How to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders

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Brown recluse spiders are something that you don’t want lurking around your home or garage. These spiders are just as their name implies, brown and reclusive. Brown recluse spiders can be rather large but are never more than the size of a half dollar including the legs. You will want to kill brown recluse spiders if you find them anywhere in your home. You can use Catchmaster brown recluse spider traps for safety and efficiency.

The brown recluse spiders has a violin shape on their thin bodies. They are a light to medium brown color and can be dark brown, so they blend into a lot of surroundings.   This makes them dangerous because you don’t see them at first glance.  Especially if they are dark brown, they are very hard to find in dark spaces.

Here are some ways to reduce and get rid of brown recluse spiders in and around your home. Remember always to wear thick gloves and clothing that cover your arms and legs if you are working in an area where you know or suspect there are brown recluse spiders.

Don’t Create Piles

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A lot of us have a tendency to pile up things we are not using at the time. You may not realize that even a pile of clothing can be a tempting habitat for a brown recluse spider. If you have a pile of clothing or other items, the longer you leave it in the same location, the greater the chance that there is going to be a spider that wants to live in it.

It can be hard to get others in good habits with cleaning. Reminding the other members of your household to clean up after themselves is tiring. But is well worth it if it reduces the chances of a harmful spider bite especially from brown recluse spiders.

 

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Reduce Overall Clutter

The more congested an area is, the more likely it is that there are all types of spiders lurking about. If you have so much stuff in your home or garage that you are always battling spider webs, then this is a sign that you need to sort through things and get your home cleaned up.

While it can be hard to reduce the clutter, if you do it one room at a time or get the whole family involved, it will happen quicker than you might realize. All those old baby clothes and toys that no one is ever going to use anymore might help raise money for a charity such as Goodwill if donated.

Just be sure to throw out items that are worn or not usable. It just takes time away from charitable groups if you drop off items that are ragged and unsellable. Some organizations have instructed volunteers to not accept these types of donations if they are working the receivables section at the charity.

Target Other Insects

Spiders find places where they have the shelter and food that they need. If you have an insect population that is higher than normal, then you are creating a suitable environment for brown recluse spiders.

Keeping your house cleaner can help with the insect population issue. Make sure to wipe down countertops and keep food put away. Leaving out fruit can attract gnats and other things that spiders love to eat.

Seal Clothing in Plastic Bags or Totes

If you are having a problem with spiders, then you may want to launder all your clothing and seal it away in plastic bags or totes. Spiders have a hard time getting into these types of containers so you won’t have to worry about one lurking in your clothing while you are working on eliminating them. Of course, this also gives them less habitable space in your home as well. Beware of hiding brown recluse spiders.

Clothing hanging in closets that are not sealed in bags can be susceptible to spider habitation. Drawers that are higher off the ground are less likely to have spiders in them.

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Cut Back Vines and Plant Matter from Your Home’s Foundation

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Having very heavy vegetation right next to your foundation can create a favorable spider habitat. Keeping this area clearer can help reduce spider populations especially brown recluse spiders and will likely improve the appearance of your home. This can also reduce other pesky insects and lizards that like to have a lot of cover to hide in.

This is a good time to get your home in good order. Piles of anything are perfect spider habitat. If you have a lot of statues or other ornamentation that covers and has a lot of surface area, then you may want to hose them down occasionally. You can use some specialized spray to makes sure spiders are totally eliminated, and any eggs are killed.

Yard Lighting Inspection

Lighting around your home can create a habitat for spiders and their egg sacks. While bright lights are not a spiders favorite spot, the housing for lighting and other areas can be. Things like this get a bit dirty anyway, so it is a good excuse to get things cleaned up.

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Thoroughly Inspect Your Home for Cracks and Gaps and Seal as Needed

Gaps and cracks are notorious for letting in spiders and creating a great place for them to live and reproduce. Caulking and a caulk gun are inexpensive. You can paint over it if desired so it will match your existing paint color scheme.

Large gaps and cracks can be sealed using cans of spray foam insulation that can be found at any hardware or home improvement store. If you hire a professional to seal your home, they may just bring out a large canister.

Sealing your home will keep out a lot of pests besides spiders. You should also see at least some reduction in your heating and cooling costs. As you can see, sealing your home better is a win-win for everyone except the insects and vermin that are trying to get into your home and make it their own.

Do You have a Brown Recluse Spider Infestation?

In short  “Yes,” If one brown recluse is present then more will probably follow suit; however its not guaranteed as these arachnids prefer hiding spaces such as clutter where they coexist with other bugs

Brown recluse spiders are found in central midwestern states that border on the Gulf of Mexico. They can be found as far west as Florida and eastward through Texas, Louisiana all up to Nebraska where they’re most numerous around Houston–home also has one major population source for these arachnids! But it’s not just about how many brown recluses there might be; what brings them into your home? Is anything inside drawing this dangerous creature towards you or does he seem attracted by something specific when entering a room?

Brown recluses are found in dark, still areas of a home. Brown recluse can be attracted to homes with weeds and overgrowth around the exterior or inside–they prefer clutter for hiding places! For those that live an environmentally conscious lifestyle it’s important not just what you put on your grocery store shelves but also how you maintain them as well- keep these three points mind if planning on inviting this spider into your space: 1) clean up any unwanted plants/invasive species 2) make sure there aren’t many closets left unturned 3); mow often enough so all grass blades touch each other when standing upright

The Importance of Eliminating Brown Recluses

A brown recluse spider bite can be very serious. Brown recluse spider bites often fester, swell, and are very prone to infection and necropsy of skin tissue surrounding the bite. If you suspect a venomous spider bite, such as brown recluse bites, then you should go to a doctor immediately. If symptoms are very serious, do not hesitate to go to the emergency room at your local hospital. The sooner you get treatment, the better with any spider bite.

Since brown recluse spider bites are so serious, it is important to realize that prevention is far better than risking the suffering and physical consequences that can go along with a single bite from a single spider. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, rashes, fever, and joint and muscle pain and tremors. These are symptoms that can be caused by a lot of other things. This is why people sometimes have spider bites and do not suspect that a spider is a culprit until much later.

Brown recluse spider bites are treated using topical methods as well as medications to eliminate infection and help the victim deal with the pain that can come from a bite.

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Teach Others Spider Awareness

It is easy to take it for granted that your home is clean and tidy. At the same time, we all experience some level of insect issues over the years. Teaching members of your household to be aware of spiders especially brown recluse spiders can go a long way towards preventing bites, and you will be more aware of the problem if others point it out. The sooner the problem is recognized, the easier it will be to eliminate the spiders entirely.

Inspect Items That Enter Your Home

While we all love a bargain, you don’t know what type of conditions or where used items came from. Even new items should be inspected for spiders especially brown recluse spiders and other insects before you use them in your home. Using a disinfectant spray or similar can kill spiders if you clean items well. Be sure to use gloves when inspecting and cleaning to protect yourself just in case. Make sure to look with a flashlight into the nooks and crannies of furniture that you have purchased. Brown recluses can blend in rather well in many colors of furniture.

Use Sprays Sparingly

If you fog or spray your home and still seem to be struggling with spiders, then you need to make sure you are taking other measures. Sprays are useful, but they are not always practical long-term solutions, particularly with spiders that hide well and may be able to avoid some of the more basic sprays you can get. Brown recluse spiders are miraculous at hiding.  There is always professional extermination services when all else fails. But they are also going to suggest you make some changes in your home if it is set up so that spiders are very attracted to it.

Brown Recluses Can Appear Anywhere

Just because you live in an area or climatic zone that is not known for spiders doesn’t mean you are safe from brown recluse spiders. Part of being in the worldwide economy means that the goods and consumables you use every day are coming from all over the world in a lot of cases. Although a lot of care is taken to make sure that there are no hitchhikers, sometimes spiders especially brown recluse spiders can survive journeys and appear seemingly out of nowhere. If you think you see a poisonous spider don’t doubt yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry about such matters and get rid of brown recluse. 

Home Renovation Time = Spiders

Brown recluse spiders live behind walls in a lot of cases. If you have an older home that is in need of renovations, then there is a good chance some spiders are lurking back there particularly if your home has air spaces rather than a lot of insulation or if it has not been well sealed in the past.

If you are doing the renovations yourself make sure to protect skin well. Don’t stick your head in spaces without protecting it very well. Some may even spray behind the walls or in basements before doing any work to reduce or eliminate spiders from the equation. Make sure to allow sufficient time for airing out a space that has been sprayed, so you don’t have any symptoms from overwhelming fumes or chemical residues.

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Brown Recluse Bite Prevention When Traveling

If you like to travel or even if you just get away to a lake cabin once or twice a year, then you need to watch out for brown recluse spiders. Even the most immaculate space can have a spider or two about. Shake out items that have been in storage well before using. If you have a vacation home that doesn’t get a lot of use, then the risk of spiders is greater. You will want to repel brown recluse spiders at all costs.

Check Bedding, Linens, and Towels

Always inspect bedding, especially extra bedding stored in closets, for spiders. A lot of vacation homes have extras of everything for guests. And many do a good job of storing it well. However, some things don’t get used for a long time. It doesn’t take much of a gap in a zipper or similar for spiders to find their way into extra pillows, blankets, towels, etc.

Look at Drawers

If you are staying somewhere for long enough to unpack items into a dresser, then make sure to take a quick look before putting clothing in there or sticking your hands in deep drawers. A lot of rented spaces have places for guests to store items that don’t get used at least half the time.

A Word About Equipment, Spider Protective Gear, and Costs

Spiders are no joke, especially brown recluse spiders. It is important always to be aware of them and has the right types of protective clothing to take care of the problem and not be harmed. If you are not interested in dealing with a big spider problem yourself then just go ahead and hire a professional before your problem gets any worse.

A professional exterminator may decide that you need some major changes around your home. So you should plan for some added expenses to help prevent your spider problem from returning. Sealing up your home or other renovations such as spray foam insulation may be in order.

 

How to Get Rid of Bees: Safely, Effectively & Responsibly

 

Photo Credit: Umberto Salvagnin

Before you wonder why we discuss how to get rid of bees, we must learn what are the special circumstances that warrant bee repelling. If you have a beehive in your yard and the bees are not bothering anyone, it is best to leave them alone. It can take years for bee colonies to rebuild from being destroyed or removed by humans – that’s right! We destroy their home then wonder why they sting us.

How Dangerous Are Bees and Why Should We Repel Them? 

Bees are an important part of the ecosystem that have garnered much attention in the media. As we all know, bee populations are declining, posing a threat to our entire ecosystem and life itself.

While protecting them is important, this does not mean you should share your living space with them.

  • Some species can damage your home or become hostile.
  • The good news is that they are generally less destructive than rats or termites.
  • The bad news is that they are sometimes difficult to remove.

Know Your Bees

Before choosing a method of removing a colony of bees, it is important to identify the species of stinging insect, and whether it is a bee, wasp, or hornet. This knowledge will give you a better estimate of damages or the threat of stings. Some species also require specialized treatment.

