Flies, if ignored, can make you and anyone in your household ill, as these insects are carriers of some diseases. At the first sign of a fly buzzing around, this article will let you know some DIY fly trap and other techniques that work.
Flies go after every scrap of food and dirt they find in your house leaving behind a trail of bacteria that can cause diseases like diarrhea, food poisoning, and cholera.
It doesn’t matter how quick you may close the door, flies still find a way into your home. Even a handful of female flies can translate to thousands within the shortest period of time.
For instance, an average female fly can lay about 500 eggs in its one-month lifespan. This makes it even worse for you to eliminate flies, especially if you lack the know-how of some most effective DIY techniques.
- Clean your house
This is one of the simplest techniques you can use to do away with flies because it is inexpensive and easy to accomplish.
If you really want to eliminate flies completely, then start by ensuring that your house is clean all the time because flies become more attracted to dirty surfaces than to clean ones.
Use clove, orange, or basil oil as you clean your house, these oils act as fly repellents. Wipe down and dry clean surfaces, cover compost, and clear bread and any other food remain.
- Use natural insect repellents
As mentioned earlier, flies do not like the smell of cloves, basil, oranges, or apples studded with cloves.
For instance, you can capitalize on this fact by setting up a basket of organic cloves in your home, planting basil in window-boxes or by simply making a patch of basil by the front door.
Also, you may cut oranges and pack them with salt after juicing to act as flies deterrent.
- Use a homemade fly trap
Using a flytrap is one of the easiest techniques to execute and monitor, especially the homemade fly trap.
You can coax these insects into a lidded jar by placing food that attracts them to the bottom. Ensure that you punch a few holes in the jar’s lid so that the flies may enter the trap to their demise because after getting into the trap, the flies will not be able to fly back out.
- Use water bags
Using water-filled bags is the most efficient home remedy for how to do away with flies. It involves hanging half-full gallon size water bags at or near areas where flies seem to graze.
The premise behind this technique is simply light refraction that causes the many lens in the flies’ eyes to distort what the flies see. This lens effect casts images that portray spider webs hence scaring flies away.
These are just but a few DIY home remedies that can be used to eliminate the nuisance caused by flies. They are good alternatives to commercial sprays, traps, and flypaper.
Spider bites in humans fall into two categories: serious bites from two particularly dangerous species, and annoying bites that can be handled effectively using home remedies for spider bites. What’s more, these home remedies for spider bites are things you probably already have on hand in your kitchen and home first aid kit.
Let’s take a look at the two spider species that have dangerous bites:
The first is the brown recluse spider. First the good news: this spider has a limited range and is only found in the Southern United States down to the Gulf coast.
Now the better news: the bite of this spider is almost always painless and almost never fatal.
The bite of this spider seems to cause the death of cells and tissue surrounding the bite area. There is some argument that this cell death may be from a bacterial infection transmitted by the spider, and not from the spider’s venom.
The thing to watch for with this kind of bite is a rapid change in the way the bite area looks. If you have a bite that is changing rapidly, seek medical attention immediately, especially if you live in this spider’s natural habitat.
The other “big bad” of the spider world is the black widow spider. If you are bitten by a black widow, you may recognize the spider by its distinctive black body and red hourglass marking.
Even if you don’t recognize the spider, you will recognize the bite. The bite is immediately painful, and severe body cramps, headaches, and tearing follow soon after.
Seek medical attention immediately, as your symptoms will rapidly get worse. The good news here is that death is rare, and with proper medical treatment, you will likely have a very good outcome.
Just as people can be allergic to insect bites and stings, people can be allergic to spider bites. Most people who have these allergies know and carry appropriate medication with them at all times.
But anyone who is bitten is susceptible to an anaphylactic reaction.
Fortunately, despite their severity, allergic reactions and bites from brown recluse and black widow spiders are rare. Most of the time all you will need is a home remedy for spider bites.
The main issue with a spider bite, as with an insect bite, is irritation and itching. To soothe the area of the bite, try using a preparation with a waxy emollient base like beeswax.
If it has other nutrient ingredients, like bee pollen or propolis, so much the better.
An over-the-counter antihistamine, either oral or topical, will relieve swelling and make you more comfortable. Other things you can place on the bite site to help include a slice of raw onion or a paste of baking soda and water.
Use common sense, however, and know when a bite is an annoyance, and when you should be seen by a physician. If there are any signs of swelling, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
As you probably know, the vast majority of spiders use their webs to catch insects, which they eat later, although while the bug is still alive. The venom that spiders deliver with their bites is usually just toxic enough to paralyze their prey.
