Pest Control Tips & Articles – Pest Control Plus Pest Control Plus helps with control methods and in identifying right Products and Local pest control companies. Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:57:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How To Trap Earwigs? A Detailed Insight! Tue, 24 Jul 2018 01:23:15 +0000 Earwig Bug Traps For The Logical You

Are you having trouble with the pesky little earwigs? They can be a real pain in the neck as they can invade your garden, flower beds, and even your home! They like to feed on decomposed plants and drenched leaves. In short, they love any organic matter that they can use as a cozy shelter during day times. When the night creeps in, they venture out for a grand feast. They like to feed on almost anything in the garden. In general, they like to eat vegetables, crops, and fruits. But, they will also feed on roses, dahlias, and zinnias. They can damage the seedlings as they love feeding on it. They also like to gorge on lichens and mosses. They are more active during autumn and spring when the climate is moist and cool.

How To Identify?
So, how do you identify if you have earwig issues in your garden? Just check around in your garden. Did you notice that there are nibble spots and gauge marks at the growing tips, flowers, fruits, and stems? Then, it is a clear indication that earwigs have invaded your property! They can destroy a whole flowering bed in one night. They munch on the roots of seedlings and destroy them too. Once you have identified the issue, the next step is to get somehow rid of them. You can either use chemical traps or opt for natural traps. And yet, it is always better to take preventive actions before the invasions happen.

Traps For Earwigs
Earwigs often hide in moist, cool and dark places during the daytime. You can make use of this habit of theirs and set up traps in their hiding places. Here are some of the traps you can use:

Can Trap
Get some used tin cans like empty pet food cans. This earwig trap soya sauce oil is found to be very effective in getting rid of earwigs. Fill about 1.25 centimeters (1/2 inch) of the can with vegetable oil. It will easily lure the earwigs. They will crawl inside the can and drown in the oil. Dump the dead earwigs and refill the can to catch more earwigs.

  • Get 1/3 cup of cooking oil, a shallow plastic can, scissors and soya sauce
  • The container should only be about 2-3 inch deep. If it is longer than that, then cut the container to the required depth.
  • Add the soya sauce and vegetable oil in it.
  • Make a shallow hole near the plant beds the earwigs often attack. Bury the can inside the soil so that the trap remains at ground level. The rim of the can should also be covered with mud.
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Check the trap in the morning and reuse if needed.
  • The earwigs get lured by the soya sauce and get trapped inside the oil.
  • It is better to remove the trap early in the morning as other insects also might get lured by the trap.
  • You can make use of empty yogurt cups, party cups or dip containers.
  • For this earwig trap oil, you can use the same cup for about 2-3 nights and then dispose off the contents. Now, you can refill it and use it again.
  • Roll Trap
    You can also trap earwigs by using damp newspapers. This is one of the best earwig traps for the garden. Roll the newspapers into open tubes and tie it using a lightweight string of cotton or a thread. Place this roll near the plants which are usually attacked by earwigs. You can also place them near the base portion of plants after sunset. As an alternate option, you can also use an old piece of garden hose. After a few days, the earwigs will start living inside these tubes. Then you can take the tubes and decompose it. You can also make use of thin and hollow pieces of bamboo. You can either empty the earwigs inside the tube into a bucket filled with water every morning, or you can dispose of it at a place away from your home.
  • You may also make use of a pleated or corrugated cardboard. Roll it up and secure it using a rubber band. Place it near the plants. The earwigs will crawl inside and get trapped there.
  • Stuff flower pots with rolled newspapers or moist straw and leave it upside down using some small pebbles to prop it up. Ensure that you leave some space for the earwigs to crawl inside. These newspaper earwig traps can help you get rid of earwigs easily!
  • Indoor Traps Using Cardboard
    If earwigs are troubling you inside your house too, then you can opt for this trap. Make some holes over the outer side of an empty shoe box near to its base. Now, spread a thin layer of bran or oatmeal in the bottom of the box and cover it with the lid. Place this box near your house entrances or other areas where you have noticed earwigs.

Here Are Some Homemade Earwig Traps That Can Save Your Day!

Homemade traps are easier to set up and won’t cost you much too. Why use harmful chemicals when you can easily trap them using homemade traps? Take a look at some of them:

Outdoor Traps Using Cardboard
You can make use of any small box of cardboard, like the ones you usually use for holding an array of Christmas cards. Make holes of the size ¼ inch in the bottom portion of the box over the sides. Now, you can bait the trap using a tiny amount of bran or oatmeal along with a bit of boric acid. Place this box outside in your yard or garden and cover it with a board so that it won’t get wet in the rains or in the morning mist. The earwigs will be lured by the bait and nibble on it. But, you have to remain patient as it takes almost one week for them to die off.

Earwigs Living On Trees
If you notice earwigs residing on trees, then you can trap them using some cloth strips and a few corrugated cardboards. The scientists recommend using a single-sided cardboard. You can wet one side of the cardboard piece and pry it off after that. Make this cardboard into a tiny roll and fasten it to the major limbs and trunks of the tree. It is better to set the trap one month before the fruits are expected to start ripening. Keep replacing it once in a week.

Earwigs On Marigold Plants
If you have marigold plants at home and the earwigs are destroying them, then you can use a mix of soya sauce, oil and molasses to get rid of them. If you do not have molasses at your home, then you can use corn syrup as an alternative. Mix all the contents in an empty baby food jar and bury it near the plant. Now, prop the jar’s lid. The jar will be filled with earwigs that feed on the marigolds by evening. You can empty the bottle and refill again to kill more earwigs.

Use Plastic Food Containers
Get some used and emptied plastic food containers with tight lids. Add some linseed oil about 3-4 mm from the bottom of the container. Now, make some holes on the container, below the lid and above the level of oil. Place this trap around the plants which are constantly attacked by earwigs. Leave it there for the whole night. As the day dawns, you can observe that many earwigs had been caught inside the trap. Empty the contents safely and replace it for catching more earwigs.

