Ticks Around Your Home – Part Two

Prevention is the Key to Control

The best way to avoid tick bites and the diseases they may carry is to avoid ticks. The best way to do that is to avoid places where ticks live, such as wooded areas. That is not always possible, but precautions can be taken. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats should be worn when in tick-infested areas. Ticks are easier to detect when you wear light-colored clothes. To prevent ticks from getting under plants, you should tuck cuffs into the socks or shoes. Tuck long hair under a hat. Also, tick repellant can be applied to the outside of clothes, especially the pants.

Do visual inspection of your clothes and body twice a day when in tick-infested areas. The larvae and nymphs of ticks are quite small and can be easily mistaken for freckles or dirt. Ticks like to feed on the back of the head at the base of the skull. It is a good idea to have another person check for ticks in places you cannot easily see. All clothing should be washed in warm water and detergent. If your pets accompany you to the woods, check them too.

Non-chemical Control

If you are having problems with rodents or other wild animals, such as raccoons or opossums, take measures to exclude them from your house or yard. Also, keep shrubs trimmed along the paths near your home. Keep grass mowed, and remove weeds, brush and leaf litter close to your house to reduce tick problems.

Chemical Control

Indoor chemical control of ticks is usually not recommended except for brown dog tick. Other ticks will not establish inside. In the case of the brown dog tick, applications should be limited to crack and crevice treatments, and areas where the animal spends the most time. Animal bedding or sleeping areas should receive special attention. Brown dog ticks will not be found in high places. Think about the brown dog tick as being at the level of the dog. You can use many of the same spray or dust products you would use for cockroach control to control brown dog ticks. Check the label for product that can be used in the same sites as those you need to treat. Always read and follow label instructions. At the same time that the home is treated for brown dog tick, also treat the animal with an approved product.

Outdoor treatments for any type of tick should be limited to those areas where pets spend the most time. Crawlspaces, outdoor walls, cracks and crevices should only be treated if ticks are observed in these places. General treatments for ticks are not recommended because they often are not very effective. Removal of tick habitats is much more helpful.

If you have a severe infestation in or around your home you may want to hire a professional pest control company to control your tick problem. Professionals can safely use products that are not available to consumers.

Tick Bites

As mentioned earlier, some ticks may transmit diseases. If a tick bites you, there are a few things that you should do. First, carefully remove the tick by grasping it with a pair of tweezers at the point closest to the skin. Pull it out slowly and steadily. After the tick is removed, disinfect the bite area. Also, make sure that you don’t crush the tick because if the tick is infected, crushing it could introduce the disease into your body. Save the tick by placing it in a small container with rubbing alcohol. This way if you suspect a tick-related problem later on, the tick can be identified. Although, keep in mind, that to test the tick for disease, it must be kept alive. Finally, record the date on your calendar that you were bitten just in case symptoms appear later.

Ticks Around Your Home

Ticks are closely related to scorpions, spiders and mites. They are not insects. They are external parasites that need a blood meal to survive and reproduce. Ticks can feed on humans and other mammals, reptiles, birds or even frogs. All life stages of ticks feed on blood. Ticks can transmit several diseases, such as Lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis, and others, but most tick bites do not result in illness.

Life Cycle

Ticks have a simple life cycle. Eggs hatch into six-legged larvae, an immature stage. Depending on the kind of tick, the larva can be extremely active or lay in wait for a host to come. Once on the host, the larva will begin feeding. After the tick is full of blood, it will either fall off the host or stay on, depending on the type of tick. The next step for the tick is to turn into a nymph. From this point on, the tick will have eight legs. Some ticks go through many nymphal stages, while some only have one. The nymph will have a blood meal at every stage. After the nymph goes through all of its stages, it will turn into an adult. The adult will either stay on the original host, or find a new one if the nymph dropped off after feeding.

Types of Ticks

There are about 80 different kinds of ticks in the United States. Most of them are not associated with humans or their pets. The information presented here will help you understand what to do if you encounter one of the wood ticks or the brown dog tick in or around your home.

Wood ticks

The name wood tick is used for many ticks including the blacklegged or deer tick, lone star tick and American dog tick. These are usually found in woodland areas. If a home is built in an area that was recently a field or forest, there is a higher chance that these ticks will be close-by. They crawl around for several hours often before attaching themselves to a host, so they may be accidentally brought into a home on pets or clothing. Wood ticks do not establish populations indoors.

