ridding house of pests

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by motdaugrnds, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    Living in the country, we expect some varments who are not welcomed; however, I am quite tired of these mice (and now roaches). We got a couple of kittens (then a wild one showed up starving to death), so our mouse problem is diminishing significantly; however, the roach problem is bad. Nothing I purchase at the stores seem to do much good, just run them off for a short time.

    Mother told me what she and her mother use to do to rid unwanted pests, i.e. they burned sulfur. So, I called the local feed store and he sold me some "Rattlesnake Brand Sulfur", saying the catalog he used to order it stated it would rid a place of spiders, bugs and even snakes. So we purchased 3 lbs of this powdered stuff ["sulfur(S) .. 90.0% derived from Sulfur"]. Now, I read on the label and it makes no mention of its being used for such purposes. Instead, it only states it is used to lower the ph in soil. Now, I am stumped.

    Does anyone in here know about using powered sulfur for ridding an area of live pests? Does anyone know about this particular sulfur I just bought? Does anyone know how to use it? (I am thinking we would use it as Mother told me they did, i.e. pour some on a rag and place rag in middle of open area like a room or under the trailer; then set fire to the rag. Apparently the sulfur is suppose to smoke.) I do know to close up the trailer and let it be smoked up for a good 24 hrs; then return and air it all out for a nice length of time before moving ourselves back in. I am concerned about the burning rag being left unattended during this time. Sure hope someone in here can help me with this endeavor.
     
  2. tlrnnp67

    tlrnnp67 Well-Known Member

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    Run down to your garden center and get a new pump garden sprayer (the kind that has a hand pressure pump on top kind of like a bicycle tire pump). Order some Suspend SC. You can get it here: http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/suspend.htm . It's spendy, but goes a long way because you dilute it in your garden sprayer. I label my sprayer "insecticide" so I don't use it for anything else. This stuff works great. It lasts a long time too and is not smelly like other insecticides.

    Hope this helps,
    Tim
     

  3. watcher

    watcher de oppresso liber

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    If you have cats you can also expect to fight fleas in the future. As for your roaches go to your local store and look in the bug stuff area for something that's 100% boric acid. Take it and put a good coating behind all your appliances and in the back of your kitchen cabinets. Then put some along your walls. Wait a couple of days then sweep/vacuum up the stuff along the walls. That should take care of the problem.

    Its all we use now and haven't had any roaches in years.
     
  4. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    I've had good luck with the Boric Acid as well.
     
  5. grannygardner

    grannygardner Well-Known Member

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    We managed apartments for several years. When we would do a turnaround (get vacant apartment ready for new renters) we would use boric acid. It did a great job of keeping the roach population down.
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was a licensed exterminator for 15 years and roaches were a common problem. I don't know which roach you have, there are more than one kind.

    One of my key chemicals was Gentrol. Gentrol is a lot safer than boric acid and it effects all roaches. It does come in little deodorizer shapes and lasts a long time. Sometimes I did use Suspend, which is a good chemical, but it requires that the roach spend a certain amount of time on it to get a lethal dose. I usually added Gentrol to whichever pesticide I used and it was my requirement for good roach control. I also used bait. Some baits are available without special suppliers. Maxforce makes a bait for the consumer market and they call it a Combat product. It works excellent with Gentrol.

    Roaches like cracks. The underside of the sink, and the bottom edge of the counter top are common areas they travel across. That was where I used most of the bait. I required tenants to empty cabinets so I could effectively bait inside plus spray the Gentrol and pesticide combination. Typically one treatment was adequate to eliminate the roach population completely. The Gentrol is a growth regulator and very low in toxicity. It prevents baby roaches from becoming fertile adults. It also makes them hungry so they eat the baits. They do produce roach baits I have seen in grocery stores and hardware stores.

    I highly recommend the bait. It is very low in toxicity and comes in a large syringe. Boric Acid is about 8 times more toxic than the baits. Roaches can detect boric acid and will avoid it once they sense it. Since boric acid is a fine powder it is difficult to get it to adhere to the inside surfaces of cabinets. It usually ends up on the bottom shelf.

    Areas that have water are those with the most roaches. As a result, any plumbing area, bathrooms and kitchen sink areas can become infested. The bait can be put in all these areas and if the instructions are carefully followed it will be a lot less toxic than boric acid and more effective.