Use Beer
This earwig trap beer is very effective in getting rid of earwigs easily and quickly. Take a jar and fill it half with beer. Now, lay this jar in earwig infested areas. Earwigs love to gorge on beer. But, they will die as soon as they drink it.

Use Plastic Drinking Straws
You can make earwig trap using drinking straws made of plastic. Place these straws within a plastic pipe piece. The earwigs get lured by plastic and enter inside the straws if you place it in infested places. Tap the straws into a bowl filled with soapy water. The earwigs will start falling from the straw. It is better to wait until the late summer season to get rid of the earwigs. Before that, researchers have proved that earwigs are beneficial. It feeds on tiny insects and aphids, thereby saving your crops. But, when the fruits start to ripen, then you should get rid of the earwigs soon.

Use Bamboo
Get sections of garden pipe of bamboo, of one-foot length and lay it over the garden beds in the midst of the plants. Keep checking these traps every morning and remove the trapped earwigs. Replace it until your garden becomes free of earwigs.

Use Soy Sauce
Take a cottage cheese container and pour soy sauce in it up to a height of one inch from the bottom of the container. Now, cover the layer of soy sauce with another thin layer of oil. Make 3-4 half inch holes in the upper half of the container. Secure the container with a lid so that the rains won’t enter inside the trap. The earwigs will climb inside the container through the holes provided and then die inside the container. Dispose the contents inside the container once in a week and then replace them.

Use Unrinsed Containers Of Frozen Juice
Get some unrinsed and empty containers of frozen juice. Fill up the container up to two-thirds from the bottom using water. Add a few drops of liquid drops into it and place the trap in earwig infested areas. You can also get commercially available traps for earwigs from the nearest store.

Check Out Some Useful Tips On How To Catch Earwigs

Here are some tips that can help you while you try catching the earwigs in and around your home:

  • It is always better to place many traps all around the garden or yard.
  • You can try hiding the traps in secluded places like under the shrubs, plants and near the fences.
  • The easiest trap is to use an empty can and fill it with oil up to half inch from the bottom.
  • You can use either a vegetable oil with a bit of bacon grease or use a fish oil just like the tuna oils we often get in the markets.
  • Make sure the traps are sunk deep into the soil leaving only the opening outside. The top of the can should always be at the ground level of the soil.
  • Empty the can filled with dead earwigs carefully and then refill the cans using oil again.
  • Ensure that you place these traps before night time. Then, shake off all the trapped earwigs into soapy water after the day dawns.
  • You can also drop earwigs into a strong plastic bag and crush it to kill it.
  • Keep continuing these procedures until your home becomes free of earwigs.

Easy Methods! Easy Traps!
The above article would have provided you with a better understanding that earwig problems can be solved easily using homemade traps. Opt for commercial and chemical traps only if you find all the above ideas ineffective.

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What are aphids? How many of us know the answer? Pea aphid, otherwise known as green dolphin, pea louse, and clover louse is scientifically called Acyrthosiphon pisum. It is a sap-sucking insect belonging to the Aphididae family.


This species feeds on different varieties of legumes worldwide, including forage crops. They are also ranked among the aphid species which are of major agronomical importance. The pea aphid is one of the model organisms used for biological study who has its genome sequenced and annotated. You can see that this aphid is globally distributed all over temperate regions.

All about aphids

Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about Pea Aphids


🔬 Adult – Pea aphids are small sized and are colored green or pink. These are soft-bodied insects look similar to the blue alfalfa aphid; however the pea aphids have their antennae banded at the segments. Their main feed is a wide range of crop plants, including alfalfa, beans as well as artichoke during the spring and fall. Pea aphids inject toxin into the plant tissues that slows growth and can cause reduction in yields. Many infested plants may not survive from this attack.

The pea aphid adult is long-legged and colored light to deep green. It has  reddish eyes and a body length of 2.0 to 4.0 mm. In  North Carolina, most adult peas aphids are wingless. The cornicles (a pair of tailpipe-like structures projecting from the abdomen) of this species are characteristically long & slender.

🔬 Egg – If you notice carefully, you can see that the egg of a pea aphid is approximately 0.85 mm long.The light green egg turns to a shiny black shade before it hatches. These Eggs are very rare in North Carolina.

🔬 Nymph – Compared to larger wingless adults, immature aphids are smaller. It requires four molts for reaching the adult stage.


During autumn, the female pea aphids lay fertilized eggs overwinter that are ready to hatch by the following spring. The nymphs emerging from these eggs are all females, who undergo four moults and then reach and give birth.

The wingless, female pea aphids continue the process of feeding and breeding all throughout the winter. During spring, feeding activity increases. It is at this time; some of the winged aphids develop and migrate, usually to peas. Most of the progeny of the winged females develop into a set of wingless females. You can see that whenever overcrowding occurs, the number of winged aphids increases and they migrate to different areas to establish new colonies.

Pea Aphids – Life History

Quick Facts
Each adult female produces 6 to 8 nymphs on a daily basis, until she has about 100 offsprings. These nymphs mature into adults within 10 to 14 days.
It is difficult to find out the number of generations since generations overlap and reproduction continues all year.
The pea aphid survives best and reproduces most rapidly at temperatures around 65 degrees F with humidities near 80 percent.

🔬 Host Plants – Pea aphid feeds on many species of among 13 plant families including over 200 species of Fabaceae. It has a moderate host range. This species is represented by a number of races and subspecies In Europe and Asia. Pea aphids infest the garden crops like  field peas, sweet clover, alfalfa. sweet peas , and some leguminous weeds. The important overwintering hosts include Vetch and crimson clover.

