sometimes a physician must get something called a c & s, a culture and sensitivity to correctly identify the causative organism of your infection and to find an antibiotic that will actually treat the infection.
           Many times, a physician or a dentist prescribes an antibiotic and does not complete the directions.  Anytime you are taking an antibiotic orally, you may also be wiping out HEALTHY, NORMAL bacteria, that we call normal flora,  as well as the bacteria we have intentionally targeted.   One action that we can take in order to prevent doing so, is to ingest probiotics.  In many nations, one can buy lactobacillus acidophilus in capsules as a probiotic which can easily be administered.  One should take these, if you can, anytime that you are taking an oral antibiotic, and for a few days after completing them.  This will help to avoid the diarrhea which can occur, as a result of inadvertently sterilizing ones gut while taking antibiotics.   These will also help to prevent other results of antibiotic use, and fungal overgrowth.  If you cannot obtain lactobacillus or similar preparation, then yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese and other fermented milk products can aid in the restoration of intestinal bacteria, and to some degree, in other areas of the body as well. If you take lactobacillus while you are taking an antibiotic, it is probably best to take them apart from one another by at least three hours.
           Sometimes, an infant on an antibiotic develops an angry red diaper rash which burns and creates significant discomfort for them..  This is a thrush or yeast diaper rash.  This can be treated in the short term by giving the infant yogurt, and by placing plain yogurt directly on the reddened area of the buttocks, until you can see your physician for a cream that can cure this rapidly.     Children and particularly women on antibiotics can also develop a yeast infection of the vagina.  In most places, your pharmacy can provide an over the counter cream and directions for intravaginal administration.  These medications are often Miconazole or similar preparations.  Please be sure to get the ones intended for vaginal administration, and not the ones intended for athlete's foot.      Rectal yeast infections can also occur as a result of using a full run of antibiotics.   One can use a rectal Miconazole suppository designed for vaginal treatment, in the rectum at bedtime, for generally three days, in order to treat this.    Most yeast infections can be treated this way.  The few that are resistant, need to be treated with antifungals which are available by prescription from your physician.    See your physician if you have any doubt as to what is going on, OR if you develop a thrush infection of your throat, as this also needs to be treated a little differently.
           Recurrent yeast infections without prior antibiotic use may signal something else going on.  Sometimes hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and some other disorders will begin this way.
            With all of these cautions, if you are on an antibiotic, you should be cautioned to complete the amount prescribed. Taking a shorter run of antibiotics and discontinued without good cause, could help to create strains of bacteria which are more resistant to antibiotic treatment in the future.
               Since Miconazole and other over-the-counter yeast infection treatments targeted at vaginal yeast, are inexpensive, and frankly work well beyond their stated dates of expiration, if stored in a heated and cooled area, those interested in preparedness might wish to buy one or two boxes in anticipation of yeast infection treatment at some point.   Other brands, are listed below, and include the generic drug name, for those of you who are out of the country, or prefer to buy generics, and then a US tradename following. The generics of these drugs work just fine.

       MICONAZOLE NITRATE   (Monistat)
       CLOTRIMAZOLE          (Gyne-Lotrimin or Mycelex)
       BUTOCONAZOLE         (Gynezol or Femstat)
       TIOCONAZOLE             (Vagistat-1)

This is simply one brand of Kefir.   When buying product please read carefully. You are seeking a high bacteria count in order to reseed your colon properly.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Survival and Grief

        Today is the third anniversary of the sudden death of my youngest son, who was 12 1/2.    He was well, and died following a wonderful Thanksgiving Day in which he played a rigorous game of soccer with older teens. The following morning, he was well, got up, spoke to us about Christmas shopping and getting a cat, and then walked into the bathroom, collapsed and died. Despite rapid CPR and an emergency helicopter ambulance, we never revived him.  Nothing was found on autopsy, and so the presumptive cause of death, is a spontaneous arrhythmia (or heart rhythm disturbance) of unknown cause.  There has been talk of the possibility of a disorder known as Long QT Syndrome, but Daniel was never ill, and therefore never had an EKG. This will therefore forever remain as a theoretical possibility, and no more.  The sudden loss of a healthy child, due to presumed heart rhythm disturbance, and NOT a heart attack,  has been occurring more and more around the world and is now in the news fairly often.  Our family's faith has been something that has helped us survive this.
            I mention this because it is unreasonable to expect that you and your family will pass through life never being tested by a period of loss and of grief.  Certainly, there are people who seem never to have things go wrong, but most of us do.  Some of us experience great losses and great grief and sometimes multiple tragedies.  I mention this today because in order to be a competent practitioner of preparedness there needs to be some forethought on grief and loss.    Heaven forbid, if a natural disaster, or man-made one occurs, and a member of your family is lost, it will be important to tell yourself that they would not want you to lose your own life, sitting in a bubble of grief and failing to take actions which would ensure your survival and the survival of your remaining family.   It is important to consider for a moment, what you would do should the unthinkable occur.  "Freezing in place" has cost the lives of many as the sit within the shock of the loss of someone,or even when faced with the loss of one's home.
            Please tell yourself that if anything horrible ever happens to someone you love deeply, that you will make the commitment to them, here and right now, to first, get out of harm's way, get help for yourself and other family members, eat and drink, deal with survivor guilt AFTER the emergency, and live to produce a meaningful monument to the loved one you have lost.  Do this now, before the maelstrom of life tears at your resolve to do so.
            One of my ways of memorializing Daniel is to pass along information we learned together which can help other families. Please make your mental preparations for challenges, economic, emotional, political, and others, now.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Potassium Iodide and Potassium Iodate....... A Starting Point in your Preparations

Below is a snippet I wrote for a magazine following the Fukashima Daiichi incident following the Great Earthquake of Eastern Japan.   This remains a timely starting point.  Find out where you can get Potassium Iodide or Potassium Iodate in your nation, what is recommended, and under what conditions.  Please do so while there is still some available.