  • Bumble Bee: Aggressive only when threatened, the bumble bee prefers to nest in loose, fluffy materials and occasionally underground.
  • Carpenter Bee: These oval-shaped bees burrow into surface leaving perfect three-eights inch holes. Carpenter Bees are solitary, and rarely damage structural beams. However, individual nests can multiply, eventually destroying the surrounding surface wood.
  • Honey Bee: While honey bees are not aggressive and highly beneficial, their nests are heavy and produce thousands of workers. They are the only species where relocation from your home is the preferred method.
  • Worker Bee: Worker bees are the only ones that sting. Generally, a colony will have one queen and several dozen workers.
  • Queen Bee: A queen bee is larger than a worker and the only fertlie female in t he  colony.  She has a stinger that inflicts more pain  and can  sting multiple times.

How To Treat A Sting From Bees:

A bee sting can happen quickly and without warning. One minute your children are playing outside happily, the next a piercing scream reveals one of them has been stung by an angry wasp or hornet – who just wants some attention!

To help alleviate panic (and pain), it’s important to know what you should be doing when treating bees in order avoid infection from their venomous barbs.

The first thing that comes into play is getting out any remaining stinger as soon as possible so more poison doesn’t get pumped into our skin longer than necessary; this will also reduce swelling around where it is stuck… But if we’re lucky enough not receive another attack then there are still plenty of ways to prevent these pesky bugs wreaking havoc on ourselves again at home.

Follow these instructions for a bee sting:

  1. Stay calm. Although most bees usually only sting once, we can’t be sure that this will happen so it’s best if you stay still until the attack is over and avoid additional attacks by calmly walking away from where they are located.
  2. If one does remain in your skin after remove then wash with soap and water.
  3. Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling. However, if the swelling moves to other parts of your body and you experience difficulty breathing or hives from an allergic reaction then go immediately to the emergency room for treatment as these signs can be life-threatening! 
  4. Painkillers like acetaminophen or IBuprofen over-the-counter pain medication, which help relieve discomfort associated with bee stings etc… follow directions on label when taking over the counter medications such as these types listed above – apply them correctly so that they work effectively; do not exceed recommended dosage because it could cause other side effects instead just use enough until relief is achieved.

A Bee sting allergy is a rare condition, but it’s one that could be life-threatening to those who are allergic. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include difficulty breathing and swelling around the mouth or Nose; if someone with milder reactions has experienced multiple stings without seeking medical attention they should still contact their doctor for advice on how best handle any future encounters with bees.

A person’s reaction may also vary depending upon factors like age: children under 12 years old typically have less severe symptoms than adults do when reacting after being stung by this type insect . If you notice signs such as these—even just once!–seek professional help right away!

 

Bees vs. Wasps

Wasps resemble bees, but are more aggressive. They can also sting multiple times. Wasp nests are usually aerial and can be found hanging from a tree or building. Wasp colonies die at the end of summer, but common wasp species will form new ones each spring which can last for up to seven years.

The Wasp Nest

Wasp nests resemble a gray, papery material with many holes in it. They are often found hanging off of eaves or branches but can also be located on the ground. If you find one while gardening, do not disturb it! Wasps have been known to attack when their nest is disturbed so keep your distance

 

Common Wasp species include:

  • Ground Bee: This smaller species of yellow jacket builds nests between two inches and two feet underground, usually in abandoned burrows. They are easily agitated and fairly aggressive.
  • Hornet: This aggressive species builds external paper nests that are shaped like an inverted teardrop.
  • Yellow Jacket: These black and yellow-striped insects build nests similar to hornets. However, they also build nests in walls and can slowly chew through drywall or surface wood for materials.

How To Treat A Wasp Sting:

Stings from wasps can be a painful problem, but most of them only sting when disturbed or irritated. The common species includes yellow jackets and hornets with many different reasons for stinging you such as nest-building in your home (if they are nesting), food stealing behavior due to hunger pangs , defending their young against predators like birds who might consider raiding the colony’s provisions without any competition; robbing humans looking for honey stores which often contain tasty bits that insects enjoy eating too!

In addition some kinds may have more than one motivation – think bees who also hunt other small invertebrates.

Wasp stings can be painful, but they’ll mainly cause minor discomfort after the initial sting. Common symptoms include pain in your area and swelling that extends out from where you were bitten/stung. Some people may experience itching or heat at the site of their encounter with wasps as well!

If you’ve been stung by a wasp, it’s not likely that the site of pain is an indication for concern. If your venomous encounter involves any part on your body other than the mouth (for example nose or throat), then be sure to seek medical attention immediately as this may indicate life-threatening complications associated with Wasp Venom Antidote Test Kits which can quickly alleviate suffering caused from these types of stings! Now let’s take a look at some home remedies and treatments:

The most effective way in relieving tissue damage following such events would have two parts; prevention through wearing protective gloves while working outdoors where predictably high levels occur AND treatment using antihistamines like Benadryl PMD ® particularly if symptoms worse.

Treating a Wasp Sting:

  1. Apply Cold pack
  2. Take an anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter medication like IBuprofen and follow directions on the box.
  3. Apply Antihistamine or Calamine cream to the entire swollen or red area. 

When to See a Doctor:
When you get stung by a wasp, the pain and swelling should go away after 1-2 days. If this doesn’t happen or if your symptoms are persistent over several days instead of getting worse then it may be because there is an infection (which would require medical attention). An allergic reaction can cause even more harm than just minor discomfort from these types of insect bites so don’t ignore any signs!

  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Tickling in your throat
  • Uncontrolled coughing
  • Wheezing in the chest
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Hives over large parts of your body

     

How to Get Rid of Bees Infestations

Human structures often prove attractive to bees, as their natural tendency is to build their hives in tree hollows and similar cavities. In the event that a colony of bees has taken up residence in your home, yard, or vehicle, there are steps you can take to get rid of them. 

As they are diurnal (active during the day), it is best to deal with hives after dark.

Let’s see now how to get rid of bees depending on the infestation location!

How to Get Rid of Bees in the House

Dealing with a colony of bees living in your home may be easy or difficult, depending on whether the hive is exposed.

  • You should dress in bulky protective clothing and spray an exposed hive with pesticides after dusk to avoid stings.
  • Watch the hive at dawn and dusk the next day for any activity and spray again, if necessary.
  • Once you are sure the bees are dead, you should remove the hive to avoid the risk of honey or wax melting and causing damage to your walls. This will also make a future infestation less likely.
  • In the event of a nest inside the walls, you may need to call a professional.
  • Under no circumstances should you plug the entry point, as this may lead any bees in the hive to seek another exit, possibly into your living areas.

How to Get Rid of Bees in the Ground

A simple method for eliminating a ground bee problem is to purchase a chemical spray specifically labelled for these bees (we recommend Spectracide).

Bees on the ground are a species of yellow jacket and can become aggressive when agitated, so be sure to dress protectively and spray at night.

  • Try to aim the chemical into the hive entrance so that the spray reaches the nesting area.
  • Watch the area around dusk or dawn over the next few days for movement and spray again if needed.
  • Note that bees who survive the spray will attempt to relocate their nest.
  • Under no circumstances should you attempt to kill bees on the ground by pouring gasoline or other generic chemicals into the nest. Doing so will poison the ground, killing both plants and animals. It may also prove a fire or health hazard to humans.

How to Get Rid of Bees in Your Car

Eliminating bees or wasps from a car is often difficult, depending upon the location of the nest.

  • It is dangerous and you should wear bulky, protective clothing and work at night if you plan to approach the colony.
  • Sprays such as Raid will often eliminate the bees after a few uses.
  • However, in the case of car nesting, the safest solution is to seek out a bee keeper or professional expert.
  • Simply driving or letting the motor run will not eliminate a colony and may prove to agitate the bees.

     

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How to Get Rid of Beehives Around the House

Photo Credit: Jess Pac

It is important to remove a hive after killing the bee colony. Not only does this eliminate dead larvae which will decay and stink, but it will also help prevent any new colonies moving into the abandoned hive.

Removing a wasp nest is different than removing bee hives, so knowing which stinging insect you are dealing with will aid in the removal process.

For all species of bees, the methods of removal are all similar.

  • Once the hive is empty, you may knock it down from a tree or other visible surface.
  • It is especially important to remove wax hives from your walls, as the wax and honey may melt and cause damage. This means opening a hole in the wall and then breaking the comb apart, removing it a piece at a time.

Wasp species nests, such as the paper wasp (flat with a visible comb), hornet (teardrop and usually hanging from a tree), and yellow jacket (unevenly-shaped or in the ground) can be dangerous to remove.

Be sure that you have eliminated the colony and wear protective clothing in case you encounter a survivor.

  • The empty hive may be dislodged and destroyed.
  • For bees, you may simply pack the hive entrance with dirt.
  • For nests in walls, you may use a vacuum to pull corpses from the hive and then seal any openings with caulk to prevent a new colony from forming.

Regardless of the species, hives built inside of a tree hollow or other enclosed space outside of your home will prove difficult to remove.

  • In these cases, the method used is to seal the hive.
  • Find any openings which may give access to the hive and fill them with caulk, cement, or a similar substance.

How to Get Rid of Bees Naturally

There are several natural methods to help remove an unwanted colony of bees.

  • In many cases, you may need to experiment with more than one method before finding one that works best for your particular intruders.

It should be once again noted that you should make every effort to relocate honey bees instead of exterminating them.

Natural Bee Lure

Bees will often relocate to be closer to their food source and are attracted to strong, sweet smells.

  • Cut soft, ripe pears or mangoes into chunks and place them into an open sandwich bag.
  • Place this 15 to 20 feet away from the hive.
  • After a few days, move the bait a few feet further away from the hive.
  • Continue this process until the bees stop visiting the original location and have set up a new hive closer to the bag.

A more lethal form of lure is to fill a basin with sugar water and place it where the bees congregate. The bees will be attracted to the water and drown.

  • For better effect, add some soap, which will disrupt the water’s surface tension.

Other Natural Bee Removal Solutions

While bees are attracted to sweet smells, they are equally repulsed by pungent smells.

Garlic Powder

  • One of the simplest methods to repel bees is to liberally sprinkle garlic powder in places where the bees congregate.
  • Not only will they generally avoid the area, but direct application of the powder on bees may prove lethal.

Citronella 

Citronella candles will not harm bees, but it will help repel bees they will avoid any areas containing the smell. This helps protect some areas if you have a hive in your yard, and may prove partially effective in forcing a colony to relocate if you burn the candles close to the hive.

Cucumber 

Scatter a handful of cucumber peels as another natural form of repellent.

  • The peels give off a scent that bees and many other insects find repulsive.
  • The downside to this method is that it is not easily used to make bees abandon their hive.
  • However, if used in the garden, the degraded peels will help fertilize your plants.

Vinegar

Add one teaspoon of vinegar or canola oil to a quart of water and place in a spray bottle.

  • By spraying bees with this mixture, you not only make it difficult for them to fly, but they will suffocate.
  • Adding some dish soap to the mixture will break the surface tension of the water droplets, making the spray even more effective.
  • The downside to using sprays, however, is that you must attack the bees directly.

Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an organic pesticide which is comprised of ground diatom shells.

Alternative Solutions for Ground Bees

There are a few ways to deal with these bees.

Boiling Water

The first is to pour boiling water into the hive entrance at night. The water will kill bees on contact. This will not affect bees that are away from the hive, however.