🔬 Distribution – The pea aphid is found throughout the United States and Canada in regions where peas and alfalfa are grown.

🔬 Damage caused – Pea aphids extract the sap from terminal leaves and stem of the host plant. This can result in deformation, wilting, and even death of the host depending upon the level of infestation .Plants that do survive heavy infestations  turn out to be  short and bunched with more lightly colored tops compared to  healthy plants.

Wilted plants appear like brownish spots in the field. Moreover, these plants are coated with shiny honeydew secreted by the pea aphids. They cast skins which may give leaves and ground a whitish appearance. These aphids have also been known to  transmit the pea enation mosaic and yellow bean mosaic viruses. The pea enation mosaic, has been a major problem in New York but has not been reported in North Carolina.


Pea aphid promotes amino acid metabolism both in Medicago truncatula and bacteriocytes to favor aphid population growth under elevated CO2.

Pea aphid are unique in that they can synthesize energy themselves .They might be one of the only animals to turn sunlight into energy like a plant. Aphids are able to produce their own carotenoids, which are  pigments usually produced by plants, fungi and microorganisms. Aphids obtained this pigment-producing power as a result of  swapping genes with fungi. The carotenoids might be the reason behind the aphid’s apparent photosynthesis-like abilities.

Another interesting aspect is that these Carotenoids contribute to pea aphids’ body color.The color varies depending on environmental conditions. Aphids produced high levels of carotenoids in the cold and were green, while during optimal conditions, they were seen as orange aphids with intermediate levels of carotenoids, and white aphids with almost no pigment appeared in large populations which were faced with limited resources.

You would be interested to know that Scientists found that these aphids  have the ability to survive on sunlight, by converting it into energy like plants do and thus eliminating the need for food.

When researchers measured the ATP levels in the 3 groups of aphids, they found that green ones made considerably more ATP than the white aphids. The orange aphids produced more ATP  mostly when exposed to sunlight than when moved into dark areas.


Depending on the weather, Aphids develop from birth and attain maturity in 5 to 50 days. The optimum temperatures required for rapid development of pea aphids is about 23 – 28ºC. Did you know that all pea aphids are female throughout spring and summer? The summer female can produce around 50-150 young during her lifetime.  If the host crop they occupy is cut during spring or summer, the winged female aphids leave to search for new plants to survive.

In late September or October, winged males as well as wingless females are produced. These mate and the wingless females lay eggs on leaves and stems. There may be seven to 15 generations per year.

🔬 Lifecycle of Aphids

Let’s have a brief look at the lifecycle of aphids
May Overwintering eggs hatch
June Feeding by nymphs begins, new adults emerge
July New adults disperse and lay eggs, nymphs feed
August New adults disperse and lay eggs, nymphs feed
September Adults disperse, lay eggs that overwinter

Population densities are at their highest in early summer, then decrease as a result of predation and parasitism.


You will find that several morphs exist in pea aphids. Besides the differences between sexual and parthenogenetic morphs, there are also winged and wingless morphs. Overcrowding and poor food quality will trigger the development of winged individuals in the subsequent generations. These Winged aphids can then colonize other host plants.

Pea aphids also show hereditary body color variations of green or red/pink. The green morphs are generally more frequent in natural populations.


Pea Aphids hosts the   bacteria called Buchnera aphidicola. This provides essential amino acids which is necessary for aphid reproduction. Buchnera is transmitted from the mothers to offspring, and it has coevolved with aphids for many years.This co existence affects ecologically important traits such as body color, nutrition, resistance to abiotic and biotic stress.


The aphid alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene (EBF) is one of the best defence communication mechanisms amongst the insect world. This alarm pheromone is released when any of the aphids are attacked by predators. It induces behavioral reactions in the aphids such as walking or dropping off the host plant.

If you refer Kunert et al. (2005), you can read that as a result of the exposure to the alarm pheromone, aphids are able to give birth to winged dispersal morphs that would leave their host plants. They have suggested that the alarm pheromone paves way for a “pseudo crowding” effect .This triggers that alarm pheromone and causes increased walking behavior in aphids.


As you research further, you will be able to see many studies on pea aphids have helped to establish that the environmental and genetic components control the production of sexual and winged morphs. Overcrowding and poor food quality will trigger the development of more winged aphids in the subsequent generations. These Winged aphids can then colonize other host plants.


Now let’s look at the horror part. Although the pea aphids appear to be perfectly suited to a vegetarian lifestyle, they don’t restrict their diet to eating plants. While on a study in this topic, Leather makes a startling discovery-“Many years ago I was working on a pea aphid culture and suddenly felt a stinging sensation,” says Leather. When he observed carefully, he realized that it was one of the insects that was probing his wrist.

At the time, Leather thought the insect must have been confused as

his hands smelled of pea plant. However several decades later, when a student told him that pea aphids in their lab were eating each other, they decided to find more .It was observed that Young aphids climbed onto the backs of adults, probed them with their mouthparts and then sucked blood out of them.



To find out more about this behavior of aphids, Leather and his colleagues placed a  mother and two of her offspring – onto a broad bean plant (Vicia faba) leaves. Then they added a fourth, unrelated aphid, and observed their behaviour.

Cannibalism was found to be common, and juveniles did it far more often than the adults as a strategy to cope with food shortages. To experiment more, the team placed the insects on plants that were damaged by giving them less water. The Aphids on the more desiccated plants resorted more to cannibalism than aphids on well-watered plants. This suggests that cannibalism was indeed a response to lack of food. “In times of stress, this is a sort of survival mechanism,” says Leather.

The young aphids were also choosy about who they attacked. They chose unrelated insects more. Unrelated aphids are competitors and so  it might have seemed advantageous to attack them regardless of the food situation. This behavior suggests that pea aphids can tell the difference between their own clones and unrelated insects, which nobody thought they could do.