Potassium Iodide is a salt which when taken in the proper amounts, can block the uptake of radioactive iodine. It is frequently marketed in tablets, under the name of “Iosat”. Administering Iosat can be very beneficial because the thyroid can be quite vulnerable to radioactive iodine in a radiologic emergency, and because this strategy can benefit us in the prevention of later thyroid cancer. It is important to realize that even when properly used and taken as directed by public health officials, that the only organ protected by this practice is the thyroid, therefore evacuation from a contaminated area is always best. Since radioactive iodine has a half life of eight days, rational evacuation of a week or two may be all that is necessary. (Supposing that in this particular emergency, only radioactive iodine is released.) Following a radiologic emergency, a combination of administering potassium iodide tablets to human beings in the target area, coupled with evacuation, even for a week or two, is usually the best course.
Failure to take potassium iodide following a radiologic emergency may result in immediate or long term effects on the thyroid gland. Thyroid cancer, goiters, hypothyroidism, and thyroid growths may occur following untreated exposure to higher levels of radioactive iodine. Since thyroid failure in a child can impact intellect, and thyroid failure in a woman can impact successful reproduction, these are important considerations.
Many of us have chosen to keep an adequate supply of potassium iodide tablets for potential radiologic emergency in advance of such an occurence. This way, we sidestep distribution difficulties in a time in which our governmental and public health authorities will be most occupied. The tablets being sold now, most often have an expiration date of 2017. Those with small children, or with elderly family members may wish to consider buying the liquid preparation of this drug. The liquid version of this drug is said to expire in five years and is marketed as “Thyro-Shield”. In the past, I have purchased thyroid protective medication in advance of a radiologic emergency from the following sources: potassium iodide

potassium iodate
Please know that following the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear reactor disasters in Japan, many sources of potassium iodide are temporarily unavailable, as they help to meet the need in Japan, not only for the Japanese people, but for first responders from other nations as they rush to help. Please rest assured that all sources here in America, will likely restock very quickly thereafter.
Both the dose required is noted on each package, as is the expiration date of each package. These medications should be kept in a cool, dry place. They may be effective beyond their expiration date, but I have replaced them as we approach expiration, in the years that we have kept these in our emergency supplies. I keep the expired tablets, in a plastic bag, marked EXPIRED, and I save them. I save them in the event that in an emergency they could be useful to someone, or in the event that an official veterinary body makes an official recommendation for animals, as at the present time, they have not. Iosat is approved by the FDA for this use and is stockpiled by many arms of the US government.
Potassium Iodate is also marketed for the purpose of blocking radioactive iodine uptake by the thyroid. (One of the brand names is Rad-Block) Presently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) questions whether potassium iodate is as effective at blocking radioactive iodine uptake of the thyroid, as Potassium Iodide is. Therefore, Potassium Iodate is not approved by the FDA, but is in fact, available for sale at a variety of internet sources. The FDA also has voiced concerns regarding a higher potential for side effects from ingesting the Potassium Iodate preparation. Other nations may still stock and sell this in their pharmacies.
I think it is unquestionably wise for every family to invest the sum it would take to provide Potassium Iodide to their family members for a period of a few days, while planning to evacuate following a radiologic emergency. Although a “Dirty Bomb” is generally a local phenomenon, the potential for a nuclear bomb or even fallout from a local nuclear reactor, you may not even know existed in your area, is always possible. Although this does take some planning, reading and forethought, it is one of the easiest disaster preparations a family can make.
Although the news presently seems to indicate that the Japanese nuclear disaster will not adversely impact the contiguous United States, it is not over just yet. The Japanese still have six reactors in close proximity to one another, in tandem with spent nuclear fuel rods which are not yet being optimally cooled. This should be a lesson in the need for preparation for potential radiologic disaster for us all.

References and Sources for Additional Information:



Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is Irreversible Pulpitis ?

In health classes in the US and in Europe, we might be good at talking about nutrition, or sex education, or smoking avoidance, but we don't talk much about dental health, other than talking about the manner in which we should brush and floss. There it ends. This is a problem, because in a short course we really could impact students in making better choices with regard to dental health, and better choices when it's time to take action. First of all, your dental health is not divorced from your general health. People with decay have higher available amounts of bacteria traveling in their bloodstreams which can migrate to their hearts. This can cause an irritation in plaque in their hearts and result in heart attack, or it can cause an endocarditis, and a much more rapid death. In addition, we know that people who bite down on real teeth have better cranial circulation than those who bite down on false teeth, and so this is an added incentive to keeping healthy teeth as long as is practical. Many things are just not covered in school, and one of those things which should be is something called irreversible pulpitis.   
       Most of us have known a toothache at one time or another.  The pain of irreversible pulpitis is different.  It is a severe pain in which narcotics can be ineffective.  It also awakens the patient at night. The pain begins at the tooth itself and then refers to neighboring teeth and then eventually to the entire side of that patient's mouth. These patients may be so heat and cold sensitive that even a breath of air can leave them writhing in pain for perhaps an hour.  Dentists agree that the only intervention, at that point, is to either endodontically treat, which means to remove the root, fill the entire tooth and to eventually recap to protect it. (In common speech, a root canal plus crown or capping)  However, many of us choose simply to pull the diseased tooth.  We need to know what irreversible pulpitis is, not only in order to avoid it, but to seek treatment when it does occur.   This is a dental emergency in which the patient could actually lose track of having medicated himself for pain, and could actually die from inadvertent pain medication overdose. If not treated, the patient can develop a septicemia and may possibly die without treatment or experience some of the cardiac complications I mentioned.   A woman I met in a bereavement group several years ago lost an adult son to a tooth infection which was improperly managed at a hospital emergency room.

Here are some references:

To be truly well prepared for other emergencies, we need to maintain good dental health and to establish an alliance with a trusted dentist, even if we have no dental insurance, and little money.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pre-Shocks are More Correctly Foreshocks

Following the 5.8 earthquake in Central Virginia in August which damaged the Washington Monument in Washington DC, the National Cathedral there also, and did 58 plus million dollars worth of damage in Louisa, Va, the aftershocks just keep on coming. This quake was also meaningfully felt by those having meetings in skyscrapers in Toronto. There have been in excess of 100 aftershocks since then if you couple those reported by the US Geological Service, along with Virginia Tech, Canada's reporting body, and others. USGS has been slow to detect and to report some of these. To their credit, they are out placing additional listening devices in the area now.
In general, aftershocks are not harmless. Buildings, roads and infrastructure which may be initially damaged by the first quake, may be additionally damaged by aftershocks. In Louisa, a road was not visibly damaged by the initial quake, but collapsed completely during an early aftershock, leaving a sink hole in the road.
It has now been three months since the initial quake, and these smaller magnitude quakes continue. This weekend, we had five alone, ranging around the 2 s but as severe as 2.5 . I have asked a number of times, when we can tell what is truly an aftershock from the original event, and what is, in fact, a harbinger of a severe quake to come, a "pre-shock" ? It seems that the correct word is foreshock.
Apparently, aftershocks can be of severe magnitude, are unpredictable, and can result in serious damage. Foreshocks, which can be harbingers of higher magnitude seismic activity in the near future, cannot be well differentiated from aftershocks. So, we sit wondering which is which. Is an additional 5.8 to 5.9 coming soon, or will the next one be 8.3 ? No one can really tell us with any authority, and perhaps even if they could, they wouldn't anyway.
My own conclusion is that central Virginia is seismically active, and that families need to earthquake proof their homes, and be very attentive to shelving and furniture placement. Placing cribs under windows may be unwise now. Recently, my daughter visited the interior of Luray Caverns, underground in Virginia, which was quite impressive. They lost one small stalagmite during the quake in August. The staff reported that they have not felt or had damage from the aftershocks since.  It was well worth the trip. I think that was brave for her to go underground while we are still continuing to have all these aftershocks..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One of the Reasons I am Fond of Russians

