Getting Rid of Wasps by the Pool

So, you have wasps around your pool, but you don’t know why. Believe it or not, the wasps are there for the water source, they need water to survive and your pool is the most convenient place to get it. You may be thinking, why on Earth do they want to drink from the pool, doesn’t the chlorine bother them? Well, long story short, no; water is water and wasps just don’t care. Though your pool is an easy water source, we have a way to keep them away! 

  1. Call an Exterminator – Always consider getting professional help first, it will help limit the amount of stings you incur and will ensure they are being removed from the location properly.
  2. Find an Alternative Water Source  –  Create some sort of pond, bird bath, or other water source outside of your pool that has a constant source of water. This is a more pest friendly option; the wasps won’t be harmed and they will leave your pool alone. 
  3. Create a Decoy Nest – Wasps are very territorial creatures, and creating a fake nest will surely deter them from the area surrounding your pool.
  4. Build a Trap–  To build a fake trap, cut a water bottle in half and fill it with diesel fuel. The wasps are attracted to the fuel, and will go into the bottle and drown. Though this method is less pest friendly, it gets the job done. 

If all else fails, your best chance is to locate the wasp’s nest by the pool and get rid of it. See my other blog: How do you get rid of a wasp nest? 

      

4 Home Remedy Recipes For Ant Control

Ant_PileDealing with unwanted pests is one of the biggest challenges you may face as a homeowner. The challenge is even more daunting if you’re trying to deal with ants inside your home and around your yard. They can be tough to get rid of!

If you are seeing ants of any kind, including little black ants, piss ants, fire ants, pavement ants, or pharaoh ants; try these easy do-it-yourself home ant control remedies:

1. Ant Dust Repellent

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Dried Mint Flakes
  • ¼ Cup Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Rock Dust (From Nursery)
  • 1 Cup Garlic Powder
  • 1 Package Dry Enchilada Sauce Mix
  • 1 Cup Organic Alfalfa Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Cayenne Pepper

Directions 

Mix all seven ingredients together in large paper bag. Sprinkle the mixture wherever you are seeing ants on your property. This mixture will not exterminate the ants, but instead will create a protective barrier that will keep the ants away. Be careful to not get the mixture in your eyes.

2. Homemade Ant Bait

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 6 Tablespoons Honey
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Boric Acid.

Directions

Mix all three ingredients together. Place small spoonfuls of ant bait near foraging ants. They will not only eat the deadly poison, but will also bring some back for the Queen ant to munch on. If baited successfully, the ants in the nest should be exterminated within a couple days.

Cat_Food3. Ant Bait 

Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup Grape Jelly
  • 1 Small Can Wet Cat Food
  • 1 Teaspoon Boric Acid

Directions

Mix all three ingredients together. Place small spoonfuls of ant bait near foraging ants. They will not only eat the deadly poison, but will also bring some back for the Queen ant to munch on. If baited successfully, the ants in the nest should be exterminated within a couple days.

4. Simple Ant Spray

Bouquet_Of_AntsIngredients

  • 2 Liters Warm Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Soap Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon natural castile soap (citrus oil and vegetable oils)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large spray bottle. Shake. Spray ants and outdoor areas that have been affected by the ants.

Ant Control

If you a being plagued by troublesome ants, try these homemade ant control recipes. If they don’t work, or for more serious ant infestations, it’s time to enlist the services of a qualified ant control professional.

How To Go Scorpion Hunting

Southwestern desert cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas are home to the infamous Bark Scorpion. For the more adventurous types, now is the perfect time to scrounge up the trusty black light and go scorpion hunting. Even though bark scorpions are some of the most poisonous scorpions in the country, it’s a great opportunity to see them up close and expose others to they way they behave. We’ve obviously seen our fair share of scorpions, so here is everything you need to know about how to go scorpion hunting.

(Obligatory disclaimer: We do not condone handling scorpions, as they can cause serious harm or even worse. If you should be stung by a scorpion at any time, we suggest seeking professional medical attention.)

Optimal Conditions.

There are two things you need to know about scorpion hunting season. One, they hibernate during the winter and will not be active until the nighttime low temps stay above about 70 degrees. Once we start hitting that mark on a nightly basis, they begin to wake up and start to look for something to eat. If it’s still a bit chilly at night, don’t bother gearing up for any hunts. Wait until its nice and warm.

Scorpions are also nocturnal and are most active after the sun sets. If you see a scorpion out and about during the day, its usually because they got caught out that morning as the sun was rising and found a place to hunker down in the meantime.