Ready for another weird twist? Despite being more likely to target unrelated aphids, there have been actual episodes of blood sucking that lasted longer when the insect feasted on one of its clones.

It may be a fact that clones may be willing to let their fellows eat them to ensure that at least some of the clones would survive to reproduce and pass on their shared genes. Unrelated aphids, by contrast, would probably resist being eaten. This also helps explain why it is the young that prey on adults. “It’s more important for the juveniles to survive,” says Leather, so the adults may be prepared to sacrifice themselves.


Protection against pea aphids includes the use of natural predators and parasitoids chemical insecticides, and the selection of resistant cultivars. When the aphids infest, exposing them to direct sunlight will also reduce the aphid population. Proper and effective crop management helps to resist aphid attack to a large extent. Predators and parasites usually control this pest, to some extent, and resistant varieties are available.


A series of economic threshold based on the height of the plant and the number of aphids per stem are also helpful to determine when chemical control becomes necessary.

They are as follows: 40 to 50 aphids per 25 cm (10 inch) or shorter stem; 70 to 80 aphids per 25 to 38 cm (10 to 15 inch) stem; 100 aphids per 50 cm (20 inch) stem.

If this economic threshold is exceeded, a single application of insecticide when 50% of plants have produced some young pods protects the crop against yield loss and is cost-effective.

Control at the early pod stage provides protection through the pod formation and elongation stages, which are very sensitive to aphid damage.


You can resort to Sampling to determine aphid density when 50 to 75% of the pea plants are in flower. Just take 20 sweeps in each of 5 locations throughout the field and then estimate the volume of aphids in the net after each set of sweeps.


🤔 Scientific Classification
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Arthropoda
Class : Insecta
Order : Homoptera
Suborder : Sternorrhyncha
Family : Aphididae
Genus : Acyrthosiphon
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Aphid Control Facts & Considerations Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:50:59 +0000 The World of Aphids – Know Your Pests Better!

Ever wondered about giving an aphid a closer look? You can try spotting them in the woods near your homes but you’d most probably miss them. They are soft and tiny insects, about 0.04 to 0.39 inches to be precise. Within this length is a pair of tiny eyes, a needle-shaped mouth that enables them to suck. Most of them do not have wings and have three pairs of legs! Besides, they also have two antennae. That’s quite a bit managed in such a small body, you’d say. Yes indeed. They come in myriad colors of red, blue, yellow, orange, green, purple, brown and black, depending on the species they represent. No matter what the species, their control and management methods remain the same.

Aphid Food Delicacies!

Aphids are not just active during the day, but can be called nocturnal as well. They consume food both in daytime and at night. They feed on the sweet and sugary sap of plants and very well manage this feat thanks to their needle-shaped mouths piercing into the leaf, stem, buds and the root regions of the plant.

The sap contains proteins in barely minimum quantities and the aphids require huge amounts of protein to function. To satisfy this demand their bodies makes, aphids ingest large quantities of plant sap.rose_aphid2

The Ant-Aphid Buddy Relationship

Aphids eliminate their excess food as sticky droplets known as honeydew, and it is the favourite food for many ant species. For this very reason, ants and aphids form a symbiotic relationship. The ants protect aphids from predators, parasites and the cold weather, so that they have access to their precious honeydew. To ensure that the aphids are protected, the ants keep the aphids inside their anthills during winters and deposit them back on plants once the winter is over and spring begins.

Precious Honeydew

So long as ants are present, they act as survival insurance for aphids. For some ants honeydew constitutes 50% of their diet. What’s more amusing is how the ants wiggle out the dew from the aphids. The ants are master ticklers. They tickle the belly region of the aphid so as to procure the honeydew excreted out and feast on them! The honeydew farmed out by ants is deposited on the plants as mold, the black sooty fungus found around aphid colonies.

Ants not only protect aphids from predators but enable them to build bigger and far more resilient colonies, thus ensuring their need for honeydew is met bountifully!

Aphid Growth Stages

What does the aphid development lifecycle comprise? The aphids give birth both sexually and asexually. The aphids reproduce sexually, in the autumn season. There are 3 distinct stages in the lifecycle of an aphid reproduced sexually.

  • Egg – The aphids reproduce sexually in the autumns. Female aphids lay eggs during the winters that hatch in spring.
  • Nymph – They appear like miniature adults, a stage before transforming into a complete adult. As a defence mechanism, aphids also produce female nymphs that never move on to the adult stage. These are known as soldiers and are produced only to protect their mothers.
  • Adult – this is the fully grown aphid.

There is an interesting adaptability to nature that one can notice about aphids. In regions where food is scanty, the females can produce a whole generation of winged-aphids which can fly to other, new hosts and establish their own new colonies.

Female Power!

Another interesting point to note is that aphids can also reproduce asexually by a process known as “Parthenogenesis”. Here the females are born pregnant, therefore eliminating the role of males entirely in the reproduction process. Similar to adeveloping in the mother’s womb, the organs of theaphid develops within the mother and finally mother directly gives birth to the aphid which is a clone, or the exact genetic replica of the mother.

Enemies of Aphids

Ladybugs, pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, lacewings, crab spiders and stinging wasps are the natural predators of aphids. Some species are unpalatable because of their tough skin and spine.

Aphid Ways to Shift Gears!

When attacked, the aphids struggle by using their hind legs to fight against predators or even roll off their host plant to escape from danger. Many aphids also have tube-shaped structures called cornicles on their abdomens that release a waxy, foul smelling substance to repel predators. They also release pheromones to warn the other members of the colony of impending danger.

First off, let’s shed light on aphid points to ponder about!

The Aphid Active & Hibernation Seasons

On an average, one aphid can produce over a hundred more aphids in about 4 weeks. The aphids tend to have a particular breeding season. In Pennsylvania, the maximum migration and dispersal season or the season for breeding is summer – June to mid August.  It is noticed that the warm weather gets the aphids warmed up and activated as well! In the winters, they are quieter, taking refuge in the perennial weeds and bushes.