I have spent most of my life being raised in the United States where we were taught as a nation in the 1960s and for a time beyond that the Russians were unpredictable vile people with bad food, whose intent was to take us over at first opportunity. You can imagine my surprize when as a adult, I spent a month in Russia finding a fascinating culture, a respect for the arts, and a generosity of spirit which is rare. They may have little, but they would give you half. I also found some of my favorite food in the world ! In my own experience, Russians are a passionate people, who don't suffer fools gladly, and rarely keep their feelings to themselves.
This fabulous video, though a shade on the disrespectful side, is something many Americans have been doing lately. This newscaster, Tatiana Limanova is covering the APEC from Honolulu.

I have replaced this video three times as it is repeatedly being pulled from YouTube.
If you wish to see it, it should be more permanently here:

In defense of Ms. Limonova, she claims to have been doing voiceovers when people working with her were distracting her. Her gesture is intended for them, and she claims that the mention of President Barack Obama is simply incidental. It gave us all quite a laugh though.

UPDATE: As of today, news sources are reporting that Ms. Limonova has been taken off the air by her employer REN-TV. If you oppose her removal, please post here: Thank you.

What Is An Oxygen Concentrator ?

Lifechoice Oxygen Concentrator.  One of the smaller devices available.

This is highly portable.     

   An oxygen concentrator is a device which is able to concentrate and provide oxygen to a patient at anywhere from slightly higher percentages of oxygen than ambient (room) air, to many more times a higher percentage of oxygen than is found there.  This can be beneficial for some patients because without it, they must purchase, have delivered, and maintain oxygen tanks.

 Machines can be set to provide the physician ordered amounts of:

 nasal cannula.
  • 0 liters per minute: 21% (Room Air)
  • 1 liters per minute: 25%
  • 2 liters per minute: 29%
  • 3 liters per minute: 33%
  • 4 liters per minute: 37%
  • 5 liters per minute: 41%
  • 6 liters per minute: 45%

Keep in mind that a physician order needs to be obtained before any oxygen therapy is undertaken because oxygen removes respiratory incentive, and because people will decrease their respiratory rate naturally in physiological response to a higher oxygen provision.  Yes, unbridled and unregulated oxygen can be potentially dangerous.

     However, if you run a clinic, or take care of those with respiratory problems, or are evacuating those with a respiratory issue, one of these and an inverter could be invaluable. This is also not as dangerous as carrying or transporting oxygen tanks.  These are also useful as an adjunct to CPAP units.  The original units were quite large and designed for home or hospital use, but the newer portable units can be useful even during evacuations.

  I will therefore list some, as a starting point.

Although it is probably best to purchase a new device which makes use of all the new warranties, it is possible to buy a used, cleaned and reconditioned device for as little as $200.

Here are some devices and different sources:

Specifications for the Used Respironics M5 Home Concentrators #101811C:

  • Alert / Alarm:
    Low System Pressure, High System Pressure, Power Failure, Low Oxygen Level (OPI Model Available), No Oxygen Flow
  • Electrical:
    120 VAC (+/- 10%), 60 Hz
  • Features:
    Maintenance free SMCT "sure cycle" valve, designed specifically for the Millennium
    Optional Oxygen Percentage Indicator(OPI?) ultrasonically measures the oxygen output as a purity indication Protective tubing neatly guards the electronic wires and tubing - double fault against electric shock
    Integrated Sieve canister reduces tubing connections to enhance bed life
    Twin Head Compressor:(higher stroke for more airflow through sieve beds)
    Highly durable casters designed to withstand rigorous usage
  • Flow Rate:
    1- 5 LPM in 1 liter increments
  • Operating ranges, Intended for Use:
    Temperature: 55 F to 90 F (12 C to 32 C)
    Humidity: Up to 95% Non-Condensing
  • Outlet Pressure:
    10 - 30 PSIG
  • Oxygen Concentration:
    92% +/- 4% At 5LPM | 94% +/- 2% At 4LPM | 92% +/- 4% At 3LPM
  • Storage Ranges, Intended for Storage:
    Temperature: -30 F to 160 F (-34 C to 71 C)
    Humidity: Up to 95%, non-condensing
  • Warranty:
    90 Day Parts and Labor Warranty
  • Weight:

  Please note that the larger more portable devices are more expensive.

This is from:

Inogen One G2

Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Inogen One G2 Machine Includes:

  • Inogen One G2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
  • 24 Cell Battery (8 Hour Battery Life)
  • Custom Carrying Case
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Handle Strap
  • Travel Cart With Telescopic Handle
  • AC Power Supply (Wall Outlet)
  • DC Power Supply (Car Outlet)
  • Tubing
  • Filters
  • 3 Year Warranty (Backed Up By Our 3 Year Free Loaner Program)

Call 1-888-846-8769 For Price

Price :   $SEE EMAIL

The New Smaller Lighter Better Inogen One G2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator
The Inogen One G2 is the newest addition to the Inogen family of portable oxygen machines. Inogen has been a pioneer when it comes to travel oxygen machines.  The new improved Inogen One G2 is half the size of the original Inogen One.  Traveling around with the G2 is simple, throw on the shoulder strap to carry it over your shoulder, carry it like a briefcase with the handle strap, or roll it around on the traveling cart. The battery just slips into the bottom and you are good to go! There are two batteries for the Inogen One G2, 12 Cell (4 Hours), and 24 Cell (8 Hours). 

Travel With Ease With The Brand New Inogen One G2!
Inogen One G2 is FAA approved for commercial airline travel. Whether you are traveling by train, plane, automobile, or even by boat, the G2 portable oxygen machine will be there to give you uninterrupted oxygen flow. There are three different power sources for the Inogen, AC Power Supply when around a wall outlet, DC Power Supply when in a car, or just run the oxygen concentrator of the batteries. Choose to throw the Inogen over your shoulder or put it on the travel cart while traveling through an airport or train station.

