Pest Control

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Pest Control

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I control fire ants?

    Baiting is a preventive treatment and if done 3-4 times a year, new nests will be unable to form.

    Drenching should be done when you currently have active nests which need to be eliminated immediately. This is generally what you should do when people or pets are either threatened or have gotten stung by existing ants. Since drenching mounds works so quickly, it's advised when live fire ants are active.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do insecticides work?

    There are basically two types: systemic and non-systemic. The systemic is absorbed by the plant and makes it poisonous. The non-systemic provides a coating on the outside of the plant.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Tips That Will Make Your Yard Thrive This Year

    Simply fertilizing the lawn and prepping the power equipment is insufficient to ensure that garden areas will thrive during the spring and hot summer months. Success in the garden is the result of know-how that includes proper soil cultivation and improvement, pest control, pruning and irrigation well before new plant growth emerges.

    Plant and soil requirements vary in different regions of the country. I always suggest that homeowners contact their local county co-operative extension agency or neighborhood hardware dealer for recommendations on the appropriate grasses, fertilizers, pest and disease controls and plants. But here are a few more professional insights as to ways you can achieve better growing conditions in your yard:

    Test the Soil

    This easy, but usually overlooked step will reveal the needs your soil has for improvement. For example, the pH level indicates the acidity or alkalinity of the soil; that will dictate the types of plants that will grow best in a particular location. Without knowing the soil make-up, you could inadvertently apply the wrong combinations of nutrients or amenders or plant the wrong varieties. Submit soil samples for analysis to the county extension agency. You also may obtain test kits at your local Ace Hardware store.

    Amend and Cultivate Soil

    Heavily compacted soil hinders the health of plants. They prefer well-drained, loamy soil. Add compost to flower, shrub and vegetable beds and turn over or till the soil to break it up. Do not cultivate soil when it is wet. That will compact it even more and disturb beneficial microorganisms. Aerate lawns using power equipment designed for that purpose.

    Fertilize Properly

    Improper fertilizing can do more harm than good to plants. Never use a single type of fertilizer universally. Lawns, shrubs, trees, flowers and vegetables each have specific requirements. Soil conditions (based on testing) also dictate specific needs. Also, fertilizing at the wrong time, too little or too frequently will have a negative result. Consult local experts and product labels for specific recommendations.

    Control Pests and Diseases

    Indiscriminant spraying and dusting of pesticides can be harmful to plants, pets and humans. Controls are formulated for specific purposes and should be used only as recommended on the product's label. As a first step, determine what pests or diseases your plants have by providing samples to your extension service or the garden center manager at your local Ace store.

    Irrigate

    Plants are like people when it comes to water. Too little and they dehydrate; too much and they drown. As a general rule, most plants prefer water at their 'feet,' not on their 'heads.' So, water at soil level, not by overhead spraying an entire bed. It is important to know when to water. An inexpensive moisture meter, available at a hardware store, can be used to indicate the need. Simply push the prong into the soil to various depths around a plant and read the meter.

    Mulch

    Covering a soil bed with the proper mulch will retain moisture that will benefit plants and maintain better soil conditioning. Three to 6 inches of straw has proved effective as a mulch. Bark gives up moisture quickly except in humid climates where, in turn, it can mildew. Rock is risky because it absorbs, retains and radiates heat, which can damage plants.

    Prune Selectively

    Some plants prefer pruning in early spring, while others can be trimmed during summer or fall. Generally, anything that flowers in the spring should be pruned after flowers die off. There are exceptions, however, so consult your local extension service or the garden center manager at your local Ace store to learn what those are when in doubt.

    Check Soil Temperatures Before Planting

    Interestingly, horticulturists have found that how well plants adapt to transplanting or seeding depends upon the temperature of the soil at the time of planting. In some cases, plantings before the last frost do well; in other cases the soil must be at a consistent temperature (say 55ºF) for a period of time to achieve maximum results.

    By following each of these procedures faithfully each year you will be rewarded with an even better lawn and yard than you imagined.

    Credit:  Lou Manfredini's Tips From the Tool Box, Ace Hardware

     

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Wasps have built a nest on our patio. How can I get rid of them?