Beware of Aphid Attack!

Aphids – The Plant-Virus Carriers, Beware!

Aphids are plant virus carriers. This means that if your plant is infested with aphids and if some are plant virus carriers, chances are that the virus is transferred to the plant and in no time, the entire plant is rendered sick. What’s more, the seed from the sick plant will also be carriers of the virus. So for an infected plant it is a matter of sink or swim. In most cases, once rendered sick, it’s better to quell the plant, to stop the virus from affecting any seeds, plants and the entire crop thereof.  An infected plant is no good a resource to share further or reap benefit from. Plants prone to these viruses include – cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, beans, potatoes, lettuce, beets, chard and bok choy.

Nature’s Bag of Tricks to Control Aphids

Nature is imbued with ways and means to control these little pests. This is a world of discovery by itself!

No Human Intervention!

For instance, plants can very well take care of themselves against aphid attack, even without any human intervention! All that is needed is a healthy environment for crops to grow in – healthy soil and watering. The luscious environment does the trick, and produces crops that can fight off the aphid attack completely!

Lacewings, syrphid flies and lady beetles larvae love to nurse on aphids. Larvae consume 20 aphids a day and a grown lady beetle more than 50 aphids daily depending on the beetle species.

Aphid Mobility Restricted – No Wings and Awful Climbers!

The good news is that most aphids cannot fly and so their entire lifecycle is restricted to one single plant. If, for some reason, they ever get disengaged from their host plant, they cannot return to their host! There are a few exceptions. A few aphids develop wings when there is food scarcity. They can fly to other hosts, especially during warm climate and therefore spread their tribe! These can be restricted by simply spraying water, which dislodges the aphids, sends them straight to the ground and they starve to death.

Artificial Methods, Not Always a New Lease of Life!

Studies revealed that the release of lady beetles into the fields, to feed on aphids, especially if not locally sourced, cannot catch up with aphid growth even though they are aphids’ natural predators. Yet, if you wish go ahead, water the area at dusk and then release the store packaged ladybugs.

Also, remember in the case of aphids, prevention may not be the best medicine for cure! If you sprayed pesticides, instead of killing the aphids, the chemicals may kill the predators of aphids instead. This measure may be counterproductive and only aid in the increase in aphid population.

Use Natural, Organic Homemade Deterrents with Caution!

In general soaps and oils can cause problems when the weather heats up, and only aid in burning the plant. If you still wish to go ahead and use it, wait till the weather cools off or till the sun sets.

  • Insecticidal Soaps

If you thought an insecticidal soap killed aphids, think again! They are meant to kill soft-bodied insects. The soap cannot differentiate the soft body of an aphid with any other. All it does is dry out the skins of these soft-bodied pests. The larvae of predators like lacewings, syrphid fly and lady beetle are soft-bodied too and get killed in the process. And the killing of predators in their larval stage is only counter-productive the effort towards elimination of aphids. So the fact that it is environmentally friendlier than harsh chemicals can hardly be of any advantage to the overall plant health. So exercise caution!

  • Pepper Sprays

The capsaicin in pepper sprays are toxic and can eliminate honey bees altogether! So if you plan to mix up a batch of hot pepper juice and spray it around, think of the honey bees. Besides, it can also cause membrane damage, it is that lethal! Garlic, pepper and onions are also used as repellents.

  • Neem and Horticultural Oils

They are better suited because they don’t kill new insects that fly in after the application. That is an advantage right there! That said, they still kill the beneficial insects during application.

  • Simple & Effective!

Plain water would simply do the trick! Get the hose outside your garage and just spray water on the plants at high pressure. This is enough to knock the socks off the aphids! The aphids simply get thrown away by the force of water onto the ground. Once they lose contact with their hosts, they are rendered almost immobile, so they just fall on the ground and perish. Spraying with milk based sprays is an even better idea. A coating of milk on your plants leaves it less susceptible to future aphid attacks. Alternatively, do not fertilize! The soil nitrogen will then encourage plant growth and new shoots.

  • Protected Growth Environments

A greenhouse, protective covers within a garden are good for the seedling stage, which is the most vulnerable stage for an aphid attack. The protective covering also prevents the transmission of aphid attack from going unchecked.

  • Reflective Mulches

The reflective mulches have a dual benefit. These mulches have a reflective silver coating that reduces the  aphid transmission during summers. Studies have shown that there is a huge yield of crops owing to the increase in the amount of solar energy reflecting onto the leaves.

  • Systemic Insecticides

These are also available for aphid management, primarily for woody ornamentals. They include imidacloprid, which  very effective and particularly significant for serious infestations of aphids such as the woolly hackberry aphid, which is often not effectively controlled by biological control or less toxic insecticides. Imidacloprid can have negative impacts on predators, parasitoids, and pollinators, so its use should be avoided where soaps and oils will provide adequate control. To protect pollinators, do not apply imidacloprid or other systemic insecticides to plants in bloom or prior to bloom.aphid

Home-use soil-applied imidacloprid products are often diluted with water in a bucket and poured around the base of the tree or plant. Professional applicators can use soil injectors, which provide better control with less runoff potential. Applications are usually made in spring when aphids first become apparent.

Adequate rain or irrigation is required to move the product through the soil to the roots and up into large trees, and it may take several weeks to see an effect on aphids feeding on leaves. One application on hackberry is enough to control hackberry woolly aphid for two to three years.

Effective management and control of aphids requires effort on the part of the agriculturist, particularly if cultural and bio-control methods are used. The grower must be familiar with the identification and life history of the problem species, as well as anticipated predators and parasites, and have an intimate knowledge of the growing conditions of their plants. Non-pesticide alternatives are more physically and intellectually involved.