So naturally, if a spider’s venom is powerful enough to just temporarily subdue a mosquito or a housefly, there’s no chance at all the venom will cause any problems for a person.
It may hurt, just like a horsefly bite or even a bee sting, but there’s nothing more to worry about beyond that.
In most cases, there’s nothing more.
Like the wolf, they see very well at night. If you shine a light in their eyes, it will come back green. The wolf spider’s scientific name is Rhabidosa Rabida. Wolf spiders can be found all over the United States, from Florida to Texas and California, as well as northern territories like Ohio and Michigan.
- The wolf spider is an active hunter. This means it does not use webs to catch prey. Instead, they will chase or pounce on their prey.
- They have very powerful jaws. Spider jaws protrude and are called chelicerae – they are used to carry objects and crush prey.
- Wolf spiders are poisonous. Like most spiders, the wolf spiders bite is designed to liquefy the inside of its prey for easier digestion. Their bite hurts like hell, but they are not fatal to humans.
- These spiders can be identified by their eyes. The bottom row is composed of four small eyes of equal size. The top row, or posterior, is curved backward against the middle two eyes which are enlarged in size.
- Wolf spiders are huge. Some species may be anywhere between 1 inch or 1.5 inches (38mm) with an additional leg span of about 4 inches. Hogna helluo and Hogna carolinesis are the likeliest spider species found inside of the home, the latter being the largest. Wolf spiders pass through a series of skin molts on their way to adulthood.
- They live solitary lifestyles. Unless mating, they do not seek interaction.
- Night vision. They have a membrane in their eyes that comes back green when light hits it – it allows them to see at night also.
- Desert species are capable of burrowing. In high temperatures, the spider will burrow underground. The hole is covered with dirt and grass.
- They are hunted by wasps and birds. If stung, the will become paralyzed.
- Chemical receptive hairs on its body for detecting prey. Spiders will use these hairs to detect certain scents and maintain their orientation.
Their lifespan is about 2 years. It is believed that females live longer. Males will use rhythm to attract females.
Courtship is a brilliant display of jumping and drumming with the pedipalps (second inner appendages). They are also diurnal. This means they hunt both day and night, though some desert species prefer to hunt in cooler nightly temperatures.
Here are just a few false notions about the shiny black eight-legged creature, a Black Widow spider:
They live mostly outdoors, under piles of wood, rubble, and other debris. They can also be found in hollow stumps, under rocks, and under the eaves and in the corners of sheds and garages.
They may be found, less frequently, indoors in places like basements and crawl spaces that house boxes and other clutter that go undisturbed for long periods.
Myth: Female Black Widow spiders always eat the male after mating.
Reality: While this occasionally happens, it is rare, and it’s often as much the fault of the male like the female.
The act of reproduction effectively neuters male Black Widows, so there is no instinctive need for the male to go anywhere after mating.
Since cannibalism is rampant among all spider species, if a male stays in the immediate area of the female’s web for an extended period of time, there’s a decent chance it will be eaten.
Myth: This spider’s venom is ounce-for-ounce the deadliest toxin known to man.
Reality: It’s no doubt that the bites can be dangerous, but only females of the species have the anatomy capable of injecting harmful amounts of venom, and even then it’s rarely deadly.
In fact, human mortality from Black Widow bites is well less than one percent, and hospitalization is rarely even required.
What’s even less well known is the fact that all spiders are venomous, but, due to their small size, they are unable to hurt anything larger than an insect in most cases.
Myth: They are aggressive spiders that will attack even when unprovoked.
Reality: They build their webs in hard-to-reach spaces in cluttered areas and under rocks, fallen tree limbs, and stumps.
They are poor runners and climbers who almost never leave their webs, and it’s only when their webs are disturbed that they bite.
Even though the facts demonstrate that this spider isn’t exactly a menace, they do pose a threat to people who aren’t familiar with preventing bug bites in general and are unaware of the spiders’ markings and preferred habitat.
And, worse, the hotter-than-average summer that has plagued most of North America has resulted in higher populations of Black Widow and other spiders, which has resulted in a spike in reports of bites over recent months.
Bite symptoms and treatment:
The bite from a Black Widow is usually marked by an initial stinging pain, although some victims report no discomfort.
Usually within 10 minutes, however, intense pain and muscle cramping begins at the site of the bite and progresses to the abdomen and lower back.
Other likely symptoms include nausea, tremors, and an increase in sweating, breath rate, and blood pressure.
