Sunday, August 27, 2006

Deadly Combination!

This mouse attractant sounds too good to be true. Just smear some of this onto the snap traps and it sounds like it works better than peanut butter!

Mouse Trivia 2!

Mice are serious Cassanovas! They can have up to 60 babies a year! The baby mice are sexually mature in 6 weeks, making them ready to start having baby's of their own. You can see how mice quickly can become public enemy number one.!

Scary Mouse Trivia!

Mice have a weak bladder and tinkle almost constantly. They trickle on just about anything they walk across. If you took a black light and pointed at your counter tops and places like that you'd be surprised to see how much area is contaminated by mouse urine!!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Electronic mouse chasers

A word about the plug in "sonic" mouse chasers that you hear about. My advice is that if you decide to put the money out to experiment with these products then spend the few extra dollars to get the device that allows you to change the frequency every couple of weeks. Mice quickly get used to the noise that is supposed to scare them away and they become useless in a month or two. Being able to switch the frequency will lessen the chance that they will get used to the sound and the device will work better and longer.

Mouse trapping tips!

Mice are curious little creatures and can be caught if trap placement is strategic. Problem is that as curious as they are they are just as smart. I've seen where I've put glue boards down flat against the wall can came back a week later to find that the mice actually built a bridge of debris across the gluetrap so they could cross the trap without getting stuck in the glue!!

If you are faced with a mouse problem then my advice would be to integrate your approach. Most people go out and buy few snap traps, slap a glob of cheese on the trigger and wait.

First off. Look to see where the activity is heaviest. If you are finding lots of dropping under the sink the thing to do would be to clear out the underneath of the sink and set the snap traps with just a smear of peanut butter or a small piece of cheese. Make the mouse work at getting the food and your success rate will increase. Also use lots of traps. Don't just buy two or three, buy 10 or them putting 2 traps per side and 2 in the middle. Some traps bait with cheese and others with peanut butter. If they are getting into candy then bait with chocolate. Some folks will attach cotton to the trigger. Mice use this for nesting material and will get caught struggling to free the cotton from the trigger. If you decide to throw in some gluebaords into the mix I would not advise putting anything to attract the mouse to them. Some people will plop a glob of peanut butter in the center of the trap hoping to attract the mouse to get stuck. The oils in the peanut butter spreads into the glue rendering the trap useless.

If the mouse is noticed each night scurrying back and forth along a certain wall then put your traps here ( be generous) and you'll most likely catch him. Mice tend to travel the same route each night. IF you catch one then don't think you've won. There may be several to deal with so keep the traps down. If you haven't caught anything in a few days then place them in different areas. Even if you move the trap a few inches to the right from where it is. This will help in catching them.

Fall and Winter

We're coming to the end of the summer season (unfortunately) and we'll have to start looking forward to the cold pests. Mice and Rats come to mind when we think about cold weather pests. Roaches and stored product pests are year round and in some parts of the country we have bugs year round. The following posts will deal with these rodents and their ability to make our life crazy.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The perfect flea job.

Treating for fleas is not an easy task. For the home owner who is considering doing it themselves then I would suggest the following. First thing you want to do is get the pet treated by frontline and a good flea powder or dip. Leave the treated pet outside in the yard and then go inside and vacuum like crazy. Pick everything up off of the floor and vacuum under the beds, in closets, on stairs, under tables, under the furniture, the bathroom, the basement. Vacuum over the areas you vacuumed. This step is very important. Then throw the bag away outside. Now you need to pick a product to treat with. I suggest that the product you choose have an insect growth regulator in it or an IGR. The most common is methoporene. If the product says it has an IGR in it then it is ok. Then treat thoroughly. You want to cover as much area as possible. A good fan spray on the carpets and especially paying attention to the pets bedding area and hang outs. Stairs and the floor in front of sofas and things like that are hot spots because the pets usually jump off of these items and they plop down the stairs where the flea eggs fall off. A word of caution about foggers. If you decide to fog then pay attention to see if it has an IGR added to the fogger. If not then you are wasting your money. Buy enough foggers to cover all the areas and rooms. Use caution because the foggers are explosive and can blow your house up! When I was treating house I would advise the customer to shut off the main gas main to cut off all possible open flames that might be present in the stove or heaters. Read the label of any chemical you use as it will have direction and cautions to follow. Precor is a good product that is used and comes as ready to use spray and as a concentrate. For the next few vacuums you will need to toss the bag. Also, don't be alarmed to see a flurry of new activity a week or so later as the eggs start hatching. This activity will subside quickly and is not a problem to worry about.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bed Bug Detective-Hotel Rooms