A Glass Jar

Using a large, clear jar is another method to eliminate Bees from the ground

  • Place the jar over the hive entrance at night. During the day, bees will fly out, only to be trapped in the glass.

The heat from direct sunlight will have some effect, but the primary effect is to prevent the bees from having access to food or water.

  • The major flaw to this method is that there may be another entrance to the hive by which the bees may escape.

The Tarp Method

A third method for removing or kill bees requires several large, dark tarps.

  • Wearing dark clothing, cover the nest with the tarps, making sure the tarp stretches several feet in every direction.
  • Place large stones, bricks, or other weights down around the tarp so that the bees are sealed in.
  • With no light and no exit, they will starve to death over the next several days.
  • This is one of the best eco-friendly methods of ground bee extermination.

Professional Bee Removal

Unlike most other types of pests, there are two different types of bee professionals to choose from.

  • Exterminators usually eliminate hives, including wasps and hornets.
  • Alternatively, many beekeepers will relocate bee colonies, especially honey bees.

What to Expect from Professional Pest Control When Working with Bees

A professional exterminator will use chemical sprays to destroy the bees or wasps. Often, experts use sprays designed specifically for that species. Once the colony is eliminated, the exterminator will destroy the nest and seal any openings.

Your local beekeeper may or may not offer a removal service. In the event your stinging insects are a species of beneficial bees, they will use a bait trap to coax the colony into a box hive and then relocate that colony.

In the case of a hive in the walls of your house, a beekeeper may opt for extermination or decline the job. Fewer beekeepers are providing this service for species other than honey bees.

How Much Does Bee Removal Cost?

If a beekeeper is available, they may offer to relocate the bees at no cost or for the price of the trip, but only if the colony is healthy.

  • According to Cost Helper, the cost of removal for hives exposed to pesticides or wasp species will range between $75 and $200 for visible hives and $100 to $700 for hives located between walls.
  • Pest control companies may charge between $100 to $400 or more to remove a hive.
  • How Much Does it Cost gives higher estimations for extermination, beginning with $100 to $250 for removal of an exposed hive. A wasp nest will run between $85 and $250, while hives located under a roof or in walls cost $150 to $1,400.

In the event you need to open a wall to remove a hive, there may be additional repair costs. Some companies will do this for $300 to $900. However, not all removal companies offer this service, requiring you to pay another company for the repairs.

Saving Money on Professional Pest Control

To save the greatest amount of money, identify the type of bee or wasp.

  • If it is a species of bee, avoid using any chemicals or pesticides until you have called the local beekeepers about removal services.
  • Many wasp species may be removed using home kits purchased at your local hardware or grocery store.
  • Be sure to use them at night when the wasps are least active.
  • Due to their large colony size and aggressive tendencies, hornet nests are best left to professionals.

Additional Resources for Bee Removal

Honeybee Swarm Removal is a national directory of beekeepers which provide removal services.

FAQs Regarding Getting Rid of Bees

How do I get rid of bees naturally?

Some of the most efficient natural repellents are:
1. Bee lure that helps with relocation;
2. Garlic powder;
3. Citronella;
4. Cucumber;
5. Vinegar;
6. Food-grade diatomaceous earth

How do I get rid of ground bees?

For bees, you can use:
1. Boiling water;
2. A glass jar trap;
3. Dark-colored tarp trap.

How do I get rid of carpenter bees?

Carpenter bees are also effective pollinators, so you should remove/repel them instead of killing them. Just like most bees, they do not suffer pungent smells, so you can try vinegar, citrus, and even almond oil mixtures.

Who do you call to remove bees?

You can call a professional exterminator or you can enroll the services of a local beekeeper. The former will mostly deal with the harmful species of bees and use chemicals to get rid of them. The latter will most likely employ relocation techniques.

8 Bugs That Look Like Mosquitoes: All You Need to Know

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Mosquitoes are quite the nuissance in many parts of the world. And since nobody likes their annoying buzzing, let alone their itchy bites, people tend to go on a killing spree at their very sight. But did you know that there are a lot of bugs that look like mosquitoes, which are not, in fact, mosquitoes?

Know Your Mosquitoes and Your Bugs

Just because a bug looks a certain way doesn’t mean that is definitely what you are looking at. There are many bugs that resemble one another. From a distance or under bad lighting conditions, it can be easy to mistake a particular bug for another more common one.

Knowing what type of insect you are dealing with is important if you want to keep things under control around and in your home. Some insects are not worth fighting too hard because they do little more than buzz around a bit of water in most circumstances.

How to Distinguish a Mosquito

Before we even begin to discuss the common bugs that look like mosquitoes, let’s resume our knowledge on how mosquitoes look. Here are their main distinguishable features:

  • The proboscis – the elongated proboscis extends long and forward from mosquitoes mouth parts. It is the “organ” they use to suck your blood.
  • The “humpback” body – female mosquitoes, when resting, do not touch surfaces with their bodies.
  • The long, fringed wings – Mosquitoes’ wings are usually longer than their bodies and feature scales that give the edges a fringed look.

Looking like a mosquito can offer some advantages to insects in the wide world. Here are some of the many bugs that look like mosquitoes but are far from it.

2 Bugs That Look Like Mosquitoes the Most

As we said, there are plenty of insects looking like mosquitoes, but two of them are the most common doppelgangers you are likely to encounter in your everyday life.

1. Crane Flies

© Armando Frazão / Fotolia

While these flies won’t bite you, they will cause a lot of trouble for your yard. Dead brown patches are a sign that you have a crane fly issue.

They look very similar to mosquitoes so beware.

Crane Flies vs. Mosquitoes

Here are some crane flies’ features you need to know if you want to differentiate between them and mosquitoes:

  • Size: larger than a common mosquito, the crane fly (sometimes called “daddy-long-legs”) vary in size from size from 1/4 inch to up to 1 1/2 inches in length;
  • Legs: very long, thin legs;
  • Proboscis: most crane flies do not have a proboscis, but even if they do, they cannot bite you with it;
  • Wings: crane flies have smooth wings, not fringed ones like mosquitoes;
  • Body: when resting, a crane fly will keep its body straight to the surface in comparison to mosquitoes’ humpack appearance.

Keeping Crane Flies Away from You

If you want to eliminate crane flies, you should use an organic spray because birds feed on crane flies. In turn, they can become ill if they eat flies that have consumed or been exposed to nonorganic sprays.

Keep in mind that crane flies bring in birds to your home. Therefore, if you like seeing different species of birds you might consider leaving crane flies alone.

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2. Midges

© Sergey YAkovlev / Fotolia

The midge is more like a gnat than a mosquito but on a first glance, you would swear it was a mosquito you are dealing with. Midges like water, particularly stagnant water. You may see a lot of midges around a single pool, just like mosquitoes. However, they do not bite and do not carry/transmit diseases.

Midges vs. Mosquitoes

But here are some elements that can help you make the difference between them easier.

  • Size: smaller in size than mosquitoes;
  • Legs: similar to those of mosquitoes;
  • Proboscis: midges do not feature a proboscis;
  • Wings: these insects have smooth-edge wings, as they do not present scales;
  • Body: when resting, midges will keep their bodies straight, with their thorax close to the surface.

Keeping Midges Away from You

Ponds, fountains, and boggy places are all common places to find midges.

  • Declogging pumps and getting the water flowing again so it does not stagnate is the best place to start.
  • If you don’t want to buy a new pump, then consider getting rid of the water feature if you don’t want midges around.

Other Bugs that Look Like Mosquitoes

Owl Midges

Photo Credit:
David Short

An owl midge is somewhat hairy looking and likes to live in shower drains, sewers, and other places where water is present. These midges look like small yet very hairy flies that don’t fly so well even though they can move quite fast.

  • If you see this type of midge around your home, then you should take a glance around for signs of leaks.
  • A leak in your plumbing that is caught soon is going to be a lot less hassle and money to fix than later on.

Keeping Owl Midges Away from You

  • A soap spray or pouring a bit of bleach, vinegar, or oxygen cleaner in your drain can get rid of them.
  • However, you still don’t want to overlook finding out why they were hanging around in the first place.
  • Not all leaks are major ones. Look around rooms that have plumbing and feel for any signs of moisture.

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Dixid Midges

Photo Credit:
Janet Graham

These little insects are most commonly found in moist areas with a lot of vegetation.

Keeping Dixid Midges Away from You

You can prevent dixid midges by draining wet areas or encouraging fish and other predators.

  • If you are getting a lot of them around your home, then you need to try to improve drainage.

Midges feed on algae and phytoplankton that is present in pools of water. You are most likely to see midges around ponds, swamps, lakes, creeks, and slow moving rivers.

Mayflies

© Henrik Larsson / Fotolia

Mayfly nymphs are distinguished from mosquitoes by their wings. A mayfly has more pronounced wings and you can find it near freshwater sources.

They are an important source of food for fish and other wild life, so it is good just to leave them alone if they are not causing you too much discomfort.

May flies can live in fairly fast moving streams and rivers, so you have likely seen a lot of them before, even if you didn’t realize it at the time.

  • A mayfly has large compound eyes, short, bristle like antennae, and function-less mouth parts and digestive tracts after they reach the winged stage.
  • They have a very short life span but play an important role in the ecosystem.

Fungus Gnats

© Henrik Larsson / Fotolia

These gnats are hard to distinguish from the mosquito. They feed on plant roots and fungi. If you have a lot of wild mushrooms growing, or you grow your own, then you may have some trouble with these types of gnats.

Large numbers of fungus gnats on a plant can lead to it being weakened if the root system is not substantial enough to deal with being preyed upon.

  • If you enjoy growing shiitake mushrooms or button mushrooms, you will want to get rid of these guys as soon as possible if you want a good crop.

This type of gnat is drawn to decaying organic matter. Compost piles are another common area to see them at.

Dance Flies

Photo Credit:
Katja Schulz

The dance fly is part of a large group of flying insects known as Empididae.

  • These brown fliers are small but have a large thorax and long abdomen. Males are very easy to tell apart from females. They have a strange courtship ritual for such a simple insect.
  • The male dance fly will present a female with a dead fly.
  • After she feeds on the fly, they resume their courtship and breed.

These flies are impressive because there are so many types of them although the untrained eye will likely not notice this.

  • The legs are much thicker and longer than that of a mosquito, so that is a feature to look for.

Moist soil and damp areas with decaying leaves and other organic matter are prime spots to find a dance fly population.

  • If you see a suddenly large amount of them in a spot where there was none before, be sure to look for a source of water.
  • Sometimes the flow of water changes underground, and this can cause wet spots to appear.
  • This usually occurs when the water table is high, such as after a big storm or several days of rain.

Wood Gnats

Photo Credit:
Martin Cooper

These little guys may get in your hair or buzz around your food, but they don’t sting or carry the diseases and viruses that mosquitoes sometimes can.

  • Wood gnats are heavily attracted to light, so you see them near windows or outside lighting quite often. These gnats are some of the most common.

The wood gnat larvae live in rotting and decaying plants and woody debris. Unhealthy and slightly rotting tree trunks are a prime place to find a population of wood gnats.

