Saturday, July 11, 2009

Get Rid Of Ground Nesting Bees

When dealing with ground nesting bees you want to determine what kind of bee you are dealing with and how to control that kind of be; and if it is worth the risk. The following is a list of some common ground nesting bees:
  1. CICADA KILLER: This is a large and robust looking wasp that can grow as large as 1 and 5/8 inches long! Quite an intimidating looking wasp, but generally they are content with going about their business of digging holes in your dirt leaving holes with sandy looking dirt around the outside of that hole and stuffing unsuspecting cicadas in that hole to feed their young. Females can sting, but rarely do. They have been known to get caught in clothing or disturbed by lawn equipment and nothing happened except maybe scaring the jeepers out of the human. The males will aggressively defend their female, but they do so by intimidation, they can not sting. If these ground nesting wasps are found and not bothering you, I would say leave them alone. If they are bothering or or are in great number, then a chemical spray will be necessary. Pest control companies can power spray the area for you or you can give it a shot yourself with a pump sprayer from your local home store. Be careful, read the label, and use caution. Like I said, the females can sting and for a wasp that is over an inch long, you can imagine what that sting must feel like!
  2. YELLOW JACKETS: These wasps usually take over a vacated rodent burrow in your lawn and often times you discover these nests by mistake wile mowing the lawn or while your kids are playing outside. Yellow jackets can sting repeatedly and control of them should be left to a professional. Dusting the entrance hole with a good insect dust is your best bet for elimination as they will pick this dust up on themselves as they enter and exit the hole, bringing the dust into the nest and infecting the rest of the wasps. They are aggressive and dangerous.
  3. DIGGER OR THREADWAISTED WASPS: These wasps are found hovering about an inch off of your lawn and there may be many of them. They appear and stay all day and usually are gone by evening. These wasps are not aggressive as people have been know to walk right through these wasps with no problem. They can sting but rarely do. Control can be accomplished by spraying while the wasps are active via a power spray that a professional can provide.
  4. BUMBLE BEES: Another bee that takes over vacated ground space from rodents or other holes in the ground. Nests can be detected by the males hovering around the entrance to the nest, but often times this is not the way they are found unfortunately, it is more like you stumble upon a bumble. These are aggressive bees and can inflict painful stings. If they are found, but not in a area of danger for you or your family, it is best to leave them be, as they are useful pollinators.

This is a shot list of some of the more common ground nesting bees and wasps that you may encounter during your summertime. As I always say when dealing with bees or wasps, it is best to leave their control to the professionals. If you do decide to tackle a problem on your own be sure to do so with a partner who watches from a distance and who can call for help in the event that things get dangerous.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Small Flies

Are you experiencing small flies at home? All of a sudden it seems like you are being invaded by gnats? The first thing you have to determine is what kind of flies they are. For a home owner it is best to do this by process of elimination. You can rule one kind of fly out by looking closely at the eyes, if they are red then they could be fruit flies, problem is not all fruit flies have red eyes. Look for any fruit, fruit juice, apple skin peels, etc that may have fallen or spilled. Look in your trash can for spills that may have leaked in between the trash bag and the can, or look on top of the trash can lid for splashes. Fruit flies can breed in the littlest of spills or pieces of fruit. The other kind of flies you could have would be drain flies. Unfortunately they can be more difficult to get rid of. They often breed from the slime that forms on the inside walls of your drain pipes. They can come from the kitchen or bathroom drains. I suggest getting some double sided tape and lining some foam drinking cups with them, put them over all your drains before bed and then look at them in the morning for any that are caught. If you caught some then that is your problem drain. Enzymes for the drain can help to get rid of the slime or a good still drain brush. If you found nothing then they could be coming from a broken soil pipe in the basement. A plumber can research this for you with a camera scope. Hope that this is not your source as it is a very expensive fix. The last possible source of your small flies could be soggy plants. Fungus gnats can come from your indoor plants that you may be over watering. Use the same double sided tape or glue trap and place near or inside the dirt of the plant.
All of the flies above can be fixed by repairing or getting rid of the source. Spraying is only a very temporary fix of a fix at all. Cleaning up the source would be your absolute best bet. The drain enzymes mentioned above can be found online or possibly at your home store. DF 5000, drain gel, and nulliFly are good options for this fix.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Wild Life Control

The control of various wildlife issues around the country is a tough business for pest control operators, especially for one man operations. When catching raccoons, ground hogs, squirrels and the such, a pest control person needs to be available to come back to the live trap daily to check it, which takes a ton of extra time and often makes the cost very expensive to the consumer. If you are careful and do some research online, you can almost catch whatever wildlife that is bothering you yourself with a live trap bought at a home center. Some things to consider is the fact that some wildlife may have rabies, and you also need to consider if you will be brave enough to release it back into the wild, far away from your home of course. This option presents a double edged sword. Do you pay a high cost for wild life control? Do you have the knowledge to tell if an animal is presenting a rabid behavior, and if so, are you prepared to put the animal down? These are legitimate questions that need to be answered before you become a trapper, so weigh your options and if need be, spend the money.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ant trail tracker

One problem I find when dealing with ants is the fact that they seem to just appear on your kitchen counter top or the ants appear in the bathroom, and finding their source becomes a problem. One method I use is sprinkling some advance ant bait granule or a little sugar and watch where the ant takes the bait to. This can help with more effective bait placements or the use of a good crack and crevice treatment.