The chirping of crickets has been long dissected in various cultures as either a good sign or a bad sign. In some cultures it signifies wealth and success to have a cricket chirping in your house but in other cultures it is an ominous sign that means some form of bad luck will befall the household. Unfortunately, some of these are just beliefs that don’t mean much when you have a cricket calling out to its mate in the wee hours of the morning and disrupting your sleep.
Why they chirp
The main chirper is the male cricket which calls out to females in what is supposed to be a melodious tune. The male cricket can have a repertoire of songs that it unleashes to mesmerize the female and the chirping is produced by the male rubbing its legs together. Granted the song can be soothing and even calming on a warm evening or night and it can really bring the feeling of nature to forebear if you are in the outdoors.
There are several things that affect the chirping of a cricket including the temperature outside, time of day and mating season. The higher the temperatures the more the cricket will chirp and the house cricket will produce more sound at night. The field cricket will chirp day and night but their chirp is far lower in chirp compared to the house cricket.
The house cricket
These crickets are dark in color and have three distinct lighter bands running across the head. They typically have very long antennae and larger back legs to facilitate jumping around from one place to another. house crickets love the warmth and moist environments indoors and they will thrive in the kitchen and bathroom mostly because these areas have moist areas.
These crickets can have a length of up to 5 cm and they have a distinct brown color. They also have a strong, long pair of hind legs which are instrumental in helping them move far and fast. The shape of their body which gives the hind quarters a lift has earned them the name camel or spider crickets. They are very specific about their environment and will only find their way into human shelter during the drought or heavy rain to find a warm moist place to reproduce.
Mole crickets are mainly outdoor crickets and they can be a nuisance as they cause damage to grass and turf. They are also nocturnal like the house crickets only they live underground where they continue to hibernate in winter. They measure up to 4cm in length with a thicker body and forelimbs that look overgrown with a spade like shape and claws. These forelimbs are important for burrowing. There are two species of mole crickets: four clawed and two clawed species.
Also commonly referred to as bark flies, book lice are every book collector’s nightmare. They love their books (pun intended) and will feast on your collection of older books if you leave your books unattended and in a damp environment. Book lice are amongst the oldest surviving types of insects having been around for millions of years, over 200 million years to be precise. These insects are scientifically known as psocoptera and are usually known as the most primitive form of hemipteroids. Other types of hemipteroids include cicadas, aphids, shield bugs and leafhoppers.
Anatomy of book lice
Book lice look like miniature termites but they have a distinctly long antennae filament and a prominent head. Right behind the head they have a constriction that better distinguishes them from termites and they also feature well developed eyes. The adults are winged and they can grow up to 2mm. They are found in book, wall paper paste and some species even feed on stored grains. The Liposcelis decolor are fond of grains making them an annoying pest in your grain stores. The species that feeds on wall paper paste and book binding is very common in a new house because they can find the microscopic mould that grows in damp areas that haven’t dried yet in a new house.
Six ways to get rid of book lice
The good news when it comes book lice is that they are not parasitic in nature but they can be extremely destructive to books. If you have valuable books that you want to protect at all costs here are six ways to get rid of book lice.
Clean the house
Cleaning the house and getting rid of the mold is key to eliminating your psocid problem. Cleaning with agents like Borax is helpful in removing the conditions conducive to the reproduction of book lice.
Use a dehumifier
Booklice typically thrive in a damp environment that facilitates the growth of mildew and mold. Using a humidifier helps the room become less humid reducing the moisture levels that can encourage the growth of the booklice food. Use the humidifier and fans interchangeably to increase airflow even as you remove the humidity.
Drop the temperature
Dropping the temperatures to below zero for even as long as an hour is enough to kill psocids. Of course this is not a solution for the house but for the books. Keep the book with the book lice in a very cold environment like in your freezer box and leave it inside for an hour. If the temperatures are low outside place the book outdoors (ensure you have taken protective measures to protect the book).
Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use indoor and it can be dusted in the cracks and crevices in a new house to get rid of book lice.
As the humidity levels in a new house decrease as people continue to live in the house the faster booklice diminish and die off. These insects can be more of a nuisance than a major problem.
If you have been in organic gardening for long, you will definitely encounter lots of garden pests. Those who say they don’t are simply lying. Even if you do, don’t worry as these tips this article will be revealing will assist you in maintaining your residential Arizona organic garden.
Every single organic garden would definitely have bugs. And it’s not limited to only one bug. These bugs form as a group and slowly it replicates.