The most effective pest control is population management using combinations of environmental conditions, biocontrol agents, and different categories of pesticides.

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Natural Pest Control Methods To Promote A Healthy Orchard Wed, 13 Apr 2016 05:19:38 +0000 pest2

Going natural is the way in pest control. Protect your garden and orchards with natural pest control products. Gardening is turning out to be the most relaxed and rewarding hobby. Learn how to enjoy the rewards with local trees. Pest control varies from region to region based on the soil and vegetation type. The information on pest control is specific; a pest affecting a peach tree may vary from those affecting an apple tree. Climatic conditions also play a vital role in pest control. Until you are double sure, never use the pest control product.

Trust local nurseries

Nurseries may try to sell these products. Before investing in these products conduct a thorough research on the internet. Not all the information on the internet is authentic. Some may be promotional and hence may not be accurate. Nurseries may provide all the information on how to protect a fruit tree from diseases. The local nurseries will be aware of the problems encounter in the locality, and they provide reliable solutions that are certified. Contact your local Cooperative Extension services for trusted information.

Prevention is better than cure

Choosing the right trees for your area is vital if you want to succeed in developing rich produces. By selecting different trees, you may land up in more problems. Natural pest control varies from location to location. An orchard plan is important while planting a tree. The size of the tree and the spread of the canopy also have to be considered. Apart from these moisture requirements and nutrients also play a role. Another fact to remember is that slow growing trees are always healthier and last longer.

Removing rodent and pests breeding sites can turn out to be an effective control measure. Manage garbage and make it less attractive to pests. Eliminate moisture around the house. The composite pile can attract rodents and have to be managed effectively. Food has to be sealed securely. Clean and mob the kitchen floor regularly to prevent pest infestation. Leaking faucets and stagnant water can become a breeding ground for insects. Seal crack and spaces that can be the entryway for pests. Always cultivate healthy and robust plants. Organic soil with natural manure can promote healthy trees.

Tips to choose the right tree for your orchard


While choosing a tree for your orchard consider the follow elements. These elements include pollinators, chill hours, roots suited for your location and the disease resistant varies. Chill hours are the time taken for the plan to blossom into a fruit bearing time. Generally, a tree may need 200 chill hours up north and 1,000 chill hours’ results in frost damage hindering blossoms. While bringing a tree do not start with just one tree. Bring pollinators to pollinate all the trees. There are no specific pollinators for specific trees. A Crabtree can pollinate apple trees. Self-fertile varieties can enhance their produces with pollinators.

Planting tips

Never plant a tree deeply. The distance should be from the root ball to trunk flare. The roots may be suffocated if the plant is set too deep. If it is too deep root borne pathogens can damage the roots. The bottom hole should never be stuffed with rocks. It holds too much of water leaving the roots soggy. Organic material can be covered with three to four inches. It can save water and keep the roots cooler. The nutrients in the soil are preserved through bioactivity. Earthworm and other beneficial insects can naturally manure the soil.

The branches have to be pruned reducing limb failure. Moreover, pruning can promote flowering and fruiting. Diseased branches can be removed at any time. Use sharp tools to remove diseased branches before the infection spreads to other branches.

Governments are banning the use of a toxic pesticide for residential use but still they are available in the market. Homeowners are forced to consider non-organic chemical solutions to get rid of the insects and pests in their garden as they turn into a nuisance and damage food and property. Natural insecticides also could be detrimental in nature. For instance, Pyrethrum is derived from chrysanthemum; though it targets thugs it can also kill beneficial insects. Moreover, pyrethrum is dangerous on fish and other aquatic life. Therefore never run it off near a storm drain, it can harm aquatic life. Sometimes children are affected by organic pesticides too.

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Simple And Useful Means To Control Pests Tue, 05 Apr 2016 05:09:21 +0000 pest

Every area has their unique pest control issues. Most cities in the United States are affected by unwanted pests that cause havoc affecting homes. Only a professional can provide the right solution to get rid of harmful pests. These dangerous creatures have to be treated quickly. A local pest control service is experienced in neighborhood pest solutions and can eliminate the infestations quickly. The challenges arise when it comes to choosing the right pest control operator. Choosing the right kind of treatment for the pests is pertinent for the success of the treatment. They should be able to understand the quantity, remedies, and the application area. This can remove unwanted pests by proving to be offer effective elimination.

Exclusive pest control solutions

control solutions

The treatment varies depending on the type of pests. The operator should be trained in handling specific pests. Each situation is unique with variations in invasion severity. The greatest challenge arises in exercising a solution that best meets the needs of the residents. Pest control operators have customized solutions to meet the individual needs of the residents. Anyone who is not aware of a wrong method will lead to more trouble and it could be not just dangerous but pricey as well.

 Advantages of localized services

Localised service

A local service provider is trusted because they are like family and have the terrain knowledge. Moreover, they have devised techniques depending on the climatic condition, soil type, geographical qualities, water and more. This gives them a better understanding of the subject and provides the desired results. An improperly equipped or skilled operator will not be able to provide satisfactory results. It is best not to waste time and money in experimenting with fly by night operators but put your trust in only the best service provider.

 Identifying the best pest control operator

pest control operator

The role of a pest control operator is to identify the pest invasion and provide a solution based on the budget. Choose an operator who believes in remediating the home from harmful pests and make it a place worth living in. The operator provides recommendations on the effectiveness and economy of the remediation project. Many homes have benefited from the pest control operators, so act before it is too later

 Mosquito control


Mosquitoes are dangerous disease-carrying insects capable of breeding in just any kind of stagnant water. Controlling mosquitoes are difficult even in a hilly terrain. There are many strategies used for mosquito control. It is important to take the advice of the expert before following a remediation method. The best way to eradicate mosquitoes is to identify the species and then take action. You can post a request online on the type of mosquito and the abatement techniques will be provided. As a last resort, it is best to opt for CO2 mosquito trap. Though these are pricey it reduces the number of mosquitoes if used as per instructed. It is the best solution for campers. These traps do not kill mosquitoes but are definitely the best means to control the mosquito population near you.

