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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

If you're coming here for advice, the first thing is going to be: identify the pest. If you're having trouble with that take pictures of what they're doing/leaving behind and someone can probably lead you in the right direction.

Let's talk pest control.
I'm going to stay away from ag-type controls and talk about home/yard/garden type controls.

I'm coming at this as someone who was a landscaper (a real long time ag) and through that a certified commercial applicator. I'm now a certified private applicator ("farmers license"). I rarely need my license because things have come a long way from every solution involving buying a 5 gallon pail of restricted use deathicide and for better or worse, a lot fewer things are restricted use these days. If they're restricted they're things that are scary toxic enough (to humans or the environment) that I'll usually be able to find another way at anything smaller than agricultural scale.

IPM - "Integrated pest management" is the new term for the enlightened methodology of doing things. It's not just spraying poison around, but includes physical methods, cultural controls, pest/herbicides designed to kill, and pest/herbicides designed to interrupt lifecycles. This required actually understanding both the pest you are targeting - behavior and lifecycle as well as the methodology any chemicals you are using acts on this pet and potentially others. That ends up requiring a lot more detective work and looking up a lot more information. Your local county ag extension is typically going to be a great resource for local information, because they know what's causing problems in your area right now, this time of year.

While the thread is absolutely intended to get into your specific problems, there's a few things that we should cover generally to start:

1.) Labeling and safety for you, your pets and the surrounding wildlife

The label is the law. Read that again. The label on a pesticide container is legally binding law. It was approved by the EPA before the material was allowed to be marketed. When it says something, there are good scientifically tested reasons behind it. You should actually read the label, not only looking for how and how much to apply, but also for the precautionary statements and environmental statements.

Very common pesticides can be quite harmful and even deadly to pets in even the smallest amounts. Some animals simply don't have the ability to metabolize what's found in some of these pesticides and will become very sick or die. One of the big ones that gets used a lot Is Talstar P. It's a general use outdoor spray application for everything from mosquitoes to ticks. It's not really great for you, so I wouldn't suggest drinking it or anything, but it's on the safer side for you. And your dogs. But cats and fish can't break down this class of pesticide AT ALL and will die with exposure to even small amounts. So you need to keep cats out of the yard until this stuff is completely dry. The label will tell you this, or at least indicate something that will tell you there is a risk factor that you should be looking up before application.

By the way, this class of pesticides - pyrethrin/pyrethroid - is commonly used for canine flea/tick collars and medication. So yeah, don't use your dog's flea and tick stuff on your cat. It's very much not "close enough" in a lot of cases. And since fish don't take well……don't let your recently treated dog jump in your koi pond either.

2.) Personal protective equipment

All the gear, all the time. Read the label. It will tell you what is required. Don't be dumb - if you're spraying outdoors don't do it with the wind in your face, even if you are wearing a P100, glasses and long sleeves.

When you're done, clean everything, and wash your drat hands. I think we're all used to this by now.

3.) Application procedures

This still ends up being in the safety category, but it's a distinct thing. I'm going to finish this one up later, but it's a lot of how to properly and safely measure and mix out liquid sprays and how to clean your equipment afterwards.

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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Boring, where's the good stuff?

Okay, you know how I said most of what you need isn't restricted use?

https://www.domyown.com/ and Amazon.

Go nuts. But understand what you're buying. Let's say you need roundup. You can go to the big box store and spend $30 on a gallon container with a lovely sprayer attached that's mixed at under 2% active ingredient or figure out that active ingredient is glyphosate and you can buy a gallon of it at 41% for $42. Or a pint for $14, which is still 6x more active ingredient than that ready to spray gallon. Yeah, you'll need to buy a sprayer but they're not all that expensive, and work a LOT better than the disposable ones on those ready to mix containers.