Small Enough To Fit In The Palm Of Your Hand
Inogen G2

The Inogen One G2 is so small a patient can carry it in the palm of their hand! There is no need for the heavy, bulky, and awkward to carry tanks. With the new Inogen One G2 patients receive the freedom that they want and need!


Other sources:

Be sure to check the references of any supplier, and ask your insurance company for a recommendation if applicable.
 Disclaimer:    IMPORTANT
This post is for educational and informational use only.
Not all patients on oxygen can use or benefit from a portable oxygen concentrator.
I do not endorse any particular supplier or unit.  Your physician and your own research in your area are the best ways to locate the best unit and deal for you in your area.
Oxygen is an incendiary hazard.   Patients who smoke while using oxygen risk not only killing themselves in fire, but destroying their homes and killing their loved ones also.
Do not use oxygen supplementation from any source without the order and guidance of a licensed physician.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What if these are Preshocks, not Aftershocks ?


   My husband and I go relatively long periods without having the chance to go out to lunch or dinner together.  Between his job in the city, and all the things I do, including things with our kids, dinner at home is usually all we can fit in.   In the past couple of weeks though, we had the opportunity to eat out together twice.  The first time was the casual dinner in which I broke my molar, and the second one was yesterday, when we went shopping for some things to do some home maintenance, and decided to go out for lunch at a new Chinese restaurant.   Once again, I was in a Chinese restaurant when an earthquake hit.  This was a minor one, a 2.6, and the glasses in the restaurant shook, as did the lighting fixtures and the fine square white dishes on the marble topped tables.  We had two such quakes this weekend.   Since the major one in August, most people ignore these, simply considering them aftershocks.
           I am not at all sure that these are simple aftershocks. There have been more than a hundred of them since August. It seems to me that perhaps this is an indication that a newer or less known fault is active now, and that additional more severe quakes are coming, perhaps not only to Virginia, but to the East Coast as well.  This might explain all the minivans from the US Geological Survey here, placing more listening devices, and perhaps for the initial reluctance to give federal monies for clean up.  Perhaps these clusters of quakes are in fact, pre-shocks of a more severe quake that is coming soon. What if a more severe quake is coming ?  Would we be told ?
           It seems reasonably simple to prepare for future quakes.  Anchor bookcases, refrigerators, storage units, etc.   Place magnet closures on kitchen cabinets.  Consider placing shelf bracing across shelves to prevent the shooting out of jars during a quake.

Shelf with bracing, This picture is borrowed from the Blog: The Prepared LDS Family. (Links to her blog are at the end of this page)

          Look at each of your bedrooms and sleeping areas.  If an earthquake were to occur, would books, glassware or decorative items fall on the heads of sleepers ?  Take a serious look around your home and see what you think could stand to be fortified, changed or reinforced.   This need not cost much.  I spent $75.00 a couple of years ago in order to anchor things securely at our house, and for the most part, we anticipated well. (Other than our main pantry.  The door was unlatched and things were literally thrown across the room when the earthquake occurred.) We will now make sure it is latched before leaving.  We can't anticipate everything, but we can anticipate a great deal.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In Recognition of Our Subscribers from England

         Those of you who know me well know that I attended school in England as a young teen and that my mother was British.  Even though she lived most of her life in the US, she chose never to relinquish her status as a British subject.  England will always be a place of which I am fond. It's been a surprise for me to see that of the nations who have been most enthusiastic about regularly checking the material of this blog, that England has been one.
          Many changes have occurred in England in the past few years.   The England I remember was incredibly well organized.  It was orderly and incredibly neat.   The last couple of times I have visited, there were many surprizing changes.  Privatization of many services, poor maintenance of general infrastructure, and unreasonable numbers from an influx of refugees from many lands has left England struggling to pay for its National Health Service and for other services, that British people began to take for granted.  (I do not oppose foreigners entering, but what I am saying is that England is a small island and that their national absorptive ability was overrated.. They accepted unreasonable numbers of refugees to a point at which they are unable to assimilate, employ and feed all of them.)  My very last visit to England was difficult.  My aunt had died and I was there to settle her estate and pay some expenses.  I found the system to be very inflexible and difficult, even WITH a solicitor, the English equivalent to an general attorney sans litigation.
        Since then, my friends there have left the city and suburban areas , and live rurally attempting to grow whatever they can to eat.  Many people in England are deeply worried about the potential economic collapse with food shortages.  Sadly, the nation which organized and did so well in Churchill's day is having trouble organizing and meeting needs in a much less homogenous society than it had then.
         If you are in England now, I share your concern, and hope that something in this blog resonates with you, and helps you in your quest to organize yourself in order to take care of your families. The English face some special challenges as many homes have limited storage for preparedness, so some things are challenging.  Know that I am thinking of you when I write some of these posts.  Best wishes.

The Dental Emergency Kit

Dental Emergency Kit sold by Landfall

Another very good dental emergency kit by Traveler's Supply,
only $24.95


   Last week, I went out to dinner with my husband when a very small piece of molar broke off during dinner.  On reporting to the dentist, the following day, I found that there had been some problem with the filling in that tooth, and that this had weakened it sufficiently to allow a small portion of the actual tooth to break off.  I was fortunately able to get a dentist's appointment quickly, and have this repaired.  The new polymers which look white, were used, to which I appear somewhat sensitive, and I have been in pain ever since.  It is therefore not surprising that I would want to make a post on your establishing an emergency dental kit for your preparations.
                     The first and most important thing to do is to make sure you have established a business relationship with a good dentist so that if there IS a disaster, you would still have someone who could see you and help you in an extreme dental emergency.  Yes, some of them will work on Saturdays and Sundays in an emergency, but not if you have not seen them before.  Secondly, it's important that you address any known dental problems you have. Infected or abscessed teeth cannot simply result in the loss of the tooth and a lot of pain, but also in heart lining infections which can produce death.  Rarely, a brain infection can occur following an infected tooth.  General health can be adversely impacted as a result of dental neglect.    Fortunately, in much of the world, dental care is less expensive than it is in the United States.   When we were in Russia, I spent considerable time looking in the hotel menu of dental services, wishing that I could have my regular dental work done at such reasonable prices !  In many parts of the world, dental care is a good value.
                  Following addressing known problems and maintaining your teeth and gums as your dentist directs. there are some other things you can and should do, in anticipation of emergencies.  One is to get sufficient Vitamin C.  Since our bodies cannot store Vitamin C, we need some each day.  Without Vitamin C, gum diseases accelerate, and without healthy gums, our gums recede, and we accelerate the process of losing our teeth.  Many nations are good about this, and in Russia, people are liberal with lemon juice as a means of getting their Daily C.  In Europe, oranges are very popular in one form or another.  In the US, Vitamin C appears to slide just a little more.  With the skyrocketing costs of orange juice, this isn't a breakfast staple anymore.  Look at your diet and your supplements. Are you receiving a sufficient amount ?
                 Make sure you are getting adequate calcium. If you are a pregnant woman or nursing mother, your calcium requirements are higher. If you are a person taking thyroid hormones, estrogen supplements following menopause,  drugs to correct osteoporosis, or someone with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, you may also need calcium supplementation and additional Vitamin D.
                 Next, you should establish a dental emergency kit.  The two above are excellent examples.
These do not allow you to repair your own teeth or become your own family dentist, but they do allow you to make it to the dentist's appointment at the end of the week without going mad in pain. They will allow you to temporarily fill a lost filling.
             My favorite kit can be purchased from:

It contains:

Dental examining gloves
Dental examining mirror
Dental tweezers
Dental exploring point
Dental spatula
Dental wax
Dental floss
Dentemp filling material
Dentemp crown & bridge cement
Dental ointment for cold sores
Dental ointment for canker sores
Salt sticks
Cotton stick
Cotton rolls
Cotton balls
Cotton gauze pads
Toothbrush with toothpaste
Toothache drops (eugenol oil of cloves)
Emergency Dental Treatment Instructions
It sells for $34.95 US.

        Fortunately, there are a number of kits available in many places which contain filling material and directions. I would also recommend getting something like Oragel or Anbesol, which basically is Benzocaine 20%. Using a small amount around the gum of a tooth which is painful can be a big help at times.

This kit is only $19.99 from

A good kit enables you to deal with toothache; loss of a filling, crown or cap; a tooth fracture; gum irritation and sores, or irritation from braces, or new dentures. This kit is used for emergencies only and is not intended to replace regular professional dental care or when available, emergency dental care.

This one is a Hiker's dental kit:

Hiker's Emergency Dental Kit, available at Landfall, above.


       Also, the other thing I have found is that many fillings, done at the dentists particularly those filled with the newer quickly setting polymers do not seem to provide the same level of hot cold protection as did the amalgam fillings.   I am extremely sensitive to cold when I eat, to the point at which I am not requesting "no ice" in anything.   There is a line of Sensodyne and similar toothpastes which help the user's teeth to be less sensitive to temperature changes, following dental repair.

       There are also simply Den-temp kits which for two or three dollars provides emergency filling material. This is the same material that your dentist uses to temporarily fill a tooth.  You can build your own dental emergency kit around a two or three dollar Den-Temp filling kit.  Please follow the directions for use exactly. These kits do expire eventually, and do best when stored in a heated and cooled environment, so pay attention to where they are housed, and to their expiration dates.  (They do work for some months past their stated date of expiry)

        There is one other thing I should mention.  If you or a child ever lose a viable tooth due to trauma or accident. Save the tooth, place it in cool milk and head to a dentist immediately.  A surprisingly large number of teeth can be reimplanted and anchored temporarily, while the the re-placed tooth regrows roots.
      I hope this post is helpful to you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Additional Earthquake in Turkey Today

According to the Associated Press, a 7 year old handicapped girl died in Ercis on Friday, of pneumonia. Following the original earthquakes, she and her family had as yet been unable to obtain a proper tent and had been living in a very cold makeshift one. These losses to exposure are likely to continue in Turkey. Today, an additional quake of 5.2 occured, also in the Van province.
Please keep the survivors in Turkey in your thoughts and prayers. Use this time also to consider how you and your family would survive, even for a few days in the midst of a severe earthquake in your region.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Founder of Diaspora, Dead at 22

Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22,  a co-founder of the startup social networking site Diaspora that put an emphasis on privacy and user-control, has died, a Diaspora spokesman announced today.
The cause of Zhitomirskiy's death in San Francisco, is not yet known. An autopsy by the San Francisco's Medical Examiner's Office will no doubt release more solid information in a week or two. Although there is broad speculation regarding suicide, this has not yet been determined or ascertained.
This is disturbing on many levels and for so many of us. As the parent of a child who died young, I can only too clearly imagine the feelings and perspectives of this young man's friends and family. Additionally, the world has lost a very fine mind, who valued social networking AND privacy controls for the personal information for Diaspora members. As the mother of young men this man's age, I am struck by the sorrow and the waste of this soul, whose fantastic contributions to this Earth, are now complete. I send the condolences of my family, to his.
Ilya's remembrance page is:

UPDATE:   As of December 14, 2011, we have no official cause of death from toxicology reports obtained during Ilya's autopsy. The death is surmised to be a suicide, without conclusive evidence as yet.  We send our best wishes to his family and his friends. This is a great loss for the technology world, and for our own as a whole.

UPDATE:  As of December 23, 2011, no final official cause of death has been concluded or announced by the Medical Examiner's office.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Correct Use of Oxygen Absorbers

 The following article is so clear and so well written that I didn't want to take the chance of writing something less clear using this, and seven other references.

  On the internet, this was found at:

  This is a very timely post for me.   Oxygen absorbers can be purchased from a variety of places by running an internet search for  "buy oxygen absorbers".    I generally buy mine from Augason Farms.  (

Of course,   sells a lot of very useful preparedness supplies also.

