Here's a wild thought. Maybe one reason the economy has never really taken off since the Great Recession is consumers are just buying less stuff. Maybe they're doing without or making things themselves.
Look at the incredible popularity of websites like Pinterest. Millions of consumers use it to learn how to make all kinds of products, from food to apparel.
Consumers are drawn to it because they believe the homemade version costs less and is better than what you would buy in a store.
Researchers at Virginia Tech decided to put that theory to the test.
For their empirical study researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences decided to build a homemade stink bug trap and compare it to one you could buy in a store.
They felt the choice was timely since stink bugs may be an especially annoying pest this season. With warmer weather they are just now coming out of the crevices of homes where they have been hiding out during the winter months.
Hardware stores sell stinkbug traps, some of which can be rather pricey. While some models cost around $25 others can cost $50 or more. The objective is to lure the bugs into the trap where they can be killed.
The research team came up with a homemade design that it found to be a lot cheaper and more effective. It consisted of a foil roasting pan, water, dish soap and a light placed over the pan to attract the bugs.
According to the researchers the homemade trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps. The only cost was the price of a roasting pan, dish soap, and a light, all which homeowners may already own.
To carry out the study, the researchers enlisted the help of homeowners who were annoyed by the infestation of stink bugs in their houses. They were assigned to evaluate different types of traps for ridding homes of bugs.
The traps were used in 16 houses over two years. The researchers found the home made versions were not only more effective but had clear advantages.
"Currently there are no in-home insecticides labeled for use against brown marmorated stink bugs, so that presented us with a challenge," John Aigner, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology. “The homemade trap is not only inexpensive, it is also pesticide-free.
Making your own stink bug trap might be cheap and effective but not everyone has a problem with insects. But making a product yourself instead of buying it clearly has appeal, especially when it comes to food.
Greatist.com features “45 Healthy Foods to Make and Never Buy Again,” including pita chips. It features a recipe for pita chips that it says costs 41 cents per 2 ounce serving, compared to 77 cents for a commercial brand.
Natural Living Ideas offers advice on replacing 10 common household products with Castile soap – everything from dog shampoo to dishwasher soap.
Trends come and go, but Trend Reports suggests the do-it-yourself trend has legs. In fact, it's becoming a growing industry.
“While it was the recession that gave rise to DIY projects, it looks like this industry is gaining ground,” the company says.