  • Animal manure is another attractant, so if you keep any livestock or even just have a dog, good sanitation and predator insects can help discourage too many wood gnats from making an appearance.

Livestock can be very affected by wood gnats because they get in eyes and cause a lot of irritation. This can be very frustrating if you are trying to work with them or groom them.

Avoid Mosquito Panic

Surely, mosquitoes are not pleasant and can cause some irritating stings and marks. Nevertheless, it is important to consider that the chances of them causing a very serious condition for you or an animal is very small statistically.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned and take measures to reduce populations. On the other hand, there is no need to get paranoid and scared every time you hear a buzzing sound near you.

With all the news one hears about Zika and West Nile Virus, it is all too easy to get worked up and afraid to spend time outdoors, especially in hotter climates where diseases have been reported.

Thousands Of Bugs That Look Like Mosquitoes

There are thousands of different insects in the dance fly family alone. Mosquitoes bite, so that is a major sign that you are dealing with them. Gnats and other look-alikes are mostly annoying with only some causing a lot of damage.

FAQs Regarding Bugs That Look Like Mosquitoes

What are the most common insects that look like mosquitoes?

The most common insects that look like mosquitoes are crane flies and midges.

Are big mosquitoes dangerous?

Big mosquitoes – the male mosquitoes – are not dangerous, as they don’t bite. Only females need blood meals. Crane flies, also mistaken with big mosquitoes, are harmless, despite their look.

Tips to Get Rid of Houseplant Pests: Fungus Gnats, Mealies, and Thrips, Oh My!

If you have plants, you likely have houseplant pests, too. And even though you did not mean to bring the pests home, you might feel as though you are stuck with them.

Fortunately, there is a way for you to enjoy your houseplants and mitigate the pests issue.

But, it does take time to get rid of houseplant pest issues entirely.

One of Us One of Us

Ever since the beginning of social distancing, many of us are stuck inside looking for a new hobby.

We set out and kept busy learning to keep indoor plants alive, and the next thing we knew, we had 45 new plants vying for prime spots at our windows.

We started hanging our plants with lovely hangers and even learning how to macrame our own plant hangers. Now, it’s a current and ongoing obsession if we are honest.

All was well for quite some time until we noticed the stickiness from aphids and a large number of fungus gnats flitting about like they owned the place.

Household pests were on the verge of ruining this fantastic oasis, and something needed to be done.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Potted Plants and Home

Unwanted Company in Your Houseplants

Household plants are a beacon of hope for bugs and pests. Indoor growing conditions for plants are very appealing to nuisances.

Bugs really like the air circulation, or lack thereof, because high winds destroy small flies.

Also, higher levels of humidity, standing water, and moist soil are havens to some pests.

Say Hello to My Little Friends

You are not inviting all the common outdoor bugs into your home if you have plants.

But there are some common houseplant pests to look for.

Spider Mites

If you notice your leaves have little light-colored dots and the leaves begin to fade to bronze color, you might have spider mites.

You have to look very close to see spider mites scurrying about on your plant, sucking the sap out of the leaves.

After a while, you notice webbing on your leaves and stems, which tells you the population is booming.

You could handle spider mites with an insecticide from a store or one that you make yourself. Another option is a predatory mite, which is all discussed below.

Aphids

Aphids are little pests that travel quickly from plant to plant and feast off the sap from plants. They like new growth, and they go for the fresh green stems making your new foliage look rough.

If the infestation is bad enough, you may see the aphids clustered over the stems of new growth.

You might also notice your plants are sticky, or if you have a hanging plant, there might be sticky residue under the plant.

Also, ants really like this sticky residue, called honeydew, and when you see those ants, it should confirm your infestation of aphids.

You can wash aphids away with a decent stream of water. You might also try using fragrance-free dish soap to make a weak mixture and spray your plant’s leaves on top and bottom.

Neem oil and insecticides are also great options for safely eliminating aphids. Also, you could wipe the leaves with rubbing alcohol, but not all plants like rubbing alcohol.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are horrid little flies that love the soil in your houseplant pots.

These flies love the moisture in the top couple inches of your plants.

You could dry your plant’s soil out by delaying watering them.

However, if you have plants as we do, they dramatically die if you vary from their watering cycle. Some plants are fussy like that.

You can help prevent fungus gnats by adding pea rocks or sand to the top of the soil because that makes it harder for them to get to the soil.

Also, castile soap mixed with water will kill the larvae, as does a fungicide.

Thrips

Thrips are the color of hay, and they love the underside of houseplant leaves. These houseplant pests love the juices from plants.

This pest is tough to see because they are so small, and as the thrip population booms on your houseplants, you may notice silver streaks on your leaves. As the infestation gets worse, you may see brown streaks.

Manage thrips with neem oil or an insecticide spray.

Whiteflies

Whiteflies are tiny whiteflies that infest your plants and do damage, all while inviting even more pests to their party.

Also, whiteflies suck on your plants and flowers’ sap, which causes that part of your plant to die off. Eventually, whiteflies can kill your houseplant.

The honeydew created, just like aphids, attracts ants and fungal diseases, which can further damage plants.

Neem oil usually works to eliminate whiteflies, as does a weak concoction of water and dish soap. Also, consider sticky traps or an insecticide.

Mealybugs

If you think you have whiteflies, but you notice they do not fly around when you disturb the leaves, you have mealybugs.

Mealybugs have a white powder wax over them, and they go for the sap inside the leaves.

Also, this is another pest that secretes a sticky honeydew that brings its own set of problems.

A full-on infestation of mealybugs is challenging to manage; in some cases, you may have to say goodbye to your plant entirely.

Fortunately, mealybugs are local to the plant and will not spread to the other houseplants.

If you catch the infestation early enough, you can try going after the bugs with rubbing alcohol. Also, an insecticide is effective.

Preventing the Infestation When You Bring Home a New Plant

Bringing home a new houseplant is fun. However, instead of getting your plant home and immediately setting it up with its new friends, you must ensure the plant does not have its own infestation waiting to damage your other plants.

Inspect new plants

Take a good look at your new plant. You want to look for bugs, eggs, and webs.

Be sure to inspect the underneath of the leaves where pests like to hang out and feast. And be careful to look at new growth, too.

Quarantine new plants

If you are like us, you may already have a staggered approach to introducing new plants, so you do not have to explain that, yes, you bought a new plant because leaving it at the store to feel neglected was just not an option for you.

Since you are hiding your plant habit and later pretending the plant “has been there the whole time, what are you even talking about,” take the time to quarantine your new friend to ensure you did not bring any extra “friends” home.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Drain Flies – 4 Simple Hacks

It’s tricky tricky tricky

This quarantine and inspection process is essential because bugs can hide.

As you quarantine your plant, you have time to watch for bugs as they grow into adult pests, which means they will be easier to see.

You can also force plants out of the soil, where some like to hide, by submerging the pot in a bucket of water.

You want to make sure you do not wash over the top of the plant, but the soil absorbs water through the drainage holes.

After about 15 or 20 minutes, drain the pot well.

Now is an excellent opportunity to spray the leaves top and bottom and the soil’s surface with one of the suggested insecticides and fungicides.

If you are uncertain about the soil, take the time to re-pot after carefully removing all the old dirt and planting in fresh soil.

Now That the Houseplant Pests Are Gone

Now that you know how to prevent pests in the first place, you must keep monitoring to eliminate as many opportunities as possible for future infestations.

Stopping new houseplant pests in their tracks

You could have a perfect score for handling new plants, so you do not bring houseplant pests home when you shop for a new plant.

However, infestations happen, so you must remain vigilant.

If you see the warning signs of a new pest colony, have the necessary tools on hand to prevent pests from going out of control.

Insecticides and fungicides

If you have pets and do not want to spray a chemical, but you are concerned about spider mites, aphids, and thrips, you want a spray that uses botanicals.

If you need a spray that is an insecticide, fungicide, and miticide that still qualifies as organic, try Garden Safe Fungicide3.

When you use a pest control spray, do not be shy. Pests will try to hide, so you must spray the tops and the bottoms of the leaves. Also, do not forget the lower leaves and the top of the soil.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a powdered sedimentary rock that is effective in killing a whole lot of household pests.

If you sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth over the top of your plants’ soil, it will kill the mites, fungus gnats, flies, and ants.

Wear a mask and gloves, and do not rub your eyes when you work with this substance.

Incidentally, it is excellent for killing flea infestations, too.

Sticky traps

Sticky traps are a fantastic way to trap flying pests such as fruit flies and fungus gnats. You peel off the cover, and the sticky traps attract the flying pests with their yellow color and trap them.

We can confirm it is very gratifying to wake up and find your sticky traps a graveyard for pesky fungus gnats.

Carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants are an option for some pests.

However, you must be careful because carnivorous plants could develop their own infestations, yet they are not as easygoing when it comes to insecticide sprays or homemade options.

For instance, Pitcher Plants and Venus Fly Traps will eat up fungus gnats and become victims themselves.

However, we can confirm it is very gratifying to see these two plants eating their way through the fungus gnat population.

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Another option for fungus gnats is Butterwort.

Butterwort is a live sticky trap that fungus gnats find irresistible. The Butterwort has shimmery leaves, and when the bug lands, it gets stuck on the sticky fluid.

The flying bug dissolves into food for the Butterwort, making it a beautiful graveyard of fungus gnat destruction.

Homemade sprays for houseplant pests

There are plenty of homemade options for sprays, and research shows their efficacy. The spray recipes usually include neem oil mixed with water and applied to the leaves and the soil.

Also, homemade sprays made with concoctions of onions and garlic along with neem oil is useful.

Predatory bugs for houseplant pests

It may seem counter-intuitive to bring bugs into your home on purpose, but many friendly bugs feast on your pests.

For instance, predatory mites, Galendromus occidentalism, will hunt down and devour spider mites. Also, these friendly mites have no interest in chowing on your plants.

Plus, you only need 1 friendly mite for every 10 unfriendly mites. When they eat them all up, your friendly mite will provide continued control if your spider mites come back.

Ladybugs are another option for predatory bugs. When you look at ladybugs, you typically do not think them to be particularly dangerous, but the ladybug is the bringer of death to many household plant pests.

Ladybugs are beneficial for consuming aphids, but they will eat any soft-bodied bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Houseplant Pests

We dug up answers to a couple of common questions regarding houseplant pests.

Which houseplants resist pests naturally?

Several plants are more pest-resistant than others. That said, plants are not 100 percent immune from pests.

Snake plants are a good option. Plus, snake plants handle low light and neglect rather well. It has tough skin, making it not pest-friendly. Although snake plants are not suitable for pets and kids, keep them up and out of the way.

Jade plants are another option for natural pest resistant. For the same reason as snake plants, keep them up and away from kids and pets.

Dragon trees are from Africa, and they are drought tolerant and pest resistant. The plant likes low light and invites neglect while still thriving. Also, it’s toxic to pets and kids, so keep them away.

Chinese evergreen is a tropical plant that is pest resistant and does well in low light. However, like the rest, it is toxic to pets and kids.

Do houseplants harbor or attract pests?

House plants do both.

When you buy a plant from a store or nursery, it may already have an infestation.

Also, houseplants are an oasis for some pests, and they attract them, as well.

Therefore, it is vital to quarantine and treat your plants before bringing them inside or near your other plants.