End of my post:


submitted by Denis Korn

I introduced the use of oxygen absorbers into the emergency food and outdoor recreational foods industries in the early 1990s.  I did it because oxygen absorbers offer an excellent and very effective technology, developed in Japan, to ensure a very low residual oxygen level in appropriate containers, and it was very easy and relatively inexpensive to use.
At that time, the goal was to achieve a residual oxygen level of 2% or below for the canning of shelf-stable dried foods.  This was the level required by military specifications for long-term foods.  Oxidation and an atmosphere inhibiting microbial growth are significantly reduced at these low levels.  The military specified the #10 can for their long term storage of dried products.  By utilizing the appropriate size oxygen absorber, the residual oxygen levels could actually be reduced to 0.1% or less – a significant drop in oxygen levels.
It is important to note that oxygen absorber sachets were designed to be used by industrial manufacturers and packers of food products with the necessary expertise in working with the absorbers.  While simple to use, if the absorbers are not handled properly or sized correctly, you have wasted your time and money and have not achieved the expected outcome.  I have seen and heard of numerous situations where individuals have inappropriately utilized oxygen absorbers, and they will unfortunately not accomplish the results anticipated.  If you are going to use these devices, I recommend following the instructions in this article and talking to those who are educated in their proper use.
Why use an oxygen absorber?
There are essentially two reasons one would use an oxygen absorber – the prevention of oxidation, and the prevention of food damage by infestation.  This, of course, helps to increase the shelf life of most foods one chooses for food storage.  We'll start by discussing oxidation; infestation is addressed further on in this article.
Oxidation is responsible for the deterioration of foods, including the loss of flavor and taste, discoloration, deterioration and rancidity of fats and oils, texture change, and nutritional loss.  Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others.  It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because, as you will see, the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.  Unfortunately, the issue of keeping foods in an oxygen-free environment is not easily understood by the do-it-yourself preparedness planner.  There is so much misinformation, speculation, confusion, and factual error that the average planner is at a disadvantage in learning the proper techniques.  Hopefully this article and others, along with the preparedness planner's careful research of trustworthy sources, will produce reliable results.
Determining the size of oxygen absorber
A number of sachet sizes are available, and the correct sachet will depend upon the container size and the void area (the empty space between the food item particles) in that container.  IMPORTANT: The Ageless brand of oxygen absorbers assigns their sizes with numbers that correspond to the oxygen “absorption capacity” in milliliters (ml) – this is the actual amount of oxygen that can be absorbed by the sachet.  Other companies may designate their sizes by the “equivalent air volume” in milliliters – this is the total air volume you have in the void area that includes oxygen, nitrogen, and a very small amount of other gases.  These are two different figures that it is important for you to know.  For your information, 1 gallon is equal to 3,785.4 cubic centimeters.
After you ascertain the void area of your container, you will have determined the equivalent air volume.  Since oxygen is approximately 20% of the normal air volume, divide the equivalent air volume by 5 to find the “absorption capacity” of each size sachet.  An Ageless Z100 will absorb 100 ml of oxygen contained in 500ml of air volume.
Obviously, a food item that has a large volume or irregular size will produce a larger void in a container; dried mushrooms, large beans, and certain dried vegetables would be an example of this.  The void in a container of powders, flours, small grains, and small beans would be less.
In general, camping food pouches use a Z30 or Z50, a #10 can a Z300 or Z500, and a 5 to 6 gallon bucket a Z1000 or Z2000, depending on the size of the food products and the void area.
Because only oxygen is absorbed by these packets, there will still be an approximately 80% inert nitrogen atmosphere in the container.  This will cause a partial vacuum effect, meaning that pouches will shrink slightly and become more compact, and in buckets there will be concave effect (top and sides will move slightly inward).
Advantages of quality oxygen absorbers
    * Reduces oxygen in an airtight container down to 0.1% or less to prolong a product’s shelf life.
    * Prevents oxidation and mold, bacteria, microorganisms, insect infestation and the like, which thrive in an oxygen-rich packaging environment.
    * Simple to use (when done properly).
    * Keeps food products from losing freshness, color, taste, flavor, wholesome goodness, and important nutritional value.
    * Conventional preservatives, antioxidants, gas flushing, and vacuum packing often are not effective because they do not completely eliminate oxygen.
    * Conventional and artificial preservatives may be undesirable to many and may produce adverse health affects.
    * Oxygen absorbers are safe to use.  They have been tested and found to be practically non-toxic.  The LD50 Value of the contents is safer than salt.
    * The sachet can be discarded through ordinary disposal methods, with no special treatment required.