 Distribution of cocoa fertilizers

Control Pests

The supplies of cocoa fertilizers are deputed to the Task force to ensure the fertilizers are not smuggled. The fertilizers and other chemicals were handed over free of charge with farmers complaining of having to buy the fertilizers at a high cost. The scarcity in the market has forced the authorized to take immediate action in this regard. The complaints were still on with farmers complaining that the fertilizers are not reaching them and the actions of the task force have to be revived. The task force officials now include security agencies, BNI operatives, and other agencies. It is the urgent need to solve this issue on time to provide the fertilizers to the cocoa farmers to protect the crops from pests.

Meanwhile, Dr. Francis Baah, Cocoa Health, and Extension Division Executive Director said that nurseries in Dormaa Ahenkro have kept 500,000 cocoa seedlings ready and one million more are available in Wamfie in the Dormaa East District for the farmers. The cocoa seedlings are available free of cost to the farmers who have registered with Cocoa Heath and Extension Division. The farmer community conveyed their thanks to the government for taking special steps to protect the cocoa plantation by providing fertilizers.

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Bees, Wasps and Hornets – Know the Difference Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:08:41 +0000 Among the common garden insects of today, bees, wasps and hornets steal the show during the spring and summer months. They belong to the Hymenoptera insect classification. An interesting love-hate relationship exists among the humans for this particular insect group. All of them are both useful as well as harmful insects which make it necessary for all to know and understand them better. They are practically the colonial cousins where the anatomy of each other and their feeding habits differ to some extent. Apart from these, all four follow the same hierarchy levels, have a short life span, build nests and sting when provoked or threatened.

Bees, Wasps, Hornet Identification

Bees, wasps and hornets difference can be highlighted through its anatomy and lifestyle. There are various types of bees, wasps and hornets and the general view of each of them is given below.

Bees are the fuzzy looking bugs that are hairy on the outside and easy to identify. The branched hair helps to regulate their body temperature and carry pollen. Like other colonial insects, the body has three sections namely the head, abdomen and thorax. It has two sensory antennae and a barbed sting that sticks into the mammals that it stings pulling out a part of its abdomen with it and hence more often than not killing it if it stings. The waist of bees is not significantly clear and it is as wide and bulgy as the rest of the body.

Interesting Facts About Bees

  • Honey bees are the only insects that produce food for humans
  • Honey bees can fly at speeds of 15 kmph
  • Bees communicate with each other by dancing

Bees are found globally and can be classified into 20,000 different species. They belong to the super family of Apoidea. The largest of them is the Megachile Pluto that is 3.9 cm long and the smallest of them are the Perdita minima that are about 2 mm in length. Bees can be of any color, the most common are the brown and black ones with yellow, red and blue stripes.

Bee Fun Facts

  • Bees can count up to four
  • Bees can recognize human faces
  • Honey bees never sleep

Pic of Bees

Wasps belong to the Vespidae genus and is often a generalized term that is used to define many predatory colonial insects that include hornets and yellow jackets. Unlike the bees only very few wasps are pollinators whilst the majority of them are either parasitic or predators that feast on other pest insects for food. The appearance of the wasps may be similar to those of the bees and hence it needs some accurate inspection to tell the difference.

Interesting Facts About Wasps

  • Wasps are social insects and a single nest can accommodate about 10,000 of them
  • Wasps are omnivorous as they eat both plants and flesh of other insects
  • Wasps predate on caterpillars and hence are known as the ‘farmer’s friend’

Wasps do not have the body hair like bees but have the same body segments of head, abdomen and thorax. They have a pair of wings and a clearly pinched and significant waist. The color pattern is mostly black, yellow or brownish red. The wasps have two long rear legs which can be significantly highlighted in flight. They dangle and hand straight down when these creatures fly. The wings are pulled in when the insect lands. They have do not have a barbed sting and hence are able to sting any number of times at its prey, predator or any living thing that it considers as threat.

Fun Facts About Wasps

  • The size of an average wasp is as large as a paper clip
  • Wasps do not swarm like bees and hornets
  • An ordinary wasp sting can be treated with an aluminum based deodorant

Pic of Wasp

Hornets belong to the Vespa genus and are the larger, aggressive members of the Vespidae family. The bigger species grow up to 5.5 cm and are predators of insects and caterpillars that are considered as agricultural pests by humans. They have a soft stinger and poisonous venom that can turn fatal for the victims in some cases. Being part of the wasp family, hornets have a thin waist. Hornets can be distinguished from the wasps with their more rounded gasters – a section of the abdomen that is very close to the thorax.

Interesting Facts About Hornets

  • The Asian Giant Hornet is the largest species of wasp in the world
  • Hornets never attack humans unless they feel threatened
  • Most hornets stings are less toxic than the bees

Most hornets are black and white in color with the exception of the yellow hornet that has a distinct yellow tinge. The vertex of the hornets is wider than that of the body width which helps in identifying it from the wasps. The stinger does not have a barb and hence are capable of inflicting multiple stings on its enemies and prey.

Fun Facts About Hornets

  • Male hornets are smaller than their females
  • Hornet Queens can lay about 1500 eggs during its lifetime
  • Japanese bees have evolved and developed a new defense against the Asian Giant Hornet by offering bait while others surround it forming a patch and sting it to death.

Picture of Hornet

Fear of Bees Wasps and Hornets

Sting insects have always been feared by humans due to the impact of the venom when injected into them. It is important to remember though that these insects feel fear and sting when provoked or feel threatened. Hornets fiercely protect their nests and can sting repeatedly if they feel that their nest is threatened. They are not comfortable with vibration and noise and can attack on impulse.

