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Old 08-12-2012, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
46,365 posts, read 57,771,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post
What is DH?
Dearest husband
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:22 AM
 
43,011 posts, read 103,961,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Dearest husband
Or Damnedest!
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:35 AM
 
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Here are two threads on bedbugs:

Bed bugs!!

Keeping bedbugs OUT

I think the most important information is how to avoid getting bedbugs. We've never had them, and we are vigilant at keeping them out of our house.

From a previous post of mine:

Quote:
Don't put the luggage on the floor, furniture, or bed. Don't set it down on anything. Hang it up on the shower curtain rod or the clothing rod. Don't put your purse down on anything either. These bugs crawl and hide in things. Keep your shoes up too. Take sealable plastic bags with you. Seal all of your clothes into plastic bags when you're leaving the hotel to return home. Leave the suitcase in the trunk of your car in the sun for the day----there is a chance the heat will kill any that came with you. When you walk into the house, leave your shoes outside, take off all of your clothes and throw into the washer. Later, take the sealed plastic bags out of your suitcase---leave suitcase outside---take sealed plastic bags to washing machine and wash all clothing. Don't leave any clothes laying around while you're waiting for a load of wash. Keep everything sealed until you're ready to wash. Vacuum every crevice of the suitcase. Make sure there are no bed bugs hiding anywhere in your shoes before you take your shoes into the house.
We have now added the following to our rules list:

Any new clothing bought at a store needs to be taken immediately to the washing machine as soon as you enter the house with it. People buy clothes, take them home, let them lay around on their bedroom floors and then decide to return the clothing to the store. So new clothing is a bedbug risk too.

Never buy used furniture. Not even from affluent areas. The upper middle class and wealthy tend to travel more than the impoverished so they are more likely to have bedbugs in their homes.

When my son came home from living in dorm-style housing, I left the car packed with his stuff and slowly brought everything into the house one washing machine load at a time. It took a few days to unpack the car, but I feel being bug free was well worth the inconvenience and effort.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:17 PM
 
22,259 posts, read 65,546,228 times
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"Never buy used furniture. Not even from affluent areas. The upper middle class and wealthy tend to travel more than the impoverished so they are more likely to have bedbugs in their homes."

There is a way around this. Furniture refinishers may have a drying room that can be heated above the temps needed for bedbugs and termites to survive, and single items of furniture can be "tented" in plastic dropcloths or construction plastic and given an intense dose of insecticide that would be impossible and unsafe otherwise.

Antique furniture can easily be valuable enough to take the extra effort.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Long Island
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don't forget that after a vacuuming for something like fleas you really should dispose of the bag if bagged.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:22 AM
 
Location: SE Florida
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Thank you for a great thread, Harry.

Any ideas what to do about millipedes? From one to two dozen come in every night and end up drying up and dying. I have never found where they actually enter the house. They even come in on the side of our house that is all cement/pool deck, so no mulch or other vegetation to attract them.

When I googled them I mostly found info about having them as pets! Thought about selling them, so put a couple dozen in a container and fed them, but turned them loose outside after a few weeks, as I just couldn't get into them.

Any way to repel them?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:52 PM
 
22,259 posts, read 65,546,228 times
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We lived a bit south of you, and only rarely saw one. I think the anoles fit the ecological niche that would have supported them. Millipedes seem to like rotting vegetation, so I would suspect a nearby compost pile or heavily mulched plantings. As you have likely learned, they can travel quite fast when they want to, so I wonder if they might be seeking a dry area if they feel like they might drown.

My first attack would be to search for open areas of access - under baseboards, around plumbing, wall sockets, etc. and seal them. Since they do good at pest control themselves, I'd be less likely to kill them than other bugs and insects.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: SE Florida
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I didn't realize millepedes helped with pest control. I don't want to kill them. I often take the ones I find alive outside and put them down away from the house. It's gross to have a dead one crunch under your bare feet.