Brown dog tick

The brown dog tick can be a nuisance in the home. It is one of only a few ticks that will infest a structure. The brown dog tick prefers to feed on dogs, but will occasionally feed on other hosts, such as humans.

They usually are found only where dogs occur. They can be picked up in such common places as infested homes, kennels, veterinarian’s office, or outdoor areas frequented by an infested animal. On the animal, the larval and nymphal stages of the tick are normally found in the long hair along the back of a dog. The adult stage is found in the ear or between the toes. When an infestation occurs indoors, ticks will be found in cracks, crevices, behind baseboards and in other protected places close to the floor. Since the brown dog tick and adult female can lay as many as 5,000 eggs, the infestation can be very large.

How to naturally rid your home of bugs

Bugs are an irritating side effect to the glorious days of summer. Your first instinct might be to use a commercial pesticide to kill them. However, those remedies can harm your children, your pets and the environment. Instead of reaching for a toxic product to rid your home of nasty insects, try an organic solution instead.

Don’t let them in

One way to make your home bug free is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Bugs typically enter your home through cracks around pipes, windows, doors and drains. Go through your house with caulk and seal up all the openings you find. Also close your drains when you aren’t using them and make sure you don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or food lying around.

Your landscaping is often an attractor and archway into your home for bugs. Another way to make sure pests aren’t getting in is to prune the shrubs back in your garden. Create at least a foot of space between your home and your greenery so insects can’t easily jump from a bush to your house.

Rake up weeds and get rid of any dead debris that is lying near your home. Dead bugs tend to flock to leaf and lawn excess. They will find their way into your house, if, for instance, a pile of old grass clippings is close to your foundation.

Wood chip mulch is a popular form of landscaping, but it also attracts carpenter ants and termites. If you plan to cover the dirt around your flowers or trees with something, rubber mulch is a preferred option.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is an odorless, nontoxic white powder is made up of ground-up shells of microscopic sea creatures called diatoms. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth along the edge of your house, or wherever you notice insects crawling around, will work as sandpaper against the insects’ shell, which leads to dehydration and usually death within hours. You can find this product at most garden centers.


The experts from Planttalk at Colorado State Extension say that garlic makes an effective spray for many plant-dwelling insects. Puree 15 garlic cloves along with a pint of water in a blender, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth into a clean spray bottle, and apply the strained mixture to the tops and bottoms of all affected leaves. Repeat every few days until the problem is gone.

Soap and water

Perhaps the easiest way to organically rid your home of bugs is to set out a bowl of sugar water and add a dollop of dish soap. Bugs will flock to your concoction, get caught in it and drown. This is especially effective with wasps.

Boric acid

Boric acid, an odorless, low toxicity mineral is most effective on cockroaches, silverfish, earwigs, termites, ants, and most other ground-dwelling insects. Boric acid, from which the laundry booster Borax is made, is a white powder mined from volcanic areas — in the US, commonly the Mojave Desert in California. It works against bugs by acting as a “stomach poison,” and also dries their their bodies in a manner similar to how diatomaceous earth works.

To prevent bugs from taking over your home, sprinkle a very fine around pipe and drain entrances in floors and walls, under cabinets, around baseboards, under appliances and on top of cabinets. While it is much less harmful than most commercial chemicals, you should still use it with care and place it where humans and pets aren’t likely to come in contact with it.

Responsible pest control

You don’t have to use harsh chemicals in order to rid your home of bugs. If you find an infestation of ants, roaches or other creepy crawlers, think of your family and environment first: Do your research, and find a natural way to evict them from your home.

Dealing with Scale/insects on house plants

You need to be careful about applying different products in a short period of time. Combinations can sometimes cause problems for the plant.

Scale infestations are difficult to get under control. It takes TIME. Let the products do their work. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of the insects are already dead, with their empty shells driving you crazy.

Use the neem (hopefully it’s cold pressed neem so that it has the active ingredient in it) according to label directions. It will be helpful to a limited extent on the adults, but much more so on the crawlers. Those are the ones you want to get.

What are these Bonide products you’re talking about…active ingredients, please. We can let you know if they will be effective or not.