Maintaining Your Garden
This is by far where most people quit because their garden turned into a complete disaster. Trust me; ask those organic gardeners why they quit.
You must learn how to prevent pests and animals in the gardens. Here are some tips when you start the organic garden that you should already know.
- Setting up fences to prevents animals like rabbits from invading.
- Develop your own organic recipes to further accelerate plant growth and prevent pests from reproducing or damage your plants.
- Always make use of Mother Nature and attract beneficial bugs and animals to help you to annihilate pests.
Dealing With Insects
This is inevitable, they will invade. Don’t expect your garden to be perfectly pest-free.
Here are some common garden pests that are probably hiding in your garden.
- Cabbage worms
- Asparaguses Beetle
- And Many More …
Here are some tips on which you can apply immediately to prevent or annihilate them:
Tip #1: Plant Native Varieties As Much As Possible
Native Plant Species have their own system which can be used to repel common pests. By planting local varieties, you will have a much more success rate when it’s close to harvest time.
Tip #2: Mix Plant Species Among Other Varieties
These mix plants each have their own special ability to protect themselves against pests. Mixing these plants together, it will help each other out whenever the pests are around. Mixing plants is crucial.
Tip #3: Always Maintain A Healthy Soil
This is especially true in an organic garden where soil plays a very important role. Healthy Soil not only ensures that you will have fewer pests but healthier plants.
Here are just some tips on how to obtain healthier soil:
Tip #3.1: Always do crop rotations.
Tip #3.2: Always add composts
Tip #3.3: Add more fertilizers, especially manures that are rich in nutrients.
Last piece of advice: Always eliminate problems when its in the early stages. Once you see a bug, pluck it off before it replicates.
Don’t make that mistake that most gardeners do. It’s definitely hard to avoid all pests in organic gardening. However, when pest invades, you have to remain calm and steady, then act accordingly.
Thus, you must be prepared and equipped with knowledge on how to maintain your organic garden. Otherwise, it will be disastrous.
If you garden, you know about pests. Once pests have taken over a plant or an area of your garden, they are typically hard to get rid of. A better strategy is to plan on how to get rid of bugs on plants in your garden now before pests take over.
One of the best strategies to do is to start by watering the underside of your leaves on the plant. There are many pests like spider mites and aphids that will live on the underside of leaves.
Spider mites can be a gardener’s worst nightmare. Many home gardens suffer damage from this type of pest. They will gradually eat your leaves and plants and kill them by piercing the surfaces and sucking out the juices.
If you notice spider mites on just a few plants, you might want to remove those and isolate them in a different part of the garden or just get rid of them. This can help the spread of these spider mites to other plants that aren’t yet infected.
If you want to get rid of them, you need to know what they look like. They are red and yellow living on the underside of leaves and can sometimes leave their webbing around. They are extremely small and at times are hard to see. You will most likely see the spotted damage on the leaves before you see the pest.
One way of getting rid of the mite problem is to simply water your plants. Hit the underside of the leaves while watering to disrupt their habitat. Keep doing this from time to time to prevent spider mite problems as well as other problems that might come up.
Apply neem oil to the plants. This is best used when it’s dark outside but if you can’t do it then apply it during daylight hours. This is normally mixed with water and sprayed on the plants.
Use organic insecticide solutions. These are not harmful to your plants at all. Many are made with natural oils that will land on small insect pests and kill them.
This is a very natural way of dealing with pest problems. Make it a habit to put this on your plants before pest problems occur.
Start learning about beneficial insects. These insects will live in your garden and eat the insects that are there to ruin your garden. If you start attracting the beneficial insects, they will live in your garden and keep pest problems to a minimum.
Just like beneficial insects, attract birds to your property. Get bird baths, bird feeders, and other things to make sure that birds come to your yard.
They will eat insects in your garden. Get birds to your yard now while you are planting to prevent common garden pests.
Attract, or get some ladybugs in your garden. They will feast upon spider mites, aphids, and other common garden pests that are sometimes difficult to get rid of.
Read about beneficial insects and how to attract them. These will naturally control most of these types of pest problems for you.
Diatomaceous earth is another way of dealing with mites. This is a cheap powder that will dehydrate the mites as well as other common pests in the garden.
There are many different methods of organic pest solutions that one can utilize in their organic gardens. Pest control is very important when organic gardening because the whole point of going organic is to not use pesticides and man-made fertilizers.