Selection of a packaging container for use with an oxygen absorber

Of all the issues relating to the use of oxygen absorbers, this is the most confusing and misrepresented among the do-it-yourself group.  Remember, absorbers were designed with specific instructions for use by manufacturers and commercial packers.
Points to consider:
    * Oxygen absorbers were designed to work when inserted into cans, bottles, and film that offer a variety of airtight characteristics.
    * When using cans, make sure there is no leakage along seams.  While this container is not as practical to use for the do-it-yourself group, it is without a doubt the most reliable.
    * Glass bottles should have a tight seal between the bottle and closure.
    * Film pouches must be designed to have a negative to very low oxygen permeability.
    * Films have both an oxygen and vapor permeability rating.
    * The permeability or rate at which oxygen is transmitted through a film or material determines the length of time the container will remain oxygen free.
    * The permeability of metal and glass is zero.  It is the seams and closures that determine any leakage.
    * The permeability of aluminum foil is zero.
    * There are hundreds of combinations of various films for pouches.  No single barrier material is adequate for a pouch; it requires a combination of barrier materials to be laminated together.
    * Film materials with the proper barrier characteristics must be laminated together to create a pouch that will have a low permeability for an oxygen absorber to work properly.
    * The best pouches will include an aluminum foil barrier as one of the layers.
    * Pouches with evaporated or coated aluminum are not as good as solid foil.
    * While there are various plastic and nylon barriers that have a low permeability, they all will eventually allow the transmission of oxygen, and the oxygen levels in the pouches will increase.
    * The oxygen absorber can only absorb so much oxygen, and it too has a limited shelf life.
    * A general rule of thumb for a non-solid foil, laminated, high barrier pouch is a 3 year barrier viability life.
    * Low barrier pouches have a viability of 3 to 6 months depending on the film material.  Think “mylar” balloons filled with helium.
    * A laminated pouch with a solid foil barrier is generally between 4 and 7 years.
The issue with pouches
Inadequate or faulty seams and rough handling can cause what is known as pin holing or seam breakage in pouches.  The pouch has lost its integrity, and its low permeability rate has been compromised.  Excessive folding and squeezing pouches into buckets, too much handling, too much weight on a pouch, sharp food products within the pouch poking through, and other factors can contribute to large or even minute holes and tears.  Pouches with oxygen absorbers must be stored and handled properly to achieve the longest possible shelf life.
Also keep in mind that, because the container now has an oxygen absorber, an atmospheric pressure differential has been created (this is the tendency for the inside pressure to want to be equal to the outside pressure).  This means there will be an extra “pulling effect” on the seams and closures of the containers to “absorb” the outside atmosphere.  This is another reason for proper handling.
Plastic buckets and oxygen absorbers
While plastic buckets are much thicker (70 to 90 mil) than plastic laminated pouches, they are still plastic (polyethylene).  Oxygen will eventually be transmitted through the bucket.  Depending upon the thickness and seam stability of the bucket, the general rule would indicate a 2 to 5 year barrier viability life.  This means that in this period of time, the atmosphere in the bucket will equalize with the atmosphere outside the bucket.  Plastic bucket seams are susceptible to the “pulling effect” mentioned above and can cause oxygen seepage into the container.  Also, depending upon the environment, plastic buckets will eventually absorb moisture and odors.
TAKE NOTE: Without proper testing and industrial controls, residual oxygen levels in do-it-yourself packaging are based on assumption, speculation, guessing, and probability!   If you have access to equipment that tests residual oxygen levels in your container, you may want to consider some spot checking.
How to use an oxygen absorber
Using an oxygen absorber is relatively easy.  Make sure you are aware of all the procedures and characteristics of storage, sizing, containers, handling, and other fine points covered in this article.  Economical and safe to use, oxygen absorbers offer a way to create an oxygen-free environment, helping to improve shelf life.
Simply put your food in a high gas barrier film package, metal can, or glass bottle, put the appropriate size absorber in the container, and seal the container properly.
Points to consider:
    * Depending on the size of absorber, it will take 1 to 4 days to have produced an oxygen free (<0.1%) atmosphere.
    * Absorbers are packed in master high barrier bags of various quantities (depending on their size).  Check the tightness of the vacuum packed master bag.  If you hang the master bag from one end, the packets should not slip.  If they do, do not use that master bag.
    * After opening the master bag, spread out the needed quantity of packets.  The sachets that are not used should be resealed in a master bag or discarded if their exposure to air exceeds 4 hours.
    * Remaining sachets should be resealed in the master bag, or another high barrier film pouch or container, after pressing out the air.  A well-sealed glass container will work.
    * Do not pile up absorbers in a tray or holding container.  This may cause excessive heat build up.
    * Do not remove absorbers one by one, leaving the master bag open.
    * Handle master bags properly and store in a cool (below 85 degrees [F]) and dark place.
    * Do not use zip-lock plastic bags or other flimsy containers to store unused absorbers.
    * Ideally, if you obtain your absorbers while relatively fresh, use them no later than 6 to 12 months after receipt.
Prevention of damage by microorganisms (mold and aerobic [oxygen dependent] bacteria), insects, worms, and their eggs
    * By producing an oxygen-free (<0.1% for the Ageless absorber) environment, live organisms cannot grow and are eradicated.
    * Oxygen absorbers prevent the growth of microorganisms.
    * The oxygen-free packaging allows you to prevent both adult insects and their eggs from spoiling and damaging foods.
    * Testing that utilized the Ageless absorber found that all of the eggs, larvae, pupae, and grown insect of the Rust-red flour beetle, Weevil, Azuki weevil, and Almond moth were killed within 14 days – at 77 degrees (F).  The proper container with a zero to very low permeability rate and no holes or seam damage must be used.
The information contained in this article is general and should not take the place of the user’s own application tests.  Conditions of use vary depending on the specific applications of each user.  The user is responsible for the proper calculations and techniques of absorber application.

Annandale Fireflies

       Lately the posts here have been focused on one crisis or concern after another, and it has been my intent to balance a little better our concerns for the future, and living in the present with conservative means.  For this reason, I have chosen to profile this company, before Christmas with sufficient time that if you have young people in your family who might enjoy these products, that you could have one made and sent to you before Christmas.  This was actually one of my sponsors when I did the radio program.

   Annandale Fireflies is a youth market custom jewelry shop which designs and manufactures unusual, virtually one of a kind items. It's quite a conversation piece. The rare Earth powder in each item is a non- phosphorus item which allows the interior dust to glow but is not radioactive, like fireflies.   Please take a look.  These glow in the dark necklaces are only available on Etsy from this particular site.
      Perhaps at least we can put our concerns aside for long enough to consider some holiday shopping.
Hope your making of things and selecting of holiday items is going well.

Trace Radiation Across Europe of Unknown Cause

Trace amounts of iodine-131, a type of radiation created during the operation of nuclear reactors or in the detonation of a nuclear weapon, were detected by the Czech Republic's State Office for Nuclear Safety starting two weeks ago. Austria also sounded the alarms on this.  Since then, ABC News in the US indicates that there are trace amounts of radiation "all over Europe" without information on its origin.   The likelihood is that such small amounts, such as these, are due to a breach in a rod containment system of a nuclear power generation plant.  Because other radioactive isotopes are not also detected, experts believe that this is not radioactivity from Fukushima Daiichi.
     According to "Simply Info", a blog of "The Fukushima Project", the IAEA (The International Atomic Energy Agency), took the weekend off, leaving everyone to speculate as from where this radiation is emanating. The IAEA also have absolutely nothing about it on their website.
     Interestingly, aerial flyovers are blocked for aerial photography for November 13th and 14th for the following areas:   Ukraine, Serbia, Hungary and Bulgaria 

 These are "Simply Info's" best guesses of potential trouble spots at this time:

Krsko nuclear power plant in Slovenia.

Zaporizhia NPP in Ukraine

The radiation was first detected in the Czech Republic. Austria also sounded alarms on this.

 But, we simply don't know.  Someone should  put some major effort into finding out before this becomes in excess of trace amounts.  Thank you "Simply Info" blog.  You provided the only information out there, while the IAEA took the weekend off.

UPDATE:  I think it's important to update posts periodically, and I am doing so, on December 16, 2011.  I have spent some time looking for follow up articles on this, only to find none. Since internet news articles are pulled periodically to make room for more, it can also make it difficult to locate the originals.  As quickly as a month later, very few traces of the original article still exist.   This is concerning because it is furthur an indication of sloppy and limited work seemingly worldwide with regard to journalism.
                 Thus far, no official body has reported a final cause for the unexpected trace radiation which impacted Europe mid-November 2011.   The hope is that it naturally dissipated, and is gone now.  It would have been nice for the public to have known its origins and been able to follow up as needed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

On Pantry Moth Infestation

    On a preparedness group I was on this year, there was a lengthy discussion on the prevention and treatment of pantry moth infestation.  In 30 years of having a household, I had never seen this, and I thought it was likely something other parts of the country had, or perhaps people who were not as careful and I am.   Well, now we can think again....