The sting of a honey bee carries more toxins than those of the wasp or hornet. The stinger kills the bee but if the sting is not removed on time the venom sac can empty itself into the wound which can become dangerous for the victim. Wasps and hornets are capable of stinging its victims multiple times unlike the bees.

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Yellow Jacket Wasp Life Cycles & Habits Wed, 24 Jul 2013 18:48:13 +0000  Yellow Jacket’s Life Span begins in the annual colonies where inseminated young queens wait through the winter in protected locations in stumps, logs, under barks, inside stacked up firewood, etc. Some yellow jacket queens take refuge in attics of homes and inside old barns. The early warmth of spring brings out the Yellowjacket queens from their hibernating places. They can be seen actively looking for perfect nesting sites as early as March. Initially the inseminated queen builds a paper nest comprising of tiny cells. The paper nest is made by chewing up wood in the located nesting site and lays eggs inside each cell of the nest. Yellow Jacket’s Life Span varies between the Queen and the workers. The Queen lives for a year where as the poor workers live for just 10 days (min) and 22 days (max)

The Life Cycle of Yellow Jacket Begins

Eggs of Yellow JAcket

Image source: Thanks to for all three images given here . They got such a clear image of them.

The eggs hatch and the queen feeds the larvae for about 3 weeks. The larvae then pupate and emerge as adult female sterile workers. Once the workers emerge, they take care of the brood, feeding and defending the nest and also helping in expanding it to facilitate more cells for the queen to lay eggs. The queen hardly ventures out once the first batch of workers emerges. The colony keeps growing as workers readily feed the larvae and their queen with insects, nectar and other foods that are rich in protein.

Peak time of the Yellow Jacket Colony Activity – Winter Time

Yellow Jackets Larva Stage Photo

The colony is at its peak in the months of August and September when the queen lays the reproducing eggs. The eggs hatch and pupate to bring out young queens and males that mate. The males die soon after they mate and the inseminated queens take refuge in safe places to ensure that the reproduction cycle is carried on for the next year where they build independent nests and breed their young.  The abandoned nests decompose and wither during the cold winter days. Some nests that stay put become homes for spiders and other insects that seek shelter from the cold. Come spring the Life cycle starts all over again.

Yellow Jackets Life Cycle Image

Read More About Yellow Jacket Control Methods

Yellow Jackets found in Ground ?

What are they really Bees or Wasps?

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Time to Begin the Onslaught on Insects Mon, 17 Jun 2013 11:31:30 +0000 Onslaught on InsectsInsects can become a real annoyance if you let them be and hence it needs the right measure to get rid of them for good. Though there are high claims from insecticide manufacturers about driving the bugs away ‘forever’ it actually ain’t that simple. Onslaught has been around for sometime and has been working wonders on bugs and crawlers like scorpions and roaches. It works well on hornets as well.

Though there is a popular opinion in the industry that this works well with all the insects, it does not so with bed bugs and very tiny insects that may not be visible to the eye. Also Onslaught may not be very effective on fire ants. The recommended usage level given in the label is good enough. It may not be recommended for use when there are pet animals in the house. If you are using this to ward of bees and hornets, then you can try to tie it high enough near the nest if you have dogs in the house. This way you can still use it and protect your pet at the same time.

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How to Detect Lawn Infestation? Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:28:52 +0000 Lawn infestations are common and hence it is necessary to ensure that your lawn is safe from any pest intrusions. It is necessary to conduct a lawn examination regularly at least once every week to ensure that your lawn is free from pest infestation. Weeds attract pests to a large extent. Ensure that you weed your lawn regularly; never allow them to grow unnecessarily.

Dense healthy grass prevents weed growth. New turf grass is vulnerable to insects and unhealthy. The irrigation and fertilizer use for a new turf grass varies from an old one. The infestation comes to light when under lights – the adult insects are drawn to lights during the nights and that is good indication that the lawn is infected. Another sign to look for is when predators like birds and raccoons are busy digging your lawn for caterpillars and worms, though there is every chance that they are feeding on earthworms, you can have a check of the lawn to clear doubts.


Once you have detected it, ensure that you get to the root of it to know the actual cause. If you think that the infestation is insects then find proof for it. The drench test can come in handy here or you can inspect the roots for potential damage. The drench test can be used to identify worms and caterpillars but you may not be able to judge the presence of grubs. Ensure that the insects are harmful ones by checking the list of harmful lawn inspects in any pest information site. Some insects are useful and beneficial as well, you need not bother about them.

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Things to Do for Before Hiring a Pest Management Service Tue, 11 Jun 2013 08:27:47 +0000 Though there are some preventive measures and procedures that can help to keep pest infestations at bay, still there is every chance that your home can be infested by them. In such cases, it is always recommended to hire a pest management service in your locality that can help ward off these pest issues.

There are certain things though that you can do before you hire a pest control or management service. Here are some of them enlisted for your benefit;

Identify and Do Some Research Work About the Pest

If you are unable to identify the pest, you can look up for information on pest control and pest websites to know about them. Check out information on them and most importantly whether it is possible for you to handle it yourself. If any potential changes to the landscape and house can help eradicate to the infestation, try it first. Try pest resistant trees and shrubs. If you can do it yourself, you need not call for professional help. But most often than not, infestations require expert hands and it is advisable to hire a professional service.

Get Recommendations

Ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations for an apt pest control service who can provide the right relief for you. Find out the services offered by the companies and how they offer them. The non toxic alternatives used by them if any and also the kind of exclusion methods they use.

Inspection and Review

Ask the pest management service to inspect and review the site. The expert who visits can offer you the options on hand. Review the solutions listed and choose the one that will offer you a long term solution.

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