    There are sprays that have a range of 20' so that you can stand far away and still be effective. Some sprays leave a foam so that returning pests will also be killed.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • When do I apply insect controls?

    These can be applied anytime there is a problem. However, a preventative application for surface insects should be made in late spring.

    The best time to attack insects below the surface is in late July and early August. This application should include watering the lawn before and after the application to ensure the insecticide gets down to the root zones where the grubs are active.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I control grubs in my yard?

    Apply a grub control lawn treatment when grubs are newly hatched or just before. They're easier to control when they're small. For most lawns, that means applying around June and July, or when you see adult Japanese beetles flying around.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I rid my lawn of moles?

    You must first get rid of the food source - grubs, sod webworms and some beetles. Then you can use either a toxic cartridge that 'smokes' their holes or a toxic pellet that you place in the burrows. See this video for more information.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • I have roaches in a basement room. What do you recommend?

    There are both room foggers and roach bait.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I make my home termite proof?

    • Use termite-resistant building materials whenever possible. Redwood, cedar and juniper are all wood species that are less favorable to termites.
    • Eliminate standing water and chronically moist soil near your home. Termites need moist soil to survive and are attracted to wet areas.
    • Lay films of 6mm polyethylene in crawl spaces under foundations as a moisture barrier between the soil and subfloor framing.
    • Create and maintain good cross-ventilation through foundation wall vents to keep those crawl spaces as dry as possible.
    • Slope all exterior grades away from wood structures to maintain good drainage.
    • Prune back plants close to your home to prevent moisture and mold buildup on wood walls.
    • Water away from your home and adjust sprinklers to keep them from spraying directly onto wood walls and siding.
    • Seal all wood exposed to moisture using a weather sealer, especially exterior window frames and the bottom of wall edges.
    • Move all wood scraps and debris away from wood structures.
    • Create sand barriers in crawl spaces and under fence posts, patios and steps to deter subterranean termites. These termites cannot tunnel through sand.
    • Dig trenches 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide around wood structures. Fill the ditch with 16-grit sand (granules that are too large to be carried away and too small to be used to construct tunnels).
    • Fill cracks and repair broken seals in foundations and patios with 16-grit sand. This is especially helpful after foundation settling.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • Do you have anything that can clear an outside area of flying insects?

    There are electric insect foggers and, for smaller areas, there are outdoor foggers that come in an aerosol can.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I keep deer and rabbits from eating my plants?

    Things You'll Need:

    • Shovel
    • Spade
    • Crushed red pepper
    • Onions and garlic
    • Hot sauce
    • Filtered, purified or spring water

    Select rabbit and deer-resistant flowers to plant in your garden. Some flowers that rabbits and deer tend to avoid eating include astilbe, daffodils, marigolds, snapdragons, daylilies, primrose and peonies.

    Choose a suitable planting location for your rabbit and deer-resistant flowers. Plant flowers labeled 'Full Sun' in an area that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Plant flowers labeled 'Partial Sun' in an area that receives up to four hours of direct sunlight each day. Select a planting location that provides the appropriate amount of sunlight and offers your flowers well-draining soil.

    Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of crushed red pepper into each of the planting holes when planting the flowers in your garden to make them even less appealing to rabbits, deer and other garden pests.

    Plant onions and garlic around the perimeter of your garden to discourage rabbits and deer from entering. Rabbits generally know better than to eat garlic or onions, which can trigger severe anaphylactic reactions, and even deer seem to find these powerfully potent plants less than appealing.

    Mix 2 tbsp. of hot sauce into 10 gallons of filtered, purified or spring water. Spray the flowers in your garden with the hot sauce solution once every two weeks to further discourage rabbits and deer from eating them.

     

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

  • How do I control bagworms?

    Physically remove bags from trees during the winter. Be sure to completely destroy worms inside the bags.

    Insecticide control needs to be aimed at young larvae in mid to late June to be effective.

    Feeding by mature caterpillars slows in August before pupation into adults, so chemical control in late summer and fall is not effective.

    Insecticides labeled for bagworm control include acephate, carbaryl (like Sevin), cyfluthrin, malathion and permethrin.

    Affected plants must be thoroughly covered with the insecticide in June so the insects ingest it as they are feeding. Apply at the rate indicated on the product label. And be sure to read and follow all label directions.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

    Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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