I’ll also suggest that you visit the Citrus Forum here in the Gardenweb. Not only can you read up on old thread with the exact same topic to gain some insight from others, but you can post your own topic.

How to Deal With Bees and Other Stinging Insects

Honeybees: What They Do

Docile honeybees are essential pollinators in gardens. They nest in protected areas, like tree cavities, or within attics or walls. If aggravated, they’ll sting just once; their barbed stingers rip off, killing them. (Their fatter, fuzzier bumblebee cousins can repeatedly inflict a painful sting.)

Reduce Your Risk

Prevent your home from becoming a honeybee hangout by sealing openings where pipes or wires enter, as well as gaps in your siding. If you spot a swarm, call a local beekeeper to wrangle it.

Carpenter Bees: What They Do

Known for their ability to bore perfectly round holes into wood, they’re often found in eaves and beneath decks. As females build the nest, males flit about looking menacing, but, surprisingly, they can’t sting. And while females can, they rarely do.

Reduce Your Risk

Carpenter bees prefer untreated wood, so paint, stain, or seal exterior wood surfaces. If you discover an infestation—often indicated by a sprinkling of sawdust on or near your house—call an exterminator.

Yellow Jackets: What They Do

These territorial, aggressive predators feed on caterpillars, spiders, and even other bees, plus sugary carbs, which is why you see them around trash cans and backyard barbecues. They tend to build nests in small crevices in the ground.

Reduce Your Risk

Beware: Even just walking near their nests may provoke an attack, and the sound or vibrations from a lawn mower really set them off. Survey your yard for yellow jackets carefully, and hire a pro if you find a hive.

Hornets: What They Do

Like yellow jackets, hornets are in the wasp family and survive on other insects and food scraps. Their large papery nests are often found in trees and under eaves. They’re extremely aggressive but are more likely to sting you when you’re feasting on a food they like.

Reduce Your Risk

If you discover a hornet’s nest on your property, get a professional to remove it. Hornets, like yellow jackets, love rotting food, so make sure your garbage cans are properly sealed.

How To Handle A Scary Bug That’s Terrorizing Your Home In 7 Simple Steps

1. Let any instinctual fear out.

Scream. Yell. Shout. Hopefully someone will hear you and come help, but it never seems to workout that way. Depending on the speed and movement of the bug, you have anywhere from .5 seconds to 5 minutes to react, but don’t be too cavalier and lose track of its location. Seriously, whatever you do, DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE BUG.

2. Acknowledgement.

There is a bug here. You are scared of bugs. You are in this situation and while it sucks, you’ve got to accept the circumstances. Say to yourself, “Wow, that’s a bug ,and a scary one at that. This isn’t good at all. I don’t like that insect being here, and (unfortunately) I’m going to have to do something about it… Other than scream.”

3. Get equipped.

Are you going to capture and free the bug outdoors, or spray/smash it into insect afterlife? A lot of people don’t believe in killing a bug that isn’t necessarily capable of harming them, but I’ll always find it hard to refrain from obliterating from destroying certain bugs. I’m looking at you, mosquitos. Depending on your intentions, grab the nearest bug spray, tissue, sheet of paper, jar/cup, shoe, or any other solid object that you don’t mind being stained by a goop of bug guts. No – stop, put down your TV. You’re overreacting in panic mode and you will regret it if you crush a beetle, but ruin your flatscreen in the process.

4. Stop thinking irrationally.

I know you’re sitting there hyperventilating, but stop freaking out and imagining crazy scenarios. The bug will not overpower you.

5. Remain calm when you inevitably lose track of the bug.

That was your main objective — to keep this pest in your vision, but somehow that didn’t happen. It’s inevitable, we all lose bugs. At some point in the panic, the crawler camouflaged in with the carpet or quickly left the place you initially saw it, and your heart skips a beat upon realizing that it could be ANYWHERE. If we’re lucky, we locate that miniature monster within a few moments, but the majority of the time it stays missing for anywhere from 1-hour to, dun dun DUNNN!, forever.

6. In the event that you legitimately can’t locate the bug for good.

Congratulations, you are now a prisoner in your own home. You can try to watch TV or browse the web to distract yourself, but you can’t pretend like you’re not living in fear. The bug’s more than likely still in there, and now you’re all itchy and every speck on the floor draws a double take, as you worry about multiple threats. If you never find it, you may stress for days or weeks. I once attempted to kill a massive roach, but it escaped and I spent the next three months on edge, afraid to start my car and anticipating it recruiting a gang of friends to crawl into my ear while I was sleeping, and lay eggs along my Eustachian tube before munching on my brain.