Scorpions glow fluorescent under UV black light.
Scorpions glow fluorescent under UV black light.

Gear.

The most important piece of gear you need is a black light. It wouldn’t be scorpion hunting without it. You don’t necessarily need something big and fancy. Your local sporting good store will sell simple black light flashlights in the $10-12 range. Those models will come with 9 or 10 LED light bulbs, which is more than sufficient to spot scorpions. A flashlight with about 30 LED bulbs will run you about $20-25 and the mega lights with 100 LED bulbs will be a solid $50. If you really want to go pro, with a quick Google search

The florescent  glow of the scorpions is believed to be caused by the reflective reaction to protein found beneath their exoskeletons. They glow rather brightly with only a little light, so don’t feel the need to drop $50 on a new black light. I’ve even seen nearby pharmacy stores like CVS and Walgreens sell them near the checkout counter.

The next most important piece, or pieces, of you gear you need are closed toe/heel shoes. We wouldn’t recommend hunting in a pair of flip flops, so be sure to wear your sneakers. The last thing you want is to be stung yourself. Remember, it’s called “scorpion hunting”, not “scorpion hunted”.

If you intend to catch a scorpion or two there are a few methods you can try. First, the way I’ve always personally done it is with a glass mason jar and a 4″x6″ card of some sort – a note card, recipe card, old photo, etc. You use the card to help you corral the little critter into the mason jar. Another known method is to wrap the end of a stick with masking tape, sticky side out. You can use the stick end to actually capture the scorpions on to the stick. If you intend on transferring it to a jar then just be care in the process so you don’t mangle it as you try to detach it from the tape.

Where To Look.

In metro areas like Phoenix, many of the homes are separated on the property by cinder-block walls. In the office we lovingly refer to those as “scorpion hotels”. After sundown, you are certain to find a few wanderers out for a late night stroll. If they are on the ground, it is most likely they will be in close proximity to the wall. They don’t tend to stray too far from home. Likewise, the same can be said for the exterior walls of the house. It’s common to find them on the lower areas of the house walls, or nearby on the ground. You never really know where they could all be, which is why we would suggest wearing sneakers, but don’t waste too much time looking in the lawn or patio area.

…Now What?

So, you caught some scorpions. Good on you! But now what do you do? They’re not exactly the pet you grew up hoping you could have someday. To be vaguely honest, I may or may not have disposed of the critters at the end of a hunt. But I also work for a pest control company, so I’ve also saved a fair share of them as well. In fact, for as long as I’ve worked here we’ve always kept an aquarium of scorpions in the office. At one point we had 27 scorpions in one container. They don’t need much to survive, a little bit of water and a few crickets every now and then and they’ll be fine. However, we certainly understand if you go with the aforementioned method. Either one, it’s up to you.

Happy Hunting!

Friday Links Round Up

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The Culture of the Negotiated Pest Control Transactions

Here’s a great blog for us pest control operators that explores the art of negotiating prices among different cultures, and how American’s are catching on. There’s a great take home lesson at the end on setting prices while still being able to negotiate with potential and existing customers. Check out:

http://heartspm.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/culture-of-negotiated-pest-control-price/

Tips on Hiring Pest Control Services

This article provides an interesting consumer perspective on exactly what our customers want in a pest control service. As pest control operators, we can look to model ourselves, and our customer service, according to these guidelines.

http://www.linksparadise.com/?p=20782

August Means Hungry Yellow Jackets

Heritage Pest Control of New Jersey reminds us all that August is Yellow Jacket season. These aggressive wasps have been busy the previous summer months building their paper-like nests on the ground, and now they’re on the lookout for food. For a few tips on dealing with Yellow Jackets:

http://www.heritagepestcontrolnj.com/blog/2012/08/27/august-means-hungry-yellow-jackets/

Borax/Boric Acid for Pest Control

Many of our possible customers are still turning to the toxic Borax/Boric Acid to help eliminate unwanted pests. If someone comes in contact with the powder it can cause health problems like nausea, vomiting, and throat swelling. Many consumers turn to the Borax method because they are uneducated about many of our industry’s safe, all-natural, or organic pest control methods.

http://www.momprepares.com/2012/08/27/borax-vs-boric-acid-for-pest-control-safe-and-effective/

Africanized Bees on Attack in Arizona!

