Using chemicals is only part of the solution. In this article, I’ll address the most common pest problems around the house and how to get rid of household and yard pests.
Very common problem in the Dallas area, and it seems like you have to fight them constantly. Do yourself a favor and get a tried-and-true product like Ortho® Orthene® Fire Ant Killer for applying directly to the mound. Worker ants feed the queen the bait and it’s guaranteed to work in 24-48 hours. Be patient and don’t disturb the mound. Sprinkle the mound once and leave it alone. Let the worker ants do their job. Repeat this every time you see a new mound and you’ll keep the fire ant problem to a minimum. Ortho also makes an excellent preventative product you can broadcast with a spreader. If it rains you may have to treat multiple times.
As soon as you find a wasp building a nest, sweep it away with a broom, then spray the area with Triazicide® diluted with water. Triazicide is available at Lowes for around $15 a quart. You should inspect common areas regularly, like your porch ceiling and eaves to detect the problem early. Make sure your attic ventilation is screened off. Controlling insects is often pretty straight forward.
Getting rid of water bugs is not easy. Stop and think for a moment why they want to invade your house. There is a water source and/or food source, and they like the warmth. Take away what they want and they won’t come around.
Make sure there are no water leaks and that your plumbing is all in good working condition. Keep your kitchen clean. Wipe your counters and keep them dry at all times. Take the time to clean behind your refrigerator and stove, then lay a bead of insect dust repellent along the back of each appliance. Use Triazicide around the exterior foundation of your house and apply this every month for 3 months, then every two months. At first, you will see more of them.
A Triazicide based product worka when it gets touched, so just create a barrier. Remember, it seems to get worse before it will get better. But all it takes to kill them is for them to come into contact with it. Be patient and don’t stop fighting! Once you have eliminated all signs of water bugs, spray the outside circumference of your house every two to three months to keep them out. Finally, you may want to inspect all the weatherstripping on your house around doors, windows and vents. I helped one home owner a couple of years ago with an infestation and the bugs simply walked in through a lot of cracks in the weatherstripping and under doors.
Is it time to declare war on the flea infestation? If you have fleas you’ll have to adapt this mentality to get rid of them. And, it will take time. Only about 5% of the fleas in and around your home live on pets, so get good and ready to rid your entire home of the problem. Look for a product that contains an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). It will help keep them from propagating. Vacuum the floors constantly. This is your best weapon!
Some foggers work very well, and don’t forget to spray under rugs and carpet. Don’t be surprised when the problem persists for many weeks or even months. Flea larvae are protected in their cocoons from insecticides so you have to be prepared for months of battle! Keep up the fight and you’ll eventually win. Don’t forget to look for an IGR in whatever product you choose.
Termites are extremely difficult to get rid of on your own. They can destroy your home and it’s very possible you won’t know it until it’s too late. I recommend professional termite inspection and control. I know of no home remedy that I can emphatically endorse. If you know you have termites, get a pro and get termite extermination done right. If you don’t know if you have termites or just want to learn how to spot them on your own, this do-it-yourself termite inspection might be good reading for you.
Okay, think about it this way…what do these devices actually do? Answer: they attract flying insects! I have read a lot of theory that these devices really attract more than they kill.
When I was a kid, we used a product called PIC. It was green and round like an electrical stove burner and smoldered and had a pleasant aroma. The smoke repelled a lot of insects, mostly mosquitoes, and worked quite well. I have not seen this product in many years although I know it’s out there somewhere.
For your next party or outdoor cookout you might try a yard fogger or spray the day before your event. It won’t get rid of all the critters, but it’ll certainly help.
If you want a good general pest control for your home, I highly recommend spraying around the yard and foundation about once every 2-3 months. You can buy good general use products at your local home improvement store that you need to dilute with water.
Now, I use a product that contains Triazicide. It works well and goes a long way. Don’t forget to buy a general purpose pump sprayer for applying. Both will run you under $30.
You can hire a pest control pro for controlling insects and they will do a very knowledgeable and thorough job or you can also hire a handyman to apply an over the counter pesticide for you. If your problem isn’t too severe, that could prove to be a cost-saving effective alternative. However, most pest control companies use proprietary products that you need a license to use. They work the best.