This is a very popular and successful method of organic pest control.
The idea behind companion planting is to grow different plant species together or in close proximity of each other which will have a mutual benefit to both plants.
They help each other, by either repelling or confusing harmful pests or attracting beneficial insects. A great example of a powerful companion plant is the marigold.
The marigold puts off a strong smell, and this deters many pests, some vegetables that you can pair the marigold with are the asparagus, which the marigold will deter beetles.
Marigolds can also be paired with eggplants which the marigold will deter harmful nematodes.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
This one is another great method of organic pest control, as these insects prey on the harmful pests in your garden.
You can attract these beneficial insects by providing safe places for them to live and by using attractants like some companion plants.
An example of a beneficial insect is the humble ladybug. Ladybugs feed on a large menu of garden pests like aphids, thrips, different beetle larvae and many more.
If you want to attract ladybugs to your garden, plant flowers that have tiny white blossoms, an example of a herb that attracts ladybugs is cilantro.
Gardening With Raised Beds
This too is another popular and successful method. If you have a problem with moles or other rodents that attack your plant roots, then a great solution is to use raised beds.
As long as you make sure the raised bed is deep enough for your plants’ root systems. you can add a bottom to the bed. This cuts off any way for the rodents to get at your plant roots and root crops.
- The organic mulch serves as a food for many microorganisms found in the soil.
- It also helps to maintain a constant temperature for the activity of the microorganisms.
- Sometimes, the mulch can introduce unwanted organisms to the soil, such as fungi, bacteria and nematodes.
- It is important that during the rainy season, mulch is removed to prevent plant diseases and pests.
Like the other methods above, we will cover them in more detail in another post. Natural pesticides work by using natural ingredients to either target and kill off specific insect types, or they are used to repel the harmful insects away.
An example of a natural pesticide would be the following spray which is made from garlic. Organic garden pest control can be easily accomplished with some planning ahead and a bit of knowledge of the pests that are attracted to your plants.
As with most things, the best way to get rid of moths is prevention rather than a cure. Rugs and carpets left in dark or damp places are most at risk, moths seek out dark undisturbed areas to lay their eggs, meaning rugs in storage or areas under furniture are prime nesting spots.
Rugs with moth infestations should be thoroughly checked: vacuum front and back and spray with wool safe specialist moth spray. As with any chemical, even those which are natural, always pre-test on a small inconspicuous area.
It is advised to vacuum your rug regularly and ensure to vacuum the reverse and area under your rug from time to time.
There are quite a few things that can cause damage to your rug at home. These might be things like normal daily foot traffic, dirt, direct sunlight, and other things.
One thing that is the leading cause of much rug damage, especially stored rugs, are moths. You need to do some things to make sure that your rugs aren’t completely ruined by moth damage.
You will first notice webbing on the rug in certain areas. Generally, this means that your rug has a serious moth problem. Look for small particles that look more like sand than dirt.
These are the droppings of larvae that are on your rug. You will also notice some basic damage to the rug’s pile. It will become loose and might lose some of its colors.
In the worst-case scenario, rugs can be destroyed by the moth larvae, if caught early the damage will not be noticeable however the likelihood is that the damage will be somewhere in between.
In order to prevent moth damage, you need to vacuum and clean your rug. This will get rid of any eggs that might be in your rug making sure that the moths never get to live in and around your rug.
You might consider getting it professionally cleaned to prevent this problem. Make sure that if you store your rug in a closet that you actually put your rug into sealed plastic that bugs and moths can’t get into.
Use closet moth traps in the places that you choose to store your rugs. These will attract moths to the traps as opposed to the rug that they will end up destroying.
Rugs hung on walls should be handled regularly, the human scent can help deter moths using the rug as a nesting site.
Mothballs are not recommended as they are unlikely to work and can be harmful to humans, pets, the environment, and the rug. The best option, and safest for the rug if carried our correctly, is to have the rug professionally frozen.
This option not only kills any moths, larvae, and eggs in the rug but avoids chemicals coming in to contact with often fragile fabrics.
Damage can be repaired but can be costly so it is always best to be vigilant and check for signs of moths from time to time.
As with other moths, they hate strong smells and one of the methods on how to get rid of clothes moths is normal household smells such as lavender and clove both of which act as moth repellents due to their intense odor.
You can purchase specific moth repellents but they work in a similar manner, providing protection from these moths through a strong odor that repels them.