Clean the bite with soap and water and apply ice to the area as quickly as possible. If possible, raise the affected area above the head, and then seek medical attention.
When working outside among thick vegetation and clutter, wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, and boots.
Common insect repellents, especially those containing DEET, are usually effective against Black Widow spiders.
Nowadays you can buy find just about anything in the supermarket with a label marking it “organic.” There are organic fruit and vegetables, organic milk and other dairy products, and even organic pet food.
Now the concept is being applied to other types of consumer goods and services, and for good reason. Organic farm sales exceeded $3.5 billion last year in the U.S. alone.
But what does “organic” mean?
Different regulatory agencies at all levels of government have different official definitions, but the general concept is centered on the idea that man-made chemicals, whether they are pesticides, fertilizers, etc., should not be used during production.
For instance, corn that is grown and marketed with an “organic” label must have been produced without the benefits of genetic seed modification, mass-produced fertilizers like ammonia, or pesticides created in a lab.
The demand for these goods is driven by the idea that organic products are safer to use.
Some chemicals that have been used in the past for various purposes have been found to be harmful to humans and animals, especially in the case of pregnant women and small children.
Some now worry that many of today’s chemicals may also be dangerous. Organic production methods help alleviate that fear.
Today’s pest management companies are looking for ways to minimize the use of man-made chemicals in the home, the lawn and garden, and on the farm. And they’re finding a number of means to effectively do the job of traditional pesticides.
Many of the most popular organic materials used to manage insect populations contain naturally occurring plant oils, especially rosemary, wintergreen, and geraniums.
Other methods include using special bacteria to control mosquitoes, nematodes to manage plant-eating grubs, and diatomaceous earth to combat other types of insects.
Natural predators are also introduced in some cases, such as bats and certain breeds of birds that feed on insects.
In a few instances, a pest management issue may require the use of chemicals, but professionals are developing “low impact” materials like the insect growth regulators Hydroprene and Methoprene, which are proven to have no negative effects on humans.
The National Pest Management Association offers a certification program, called GreenPro, which provides pest management professionals the knowledge and skills to control pests with minimum impact on the environment.
In addition to using organic materials to rid homes of pests, the program stresses the importance of pest management professionals working with homeowners to eliminate entry points for unwanted critters and to establish other practices to deter their presence.
Under the GreenPro program, pest management professionals work with their clients to develop a complete plan for dealing with unwanted insects, rodents, etc.
Considering its past reliance on traditional chemicals, it is only natural to expect pest management to be the next market likely to see a boom in the demand for organic products.
Part of natural pest control methods is the use of some insects that are good for your plants. A couple of insects that you may want to encourage to stay in your garden are ladybugs and green lacewings. Most organic garden supply outlets will have these in stock.
After all, the reason you want that beautiful lawn and garden is so that you can enjoy spending time in it. Natural pest control methods mostly come in two varieties: day time and night time.There are also a few that can work at any time.
- Birds: Some types of birds love to eat insects. The easiest way to attract these birds to your yard is with a water feature, like a birdbath, or with birdhouses.
- Predatory insects: Predatory insects are not dangerous except to the pest population in your yard. These are insects like ladybugs and green lacewings. You do not have to attract these predatory insects — you can actually buy them from organic yard care stores. For instance you might want to try Sta-Home Lady Beetles or Green Lacewings.
- Bats: Bats fly only at night and can eat their weight in insects every night. It is easy to attract bats to your neighborhood by simply putting up a bat house on a tree or outbuilding.
You do not want to attach the bat house to your home. Some people don’t care for bats, but they are harmless and you rarely see them unless you do a lot of entertaining after dark.
- Toads: Toads are great at cleaning up insects in the evenings. A toad can eat from 50-100 insects in an evening.
The easiest way to encourage a toad population in your yard is to place a Toad House in your garden or flower beds. These are attractive additions to a garden or flower bed and offer shelter to the toads during the day.
Day or night:
- Netting: This option can be effective; however, it is not the most attractive looking option you could choose.
- Nematodes: Nematodes are effective against burrowing pests like grubs and cutworms. You can get products like, Grub-Away Nematodes that can be easily applied with a sprayer.
- Traps: If you are having problems with a specific type of pest you may want to set up some natural pest control traps that are designed to deal with them.
There are many you can choose from depending on the type of pest that is causing you problems. There are even special traps designed to rid your yard of fleas. Your pets will thank you for these.
As you can see, there are many different types of natural pest control methods that you can try. Many of them will make your yard a very interesting place to enjoy.