Also, ongoing maintenance is necessary.

I’m All About That Plant

We love plants. We do not, however, appreciate the houseplant pests that love our houseplants.

Fortunately, there are several ways to handle this problem.

Your first line of defense is preventing an infestation in the first place. New plants should be inspected separately. In some cases, the soil needs replacing.

Once you are sure your new plant is free from bugs, you may move it to meet the new family.

However, your work is not done yet.

It is vital to watch for houseplant pest infestation and be proactive about preventing out-of-control infestations.

How did you handle your houseplant pest situation? Answer in the comments.


About the Author

A teacher by trade, Victoria splits her free time between freelance writing, her camping blog, and (frantically) guiding her teenagers into becoming functional adults.

Are Millipedes Poisonous? What You Need to Know About Pesty ‘Pedes

In 2004, scientists uncovered a fossilized millipede dating back 420 million years — that’s about twice as far back as the first known dinosaurs. Millipedes are literally prehistoric, so it makes sense that these wiggly bugs make our skin crawl. But are millipedes poisonous? Or even dangerous at all?

What Is a Millipede?

The term “millipede” does not refer to just one species. Across the globe, there are around 10,000 known species of millipede. In the same sense that the words “spider” or “insect” could refer to thousands (or even millions) of different species, the same is true for millipedes.

Speaking of which, millipedes are not a type of arachnid or insect. However, all of these creatures — along with crustaceans like lobsters and crabs — fall under a single taxonomical phylum known as arthropods.

Millipedes are segmented animals with lots and lots of legs. Every millipede has two pairs of legs on each segment of its body, minus the head. But despite their name, millipedes don’t actually have a thousand legs.

How big can a millipede get?

Every species of millipede grows to a different size, with some growing several inches long. However, the vast majority of millipedes are quite small. If you stumble across a millipede in your own home, chances are it will be about an inch long.

What do millipedes eat?

In terms of diet, millipedes are a crucial part of nature’s life cycle. These creatures feed on and help decompose decaying plant matter. Without millipedes, many ecosystems around the world would struggle to function.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Are millipedes and centipedes the same thing?

Millipedes and centipedes, while related, are not the same.

Like the term “millipede,” the name “centipede” refers to around 8,000 different species. Centipedes live in a wide variety of ecosystems all over the world.

Centipedes have just one pair of legs per body segment. Centipede species also vary in size, ranging from less than an inch to longer than a foot. On average, centipedes are bigger than millipedes.

Centipedes are largely carnivorous and hunt smaller arthropods for food.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Earwigs

How do you tell the difference?

If you get close enough, telling the difference between a millipede and a centipede is as simple as looking at the critter in question.

Centipede legs splay out away from the body while millipede legs sit underneath. Sometimes, you can’t even see a millipede’s legs from above, making it look like a very, very fast worm!

The environment you found the millipede or centipede in can also tell you something. Millipedes greatly prefer very moist, soil-rich locations. Centipedes can be found pretty much anywhere.

You can also make an educated guess based on how the millipede or centipede behaves. When disturbed, centipedes tend to run away as quickly as possible. On the other hand, most millipedes will curl into a tight ball as the first line of defense.

Photo by Davide Baraldi from Pexels

Are Millipedes Poisonous?

As we all know, even the smallest critters can be dangerous to humans and pets. Just look at the black widow spider.

Fortunately, millipedes are not poisonous. They also are not venomous and do not bite. When it comes to these many-legged animals, they are definitely more afraid of you than you are of them.

The one defense mechanism millipedes do have is a liquid toxin. When threatened, a millipede might release this toxin onto its body or even spray it at an attacker. Keep in mind that not all species of millipedes have this capability.

This toxin does contain some nasty chemicals, mainly hydrogen cyanide and hydrochloric acid. But the amount released is so, so small that it has no real way of harming a creature larger than the millipede itself.

In rare cases, touching this toxin can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms normally include redness, itching, irritation, or small blisters.

What about centipedes?

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Are millipedes poisonous?” What about centipedes? They are more aggressive than their millipede friends, it makes sense that they would also be a bit more dangerous.

Centipedes use venom to hunt, and they do bite. While an extremely threatened centipede could bite a human or pet, it is rare. Most centipedes will run and hide rather than try to attack something much larger than themselves.

The larger the centipede, the more severe the bite is likely to be. Some species are even too small to break through human skin.

If a centipede does bite a person or pet, the symptoms are normally very mild. The bite location can turn red, swell, or itch, but just slightly.

In rare cases, a centipede bite can trigger a systemic allergic reaction. Potential symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Extreme swelling
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Itching

This response is similar to how some people are allergic to bee stings. At least one person has died from a centipede bite after going into anaphylaxis, so see a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Photo by Vineeth Kumar on Unsplash

Millipedes Are in Your Home: Now What?

So you can rest easy knowing the answer to, “Are millipedes poisonous?” is no. But that knowledge probably doesn’t change your desire to rid your home of the multi-legged creatures.

Here’s what to do if you suspect millipedes have infested your home:

Identify the culprits

Before going any further, take a moment to confirm whether or not you’re dealing with millipedes or centipedes. The easiest way to do this is by catching one in a clear cup or jar — just long enough to get a good look without physically touching it.

While you have the offending creepy crawly in your possession, you can also try to identify the species of millipede or centipede. Look up common species in your area and see if any of the photos are a match.

Find what attracts them

Here’s the thing: Millipedes won’t invade your home without good reason. Instead, there’s likely something about your home that’s encouraged them to take roost.

Moisture

Millipedes love moist environments. If moisture builds up in your basement, garage, or shed, there’s a good chance the millipedes won’t be far behind.

Plant matter

We now know that millipedes primarily eat decaying plant matter. If you let your yard become a millipede’s gourmet buffet, they will come.

Keep plant debris away from your home’s foundation and outbuildings. Things to watch out for include grass clippings, fallen leaves, lumber piles, and excessive mulch.

Debris

Millipedes hate being out in the open, so the fewer hiding places you provide, the better. Upturned buckets and similar items can also collect moisture underneath.

Clean up large debris around your yard, garage, basement, and outbuildings to discourage the local millipede population from moving in.

Remove the infestation

Making your home inhabitable to millipedes is the most important step, but it won’t always clear out an infestation as quickly or as thoroughly as you’d like. You can use an organic pest killer to help control the infestation. You might also find tons of dead millipedes left behind.

Use a broom or vacuum to pick up the remnants and take them outside. Living millipedes can live for quite a while inside a vacuum canister, so don’t forget to empty it right away.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Millipedes

When Should You Call a Professional Exterminator About Millipedes?

Professional exterminators are an invaluable tool for many homeowners. However, their services are rarely required for a millipede infestation.

Millipedes are overall harmless. Plus, they require a very specific environment to survive. As soon as your home no longer meets these needs, the millipedes will either naturally die off or pack up and leave.

One way professional exterminators can help control millipedes is with a perimeter treatment. This process essentially creates a chemical barrier around your home’s foundation, stopping unwanted pests in their tracks.

Perimeter treatments work on a wide variety of pests, such as ants, termites, and boxelder bugs. Different chemicals work better on different bugs, so tell your exterminator to treat specifically for millipedes.

Photo by Nino Maghradze on Unsplash

Rid Your Home of Thousand-Legged Pests

So, are millipedes poisonous? No, but that doesn’t mean you need to live with them in your home. Taking just a few simple steps to rid your home of moisture and debris can make a huge difference in whether or not a millipede colony wants to set up shop.

If cleaning up your home doesn’t solve the problem, calling a professional exterminator is the next step. An exterminator can also treat your property to prevent future millipede infestations before they can occur.

Ultimately, a few millipedes living in your home aren’t a huge concern. Bu,t millipedes can indicate another serious problem, such as a leaking pipe, cracked basement wall, or rotting debris. Millipedes might be harmless, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

Have you ever dealt with a millipede or centipede infestation? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!


Featured Image by Joshimer Biñas from Pexels

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Your Potted Plants and Home

There is nothing more irritating than those uninvited pests that fly around your house and buzz around your fruit and houseplants. We understand all too well the revulsion that the mere sight of fruit flies cause, and the shiver of horror they inspire. You may find yourself wondering how to get rid of fruit flies.

Nothing is safe from these pesky flying irritants. Once they infest your home, they continue to multiply at an alarming speed to plague your planters and haunt your fruit bowls, drains, and bins. It is not an uncommon problem, though. It’s a simple one to deal with once you know a few hints and tricks.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

It stands to reason that the first step is to identify the cause of the flying plague and eliminate it. Thorough cleaning of the area will also help. However, there are some simple remedies you may employ to aid in their extermination.

Homemade remedies such as apple cider will trap and kill the blighters. You may even use leftover red wine to create a swimming pool trap. Failing that, you may resort to sticky fly traps or even predatory mites to clean up for you.

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Related Reading: How to Get Rid of Drain Flies: 4 Simple Hacks

Find the Offending Cause

If you are unlucky enough to suffer from an infestation, the first thing you must consider when you wonder how to get rid of fruit flies is the cause. Identify the cause and remove it. It sounds simple, and believe it or not, it is.

Fruit flies tend to buzz around food sources, mainly fruit. Also, if you have some rotten fruit in a bowl or the bin, the fruit flies will have a feast. Therefore, when you approach the problem of how to get rid of fruit flies, remove the fruit!

Clean sweep

Photo by Ponyo Sakana from Pexels

Throw out the fruit or vegetables. It sounds like a waste but remains a necessary evil. However, once the flies find it, the food is ruined. Therefore, you must dispose of it.

Scrub away the memory

Once you have removed the offending articles, then you must clean the area thoroughly with a propriety cleaner. Any brand of household cleaner will work to disinfect the area. Clean all the surfaces and make sure that you clean waste bins as well.

In most cases, this will solve the problem. Once you remove the food source for the flies, then you also remove the problem. When you consider how to get rid of fruit flies, good housekeeping and cleanliness remain the key.

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Home Remedies

Sometimes the infestation may prove so problematic that you may need to take further action. Furthermore, you may find the solution regarding how to get rid of fruit flies in your store cupboards. Consequently, these simple tricks may help to solve your flying problem.

Create a swimming pool trap

If you like a glass of red wine of an evening, you may find that you have a little left in the bottle. If so, then a simple swimming pool trap will answer the question of how to get rid of fruit flies.

Pour the leftover wine into a disposable container and add a little household detergent to the mix. Cover the container with cling film, making sure that the edges remain entirely sealed.

“Spice bottle Fruit Fly trap.” by kentkb is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Poke a few holes into the film using the sharp end of a pencil. The holes need to be big enough for the flies to crawl through but not big enough for them to fly out. The trick here is that once the flies crawl into your trap, they are unable to escape through the holes.

The flies are attracted to the red wine. They will fall into your indulgent swimming pool and die in the unpalatable liquid. Overnight, you should find the problem solved, and you may dispose of the container safely.

A bitter end

Most of us have vinegar in our store cupboards, and this proves the most useful weapon against the common fruit fly.

Place a few tablespoons of water and vinegar in a plastic cup. Stir in some sugar and a little household detergent. The flies will swarm to the mixture. As a result, once they touch the solution, they drown.