A clothes moths feeding habits differ slightly to the more common moths in that while it does feed on hair and feathers, it also often feeds on spices, tobacco hemp, and skins.
Unsurprisingly, the name itself comes from the way that as a larva, it spins a thin silken case around its body that it carries around with it wherever it goes.
Made up of a similar substance to the feeding tube lines that all larvae leave behind, the larva sticks its head and legs out when attempting to move or feed.
On occasions where there is a large infestation, the larvae may even attach themselves to walls where it crawls up, carrying the case behind them as it does so.
By the time the adult case baring moths have reached their adulthood, they generally measure around half an inch when it comes to their wingspread.
They are slightly smaller and a darker brown than the common clothes moth although this is generally unnoticeable to the naked eye.
However, one distinguishing feature that sets it apart from its more common relations is that it has three dark spots on its wings although it is not uncommon for these to fade as the wing scales begin to wear off.
The male clothes moths are also slightly smaller as with other clothes moths, although again this is typically unnoticeable to the naked eye especially seen as the sizes vary.
One way of separating between the two is that the females are quite lazy and will only fly from one spot to the next whereas the males are much more active and will often by flying around.
While the females only live for around 30 days, they can lay as many as 300 eggs in that time meaning that if you don’t detect them earlier, you will likely have an infestation on your hands within just a couple of weeks.
The larva stage of the moth’s lifecycle lasts around 50 days although this can often be more and the pupal stage is passed whilst it is in the case or cocoon.
If the case that surrounds the larva is removed, the larva will almost certainly die. Similar to the larvae of other clothes moths, it is unlikely that it will spin a web around the material it is eating but rather will spin silken threads to the material it is eating on which would lead to its case.
Many people are frightened by stinging insects. The reasons for their fears are varied. Some of them are frightened because of how insects look, of where they come from, and because they are aware that some insects can hurt them.
Many people have fears for certain insects, especially fire ants because of possible harm they can do to them.
Pest control is important in your homes and offices. They keep you safe from insects that can inflict pain on you, even death. There are insects that are more dangerous than others in swarms.
You have to watch out for them and control their population in your vicinity. These insects are Africanized honey bees, yellow jackets, and fire ants.
Africanized honey bees are also known as ‘killer bees’. Their extreme aggressiveness is a result of their cross-breeding between African and European honey bees.
The cross was made to make them thrive in the tropics. First introduced in Brazil wild in 1957, they have since spread north, populating Argentina and the southern United States.
The threat they pose is not through their venom, because they are no more venomous than the regular honey bee, but in their number.
When you happen to disturb their hive, they will not just dispatch a few guard bees after you like regular honey bees do, but a whole army of bees that can number thousands. They will chase you for more than a kilometer and when they get after you, you can suffer from hundreds to thousands of bee stings.
The extent of a killer bee army’s damage is most often fatal.
You also have to watch out for yellow jackets. Many mistake yellow jackets for bees because they have the same colors. But yellow jackets are actually a kind of wasp.
Unlike bees that can only sting you once, an agitated yellow jacket can sting you several times. You can endure the stings of one yellow jacket unless you are allergic to them.
But, when you encounter a swarm of them you better be very careful. Never disturb their nest or you will rouse the whole hive to action.
Yellowjackets are staunch defenders of their nests and will inflict pain to anyone who dares threaten their existence.
One fire ant’s bite can be extremely painful and can leave a red welt on your skin for days. Imagine hundreds of fire ants biting you and you cannot fathom the pain you will undergo.
This is why they are called ‘fire ants’: the sensation of pain you can get when bitten by them is like being burned alive. Fire ants thrive in warmer climates. Global warming has helped their species thrive in places they previously live in shorter periods because of winters.
With shorter winters and longer summers in the north, they are able to stay longer there.
When fire ants appear in my house during summers, it’s best to immediately call a professional pest controller to do ant control.
While you can do your own part in controlling the insect populations in the home, a pest controller can do a better job at it.
If you leave it to yourself to do the insect control, the risk of harming yourself in the process when dealing with these dangerous insects is high.
Having ‘killer’ insects near your home is definitely a larger threat than you can ever imagine.
Take note that there have been a lot of cases already reported around the world of people who have fallen (literally) victims to these dangerous insects and a lot of them even succumb to their own deaths.
Call a professional pest control management immediately to avoid grave consequences.