Our friends at Pest Control Mesa, AZ bring us a frightening incident about a grandmother being attacked by Africanized “Killer” Bees. The women’s 4-year-old granddaughter witnessed the attack, and likely saved her life.

http://pestcontrolmesaaz.com/africanized-bees-on-attack-in-arizona/

Fall Season Pest Control

As the weather starts to cool this fall, pests of all kinds will be making their way into our homes in search of food and the warmer air. For some helpful how-to’s on keeping these pests out of your home this fall:

http://aaapestcontrolmyrtlebeach.com/541/fall-season-pest-control/

 

Top 5 Steps to Avoid Pest Control Sprayer Hose Problems

Have you ever had a hose break on you in the middle of a service? Try having that happen when doing weed control and having the tractor dye spray all over a home. Hose problems can be a real mess, costing lots of time, and causing lots of customer headaches and dissatisfaction for changing routes last minute. Well here are 5 easy steps to keep your pest control hose it top shape.

 

Top 5 Pest Control Sprayer Hose Problems You Can Avoid
By Andrew Greess

Here are a few simple actions you can take to extend your pest control hose life and reduce chemical spills.

  1. Clean hose exterior. When rewinding hose, run the hose through a rag to remove grit and debris that will reduce hose life.
  2. Periodically completely unroll all the hose off the reel.Turn the power spray on to put some pressure in the hose. Rewind the hose. This will prevent the hose from becoming permanently flattened out, which can negatively affect system performance, especially on low pressure sprayers.
  3.  Reverse the hose. In the same way you rotate tires on a vehicle, reversing the hose regularly will even the wear and extend hose life.
  4. Cut and replace bad portions early. Inspect hose, particularly the first 20 feet for wear and damage. If it looks bad, don’t wait for it to leak, cut it off. This will prevent chemical spills and downtime.
  5. Make a hose repair kit a standard part of your pest control equipment inventory. The kit will allow you to fix minor hose problems so you can finish your route before having to return for a permanent hose repair or replacement.

These simple tips can reduce equipment problems, missed stops and chemical spills.

Andrew Greess is the President of Quality Equipment & Spray, which designs, builds and sells pest control equipment. Follow Greess on Facebook & Twitter. For more information or to share comments, check out www.SprayEquipmentBlog.com

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$12 Million Pest Control

When most people have any type of pest control problem, they simple call the exterminator.

When Elin Nordegren, former wife of golfer Tiger Woods, has a pest control problem, she demolishes her house.

Nordegren decided to level her 17,000 square foot, beach front home in North Palm Beach, FL after it was discovered to be infested with termites and carpenter ants.  Aside from that, the home is not up to Florida’s hurricane code.  Her home builder advised her it would be easier to level the house and start from scratch.

Elin Nordegren's Florda home before being demolished for temites and carpenter ants. (Yahoo News)

Before the take-down, Habitat For Humanity was allowed to take as many cabinets, hardware and fixtures as possible before the wrecking crews were sent in.

We only wish we could have been the ones to make the recommendation.

Elin: “So I have termites and ants.  What do you recommend?”

Bulwark: “Well we’ve never seen it this bad before.  We recommend you completely destroy your house to the ground, rebuild it again, and then sign up for our regular every-other-month service.  We also do free call-backs in between services if your issue continues.”

Elin: “Hmmm. That’s sounds like a good idea. Let me call a wrecking crew, let them level this baby, spend another 12 mil to build it back up and then I’ll have you guys come back out….You guys don’t do the human-type pest control on ex-husbands do you?!”

Bulwark: “Uhh…We take care of the bugs that eat wood, not Woods himself.”

Nordegren's property after her $12 million home was demolished. (Yahoo News)

 

Do Not Get Fooled By Cleverly Disguised Pests

As well as unsuspecting property and homeowners, many bugs and insects can be fooled by the misleading appearance and behavior, of some pretty convincing wasps, spiders and scorpions. In fact, here are three examples of some common pests, that can cause confusion for homeowners, when trying to describe their pest control problem; to their local exterminator:

  1. Velvet ants, although quite convincing, are actually wasps that are covered with long, and dense colored hair. The female Velvet ant has a stinger, but no wings, which makes her very closely resemble a large (approximately one inch), hairy ant.
  2. There are more than one hundred species of ant-mimicking spiders, in the world today. These spider species will employ a wide variety of deceptive strategies, to escape their own natural predators or capture their prey, including mimicking their appearance and behavior; to avoid detection. Typically these spider species will develop slimmer abdomens and false “waists”, to mimic the three distinct regions of an ant’s body. As well, these convincing actors will wave their first pair of legs, to mimic the ant’s antennae and also to conceal the fact that they have eight legs; rather than six.
  3. The Whiptail scorpion has a long and thin tail, that is used primarily as a sensory organ, and does not possess a stinger. Surprising to most, the Whiptail scorpion is not venomous, not a true scorpion, and not even likely to cause serious problems; for local residents and homeowners.