So you've checked into your hotel room and are on your way up to your room when something occurs to you. What about all the chatter these days about bed bugs in the hotels these days? What do I do? First thing is to keep your bags outside in the hallway and take five minutes to do a quick inspection in your room. Now you want to un-tuck the blanket and sheets from the bed. Look on the mattress cover to see if there are any blood spots. Next pull the mattress cover back at the ends of the bed and look at the tufts and edges of the mattress and the boxspring as best you can. Do you see bugs? DO you see what looks like pepper particles? Look around the bed frames and around the floor of the bed for bugs. They will be very small so taked a close look. Check your pillows and take the cases off. Again. Are there any blood spots? Look in the nightstand drawer for bugs. Look around the chest of drawers for bugs. Have a look around the room perimeter where the carpet meets the walls. Are there bugs? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then immediately ask for another room and tell the manager why. Unfortunately you will need to do the same for the next one. It sounds like a pain in the behind, but it is nothing like the pain in the butt that it would be to eliminate them from your home if you brought them back with you. Have a nice trip!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Deer Control

How To Control Deer In Your Garden
By: Marilyn Pokorney
Deer are the most difficult of all pests to deter from agarden. They love many different plants. Flowers,vegetables, trees and shrubs are all on their menu.

The best way to keep deer out of a garden is by using afence that is at least 6 feet high. If it's a small gardenthat may be feasible but for large gardens or yards, thecost is prohibitive, or possibly not practical.

So the only other choice is deterrents.

Deer don't like the smell of raw eggs, fish products, kelp,or ammonia. Any spray made from these products can be used.Just mix the product of choice in water and spray the plantsto be protected.

Deer don't like the smell of soap either. Some gardenershave especially found success with Dial and Zest brands.

Blood meal scattered around the garden is another gooddeterrent.

Since deer don't like capsaicin, the ingredient that makespeppers hot, a spray made from chili peppers deters deers.

Hang fragrant fabric-softener strips, and small nylon bagsfilled with human hair on trees around the garden.

Some gardeners have found success by laying chicken wire onthe ground aboutsix feet wide around the perimeter of the garden. The deerdon't like to walk on it because their hooves get stuck inthe loops of the wire.

Try planting time-released garlic capsules at the bases oftrees or shrubs or in the rows of plants to be protected.

There is a wide variety of plants that deer won't eat. Alist of what they like and don't like can be obtained fromyour local county cooperative extension office.

For even more deterrents visit:

About the Author:

Marilyn Pokorney Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading. Website:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Steri-Fab Reviewed

So just what is Steri-Fab and what does it do. First off it is a mostly alcohole based chemical that has a fast contact kill for bedbugs. It can be sprayed directly to mattresses and boxsprings safely because it does not leave a dangerous residual. While inspecting you bed for bedbugs you can spray the bedbugs as you come across them. It comes in quart spray pumps and larger containers as well. This is a good product for apartment complexes as a resource for the maintenance men to have and also for Hotels. It's a good product to use while waiting for your pest control professional to show up. Another use is for when you travel you can spray down your luggage inside and out before bringing it inside your home . Aside from bedbug use it is also a great sanatizer, moldicide, viricide. It's uses are many.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

STERI-FAB for Bedbugs

I mentioned in a previous post that a great product to use for bed bug control was steri-fab. Here are some articles on the subject.
Sterifab eliminates household pests

Jul 17, 2003
Pest Control Buzz Online Newsletter

YONKERS, NY — Eliminate lice, bedbugs, fleas and other household pests with Sterifab spray.

Spray Sterifab on mattresses, upholstery and carpets; items can be used 20 minutes after spraying, and no chemical or perfume odors linger.

The product is effective against most gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, and can be sprayed with any pump or hand sprayer without dilution.

For more information, call 800/359-4913 or visit

With the bed bug epidemic reaching across the U.S., Sterifab remains the only product that disinfects and kills bed bugs in one application. Sterifab is a single-use product that is non-staining, clear, dries in 15 to 20 minutes, and requires no dilution. Sterifab is the accepted protocol for the sanitization of mattresses, upholstered furniture, and other items.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Yellow Jackets

I touched on this topic a while back regarding Yellow Jackets and Bees getting crazy around this time of year...Late Summer and early fall seem to be when you can't go a few steps without swatting away a bee. This time a year the insect diets of yellow jackets start to die off leaving the buggers looking for alternatives, unfortunately they like the same junk food we do, and they go after it with a passion. Yellow Jackets have been known to even invade a honey bees nest for food! There's a battle I would not want to be present for. It's important to keep things like your can of soda covered if you are not drinking it or else you can be slurping down more that that last sip. Try to keep sticky a sweet spills outside to a minimum and keep trash can and dumpster covered.
Treating for yellow jackets is the same for most bees and wasps...You use insecticide dusts into the void they are living. This should really be done by professionals with bee suits. If you stumble upon a nest of yellow jackets it's been said that the best thing to do is cover your face to protects your eyes and slowly walk away and head for shelter. Losing control and swaying your arms will attract more yellow jackets and the problem can quickly escalate! If you are stung in the mouth or throat seek immediate medical attention because the stings cause swelling that could prevent you from breathing.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cicada Killers

This gruesome wasp looks like you can hop on it's back for a ride to the corner store. The wasp's very intimidating size is for shock value, and it works, because this wasp is really a gentle giant. The females have a stinger but very rarely sting unless provoked and the males have no stinger.