Once again, the ants, spiders, crickets, beetles, earwigs, and scorpions are here, and it’s time once again to start laying a perimeter of insecticide around the house. Usually, around the middle of March, it’s time to get out the garden hose and the sprayer attachment as good backyard bug control tools.
This is an easy chore to take care of, although lots of folks pay to have this done.
DIY Backyard Bug Control
Insecticides made by Bayer, Ortho, and Spectracide are usually on sale this time of year. So for a few bucks,you can get down to Lowe’s or Home Depot for some bug juice, spray around the house and create a bug barrier, effectively keeping Mother Nature’s little critters outdoors.
And the insecticide is easy to mix and apply; just follow the given instructions. Basically, you spray around the whole house going about three feet up the sides, and out about three feet from the house.
Wear gloves and a breather mask to protect skin from contact and inhalation. Bifenthrin is the active ingredient, so you should probably wear some protection, too. The whole process takes about thirty minutes, including washing out your sprayer and putting your hose away.
DIY Inside Bug Control
Now some insecticides like Ortho are safe for inside spraying, even coming with its own sprayer. Walk the inside perimeter of your house, and spray a light coat along your baseboards.
Always avoid the kitchen area, but concentrate on door thresholds and window sills. Now with outside and inside sprayed, you’ve created a lethal barrier for any bug trying to get in your house.
And you’ve done it effectively and easily. The indoor/outdoor pre-mixed spray is a little more expensive, around fifteen bucks.
But, it will last you through three to four applications, so it’s worth it in the long run to buy it and use it.
DIY Bug Control Helps You Prevent Bugs In The Meantime
Follow this simple procedure monthly and you’ll have a near bug-free house.
A good time for this routine is in November when it starts to cool down, because bugs are only a big problem through spring and summer.
By spraying yourself, you will save yourself the cost of November – February monthly maintenance that is not needed, and pay a fraction of the cost of a regular exterminator.
A little tip on swatting flies: For that occasional fly that gets in your house, did you know there is a way to swat that fly and get him ten out of ten times?
Just remember before implementing your manually operated insect exterminator (flyswatter), aim one inch behind the fly. You see, they take off like little helicopters, with a backward motion. You swat, they’ll fly right into the kill zone every time, which is true do-it-yourself bug control.
Many homeowners look out at their backyards or property and see those awful mounds of dirt. Mole rodent trap instructions are a much-maligned thing. It is certainly not as difficult to build your own traps as many people think.
There are six distinct mole species in the United States, for instance. Only three of these ever cause problems for the typical homeowner, and the usual culprit is a single species: the Eastern mole.
Eastern moles are about the same size as chipmunks. Female Eastern moles give birth to as many as six young in the spring. Unfortunately, it only takes a couple of moles to ruin your lawn.
You may be tempted to grab a shotgun and blast the moles and gophers. If you live in a city that isn’t even an option. No matter where you live the neighbors can really get upset with the noise. You may pick a few off but they just spring up somewhere else.
These critters can quickly tear up things and leave mounds of dirt all over the place. Farmers and ranchers are extremely aware of the horrible damage that they can do. Having a prized horse step in a burrow and breaking a leg is very serious. It certainly isn’t a laughing matter in many cases.
Many people don’t realize that the average mole can tunnel at a rate of 1 foot per minute. During the average day, they will construct 100 yards of tunnels. Can you imagine the destruction involved?
That’s why mole trap instructions come in so handy. It may take quite a few traps to do the job. You would be in the poor house if you tried to buy enough traps.
That’s also why so many of the products out there to get rid of moles are ineffective. Pouring chemicals down a hole is like pouring money down the drain.
By the time you get around to getting enough poison in their tunnels, the critters have already moved on.
Many people try all kinds of poisons to alleviate the problem. In many states, the chemicals are banned. You can’t even use them or buy them.
They are extremely hazardous to your health if you don’t know what you are doing. Since your skin absorbs things so quickly even a little poison on your hands can quickly get into your bloodstream.
Another home remedy that many people try is using castor oil and dumping it in their burrows. Once again, this is silly because the moles aren’t even there anymore.
The only thing that actually works is failproof mole traps. There are about 50 or 60 different models to pick from on the market. Some are effective. The others aren’t.
When trying to get rid of these critters the only safe and inexpensive way to do it is with organic gopher control (traps). It does take a lot of persistence but you can get rid of them over time.
Just remember that these creatures reproduce very quickly (much like rats). The alternative is to wait around for them to completely destroy your property, and a mole removal service is highly recommended.