Mosquitoes, flies, ants, bees, wasps, spiders, and other creepy crawling bugs. Time to find the Lowes bug killer. Its part of summertime outdoors and that’s where the bugs and other insects need to stay. You need an effective method to control insects and pests around your home. After you figure out what type of insect or pest is creating problems for your home or yard, you have many treatment choices.
Many homeowners also overlook the reason insects are at their doorstep. For example with ants its almost always because they are looking for a food source. Eliminate the food source and you eliminate most of the ant problem. You also don’t have to rely on strong insecticides or chemicals because you can use organic and natural methods. These have a low impact on the environment. However, there may be times when you will need something stronger to control the pests around your home. Don’t forget that your home and lawns are where kids play and where birds feed too. Make sure you are using any insect control safely.
The Basics of Insect and Bug Control
Pest and Insect Control Reference Guide
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So when insects, pests and rodents decide to make your home their home, it’s time to take control. While location and climate both have a strong bearing on the types of bugs that you will see during the summer months, there are a few common ones that always are a general nuisance. Knowing what they are and what hazards they pose can go a long way in keeping you safe and bug free during the hotter months. You cant just reach for the nearest bug killer.
Here are some products we have used and should help you decide your treatment options. We have tried to provide both natural organic solutions as well as chemical solutions for you.
Bee, Hornets and Wasps. Bees, hornet,and yellow jackets are especially dangerous to those who have allergies, since bee stings can prove fatal if not treated in a timely manner. They thrive in all areas of the country, making hives from overhangs and the nooks and crannies of your home. Wasps, hornets and yellowjackets are more dangerous and unpredictable than honey bees and should be treated with great care. If left untreated, hives can grow considerably in size, increasing the likelihood of stings. Getting rid of the hives can be a complicated process to do alone, since any disruption generally releases the entire swarm in and around your house.
Best Organic Solution: Pyrethrin. Safer Brand Hornet and Wasp Killer
Best Chemical Solution: Spectracide Wasp and Hornet Killer Aerosol
Ants. Ants invade the home to forage for food or seek shelter or both. Ants are successful because they are social insects often forming complex colonies. Certain species of ants are specialized in their behavior, for example, living on only one type of tree. Many other species are very adaptable and exploit numerous different living environments and food sources. There are two main methods of getting rid of ants – spraying or baiting them. Using a liquid bait is generally my solution of choice when treating a house for ants. Fortunately, this liquid bait is also readily available for purchase at Lowes and other hardware stores. Ant infestation are not easy to control and different strategies should be used depending on nest location and food preferences of the ants. Ants can be controlled with a combination of good sanitation, removing pheromone trails, caulking entry points and eliminating active nests. Insecticide sprays and baits can be used to kill foraging ants and destroy nests, but strategies designed to prevent further infestations should be used with chemical treatment.
Best Organic Solution: Baking soda and boric acid mixture. Also try rice or sugar.
Best Chemical Solution: Terro or Home Defense
Spiders. They are found virtually everywhere from mountains to caves. They are commonly associated with water, soil, leaf litter, and low, dense plant growth. An effective approach to spider control is to use the knowledge that they are predators; they primarily consume other insects. So if you can reduce the other insects around your home, spiders will be less interested in hanging around. Most spiders like to hang out near light sources, as they rely on flying insects that instinctively move towards light. Don’t expect perfection in spider control; they are biologically not very receptive to chemical agents and not very cooperative in picking up pesticides. So just spraying alone is not a great defense against spiders. As you know, spiders are built high off the ground. They don’t drag their bellies across surfaces. Insecticide residue on the surface only touches their feet. That kind of contact won’t cut it for good spider control. Although many spiders use venom when they bite and kill their prey, the black widow and the brown recluse spiders are the only North American species dangerous to humans. Even though there is generally little danger of complications from spider bites, you should take all spider bites seriously.
Under most conditions outdoors, spiders are considered beneficial because they feed on insects. However, they are undesirable to most homeowners when indoors, and the unsightly webbing spiders use to catch insects usually outweigh this benefit. Many spiders are associated with moisture and, therefore, are found in basements, crawl spaces, and other damp parts of homes. Others live in warm, dry places so are found in sub floor air-vents, in upper corners of rooms or in attics. Most species will hide in cracks and darkened areas.