Part of the natural beauty that you enjoy in your yard is the wildlife that you can watch and listen to. Most natural pest control methods rely on the wildlife to help you out; you just have to make your yard into an inviting place for them to visit.
Here you will find information on how to know about bed bugs and it is hoped that you take the necessary precautions at the sign of infestation.
The last few years have seen the resurgence of a parasite that most of us thought had gone the way of the bubonic plague, and it’s now a serious problem for a new generation of American tourists and homeowners.
It’s the bedbug, and there have been confirmed reports of infestations in every state. Experts believe that the rise in international and domestic travel, mixed with the general public’s lack of knowledge about recognizing and containing them, has helped spur the return of the tiny, blood-sucking insect.
Furthermore, studies conducted by entomologists at the University of Arizona indicate that bedbugs may have developed resistance to certain insecticides such as diazinon, which is no longer approved for residential use in the U.S., and dichlorvos, which is a common ingredient in flea collars for pets.
Good thing that bedbugs, unlike mosquitoes and other insects, do not transmit disease.
They do, however, bite sleeping humans and animals, often leaving itchy, rash-like bumps on the skin that can become infected after you scratch them.
This all goes back to the issue of travel. Even if you stay overnight in the most upscale of hotels, there is a chance you’ll encounter bedbugs.
Never unpack your things until you have pulled back the blankets and sheets on the bed (including the mattress cover) and inspected each of them, especially the seams and piping of the mattress itself and even the headboard of the bed.
Bedbugs are often no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence, but they do get as big as seven millimeters (about one-quarter of an inch). They are flat, reddish-brown, and often cluster together in small groups.
Even if you don’t find any evidence of bedbugs in your hotel room, it is recommended that you empty your clothing directly from your luggage into a washing machine when you return home. You should also examine the luggage itself for the pests.
At home, you should routinely check your own beds for signs of bedbugs, ideally when you change the linens.
If you find bedbugs, do not take it as a sign that your home is unclean; as noted earlier, bedbugs can infest any location. Clutter does, however, give the insects additional hiding places.
Treating bedbug infestations can be difficult, but not impossible. It’s much easier, of course, if you hire a pest management professional to deal with the problem.
If you decide to tackle the problem yourself, the first step is to physically clean the infested area to remove the bedbugs. Wash bedding materials in hot water and dry them in a dryer set to high heat.
An experienced professional will know the best places to look for the insects and know which insecticides will best overcome any chemical resistance the bedbugs may have developed.
Not all bees are alike! Here you’ll discover the glaring differences between Africanized bees vs Honey bees.
Especially those cultivated by professional beekeepers – are quite possibly the most important beneficial insect species we have.
There’s more to it than just the honey, too. According to the USDA, roughly one-third of our diet is made up of crops that are pollinated by bees.
Many plants wouldn’t produce vegetables and fruit if it weren’t for the work done by honey bees.
Unless there is a colony or hive located near people or pets, it’s best to leave well enough alone and let the honey bees do their thing.
If you find a hive in a spot that’s troubling, a reliable exterminator can eliminate the colony or, in some cases, move it to a safer place.
With all that said, however, there are instances when bees can be a serious threat. “Killer” bees are not just a myth – they are a real phenomenon known as Africanized honey bees.
All types of bees swarm from time to time, almost always during the spring. It’s a process that takes place after a new queen has become an adult and a part of the old colony leaves to create a new hive somewhere else.
Traditional honey bees swarm once a year, but Africanized honey bees (AHBs) do it as often as eight times a year.
That’s where the danger comes in. Swarms are huge, dense clusters of bees. One bee sting, except in the uncommon case of severe allergic response, is not dangerous.
A dozen can send you to the emergency room. Because Africanized bees swarm in greater numbers and are typically much more aggressive than normal honey bees, AHB swarms can easily inflict 100 or more stings in a frighteningly short time period.
Even when they aren’t swarming, AHBs are more hostile when it comes to protecting their homes.
They actively guard their hives and, while they don’t randomly attack humans and animals they encounter when gathering pollen, Africanized bees will try to sting “invaders” who come within as much as 100 feet of their colony.
Normal honey bees rarely sting those who wander up to within 15 feet of their home, and even then they often won’t attack unless the hive itself is disturbed.
So how do you tell a normal honey bee and its hive from one that’s Africanized? You can’t, and that amplifies the danger.
Today, you should consider any bee and its colony to be Africanized, just to be on the safe side.