How to figure out what you want to use? I already suggested your county ag extension. It's probably run by one of your state ag schools. They're awesome. As well as other ag schools. The kinds of research, papers and materials they publish for free is mind blowing. Here's mine:

https://extension.psu.edu/insects-p...blic-homeowners

Motronic fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Oct 21, 2020

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Basic indoor supplies for the northeast:
(tbd)

Basic yard supplies for the northeast:
(tbd)

Basic vegetable garden supplies for the northeast:
(tbd)

Gear:
(tbd)

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




Because of COVID my car is now also a restaurant booth and is messier than it's normal rolling trashwagon state. I have been seeing tiny black ants crawling around in it and I wish they weren't there. Aside from not being so slovenly, is there some kind of trap or bait I can put out for them?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

Because of COVID my car is now also a restaurant booth and is messier than it's normal rolling trashwagon state. I have been seeing tiny black ants crawling around in it and I wish they weren't there. Aside from not being so slovenly, is there some kind of trap or bait I can put out for them?

Yes, super easy, very much non-toxic to pretty much anything other than ants. Terro. It's borax and sugar water.

They make very handy traps in a few configurations:

https://www.terro.com/terro-liquid-ant-baits-2-pack

You should be able to find these at any hardware store and most grocery stores.

Note, this is not a neurotoxin-style pesticide. They don't die as the touch it/as you spray it on them. I'm gonna go all IPM on this: borax interferes with the digestion of ants. Worker ants, the ones you can see, pick it up out of your bait traps and will eventually die, but so slowly that they have plenty of time to get back to the hive and spread it to the rest of the ants.

So this is a "yeah it takes 2 weeks, but it actually solves the real problem" rather than spraying Talstar and killing the workers basically immediately and a few days later more ants come out of the hive and you're right back where you started.

This stuff is literally so safe you and your dogs and cats could drink it daily and suffer no ill effects. To me, that's the perfect targeted pesticide. There are only a few others that are quite that good that I'm aware of.

Bioshuffle
Feb 10, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished



Are there any additional benefits to hiring out pest control to a professional rather than DIYing it?

I was under the impression of "they have access to stuff you don't", but with the internet and Amazon, that doesn't even seem to be the case anymore.

I have cats, so I've always hired out just for ease of mind. It would be great if I didn't have to pay someone $120 to spray the perimeter for ten minutes.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Bioshuffle posted:

Are there any additional benefits to hiring out pest control to a professional rather than DIYing it?

I was under the impression of "they have access to stuff you don't",

Yes. They still have access to stuff you don't. Knowledge, techniques and rote experience.

DIY isn't for everyone.

FCKGW
May 21, 2006



Seconding https://www.domyown.com/, it's a great site.

I bought some Bifen I/T a number of years ago but it hasn't been doing as well this year as it was in years past at controlling my ant population. Does this stuff (pest control products in general) have a shelf life?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

FCKGW posted:

I bought some Bifen I/T a number of years ago but it hasn't been doing as well this year as it was in years past at controlling my ant population. Does this stuff (pest control products in general) have a shelf life?

They absolutely do. Have you been storing it climate controlled or outside and freezing?

Also, Bifen is a special case - that's an IGR. It needs to get put down at the right time in the lifecycle of the pests to do it's job as an "insect growth regulator" i.e. "sterilization agent".

FCKGW
May 21, 2006



Motronic posted:

They absolutely do. Have you been storing it climate controlled or outside and freezing?

Also, Bifen is a special case - that's an IGR. It needs to get put down at the right time in the lifecycle of the pests to do it's job as an "insect growth regulator" i.e. "sterilization agent".

It's been outside in my shed that doesn't freeze but it gets hot as poo poo.

I don't know much about when to apply Bifen, I usually just apply it when it starts to get hot in the summer and the ants start looking for water sources in the house. Generally I leave them be outside.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

FCKGW posted:

It's been outside in my shed that doesn't freeze but it gets hot as poo poo.

I don't know much about when to apply Bifen, I usually just apply it when it starts to get hot in the summer and the ants start looking for water sources in the house. Generally I leave them be outside.

Either your storage or you application can explain this. Let's start with this: what are you trying to control with bifen? Secondly, what is you USDA zone? https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

FCKGW
May 21, 2006



Motronic posted:

Either your storage or you application can explain this. Let's start with this: what are you trying to control with bifen? Secondly, what is you USDA zone? https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

I'm in zone 10a.

I have regular black ants outside in my yard that mind themselves most of the year but then when it starts to heat up in the summer they start to come inside the house. I would usually spray some Bifen around the house perimeter and they would stay outside for the rest of the summer. That didn't really happen this year so I'm looking to see why that was and what I should do.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

FCKGW posted:

I'm in zone 10a.

