Digging Through the Weeds on the Internet

 

 

It isn’t uncommon for someone to call the Purdue Extension Office stating they saw something online, but wasn’t sure if it is true.  For example, one of the common questions we get is will moth balls take care of the moles digging up my yard? Purdue Extension cannot recommend any home remedies (bubble gum, razor blades, moth balls, lye, mole dances, spinning or electric devices, and flooding tunnels with water or car exhaust, etc.) for mole control because they are not research based. Instead what is research based, and is easy to use, is a harpoon trap.

This article isn’t intended to educate individuals about how to take care of moles, but to help individuals understand how to weed through the different sources of information available to them on the internet.  One way of sorting information is to specify the typeof website you want.  You can do this by typing site:.XYZ, where the XYZ represents the domain on the internet you want to search.  For example, if you want to search for information on fertilizing a lawn, you can type “fertilize lawn site:.edu” and do a focused search for information on fertilizing lawns from just university sites on the internet.  This technique works in most search engines, including Google, Bing and Safari.  By adding the phrase site:.edu or site:.gov to your topic of interest, you screen out a lot of irrelevant information.

Once you have your information look to see who wrote the article, what their background is, and how old is the information.  For instance, if you are looking up something on fertilizing a lawn and it is from 1980, practices have changed since then.  Therefore, you need to look for something more recent.  Likewise, if you found an article on growing grapes from New Mexico, it may not be relevant for growing grapes in Indiana because our climates are different.

As always, if you are dealing with a horticulture, agriculture, or natural resource related question, don’t hesitate to contact Jenna Nees (smith535@purdue.edu) with Purdue Extension in Putnam County with your question.  If you are dealing with something related to health and human sciences, such as food safety and healthy eating, contact Abbi Sampson (sampsona@purdue.edu) with Purdue Extension in Putnam County with your questions.

Lastly, with COVID-19 currently impacting the world, there are many different pieces of information being shared.  Purdue Extension encourages everyone as they look at information on COVID-19, to take the time to evaluate the source.  Ask yourself, “Who is the author and what is their background,” “Is it coming from a reliable source such as the CDC, a .gov, or .edu source that would have research backing it,” and “When was it published?”   Try not to get overwhelmed by all the information being shared and use the tips in this article not only to get through the weeds related to COVID-19, but also to research other things such as gardening, raising livestock, and much more.

 

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnamor you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

April 7 – Online Marketing Strategies with Low Budgets – Best Practices in Online
MarketingWebinar, 1PM, Register at https://tinyurl.com/y83ma4k4

April 8 – Putnam 4-H Junior Leader Virtual Meeting, 7-8PM, link to be emailed to Junior
Leaders

April 9 – Gardening Tips for Everyone – Getting Started with Your Garden Webinar, 1 PM,
Register at https://tinyurl.com/garden4everyone

April 14 – Kitchen Hacks: Making the Most of Your Appliances – Using Cast Iron, 2-3PM,
join via https://bit.ly/2v0lGoX

April 14 – Online Marketing Strategies with Low Budgets – Social Media 101 Webinar, 1PM,
Register at https://tinyurl.com/y83ma4k4

April 16 – Gardening Tips for Everyone – A Glance at Pest Management, 1 PM, Register at
https://tinyurl.com/garden4everyone

April 21 – Online Marketing Strategies with Low Budgets – Saving Time Using Social Media
Strategies, 1 PM, Register at https://tinyurl.com/y83ma4k4

April 23 – Gardening Tips for Everyone – Tips for Spring Crops, 1 PM, Register at
https://tinyurl.com/garden4everyone

April 30 – Gardening Tips for Everyone – The 4-1-1 on Warm Season Crops, 1 PM,
Register at https://tinyurl.com/garden4everyone

 

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