Don’t you just love living in the tropical paradise of Montgomery County? Only thing we are missing are the white sand beaches, crystal blue water, banana trees and a volcano….I think we have the humidity and heat part down! I tell people all of time, this is our “4 Shirt” season…you know, one shirt from 7-10, another shirt from 10-2, another from 2-6, and hopefully the last one can stay on until bedtime…but no promises. Seriously, if you have people working at your house or office…put an extra case of water in the fridge and keep them hydrated.
So what’s happening in the “bug world”? I think it’s easier to say, “what isn’t happening”!!! Every year it seems to be a different pest issue during the summer months. This year, however, we are fortunate not to just have one major pest problem, but several…millipedes, earwigs, flies, fleas, rover ants…oh my. And the best part is … there’s not just one treatment technique to solve the problem and in most cases one treatment doesn’t solve the problem. Additionally, Mother Nature doesn’t help us…it’s either real wet or real dry, creating varying opportunities for the insects and major challenges for us.
For instance, millipedes and earwigs have high moisture needs. Typically, they are found in decaying vegetation, piles of grass clippings, mulch, leaf litter, etc. Both are nocturnal. After periods of heavy rain or rising water tables, their activity is generally greater. They generally cannot survive indoors more than a couple of days, unless there is a high moisture level and available food supply. Our industry manuals suggest that for their control, you should 1) Dethatch the lawn, 2) Mow the lawn lower…this promotes faster “drying”, 3) Remove debris, 4) Water early in the mornings…allowing the area to dry out during the day, and 5) application of appropriately labeled products.
Flea control begins with the pets. Yes, “yours truly” experienced a flea problem several weeks ago and being the “smart guy” attempted to solve the problem without seeking assistance from my Vet. The interior & exterior control wasn’t the problem it was the control on the dog. We bathed the dog every other day for probably 2 weeks. Limited her outside “play” time…and still found fleas on her. Finally, I tossed in the towel and discovered that the Vet has this “magical” pill that within 3 hours after ingestion…the fleas fall off dead. So one pill per month or 15 baths….hmmm….easy decision for this “smart guy”! However, you still need to control the flea activity in your lawn. Concentrate your product applications to the shaded areas and flower beds.
Fleas, Flies, Fo, Fum….Dang flies are bad this year!!!(I know, Cary don’t quit your day job!) Ok, so here’s the challenge…there are 18,200 species of flies. Of these, about 200 either require man’s environment or are greatly benefited by it and are commonly called “domestic” or “filth” flies. And the next challenge is proper identification, because each species has a different food and breeding site preferences. However, flies are a problem when they “invade” our spaces and interfere with our activities. Should you be experiencing a constant fly issue on the inside of your home or office, it is very important to identify the species, as this will narrow the search for the source of their continuation. Sometimes we find a constant moisture issue under the sinks or behind appliances that allows for their survival. Other times, there may be a dead animal, decaying food or animal droppings that are perfect for all stages of the fly cycle. (I truly hate for any insect to touch my food, but the fly is by far the worst!!!)
So how do you control the fly? 1) Proper identification is the first key. 2) Locate the developmental site. 3) If possible, correct/remove the source of the breeding site. 4) Perform any exclusion opportunities. 5) Insecticide application. This process works great, if #1 & #2 are successful. But what if you can’t locate the source? If the issue is indoors inspect the doors, windows and all available openings and repair as needed. Indoor fly lamps, sticky traps, aerosol dispensers and fly swatters will help. In the outdoors you have many options. Constant strong air flow provides a fly free environment plus comfort. Product applications to the walls and areas where the fly lands are greatly beneficial as well the sticky traps, hanging “bottle” attractants, and misting systems. Hey, have fun with it…give the kids a fly swatter and pay them a penny a fly…but get them some gloves first…please!
If you would like more information or have a specific pest concern, please contact me at Chase Pest Control. Our office number is 936-441-2847 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until the next issue, have a great time outdoors. Drink plenty of Water and take many breaks.