Best Organic Solution: Vinegar, neem oil or peppermint oil.
Best Chemical Solution: Bug B Gon granules.
Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the most recognizable summer bug. In addition to carrying a number of diseases, their bites cause redness, itching, and other physical discomforts. Mosquitoes are most often found in and around standing pools of water, which is where they lay their eggs in the summer. They are most common in humid areas, although almost every part of the United States suffers from at least mild mosquito infestations. While most mosquitoes can be handled by decreasing the amount of standing water and wearing long sleeves and protective bug spray, yards that are connected to particularly wet areas may need more intensive pest control. In addition, there are also many different species of mosquitoes, so not all of them can be taken care of in the same way.
Best Organic Solution: Mosquito dunks with B.T. (Bacillus thuringiensis)
Best Chemical Solution: Cutter Backyard Spray
Cockroaches. Cockroaches are some of the nastiest bugs to have invading your home. In the summer, they present a much larger indoor problem than they do in the cooler spring and fall months. Too much heat outside actually drives the cockroaches indoors, causing them to seek out the moist areas of your home. Although cockroaches don’t present the same health and habitat hazards that many other summer bugs do, their size and appearance make them unpleasant roommates. It is usually best to control cockroaches before they have a chance to lay their eggs in the hidden parts of your home. Cockroaches ordinarily prefer a moist environment, and many species also prefer a relatively high degree of warmth. Some tropical roaches feed only on vegetation. However, cockroaches which live in buildings are mostly scavengers and feed on a wide variety of food. They are especially fond of starches, sweets, grease, and meat products; but will also eat a great variety of materials such as cheese, beer, leather, bakery products, starch in book bindings, glue, hair, flakes of dried skin, dead animals and plant materials.
Best Organic Solution: Boric acid or Orange Guard
Best Chemical Solution: Combat Roach Control Max
Termites. Termites are more commonly found in wet, humid areas. While they aren’t particularly damaging to people, they can wreak havoc on the wooden foundation or walls of buildings. In winter, most termites go down into the ground to their nests, returning in the summer months to feed on the structure of your house. 90% of termite populations in the USA are those of subterranean termites. 10% are those of drywood termites. You need to know the difference before you begin treatment. If you live in a coastal area where high humidity exists, then you could be dealing with drywood or dampwood termites. Subterranean termites travel in mud shelter tubes. Drywood termites leave small holes and fecel pellets called frass. We have termite distribution maps and step by step guides on how to get rid of kill all species of subterranean, Drywood, Formosan, Dampwood and Powder Post Termites. Because they can create lasting damage costing up to tens of thousands of dollars, it is important not to delay control of termites. If you suspect termites, it is best to call someone for a survey as soon as possible.
Best Organic Solution: Orange oil or borax
Best Chemical Solution: Spectricide Termite and Carpenter Ant Control
Rats and Mice. Rats and Mice have been responsible for the spread of various diseases to people and domestic animals for years. Today, because of improvements in sanitation, and rodent and insect control programs, the disease threat from rodents is not as significant as it once was. But because of the habits of rodents traveling in sewers and garbage, there are still cases of human and animal diseases being transmitted in cities and areas where rats and mice live in close proximity to people. Some species breed year-round, and populations are maintained through constant reproduction. Because of the rodents body shape, they are capable of squeezing through spaces that are much smaller than their body. All holes should be sealed to prevent entry and reentry of rodents.
Rats and mice are both extremely destructive. A number of species feed on seeds and grains. The feces and urine of some rodents will contaminate surfaces. Droppings, gnaw marks, and tracks indicate areas where mice are active. Mouse nests are made from shredded paper or other soft material, usually in sheltered locations. House mice have a musky odor that identifies their presence. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours.
Best Organic Solution: Peppermint oil. Mouse traps. Or a good house cat!
Best Chemical Solution D-con or Tomcat mouse killer bait blocks
No matter what summer bugs may be threatening the fun of your season, it’s important to remember that safety and health should always be your first priority. While an ant may ruin a picnic, the bigger, nastier bugs of the season can ruin everything from your health to your home if left untreated.
By Victoria Stone-Easy Expert Staff