Related Read: How to Get Rid of Cluster Flies. All You Need to Know to Prevent Them

A vinegar trap is a great solution to use around the home wherever you see the offending flies. You may place cups of the killer concoction around your home and next to planters. Very quickly, you will find the problem resolved as the flies get themselves into a pickle.

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A Store-Bought Solution

Sometimes you may find the need to purchase a fly trap solution to the problem. Perhaps you have young children, and you feel uncomfortable leaving homemade remedies lying around. Consequently, some handy fly traps exist in the marketplace.

Katchy problem

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Katchy manufactures an indoor insect trap that uses UV light to attract the invaders. A small internal fan sucks the blighters into the device, at which point they find themselves trapped on sticky paper. You may replace the sticky paper with ease, so the device will continue to work effectively for a long time.

While the trap will not kill house flies, it is effective on fruit flies, gnats, and mosquitos.

A sticky end

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Sticky fly traps remain a tried and tested remedy. Basic Concepts produce a double-sided yellow sticky fly trap that will kill fruit flies. You simply hang the sticky yellow tabs in the affected area and around planters, and the flies find themselves attracted to the yellow surface. The sticky coating traps the flies and kills them.

The product is non-toxic and child friendly and may prove a useful weapon when you consider how to get rid of fruit flies.

How to get rid of fruit flies from your planters

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You may have a lot of planters around your home where the fruit flies will thrive. Stingmon makes a sticky fruit fly trap that is designed specifically for placing discreetly in your planters.

The little sticky yellow taps are shaped like birds and have an arrow shape on the bottom that you poke into the soil of the planter. The bright color attracts the insects, and the strong glue stops them from escaping. The fly killer is easy to use and non-toxic. Also, the waterproof nature of the traps ensures their longevity.

Using Nature to Fight Nature

Organic Control is a company that champions the natural, organic solution to pest control. They advocate the use of beneficial insects to control and eliminate unwanted guests. Consequently, the use of these beneficial insects in the home and the garden provide a safe and organic solution to insect infestations without harming the environment.

How to get rid of fruit flies using beneficial nematodes

Organic Control recommends the use of beneficial nematodes to eradicate fruit flies. The nematodes are microscopic in size, and you cannot see them with the naked eye. The nematodes eat the larvae of the fruit fly, and consequently, eradicate the problem at its root.

This safe, organic method of pest control proves particularly useful when you consider how to get rid of fruit flies in containers and planters. You spray the soil with the provided solution, and this releases the nematodes into the soil.

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The Last Resort

You can, of course, hire an exterminator to rid you of the problem. However, this is an expensive solution, and you should try the home remedies before you consider hiring the experts.

It is worth noting that exterminators use harmful, toxic chemicals to treat such problems. If you have underlying health issues, this may not prove the best solution for you.

Health Is the Bottom Line

Infestations such as those of the common fruit fly pose serious health problems if left unchecked. By nature, flies pick up bacteria and deposit it wherever they land. This includes your food and preparation surfaces.

Flies find themselves particularly attracted to manure and feces, and then the flies land on your food. Not a very pleasant thought, is it? Such contamination may carry harmful bacteria such as E. Coli, which is dangerous for adults and children alike.

“Fruit Fly Trap” by mightyboybrian is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

In addition, fruit flies lay their eggs in the fruit. As a result, the fruit flies contaminate the food. No-one wants to eat anything with fly eggs inside it.

Cleanliness and good housekeeping remain at the forefront of the fight against such contamination. Furthermore, when you consider how to get rid of fruit flies, you must also consider the health implications of not dealing with the problem immediately.

A Problem Recurring

If you keep the food storage areas clean and dispose of any rotten vegetables and fruit, then you will reduce the risk of further infestation. However, the problem can reoccur if you do not keep up with such due diligence.

Once you have a problem with fruit flies, it may take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to solve the situation. Not only is it a nuisance, but it also presents a potential health risk. By ensuring that your bins, drains, and food areas remain clean at all times, you dramatically reduce the risk of a fruit fly infestation.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Answered

No-one likes to see a cloud of tiny black insects buzzing around your kitchen or planters. The thought of small flies landing on your food remains unpalatable at best. However, should such a problem occur, we now know how to deal with it simply and effectively.

By creating a simple red wine swimming pool, we may trap and drown the flies before they become too much of a problem. Alternatively, use vinegar, water, and sugar in plastic cups to drown the menace. Use proprietary sticky tabs in your planters to kill the flies or consider using an organic solution such as beneficial insects to help you win the fight.

While we may all have to wonder how to get rid of fruit flies at some point in our lives, these simple and easy to follow instructions offer practical solutions. With just a few household ingredients, we may soon claim victory over the flying menace.

Featured image is “Fruit Fly” by shioshvili and is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

How to Get Rid Of Earwigs

There’s nothing more maddening than spending great time and effort growing your garden of vegetables and fruits just to find out that it has been invaded by pests and critters.

If you have noticed some hideous reddish, brown bugs feasting on your vegetables, fruits, or flowers, there’s a good chance that they are earwigs.

Also referred to as ‘pinching bugs’ or ‘pincher bugs’, these tiny brown critters love dining on fruits, fungi, vegetation, and other organic materials.

They are the worst because the females can lay up to 60 eggs at a time. Once the eggs are hatched, you now have a full-blown earwig infestation on your hands.

Lucky for you, we are here to help! For this post, we will highlight some of the best methods on how to get rid of earwigs.

What is an Earwig?

An earwig can range in size from ¼ to an inch long. Earwigs have elongated and flattened bodies that can vary in color from pale brown to reddish-brown. They have six legs and a threadlike antenna which is about as long as half of their body length.

However, the most notable feature of earwigs is their pincers that come out from the back of their abdomen. They also have front and hind wings.

Earwigs have body parts that feature a leathery appearance. Earwigs can fly but only in short bursts, and not all species can fly.

Which Crops and Plants Are Earwigs Most Attracted to?

Before you can hope to get rid of earwigs, it’s important that you know which types of plants and crops are earwigs most attracted to.

  • Vegetables: potatoes, lettuce, beans, celery, beets, cauliflower, and corn
  • Fruits: strawberries, blackberries, apricot, grapes, plum, and nectarine
  • Flowers: roses, sunflowers, dahlias, daisies, zinnias, marigolds, and butterfly bush

This is by no means an exhaustive list but you should know that if you are growing any of these plants and crops in your garden, it is highly vulnerable to earwig infestation.

Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you check for infestations on a regular basis. If you see signs like irregular holes on the plants or leaves, there’s a good chance that you are dealing with earwigs.

Recommended Read: How to Stop Rabbits from Eating Your Plants

7 Tips on How to Get Rid of Earwigs

Once you noticed that your garden or yard has been infested by earwigs, one of the first things you should do is to remove your organic mulch if you have them.

These pests love moist places making your mulch an ideal home for them. Removing the mulch will allow the soil to dry making it a less attractive place for these bugs.

Here’s how to get rid of earwigs:

1. Pesticides

Let’s start the list with the good ol’ bug killer. Using pesticides is one of the most effective ways to get rid of earwigs.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of products that can provide excellent results. If you are open to recommendations, it’s hard to go wrong with the LambdaStar UltraCap 9.7%. Nowadays, most earwig control products in the market are odorless.

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These products are also ideal for indoor use. All you need to do is to make a mixture (according to the label instructions) and spray around the perimeter of the structure or any other affected areas. If you are using it indoors, it’s recommended that you make use of a supplemental treatment like a crevice aerosol.

2. Canola Oil Trap

The entomologist Whitney Cranshaw has invented a contraption that can effectively capture these critters.

From his research, he conducted an experiment by testing a variety of oils including canola, vegetable, and mineral for catching earwigs.

By the end of the experiment, it was the canola oil that proved to be the most effective for trapping earwigs, catching over 500 of them in a single night.

He did this by digging a small shallow hole in the soil and putting a small cup of canola oil into the hole. Overnight, the earwigs just fell into the cup and drowned.

This is an excellent method to use if you want a natural remedy.

3. Boric Acid

Boric acid is a natural pesticide that kills most insects on contact including earwigs.

You can get a boric acid powder at your local hardware store or online. To use, sprinkle the powder in spots and crevices where earwigs are likely to crawl through. Apply it in places like cracks and crevices along baseboards, under and behind large appliances, pipes and drains, and more.

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For outdoors, you can sprinkle the powder around woodpiles or in damp corners in your garden.

It works when the earwigs ingest the acid which affects their metabolism and stops them excreting. Eventually, they will die.

It goes without saying that you should make sure that the boric acid powder is far away from the reach of children and pets.

4. Essential Oils

If you have some essential oils lying around, know that some of them can be used as a natural pesticide. We are talking about neem and cedar oil. In fact, these oils are so effective they have been used in commercial agriculture as a substitute for chemical-based pesticides.

Cedar oil works as a pesticide with its aroma. The smell can kill earwigs by causing them to suffocate and suffer from osmotic dehydration.

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Neem oil, on the other hand, works by weakening the functions of the earwig’s hormonal structure. This disrupts the bug’s life cycle by preventing the act of eating and mating.

Get a small spray bottle with water and pour about 15 drops of oil. Spray on the affected area.

5. Natural Predators

This is not the fastest solution for delivering results but it’s definitely a good option if you prefer a long-term solution. Lizards and birds are some of the natural predators of earwigs. The idea is to make your garden or yard to be more attractive for these predators.

For example, you can place rock piles in your garden which is a good way to attract lizards since the rocks can provide cover for them.

If you already have chickens, you can use them to control common household pests including earwigs. You may use a damp newspaper to trap the bugs and hand them over to your chickens for a scrumptious feast.

You can also install a bird feeder or birdbath in your yard or garden which, of course, attracts birds.

6. Vacuuming

This sounds rather off the wall but it’s actually a good tip on how to get rid of earwigs.

As it turns out, earwigs are very easy to vacuum.

If you have a vacuum model with a bag, you can use it in an area where there’s a large population of the insect. Suck up as many of these pesky bugs as you can and be sure to collect the eggs that might be around.

Obviously, you don’t want rotten insects inside the bag so be sure that you dispose of the contents immediately.

Some of the bags will likely be alive inside the bag, so dump the contents into a bucket of soapy water to kill them.

7. Alcohol

Alcohol works as an earwig repellent by acting as a surfactant or wetting agent. Upon contact, the alcohol can penetrate the earwig’s waxy coat of armor and kill it. However, not all alcohol works so forget about pouring a can of cold beer to an earwig infested area.

For this solution, your best bet is to use Ethanol (grain alcohol) since this type of alcohol seems to work best. Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) also works and is readily available but you have to make sure that it doesn’t have additives.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Keep Your Place Earwig Free

And that concludes our guide on how to get rid of earwigs.

Once you have successfully removed these bugs from your home or garden, make sure that you check again regularly because they might return. This is especially true when the weather is colder.

Hopefully, these tips have helped you deal with your home or garden’s earwig problem. If you have any questions about this guide, feel free to comment down below.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies: 4 Simple Hacks

Drain flies can be a nuisance to experience.

These tiny insects can inhabit all kinds of drains, including sink drains, floor drains, and shower drains.  Many have furry bodies, and round wings, leading to them also being called moth flies.