7. If you do find the bug.

Be brave. Seize the opportunity to capture that sucker in a jar or slay it, just make sure to do so hastily. I encourage folks to muster up enough courage to spare the insect’s life and help escort it out of the front door, but I’m not going to pretend like an unidentifiable bug, the size of a toddler’s hand is something I’d be willing to get close to without extermination in mind. I have a rule – if a bug has wings then it’s a flight risk and you can’t allow it to soar throughout your home as you die of a heart attack.

How to Control Gnats Outdoors

My back yard is infested with gnats, and it’s driving me nuts! I have a dog, so I want to be careful about what products I use. Could you please help? -Trisha

While we frequently use the word “gnats” to refer to any number of tiny winged insects (such as biting midges, punkies, and no see ums), true fungus gnats are small nonbiting insects that are drawn to wet, rotten organic matter where they lay their eggs and soon hatch into larvae. In general, they are relatively harmless creatures, but their incessant swarming is annoying enough to drive even the toughest of gardeners indoors.

Like mosquitoes, gnats can be difficult to control, because the problem may go beyond your property line. It’s pretty hard to deal with any insect in your own yard if they’re flying in from a nearby lake or farm, and some parts of the world seem to be overrun during the warmer months.

Take these steps to make your yard less inviting to gnats:

  • Keep your garden free of mold, fungus, and rotting plant debris. Pay particular attention to shady areas with poor air circulation. Put your compost pile as far from the house as you can, cover your trash cans, and keep fallen debris cleaned up.
  • Amend your garden soil to improve drainage.
  • Occasionally rake or turn your mulch to allow sodden, moldy layers to dry out.
  • Avoid overwatering, and allow enough time between waterings for the top layer of soil to dry out.
  • Water in the morning to avoid overnight fungal growth.
  • Make sure you have no standing water in gutters, drainage areas, or low spots.
  • Keep birdbaths and water features clean.
  • If your garden still has naturally damp areas, you can top dress the soil with an inch (or less) of sand, to discourage gnats looking for moist soil.
  • Use sodium light bulbs in outdoor areas to reduce attraction at night.

To address existing infestations, here are some other ideas:

  • BTi (Bacillus thuringiensis v israelensis), also known as Gnatrol, is a bacteria that effectively kills gnat larvae. It is most suitable if you can identify specific areas where gnat larvae are actively hatching and feeding.
  • Beneficial nematodes and predatory insects can provide long-term control of larvae once established in the garden.
  • Traps including liquid traps, sticky traps, and electronic insect devices can help control gnats in areas where the adult insects are swarming.
  • Repellents: DEET, citronella, vanilla, pine oil, and dryer sheets are commonly used to repel gnats. You can also use fans on your porch to keep the air moving and discourage hovering swarms. There are also a number of repellent sprays, lanterns, and granules on the market that claim to repel gnats with varying degrees of effectiveness or toxicity.
  • Chemical controls: Foggers, sprays, and insecticides designed for flying insects will work with gnats, although they’re not particularly effective in preventing future infestations. Prevention is more effective, and less toxic, than chemical controls.

A variety of organic gnat control products, including repellents and predatory insects, can be found at your local garden center or at online retailers such as Planet Natural and Golden Harvest Organics.

If you’re not sure what sort of insect you’re dealing with, or if you’re being bitten, you may find it helpful to contact your local agricultural extension service for advice specific to your region.

Cockroach killers – hiding places and nests of cockroaches

So, where are the hiding places and nests of cockroaches? Find cockroaches and cockroach nests:

- In sheltered hollows on walls between garment bags and wall
- In filled drawers on the walls
- Behind books on the back of the book rack, or
- In the side grooves of drawers
- Or in stereo equipment, CD radios
- Or into the folds of used plastic bags and in the folds of large, used plastic bags
- And as nests of breeding, especially the lower folds of small plastic bags are very popular

Roaches leave droppings as black dots. Accumulations of these black dots are indicative of an important location of cockroaches, for example, to a drawer groove, or next to a hi-fi unit in open left lying bouillon cubes.