If you see a hive, move away quickly and contact a trusted pest management agency and your local county extension office. If you are stung, RUN and don’t stop running until you are safely indoors or in some other enclosure, like your car.
Now that spring is here there are a lot more in our lawns and gardens than blooming flowers. We’re beginning to see plenty of insects and other pests that thrive this time of year, which calls for a home termite inspection and treatment.
According to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, termite activity accounts for more than $1.5 billion in property expenses each year in the United States.
That’s a lot of wood for supper.
Among those is the eastern subterranean termite, an ant-like creature that feeds on wood. They swarm in the springtime when a part of a colony spreads to find a new home and build its own nest.
The swarm consists of up to a thousand or more flyers that look like ants with wings approximately twice as long as the insect’s body, although the termites that live underground and consume wood do not have wings.
According to the University of Arizona extension services, termite swarms peak in April and May. They most commonly occur in the mornings following a light rain or shower when the ground temperature is around 70 degrees.
If a property owner notices a termite swarm, it’s a good idea to hire a professional pest management agency to conduct a termite inspection.
A typical inspection will take about an hour (longer if it’s a large house or shorter if more than one inspector is working). The technician should check the baseboards, around plumbing and electrical conduits, and along visible sections of the foundation.
If an inspector finds evidence of an infestation, the pest management company can give you an estimate for treating the house to remove the infestation. Consult a construction contractor or even an engineer for estimates of repair costs.
Preventing termite infestation requires specialized tools and knowledge; the only people who recommend do-it-yourself treatments are the people who sell them.
Anyone else, from industry regulators to home builders, will tell you to leave it to the pros.
Termite treatment consists primarily of two methods: Chemical barriers and baiting systems.
A chemical barrier involves the injection of a termiticide into the structure’s perimeter (either soil or concrete, or occasionally both). The termites cannot reach usual entry points into the house without passing through the toxic chemicals.
A baiting system involves the installation of bait stations in the ground at regular intervals around the property. The bait is made up of growth regulators that are eaten by worker termites and taken back to the colony.
The bait inhibits the termites’ ability to molt, which causes death. No matter which approach is taken, follow-up inspections should be planned and carried out. It may take a few months before the property can be guaranteed to be free of termites.
Just because you notice a termite swarm in your back yard doesn’t mean your home is infested. It definitely means it’s time to call termite control services.
If you do, however, find a nest, do not disturb it; it will likely provoke the termites to relocate and spread the colony farther.
One of the primary concerns that you will have if you decide to join the mobile society will be the need for rodent exterminator and control of other annoying rodents in your camper.
When one considers the initial cost of these units, it almost insults your sense of value when you see how really cheap these campers are constructed. One would expect a bit more quality in both the construction and the workmanship, but we have to make do with what we have before us.
Campers are seldom built to be rodent-proof, and if you are like me you really have no hankering to discover mice crawling in bed with you at night.
When you first get your camper, make a complete inspection of it. Make the unit as tight as you possibly can. Unfortunately, the camper manufacturers are not in the least concerned about the problem of mice entering your unit. If properly sealed you will eliminate the majority of the mice right on the spot.
Rodent control becomes particularly important when you are out in the boondocks and in the process of becoming self-sufficient. Unfortunately, the pests are just part of the real estate when you elect this manner of living.
Of the million-plus Americans who have become full-time mobile citizens most have at one time or another had to deal with small infestations of mice. The key is to strike back immediately before it gets out of hand.
You will find it to be extremely important that you keep your camper living space tightly sealed making certain that all areas where the plumbing and wiring penetrate the interior are carefully sealed as well as all the doors and window fittings.
A mouse is capable of getting through a hole which is a mere eighth of an inch wide and only an inch across. These animals are amazing in that they can actually articulate their skull and ribs in order to squeeze into a tight space.
Even a fully grown adult rat requires only a quarter of an inch to obtain entrance. If not properly sealed you can rest assured that you will hear them scurrying around in your living space.
Even if you do manage to completely seal your camper, chances are great that you will still hear them moving about in the camper frame occasionally. It is however extremely comforting to know that they won’t invade your inside living space.
Food storage areas are likely to become a popular target with not only insects but rodents as well. The best way for you to minimize these effects is to maintain your entire dry foodstuff in some sort of closeable metallic container.
Plastic totes and bins are not a particularly effective means of storage when in the open.
Mice have been known to chew their way inside in order to get to the food. The best means of controlling pests is to keep a well organized and clean house particularly around your food supplies and its associated preparation area.