They appear in Late July and August, They dig burrows in the ground kicking out the dirt and giving the appearance of a mound. They are helpful because they....well...kill cicada. The cicadas drive me bananas with their loud noisy chirp they make so the cicada killers can be my guest and do what they do best!

Treatment is often times not necessary unless the wasps are in an awkward area. Insect dust in the burrows would be the best best. IF you do it yourself be very careful because the wasps can sting if provoked, and trying to kill them with dust would be a provoking measure!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Carpenter Ants are large black ants that you notice most times climbing up and down tree trunks or scurrying on the pavement. There are times when these pests enter the home and they become public enemy number one fast. Don't be alarmed if you are noticing these ants here and there in the house because they will hunt for food and often times your house is like a McDonald's to them. Seeing a few ants or even a few ants daily doesn't mean you are infested. An inside perimeter spray will keep them at bay. So what are the signs of a real infestation in the house? You need to ask yourself these questions. Have a recently or in the past year had any leaks in the house? Then you need to ask your self if you've seen these ants in large numbers in the night time hours?
These ants are most active in the evening hours after 9PM and they are very attracted to damp or water damaged wood. It is easier for them to excavate a gallery for them to live in. Next thing you want to do is search for areas where there is saw dust or "frass" showing up. Maybe you notice every day "saw dust" is falling from a particular window sill area even after it's been vacuumed. This could be where the buggers are nesting. It is important to locate the nest to eliminate it. Another way to see where they are nesting is if you come across them foraging at night try to get them to take some sugar or another kind of crumb by placing it in there direct view. If they pick it up you will need to follow the ant and most likely he will disappear into the area he is nesting.
When the nest has been determined you will need to drill a few holes in the void they are nesting and "dust" the void with an insecticide dust. Baiting for these ants rarely work although recently over the past few years there has been success with a Maxforce carpenter ant gel and some advance carpenter ant granules that work. If the ants remain elusive then baiting might need to be your best way. There is a new formulation of chemicals that are working well with ants too. They are under the trade names Phantom and Termidor. The ants pass over the chemical and unknowingly track it back to the nest and infect the nest, killing it off.
Ways to help in keeping the ants away from your home would be to trim back any tree limbs that are touching your house or the roof, be sure that any cables or pipes that enter your house have no opening around them and if they do them caulk them, also cut back any bushes that are growing close to your home and make sure they are not touching the house. Call a pest control professional to "power spray" the perimeter of the home placing down a chemical barrier. This will also help.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Moth fly

There's a title and a half for ya! These flies are problems in food handling establishments mostly, places like restaurants cafeterias and bars, but sometimes they find there way into the homes of people as well.

The most common fly is the drain fly. These flies come from filth. In food handling establishments they will emerge from the floor drains or garbage disposals where they breed in the gelatinous film that covers the walls of the pipes. They a feisty buggers with their eggs hatching in 2 days and they are sexually mature at birth. So you can see how they are such a successful insect. A similar fly compared to this one is the phorid fly who also breeds in the drains and garbage disposals and dumpster and trash cans. Any wet, damp area. Problems in restaurants are many. There are so many areas that have moisture, the mop closet, tiles pulled away from the wall get wet and stay wet, dishwashing area, floor drains, dumpster have decaying matter in them. Controlling these flies is difficult. Using a combination of fly light traps and manual cleaning and drying of the above areas works best. The floors drains often times need to be scrubbed out with a floor drain brush to break up all the gelatinous film that is on the drain walls, then regular treatment with a good bio drain gel will help to maintain your hard work. Fixing any cracked or broken tiles on the floor and walls is also good. Keeping the trash cans clean and DRY will help. It's an integrated approach for sure, but it will work.

In the home is you start seeing these buggers then the story is a bit more grim. It most likely means a broken soil pipe under the slab or in the basement. SO this will need to be checked with a camera that most plumbers have access to. They can also be coming up from your drains, pr their might be a leak under your bath tub or the seal of the toilet might be broken. These are all possibilities. An experienced exterminator will be able to help you in determining the source and the remedy is to fix the problem. Once dry then the flies will go away. Important to note is that if you have a broken soil pipe under a slab you will have to ask the contractor to remove all the wet soil and replace it with dry new soil, even with the pipe fixed the flies will breed for a long time in that moist dirt.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bed Bug Product

Bed bugs are back with a vengeance. Stories are spreading like wildfire across the country of people falling victim to these stealth bugs. It is ashame to think that going on vacation could wind up being on of the most anxious times in your life because of fear of getting bitten by bed bugs. These bugs are not prejudice in any way, they do not understand class lines, they can't see color, (except red). What they are is sneaky. They hitchhike home with you in luggage and boxes. It's a problem that I predict will get way worse before it becomes any better.

A product that is out there that could help in the battle is called Steri-Fab. It's a contact killer that is safe to use on beds, mattresses, furniture, etc. I would recommend using it in conjunction with your pest controllers plan of action. I firmly believe is using a professional for bed bug problems because they are very involved and tough to conquer.