Though they are usually harmless, nobody wants flies in their home. However, they can be quite resilient, making them difficult to exterminate.

In this article, four simple hacks for how to get rid of drain flies are discussed. Towards the end, some final thoughts are offered on drain flies.

Related Read: How to Get Rid of Cluster Flies

4 Simple Hacks for Getting Rid of Drain Flies

In this section, four techniques for removing drain flies are considered in depth.

1. Pour Boiling Water on the Affected Area

One effective way of getting rid of drain flies is to pour boiling water on them. We suggest using a metal tea kettle or teapot, for precise pouring and safety.

While this likely won’t be enough on its own to completely solve your infestation, it will at least kill many eggs. Larvae will be harder to kill, though boiling water might get rid of some of them.

Many experts recommend doing this one to two times daily for several weeks in combination with other methods. This will shift the balance back in your favor, as eliminating eggs is crucial to solving your drain fly problem.

The adults and larvae have a reputation for being quite resilient due to all the hair on their body. Adults will survive boiling water, making other methods crucial to follow.

When pouring boiling water, do so slowly. If you pour too much at once into a drain, it could splash and burn you. Some people might forget this and simply throw boiling water at a drain.

Dumping boiling water quickly can result in injury and cause damage to other parts of the space.

Slowly pouring it allows you to be more accurate with your pouring. If you’ve investigated the drain ahead of time using a light source, you might notice that the eggs are in a particular location.

A slow pour could allow you to target these eggs precisely.

On the other hand, some people prefer quickly pouring lots of water, like from a pot with a side spout to guide it; that can be effective with larger drains or larger infestations. Take caution to avoid injury.

Related Read: Rid Your Home of Powder Post Beetles Today!

2. Clean the Affected Area

Most experts agree that drain flies are attracted to decaying organic matter, as they love to lay eggs in this material. This means if your drain is very dirty and has lots of old foodstuff in it, then drain flies will likely be attracted to it.

This can be fresh food or just general dirt.

For example, many drain flies are attracted to shower drains because dirt and filth accumulate there. Drain flies are also known to be attracted to damp areas, making showers, sinks, and floor drains popular sites for infestation.

If you are wondering how to get rid of drain flies, then perhaps you should start with thoroughly cleaning the affected drain.

There are many ways to do this. Simply taking a wet cloth and scraping all the exposed parts of the drain is a good start. Basically, you want to remove any decaying matter that the drain flies might be attracted to.

While this might be disgusting, your cleaning work will pay dividends in the future when your infestation has subsided.

Many people like to buy a special substance to clean their drain. Many of these contain a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients that are highly effective at cleaning a dirty area.

If the area you are targeting is used by many people, then you might consider using more natural cleaning products, as these will be safest. Some synthetic ingredients can cause reactions in sensitive individuals, leading to more problems than solutions.

Some people might experience a drain fly infestation all over their house. In this case, it might be beneficial to call professionals and have them methodically clean your space. While this might be costly, it will ensure that your house is no longer a popular zone for breeding drain flies.

Many people like to use the product Bio-Clean to clean the affected area. This product will eat away organic matter that might be attracting drain flies to your premises. This product is non-toxic and thus safe to use in places like kitchen sink drains and shower drains.

3. Change Your Lifestyle

In some cases, cleaning might not prevent drain flies from invading your premises. In some spaces, the mere presence of food is enough to attract drain flies, as some food can have a very pungent odor.

For example, ripening fruit is known to attract drain flies due to its strong aroma as it ripens and the presence of sugars. If you leave fruit in drains, then it could attract a number of creatures over time, not only drain flies.

In this sense, it might be best to compost any leftover foodstuff rather than washing it down a drain. This also ensures that the food returns to the earth.

Discovering a drain fly infestation could even be the impetus you need to make a major lifestyle change. You might suddenly realize that the infestation may be due to the way you keep food waste, as any food that has not been properly disposed of could attract these creatures.

Thus, you might have to make major changes in your life that includes creating a compost system. This might also attract drain flies to a new location, namely where the food is composting outside.

More than anything, these changes will keep your drains as clean as possible so that pesky insects don’t disturb your peace of mind.

4. Set a Trap or Use a Weapon

Setting a trap is one of the most effective ways of ridding your space of drain flies.

One of the most popular traps includes pouring vinegar in a cup and then covering it with some kind of paper or plastic. Then you should cut holes in this covering material.

Drain flies will be attracted to the smell of the vinegar. However, once they enter the container, they will have a difficult time leaving through the holes. Also, some drain flies will fall into the vinegar and drown.

You should leave this trap close the breeding site, as this will maximize how many drain flies you catch.

If you don’t have access to vinegar, then sugar can also be used in combination with water.

Another common trap is to place tape over the affected drain with the sticky side facing down. Experts recommend not covering the entire drain, as this could prevent the flies from flying upwards. If you leave a small hole, this will encourage the flies to fly out of the drain. However, the sticky surface of the tape will hopefully catch them, allowing you to kill some of drain fly population.

You should leave the tape on the drain for several days, as sometimes this trap takes a bit of time to start working.

Many of these traps are even more effective when used in combination with other methods. For example, some people might use vinegar to attract drain flies while using a fly swatter to actively kill them.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

If you are wondering how to get rid of drain flies, then you might have to adapt your approach to your environment.

For instance, some infestations might be a result of hair that has accumulated at the bottom of a shower drain. This hair can catch all kinds of filth and grime, creating an ideal space for a drain fly infestation.

In this case, it would be best to use a hair catcher to remove hair from the drain. These can be created from common objects in your home. Alternatively, they can be affordably purchased online on Amazon.

In some cases, removing a single factor like hair can tip the scale in your favor. In other cases, you might have to do many different things to get rid of drain flies.

At the end of the day, drain flies are only one element of your existence. If you ever feel overwhelmed by their presence, then you should reflect on all the positive aspects of your life. This will be a grounding experience that will foster appreciation and peace of mind.  

Featured Image: CC by 2.0, by Judy Gallagher , via Flickr

Advion Ant Gel Review

Most of the time, we tend to ignore ants and let them be on their way. However, if left unchecked, these insects can be a real pest. There’s nothing more undesirable than to see thousands of ants crawling along the kitchen countertops. So, will Advion Ant Gel solve your problems?

Sure, you can remove ants by getting rid of them at the moment but you also need to remove the pheromone trail that they leave behind. Otherwise, other ants will just come again and join the party.

When it comes to removing ants from your home, one of the best methods that you can use is to buy an ant insecticide. For today’s post, we’re going to review a certain insecticide called Advion Ant Gel.

Is this ant insecticide effective and worth your money? Let’s find out!

Advion Ant Gel Product Overview

Before we go into the meat of the review, let’s first check out the key information, features, and benefits of the Advion Ant Gel:

  • Active Ingredient(s): Indoxacarb
  • HRAC/FRAC/IRAC Classification: Group 22 Insecticide
  • EPA#: 100-1498

Key Features

  • Targets most pest species of ants, including all key sweet feeders
  • Features a highly attractive, homogenous formulation
  • Indoxacarb, the active ingredient, is the only member of its class of chemistry, so it performs like no other insecticide

Key Benefits

  • Ants consume more Advion Ant gel bait over an extended period. This results in thorough infestation control.
  • Integrity is maintained over an extended period due to its odorless, translucent, and stainless formulation.
  • Through the combination of a unique active ingredient and a highly appealing gel formulation, Advion Ant is a highly effective tool for broad-spectrum ant control.

Advion Ant Gel Review

This insecticide is one of the most popular ant control products that you can find in the market, and for good reason.

Highly Attractive Formulation

One of the best things about this product is its highly attractive, homogenous formulation. This means that the ants will be drawn to the gel like they’re actual candies. Thus, you don’t have to seek out an ant colony just to be able to use the product. All you need to do is apply the gel in areas where you have seen the ants in action.

The gel acts as bait and a pesticide at the same time. This gives you plenty of conveniences since you don’t have to use multiple pest control products to achieve the best results.

The formulation also allows the gel to target a broad spectrum of ant species. Most sweet feeders will be targeted which fortunately include most household ants. From my experience, it managed to attract all types of ants in my household.

With such a good formulation, ants will find themselves consuming more of the gel which leads to better and thorough results. The gel is also non-repellent which means that the ants can’t detect there’s a pesticide or toxicant present which significantly encourages more consumption of the bait.

Amazing Active Ingredient

As mentioned, the main active ingredient of the Advion Gel is Indoxacarb (0.05%).

Indoxacarb is a slow acting ingredient which is designed to work over a few days. So you are likely asking, why would I want a pesticide that takes so long to take effect? Wouldn’t it be better if the product actually kills the insect on contact?

Well, it’s easy to think that way since a more instantaneous effect would give you visible results right away. As mentioned, the gel works like a bait which means that the workers will be consuming the gel. Since the workers think that the gel is food, the Indoxacarb will be carried back into their mounds and will be fed to the rest of the colony including the queens.

Slow, But Steady Action

After consumption, Indoxacarb will poison the ants’ nervous system and they will be dead after about 72 hours.  Depending on the size of the colony, all the ants will be wiped out over a few days.

Needless to say, this slow-acting approach is much more preferable since it destroys the rest of the colony and not just the workers. The Advion Ant Gel yielded some great results after testing. In just a few days, there were no peskier ants in sight.

Both Indoor and Outdoor Usage

Another good thing about the Advion Gel Bait is that it can be used for both indoors and outdoors. The non-staining formulation means that you can apply the gel basically anywhere inside your home without worrying about permanent stains.

Applying the gel outdoors works just as well. However, it’s worth noting that the product is not weatherproof. Thus, if it’s raining, you will want to skip on applying the gel since it’s just going to be washed away.

The ant bait comes in a syringe tube which makes it a breeze to apply on all surfaces. With the syringe application, it’s easy to reach tight spaces like holes, crevices, and cracks.

When it comes to indoor applications of pesticides, safety is a major concern. Fortunately, the gel bait is only deadly for ants and other bugs. Its formulation is not harmful toward pets and children. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not exercise caution when using the gel indoors. After all, you are still dealing with a poisonous substance.

Is It Worth the Price?

The Advion Ant Gel Insecticide is available for $30 and that comes with 4 syringe tubes. I’ve been looking around for similar products and it seems that Syngenta’s offering is one of the most expensive ant insecticides in the market.

For comparison, the Optigard Ant Bait Gel Syngenta is only sold for about $28 and it comes with 4 tubes as well.  Another product called Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait, a positively reviewed ant control solution, is sold for only $15.

The Advion Gel Bait is definitely more expensive when compared to similar products. However, I’d like to think that you are paying for the quality and efficiency of this insecticide. I have used many ant baits before but the Advion gave me the impressive results that I wanted. It’s no wonder that it’s a very popular ant control solution for many homeowners.

Personally, I think that’s worth the slightly higher price tag.

Pros and Cons

So what are the things that we like and didn’t like about the Advion Gel?