I have regular black ants outside in my yard that mind themselves most of the year but then when it starts to heat up in the summer they start to come inside the house. I would usually spray some Bifen around the house perimeter and they would stay outside for the rest of the summer. That didn't really happen this year so I'm looking to see why that was and what I should do.

Oh so you're WAY south of what I'm used to. First idea would be that you can use Talstar P outside if that's a problem, but talking about inside I'd be all over Maxforce (https://www.domyown.com/maxforce-co...ait-p-1603.html) Temprid (https://www.domyown.com/temprid-rea...ray-p-2657.html) and Advion (https://www.domyown.com/advion-ant-...ml?sub_id=23226). Because as I understand this these aren't bugs that are trying to live inside......they just go wherever the gently caress the want. It's different than trying to control pests that will seek to live in warmth in the northeast.

So big caveat: this isn't my specialty. I hope we get some people who can answer that may have lived close to that zone sooner than the 20 years ago I did.

Epi Lepi
Oct 29, 2009

You can hear the voice
Telling you to Love
It's the voice of MK Ultra
And you're doing what it wants


I got linked here from the Home Owner thread so I'm quoting myself for some extra advice/condolences:

Epi Lepi posted:

Is this the advice thread? I don't know where else to post this but I wanna know how hosed I am and what I should do.

I bought and moved into a condo in February and for the last month or so we've had a hopefully small roach problem. We called an exterminator who sprayed something along all the baseboards but still saw one every 4 or 5 days after. About half were dead, half were alive saw about 10 total after he came the first time. Since we kept seeing them we called him back to spray again this past week. In the 6 days since he came we've found 2 dead and 2 alive roaches. Kind of concerning, but maybe just bad/worse luck than last time.

We share walls with two other condos, and I highly suspect the roaches are coming from a specific one of our neighbors. When I found the first one I called the Condo board and they pretty much said, "that's gross sorry about that, good luck."

So I'm not sure if the exterminator we found is effective, I don't know if it matters since the neighbor might be the root and until they fix it nothing will change, and I don't know if I should press the HOA for more assistance.

If it matters I'm on LI in NY and we think they're brown banded cockroaches.

I will add I'm very much not a DIY person I am quite happy throwing money at a problem until it goes away I just don't know if I'm throwing my money the right way right now.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Yikes, this can be real bad. Basically there's no fixing this if there are untreated areas inside of your building. You can cut down on the number you see, but they'll always be there unless everyone gets rid of them.

So let's start this way: call the condo board back. Tell them your exterminator says these are stragglers coming from another unit. This is the kind of thing they should be getting involved with. Do you know which unit it is? I mean, it's likely to be obvious. One of them is a trash golem and the exterior will probably be a give-away.

If the condo board won't, you can ratchet this up to your county department of health. They may or may not be able to assist.

Now down to control measures: you have to live like you have a permanent roach infestation. No food anywhere accessible. All sealed in containers. All counters and food prep surfaces must be wiped down immediately bother before and after use. You can try.....TRY to physically block them by making sure all baseboard trim it caulked. You can even caulk your outlet covers on, but there are air sealing type things that will be less messy. You should be able to find them at any big box store. Not much of this is likely to be successful, because if the can't get through at the closest wall they're just gonna keep on moving through walls. I wish I had better news on this front, but frankly I don't. This sounds like the kind of infestation that needs multiple treatments of all units if it's going to be handled in a timely fashion. And behavioral changes on the part of the trash golem for the treatments to work.

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Slugworth
Feb 18, 2001

If two grown men can't make a pervert happy for a few minutes in order to watch a film about zombies, then maybe we should all just move to Iran!


Motronic posted:

Now down to control measures: you have to live like you have a permanent roach infestation. No food anywhere accessible. All sealed in containers. All counters and food prep surfaces must be wiped down immediately bother before and after use.
Just moved to NC, and this is how I'm living, because I'm not giving those little fuckers any reason to congregate. Saw a couple (american, not german) when we first moved in, and we've been in lockdown since. Between that and a barrier spray, things are going ok.

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