       We keep a small pantry in the kitchen seperate from the canned goods, specifically for open grains, etc.  cereals, flour, pasta, Wheatena, rice flour, oatmeal cornmeal,  etc. etc. are kept there in the containers which are open and that we are using.  I generally put a freezer bag over the outside of the paper bags we are using and seal it when they are not in use. Most of the time, when I recall, I freeze grains first, and then put them in the grain pantry. In 30 years we have never had a problem.   We have noticed more moths in the kitchen than normal recently, and yesterday, my husband found that moths had infested most of the packages of food kept in the grain pantry. Oddly, they contaminated things like kool aid also, which were also in sealed freezer bags.
      I did some internet research and rather than rewriting the already well written, I am going to credit those who wrote this, and post information on detecting and containing pantry moth infestation.  Pantry moths can apparently get into almost anything.including sealed packages of granola.

    The following is from:

"Home Hacks" wrote a very good article

What You Need

Warm, soapy water
White vinegar
Essential oil (peppermint, citronella, eucalyptus, or tea tree)
Bay leaves
Cleaning cloth and/or sponge
Airtight food storage containers


1. Inspect everything in your pantry. Although moths tend to infest flours and grains, you should also check dried fruit, candy, pet food, etc. You're looking for adult moths, larvae, and eggs, which may look like webbing or clumps of grains. Discard any infested foods outside, away from the home.
2. Thoroughly clean every nook, cranny, corner, and crevice with a vacuum and/or warm, soapy water (dry thoroughly). If there were signs of infestation, discard trash or vacuum bags outside, away from the home.
3. Wipe shelves, food containers, and other surfaces with white vinegar. For added protection, use a few drops of essential oil like peppermint, citronella, eucalyptus, or tea tree.
4. To prevent infestation, store foods in airtight glass, metal, or plastic containers.
5. Bay leaves repel pantry insects. Place the leaves inside canisters and cupboards.
6. When you bring dry goods home from the store, place them in a plastic bag in the freezer for one week to kill any eggs. If you have space, you can use the freezer for long term storage.
            (End of Home Hacks information)

This is additional information from:

General Information: Pantry Pest

Pantry Pest Traps and Control Measures
These truly can be a "pest".
They are called as a whole group collectively as pantry pests.
They have an appetite for stored food products (people and pet foods) such as: flour, cereal, dry pasta, dry pet food, powdered milk, corn starch, crackers, spices, breads, bird seed, dried nuts and fruit.
They become especially troublesome when these foodstuffs are stored in paper containers and go unused for extended periods of time.
These pests are important to the householder because they cause food waste and infestations can be persistent.
There are several pantry pest: Rice Weevils, Granary Weevils, Grain Moths, Grain Bores, Drugstore Beetles, Tobacco Beetle, Indian Meal Moth, Confused Flour Beetle, Red Flour Beetles,etc.
Pantry Pest Traps and Control Measures
These insects can be brought into homes in packaged foods, although they may enter from outside sources, or from adjacent apartments.
Their presence in the home does not necessarily reflect on the quality of the housekeeper.
The majority of these pests are either beetles or moths. The adult stage is the most easily detected as they often leave the infested material in search of new locations, or are attracted to lights.
The larval or immature stages are either caterpillars or grubs.
These spend most of their life in the infested material, and are usually similar in color to the food that they are living in.
The eggs of these insects are quite small and usually go unnoticed.
The pupal stage may take place away from the infested food in corners or cracks in the cupboards or packaging.
The length of time to complete their life cycle varies greatly, depending on temperature, relative humidity, and the quality of the food supply.
Most stored food pests can complete several generations in one year.
They can also breed continuously as they usually exist in favorable conditions
Both can be eliminated by a proper search for the infestation and treatment with traps and/or crack and crevice aerosols.
Stored product pests are usually brought into the home in an infested package of food.
Initially, infestations are easy to overlook because the insects involved are quite small, especially the egg and larval stages.
Often the first indication of the infestation is the appearance of small moths flying about or the presence of beetles in or near the food package.

# In private residences the pantry pest such as the Indian meal moth is usually brought in products from the grocery stores. It is usually just in one area, but can spill over into other areas.

Prevention and Sanitation:

Pantry Pest Traps and Control Measures
# Place exposed food in containers with tight-fitting lids .
# Periodic cleaning of the shelves helps to prevent infestation of stored food products by pantry pests.
Certain pantry pests need only small amounts of food to live and breed.
# Some infestations of packaged food originate in the food-processing plant or warehouse.
Broken packages should not be purchased, or should be exchanged for unbroken packages when discovered, for the chance of these being infested is greater than for perfectly sealed ones.
# Do not mix old and new lots of foodstuffs.
If the old material is infested, the pest will quickly invade the new.
# If you are unsure about an item being infested, place it in a plastic bag where you will be able to catch anything that emerges.
If you find the pantry pest accumulating in the bag, you know the foodstuff is contaminated and needs to be discarded.
To insure any item is pest free, store it in these clear bags for at least a month. Sometimes it takes even longer for the adults to emerge.
# Infestations are most likely to occur in packages that have been opened for the removal of a portion of the contents and then left unsealed for long periods.
Some of the pests may find their way into other food packages, but even those in a single package may become so numerous that large numbers may find their way into every suitable material in the home, and will eventually crawl over floors, climb up walls, and gather about windows.
# Clean old containers before filling them with fresh food. They may be contaminated and cause a new infestation.
# Make sure that cabinets and storage units are tight and can be cleaned easily.
# Store bulk materials, such as pet foods, in containers with tight-fitting lids.
# Keep storage units dry. This is important because moisture favors the development of pantry pests; dryness discourages them.
# Some pantry insects breed in the nests of rodents and insects and may migrate from these into homes. Eliminate any nests found in or near the home.
# Pantry pests can also breed in rodent baits. Be sure to frequently check and discard infested baits.
Controlling Temperature:
When packages of food are found to be infested with moths or beetles, either low or high temperatures may be used to control the infestation. Insects are cold-blooded; their body temperatures closely follow that of their environment.
The most favorable temperature for most pantry pest is about 80°F. Above 95°F or below 60°F, reproduction and survival is greatly reduced.
When temperatures are lowered, insect activity decreases until all activity stops. The quicker the drop in temperature, the quicker the kill.
Although insects will be killed, their bodies will remain in the food unless sieved out.
An exposure of 2 to 3 days to temperatures of 5°F or lower kills the more susceptible stages (larvae and adults), but eggs require longer to kill (3 weeks).
An alternative is to freeze the food for a week, remove it from the freezer for a few a few days, and then refreeze it for another week.
             (End of Pantry Pest information)

     I'll let you know how all of this goes.  I am turning off the computer now, in order to follow the directions of BOTH of the groups above.  YUK. They are also in my dates and raisins which were in unopened new boxes !