Pros:

  • Powerful attractant that works on all key sweet feeders
  • The slow-acting active ingredient works well in clearing the nest
  • No odor, non-staining gel bait
  • Maintains its integrity for extended periods
  • Excellent environmental and toxicological profile
  • Easy to use with no setup

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • Not weatherproof
  • Will not work with ants that feed on protein

Similar Products You Should Check Out

If for some reason that you don’t like the Advion Gel, here are some alternatives that you can check out.

1. Optigard Ant Bait Gel Syngenta

The Optigard Ant Bait Gel Syngenta is an excellent alternative to the featured product as it works in a similar manner. This means that the gel works slowly as well. Thus, if the workers return to their nest with the gel, it will be fed to the rest of the colony. This pretty much ensures that the queen, the young, and the entire colony will be wiped out.

The difference is that the main active ingredient of this gel is Thiamethoxam (.010%). This active ingredient is a broad-spectrum, systemic insecticide and target’s the insect’s tracheal and nervous system. Basically, it messes with the ant’s ability to feed which eventually leads to death.

I have tried this product on sweet ants and it worked wonders. It’s definitely on the same line as Advion.

2. Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait

The Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait is another good alternative to Advion and it’s also much less expensive.

It’s a granular insecticide which means that you need the proper placement to ensure that the ants take the bait. Like Advion, this bait features a delayed action insecticide but this time, it’s Abamectin. The insecticide can reduce the population of the ants by causing an immediate halt in egg production.

The granular solution is a mixture of food and other insecticide ingredients. I have used this product with a great deal of success. Plus, it works on a wide species of ants including Argentine, Carpenter, Fire, Field, Pharaoh, Acrobat, Harvester, and many others.

This is a very affordable ant control solution that should work for many homes.

User Reviews and Feedback

For this section, we take a look at some of the reviews and feedback for the Advion Ant Gel. What do consumers think about this product? As of this writing, it has a rating of 3.2 stars out of 5 with a total of 444 reviews.

On the positive side, there are many reviews stating that the product just works. Many have been looking for that one effective ant control product and they found it in Advion. Many were pleased that the gel bait is so easy to use and requires no setup. For some, it worked in as little as three days while for others, it took a couple of weeks or months.

On the other hand, there seems to be a lot of bad reviews for the product as of late. Many of the reviewers are wondering why the product just stopped working. Many are suspecting that it was a bad batch.

What We Think

The Advion Ant Gel is one of the more effective ant baits that I’ve had the pleasure of using. Within just a few days of continued application, I’ve seen no signs of ants which led me to believe that the colony was wiped out. It was so effective that I never even finished the entire batch.

I think it’s just unfortunate that there seems to be a problem with the latest batch of the gel. Hopefully, that issue has been addressed because it really is one of the best ant gels I’ve used.

Our Rating: 4/5

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

How to Get Rid of Frogs Humanely and As Gently As You Can

For many in the U.S., removing frogs has become a necessary task. While frogs are generally harmless and even helpful in keeping the insect population down, they are not always welcome. If you raised your eyebrow at the “how to get rid of frogs” question, let us tell you a few things first.

Some species may be poisonous to pets, and others may be dangerous to native frog species. Not to mention, larger populations can be very noisy. On the other hand, we very well know native frogs are mostly beneficial.

Our guide today refers to getting rid of frogs in several situations, including native populations growing too large, and invasive species.

Although toads are larger than frogs, the following methods generally work on both species. So let’s see how to get rid of frogs when you start feeling they are trying to get rid of you!

WARNING: Do Your Research!

Invasive Cuban Tree Frog: grows to the size of a human fist and eats frogs smaller than it.

Frogs and toads are a vital part of the environment, but invasive species are destructive and dangerous. The picture above is a Cuban Tree Frog, which has colonized areas of the southern U.S. including Florida and Louisiana.

It can grow to the size of a human fist and eats any other frog that fits in its mouth. These non-native island tree frogs can destroy native frog populations.

In addition, diseases have ravaged some species, even to the point of extinction. Killing or moving those species could get you in trouble, as the species currently taking up residence in your back yard may be protected or endangered.

Take some time to identify the species you are dealing with and find out if they are on the protected or endangered species list in your state before attempting to use any method that might harm or kill the frogs.

If you have any questions as to the species you are dealing with, we recommend hiring a professional.

Why Are There Frogs in My Yard?

Image of toad via Unsplash

Having multiple frogs in your yard or garden suggests that something is attracting them. In some cases, these attractants are wanted features, such as a pond. In other cases, the frogs are attracted by something equally unwanted — they’re finding plenty of food.

Insects

One of the biggest causes of frog infestation is an existing bug problem.

  • Frogs consider pests such as flies and mosquitoes to be a primary food source and congregate where there are plenty of insects to eat.

Night Lighting

Having lights in your garden may be pretty, but it also attracts a number of insects. Frogs will come looking for those insects.

  • Thus, the more lights you have on at night in your yard or garden, the more likely there will be a feast waiting for frogs and toads.

Shelter

Frogs are somewhat timid creatures and prefer places where there are shade and shelter.

  • You are much more likely to attract them if you have plenty of weeds, fallen leaves, or tall grass for them to hide in.
  • Having a densely-packed garden that doesn’t incorporate complimentary gardening techniques also attracts insects and shelters the frogs that hunt them.

Water

Frogs are amphibians and prefer to live near sources of water.

  • Standing water is especially attractive as mosquitoes and other insects often propagate there.
  • Sometimes this water is a garden feature, but can also be a result of poor drainage and uneven landscaping.

How to Get Rid of Frogs in the Most Humane Ways Possible

We’re going to start with the gentlest methods, for native species, and work down to the nuclear option: chemicals for invasives.

Natural Remedies Against Frogs

Image via Unsplash

It can be very difficult to get rid of frogs’ infestation without resorting to chemicals. However, there are a few methods that are effective against smaller populations. These methods often require patience and work but are usually cheap to implement and rarely harm the frogs (making them legal almost everywhere).

Create a Frog Haven

In some cases, you may wish to keep frogs around, just not in places where they might get caught in a lawnmower or in public areas.

You can achieve this by creating a small corner of your yard or garden which includes water and shelter for the frogs and insects they feed upon.

This is not a good idea if noise is your primary concern.

However, by providing a haven for the existing frog population and removing sources of attraction from the rest of your property, your resident frogs will venture forth when it’s wet and rainy to protect your garden, then retreat again to their shelter as the garden dries.

Coffee Grounds

One effective way to deter frogs from your home is to recycle your used coffee grounds.

  • Sprinkled on the ground and in your garden, the grounds contain valuable nitrates which benefit plants while causing discomfort to any frog that steps on them.
  • The only downside to this method is the acidity of coffee, which may harm some plants which are sensitive to acidic soil.

Humane Killing and Sedation

Many frog species hibernate, so placing captured frogs into the fridge puts them to sleep, then transferring them to the freezer humanely euthanizes them.

  • Placing them in the refrigerator until they fall asleep also allows you to transport the frogs to a local lake or stream where they will wake up and make themselves a new home. (Do not rehome invasive species.)

Removing the Attraction

As mentioned above, there are many things that attract frogs and toads, usually relating to food sources. Removing these features makes your home less attractive to frogs and toads.

These methods will help keep frogs away from your home and yard:

  • Avoid leaving garden lights on at night or choose a light source that repels insects, such as citronella candles or torches or yellow lights.
  • Incorporate complementary gardening techniques to naturally repel insects, removing the frogs’ food source.
  • Regularly maintain your yard or garden, removing leaves, keeping grass short, weeding, and reducing or eliminating shade spots.
  • Remove standing water sources and add a fountain or other water circulating agent to those water sources you wish to keep.

Saltwater

Frogs, much like the slugs they often feed on, are sensitive to saltwater.

  • By spraying a little on your walkways and other surfaces, you will be creating a film that stings the frog’s feet.
  • While a simple deterrent, this is less effective in gardens, as plants generally respond poorly to salt exposure.

Vinegar

Making a spray of equal parts vinegar and water provides an effect similar to saltwater. The key downside to vinegar sprays is the high acidity which may actually kill plants that get sprayed.

How to Get Rid of Frogs with Chemicals

We know we said we would talk about the humane ways of getting rid of frogs, but sometimes, infestations need more radical measures. That would be true with invasive species like cane toads and Cuban tree frogs.

Take care not to hurt native populations if possible. That said, non-native species are harmful to the environment and in some cases, poisonous.

The fastest and most effective way to get rid of a frog or toad infestation is to use chemicals. However, these methods often harm or kill frogs. It’s critical to be sure frog extermination is legal in your area, before using them.

As frogs are an important part of the ecosystem, we recommend repelling or moving, not exterminating, native species.

Heat

While not a chemical, heat will dry out eggs and tadpoles, killing them. The eggs are deposited in clumps in your pond or standing water source and can be scooped out using a pool net or other instrument. Likewise, tadpoles may be netted and removed. Simply place the captured eggs or tadpoles on a dry, warm surface and let the sunlight cook them.

Herbicides

You may already be using weed killers in your garden or along walkways, but herbicides also affect the fauna that exists in those spaces. Evidence suggests that some types of herbicide can effectively sterilize male frogs which come into contact with them.

Note that this method cannot be used against some species of toad or frog, as it reduces the overall population over time and may harm protected species.

Pesticides

Chances are, you’ve already considered the use of pesticides in your garden. Using a pesticide helps to eliminate the frogs’ food source. However, remember, if a frog digests insects that have been exposed to pesticides, it may also become poisoned. Choose an organic alternative here: 16% citric acid and water solution and spray it all around the outer edges of your home.

Without a ready food source, frogs often begin to leave on their own.

Snake Repellent

As odd as it sounds, frogs are deterred almost as easily by snake repellents as snakes themselves. This method won’t kill the frogs and helps to keep them off of your property.

Did You Try to Get Rid of Frogs?

In case you have a frog infestation on your property, remember to do your research first. Then begin with the non-invasive methods and let’s hope they work before you end up using chemicals. Have you ever experienced a frog problem in your yard? How did you solve it?

FAQs on How to Get Rid of Frogs

How to get rid of tree frogs around your house?

Tree frogs do not require a different treatment than regular frogs.
If you want to get rid of them, or wonder what keeps frogs away from your house, try the following methods:
1. Spread salt or coffee grounds around the house
2. Use a solution of water and vinegar to repel tree frogs
3. Mix 1 lb of dry citric acid in 1 gallon of water and spray the frog-infested areas.

How to get rid of frogs in the pool?

Frogs may want to take a swim in your pool or have their fun around it. They will, however, leave the premises if you shock the pool with chlorine.

Other methods of keeping frogs away from your pool include:
1. Fencing the pool
2. Treating the area around the pool with coffee grounds, salt, or a vinegar solution to keep them away
3. Cover the pool when you don’t use it
4. Turn off the night lights
5. As an alternative – although not sanctioned – you can also spread baking soda around the pool area, as it will cause the frogs enough discomfort for them to leave. Don’t get it in your pool, it will mess up your chemical balance.

How else do you get rid of frogs from your home or backyard?

Other frog deterrent methods to keep frogs out of your backyard include:
1. Keep your lawn mowed short
2. Extensive yard care, especially controlling weeds and insect habitats
3. Keep the yard clean of food scraps and animal food bowls
4. Install silt fences around your water features
5. Eradicate dark, moist areas in your yard that attract frogs and toads