Antidote cockroaches

Avoid antidote food and leftovers – this is the best prerequisite. Principle, one should avoid food residues or leave shell fragments, and certainly not let a bouillon cube are open, etc. because this is the food for the cockroaches.

Cockroach killers – Antidote with the spray: often with little success

You can buy a spray against cockroaches and then 24 hours, the apartment does not enter in the hope that the cockroaches die of poison at the drugstore or department store.

Antidote Stomp – and the things for transports always investigate with a sponge in hand. You can trampled cockroaches upon surfacing immediately. That is the least you can do.

Cockroach killers – Cit vermin powder

Cit vermin powder is a dry, odourless insecticide and it is successfully applied to all types of crawling insects.
Cit infested with vermin powder, dry areas are covered thoroughly, as are all objects and slip angles at which the bugs come into contact. The biocidal effect already occurs after a few minutes.

Do not remove the powder as possible, so that the effect is maintained as long as possible. Remove powder vermin CIT from contact with humans and animals easily with a broom and dustpan or vacuum cleaner.Regular use ensures reliable containment of vermin.The product is excellent in resistance problems!

Cockroaches in your home – Cockroach killers

Cockroaches in your home you should definitely fight, because these insects transmit dangerous diseases and thus represent a major risk presented to fight, you can use glue traps or other means. There are thousands of species of cockroaches.

The risk by scraping

If you ask the experts from http://www.pestcare.bg/ the cockroaches prefer to stay in places where it is warm and humid and where they can find enough food. Therefore, bakeries, canteens and other catering kitchens are at risk, but also in private households are to be found. In addition to food, the cockroaches eat the paper, fabrics and leather. They usually go out at night in search of food during the day and are therefore usually not visible.Of the cockroach, eaten foods often have an unpleasant odour, but an even bigger problem is the droppings, which they leave there. Through this, they transmit various diseases to humans and it should be strictly controlled.

If you have cockroaches in your kitchen or in your pantry, you should definitely pay attention to a very good hygiene, clean the rooms regularly, and wipe so that the cockroaches cannot find food. Pack all food in well-closed container. Examine the rooms to cracks and crevices where cockroaches could stop the daytime, and seal it.

Where you suspect the nest sites, you can lay out sticky traps. These sticky traps contain a pheromone that is attractive to insects. If they have the glue trap then enter, they are stuck there, so you can dispose of the case, along with the cockroaches. On the other hand, you can also set up bait boxes containing insecticides and kill the cockroaches.

Places where you can place any glue trap or a bait box, such as the columns in which the nesting cockroaches, you can treat with powder or spray. This means you should use caution, however, if you have small children or pets. If neither the sticky traps nor one of the other agents was successful, we recommend you the help of a professional pest.

Cockroach killers – You can do it

There are some remedies for roaches. Ultimately, it is often difficult to get rid of these pests again when they are first in the household. For a bad infestation, you should order an immediate best exterminator.

• Cockroaches are dark brown to black and are up to three inches long. You cannot fly, but run very fast.
• Cockroaches prefer darkness, so it may take a while to explore these cockroaches at all. They are also very shy so they disappear as soon as possible if you get near them or even to switch on the light.
• Roaches or their eggs are often here often introduced with food and the packaging of these foods in a household. Therefore, do not be ashamed if you suddenly find cockroaches in your house otherwise kept clean. However, you should fight it, because these insects carry diseases that can be very dangerous in parts.
• Cockroaches feed on your inventories. They have a good bite, so it does not matter to them if the foods are still packed. They bite with their teeth easily by cartons.
• This means help against attack.

If you have discovered cockroaches in your home

If you have discovered cockroaches in your home, you should first remove all food from the affected area and thoroughly clean it, as also to remove crumbs and other foodstuff from the ground. If you do not have another room for your supplies available, pack the food, at least in glass or metal containers.

Traps, which are provided with an attractant

Place these traps as close as possible to the locations used by the cockroaches as shelter and nesting. It looks similar to coffee.

Use a spray or position a bait trap

In the same places, you can also sprinkle a powdered poison, use a spray or position a bait trap. Do not use these funds, but if the room is entered by small children and pets, and watch out for your own health, because these funds are usually for you gifting. If not all this helps remedy the cockroaches, all you can do the call in a professional exterminator.