It must be the moisture from the sprinklers or something driving them inside.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:34 PM
 
22,259 posts, read 65,546,228 times
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adding a section here -

FIRE ANTS

There is a lot of information on the web concerning fire ants. Some of it is contradictory. While I have no definitive answers, I do have experience in dealing with them.

First - fire ants are a pest because of two basic problems - they build large mounds that are unsightly and can be a danger, and they bite - en-masse if the mound is disturbed. Fire ants can also kill off other less aggressive ants that are in an area. They like open areas, but are just as happy to colonize in a pot containing your plants.

Once an area has fire ants, your attempts to remove them will only be temporary. Reread that sentence and let it sink in. If some package says that you can clear an area of fire ants forever with the insecticide inside, it is lying or so potent that it is seriously hazardous. You will have to work to keep them in check at least a couple times a year, as they will come from surrounding areas and re-colonize your yard. A lot of remedies will work or seem to work, and if you want to try them, have fun. Chances are you'll get to try a whole mess of remedies over time.

The traits of fire ants are pretty smart for survival in the wild, but because we humans CAN (sometimes) be smarter, those same traits lead to a way for us to decimate them. The key traits are 1.) that they like to bring the eggs into the warming mound as the sun begins to hit it on cool days and 2.) that when the mound is disturbed, the worker ants rush out to attack at the same time the queen races down underground to safety.

Consider that for a moment - in the early morning on sunny days, much of the colony -INCLUDING the queen- may be in that easily accessible mound. What you have to do though is cut off her escape down into the ground BEFORE there is any sense of threat to the mound.

If you have a 5 gal bucket half filled with something lethal, like really hot hot soapy water, you might be able to just use a coal shovel and quickly slice and lift the mound and dump it in the water. The queen is significantly larger, so hopefully you would find it in the mix.

Be aware that fire ants can live in colonies with multiple queens.

Bait granules like Amdro work well, but be sure to follow the bag directions and remember that you will likely need to re-apply. Corn grits (which contain corn gluten) DO seem to have an effect on some insects. I'm talking from personal non-quantified testing. I've bought yellow corn grits, spread them, and seen a reduction in ants. According to many sources, corn grits alone do nothing. Maybe my polenta has bug poison in it? Anyway, you can try a mix of a little vegetable (soy) oil, a dash of my favorite boric acid, and a quart or two of corn grits and make your own bait if you want to try it. (Just don't eat it - spread it near but not on top of the mound - not too much, ants don't have big stomachs.) There is NO WAY I would attempt to mix in the microscopic amounts of the more potent poisons in some corn based baits. Literally, the tiny amounts used in those border on homeopathic dilutions.

If you have a garden sprayer and want to attack a mound directly, mix up the insecticide of your choice, wait for a nice sunny morning, pump the sprayer up to high pressure, adjust it to a stream, and plunge the sucker into the mound repeatedly. With luck, you will get the queen, but what you are guaranteed to do is coat at least some of the eggs - which will then get handled by the workers. I have killed many a mound this way. BUT... within three days to a week or two, there will often be one or more tiny new mounds starting up. When they do, just repeat the treatment on them.

Whenever you have new construction in an area that has fire ants, it is VITAL that you poison the soil under any slab or foundation. When we lived in Florida, one neighbor had such a persistent fire ant problem in the house that the exterminating company had to drill holes through the concrete slab foundation every few feet and inject poison (at great expense). Make sure that any construction contractor who you use knows how to do the job properly. Remember that such a situation requires the poison to last for YEARS. Many standard poisons are not suitable. My preference would be the boron compounds like boric acid or borax washing powder, because they already exist in nature, but other stable poisons may be suitable as well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,663 posts, read 8,921,053 times
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Great thread, full of intersting tips! We live in a roach and fire ants area, and our owner won't pay for pest control, so being able to deal with them by ourselves is great!
Thanks a lot!
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