There Goes the Neighborhood

Alaska Updates:


Photo courtesy of K. L. Wallace and AVO

Another volcano on the Alaska Peninsula has gone the dreaded Orange. Mount Veniaminof has now joined Pavlof and is currently in an erupting state.  The stratovolcano is named after Ivan Popov Veniaminov, a Russian Orthodox missionary priest who lived from 1797 to 1879.

Buhach Goes Dark!


Living in Interior Alaska has its unique challenges. We can deal with earthquakes, volcanos, minus 50 degree weather for weeks at a time, bears coming in to steal steaks off the grill, moose blocking the way to the outhouse.  None of that matters, as long as we have the faint, burning-grass smell of Buhach wafting about us during the summer months. For the second time since 2000, The Buhach Company has gone silent, and it is causing a panic.

Buhach is an ochre-colored powder made up of crushed pyrethrum flowers that works as a natural, totally kick-ass, insecticide.  It clobbers ants, fleas, roaches and lice.  But Interior Alaskans burn it by the case load, because the incense drives away the mosquitos like no other product we’ve ever seen, short of nuclear weapons.  Buhach started out in 1873, and came to Alaska in the Gold Rush.  Alaskans have been in love with the golden powder ever since.

Unfortunately, just like in 2000, Buhach is “currently not available”.  Back then, the Buhach Company, a small family owed business from Mercer Island, WA, could not get the pyrethrum flowers from Africa due to drought, then flood, and then political unrest.  The shelves were empty for 3 years.  85% of the world’s pyrethrum supply comes from Africa.  60% of Buhach is shipped to Alaska.

I witnessed the panic at the hardware store this morning, as people called, walked in and begged to get some Buhach they assumed was hidden in the back somewhere.  It’s a nasty mosquito year too, and people are desperate.  I still have three cans left from last year, so I should be okay if I ration it, but I won’t be leaving it outside unguarded.

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

4 responses to “There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Pete

    Almost 20 year living in the interior and never heard about Buhach. But would appreciate if you contact me when it becomes available again.

  • icefogger

    I would be happy to do that Pete.

  • beautifulsunsetjr

    I want this back!!! I hear it kills bed bugs! Why is it lower 48 can use this stuff and Alaskans can’t!??? it’s not fair! is it because it can work!? were we tested on this! I am so angry right now as we have bed bugs and it’s not my fault! EPA needs to be contacted that it works on bed bugs! HELP!!! PLEASE!!!

    • icefogger

      The Buhach Company out of Mercer Island, Washington went out of business. They just shut their doors, and stopped answering the phone. No explanation was given. It’s too bad, Buhach was a great product; it worked on most pests, and I’m sure it would work great on bedbugs.

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