Because these deceptive pests will copying the behavior of their prey, and even modify their appearance to closely resemble another species, they illustrate the importance of having a pest management professional properly identify your bug, insect or pest control problem; before you develop an elimination strategy. Failure to do so, could result in the application of an unnecessary treatment, that is possibly harmful and ineffective; and does not solve your pest problem.

DIY Pest Control to Prevent Pest Control Problems This Fall

Organic Pest Control
Image by Shelley & Dave via Flickr

As the chilly fall and winter weather arrives, families are getting cozy in their warm houses and homes. Not surprisingly, common pests as small as ants or spiders and as big as rats, have the exact same notion. A homeowner’s only hope against the relentless invasion of these pests, is to seal-off any structural, window and door cracks or holes, that could possibly allow pest invaders; to enter to the dwelling or structure.

The most likely points of entry for pests, are a building’s windows and doors. If you often leave your door or windows open, they should be fitted with a proper screen, that is free from any holes, cuts or tears; to avoid inviting a pest control problem into your home. When inspecting the interior and exterior of your dwelling or building, look for light shining through cracks and use your hand to feel for air

movement. If you discover problem areas, seal the cracks around window and door frames with caulking or foam, and apply weather-stripping and sweeps; to seal the moving parts of the door.

Aside from tiny pests like ants and spiders, small rodents like mice are a common pest problem, in the fall and winter months. These unwanted house guests can find their way through a hole, not much bigger than a dime. Once inside a structure and sheltered, they can quickly multiply into a serious pest, bug or insect control problem, for unsuspecting property and home owners. Therefore, as an added precaution and level of protection, it is recommended that glue traps be placed in the attic and other possible pest-prone areas. These sticky traps are able to grab both rodents and insect problems, so if pests do manage to invade parts of your home, you will know what you are up against; before a serious infestation develops.

Pest Pro Joe offers Do It Yourself pest control.

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Why use baits instead of sprays?

There are a number of reasons to use baits over sprays.  One of which is that many insects (i.e. cockroaches, crickets, spiders, and ticks) may have quicker reflexes then you. So trying to spray them with a can of RAD may not hit them. But there is even a better reason to use baits. Baits have a great transfer rate. And if the family of bugs shares the bait then you will knock out the entire colony! So baits are often the better choice. Just sit back and relax. Let the bait do its magic. Sure it may take a little longer for that roach to turn upside, but when dealing with a roach problem wouldn’t rather have 1000 dead roaches over 1 sprayed roach? Just thought you’d like to know.

Thanks for visiting and if you need more pest control tips, then don’t hesitate to ask.




Try Joe’s for your Do it Yourself Pest Control needs.

Smoking, Bad for Bugs.

While going through our emails today, I found the following to be entertaining…

We have a townhouse in Wakefield Plantation. How much would it be to have the house sprayed indoors and out. Our roommate is a smoker and when he comes in and out he lets bugs in. Email is preferred contact.

Jessica C.

ZIP Code           27614

I guess I never thought about what additional damage a smoker can do to destroy one’s comfort.  It seems perfectly logical that a anyone that is frequently opening and closing the door would be opening and exposing the home to potential invasion. So it seems we could conclude that smoking is bad for bug prevention.

A few do it yourself pest control tips, try to stop the flow of bugs created by your smoking friend.

1- Lighting – Yellow bug lights are available.  While these lights do not repel bugs the yellow spectrum attracts fewer bugs. Simply put, these lights are more difficult for bugs to see since bugs can see blue or ultraviolet light.  Or you can try lighting the area from a distance, meaning buying a stronger light and keeping that light away from the entry point.

2- Candles – There are bug candles that you can buy that will repel some bugs, but not all bugs.  Studies indicate a 24% to 42% decrease from Citronella.  Candles may also combine other herbs and natural ingredients, such as rosemary, lemon, thyme, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, geranium, mint oil, and peppermint oil.

Thanks for the email Jessica, I am sure we can help control the bugs, but we can’t do much about the smoking or flying pests that come in and out with the smoker.  But I hope these tips help in further controlling bugs around your home.

Note – While a pest control professional can do little to eliminate flying insects, a regular pest control service can help cut back on flying pests in your home and around the yard.  Ask your pest control professional what treatment options he has for eliminating flying pest nests and harborages.  Proper IPM will help control and limit this pests.