    Good luck. Feel free to ask more questions.
     
  7. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Oh... thought this was a thanksgiving post about family... sorry, nothing to add.
     
  8. peahigirl

    peahigirl Well-Known Member

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    A professional!!!! gobug, where can I get this Gentrol? I live in a year around growing and bug season, and roaches are always a problem. Will this help against ants too?

    My next bug bigee. Every year at this time through Christmas, yellow jacket wasps appear by the hundreds. Hardly see them for the rest of the year. They are mating and try to make nests under the eaves. I knock the nests down at night but these buggers are persistant, not to mention nasty tempered. I can't spray the eaves as my gutters are there and I collect rain water as my water source.

    Have any ideas on what I can do?
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Peahigirl,
    I have never seen Gentrol for sale in any store except a chemical supplier. Here in CO that makes it difficult for a non-professional to get it. It comes in 3 different styles: liquid concentrate that is mixed with water and sprayed, an aerosol that is sprayed as is, and a little circular panel like a deodorizer that requires a little attached tube is broken to disperse the product. I suggest that you call some of the pest control companies around you. They may be willing to sell you what you need.

    The liquid concentrate is expensive. I used to pay $60 for a pint. Since I only used an ounce in a gallon of water it went a long ways. Still, that is not the best choice for a home owner. Either of the other two preparations would work well.

    It isn't good for ants because it would have to get down into the nest since only about 10% of the colony comes out into the open. It also would not get rid of a yellow jacket colony. I preferred an aerosol pyrethrin for the wasps because the gaseous chemical would fill the nest and kill all the wasps inside. Unfortunately, wasp and hornet sprays are like hoses and the chemical that comes out does not have much vapor pressure so it takes a lot and wont go around corners or curves. As a result it will not kill all the critters inside the nest. The pyrethrin will. I have used Drione which is a combination of pyrethrin and diatomaceous earth, but you need a duster with a long tube to get it into the nest. Plus it is difficult to zap the out side workers.

    There are many ant baits, but I have rarely seen them in stores. They are by far the best ant control because the ants will carry it home and share it with the whole colony. The key is what the ants want to eat. Homemade baits using boric acid will work, but it is a challenge to make them without using too much boric acid. The correct amount is about 1-2%. Combat does make an ant bait that is a good product. It is a granular form, not the little bait stations. I have actually seen yellow jackets pick it up too, but I can't say that it kills the colony since they have so many foragers and such a large territory to collect their food.

    Hawaii climate makes yellow jackets into a perennial colony. This means there are literally thousands of wasps in a colony including several queens. I talked with a professional from Hawaii and he had exterminated a nest as big as a bathroom. So be careful about how you proceed if you can find the nest. Yellow jackets are the only wasps that eat people food. As a result, when insects they eat are less available, they go for your food.

    I would be happy to answer more of your questions if you write them out.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use Borax laundry stuff and sprinkle a line behind all big unmovable furniture/appliances and under all sinks/behind all commodes and at back of any closets or attics we won't track out the borax much. Really decreased our population and started seeing some dead instead of all alive. Think I may need to renew- cold weather is increasing my count of them again with no adding to borax laid down in August.
     
  11. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Our exterminator for our infested rental uses Gentrol, also those sticky traps, and quick kill.
    The Gentrol works by interfering with the roaches' abilities to have baby roaches. They eat it, bring it back to the nest, and when they breed, they are infertile. If they do have fertile eggs, the roaches that are born are messed up, and die quickly, and cannot breed.

    Finally, the lady with the roach sanctuary is moving out. I think we may finally conquer the invaders.
     
  12. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    LOL :p
     
  13. Drizler

    Drizler Well-Known Member

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    I just used 20 mule team borateem laundry detergent. Its borax and you can still find it in the grocery stores. Pretty cheap too. For the mice I just leave out a box of Decon in the attic where they tend to be out of reach of my cats. Vet said if the cat eats a dead mouse full of Decon he will just puke it up. We have been using it since 91 with 4 or 5 cats all the time and never a problem. Just put it under something and replace when its all eaten. Best price is the big 5 packs you can buy at the feed store or places like tractor supply.