Here it is, finally Fall in California’s Central Valley! Who isn’t happy about the cooler days?
Well, the insects aren’t happy. The shorter, cooler days have triggered them to begin to prepare for winter. This is why all of a sudden, ants are trying to get inside our homes, mosquitoes are frantically biting, and flies zip in the house every time a door opens.
There are things you can do to reduce, if not eliminate these annoying bugs.
For Ants, you can eliminate them, but it helps to understand them a bit. You’ve probably noticed that at first, you may see just one or 2 ants in your kitchen, bath, or elsewhere in your home. The next day you might see a couple more, but they appear to be randomly searching; no trail has formed yet. These are the scouts.
The scouts seek whatever the colony needs: food, water, or a new home. Don’t disturb the scouts. If you kill them, they will just send more in their stead. Be patient. Within 48 hours of seeing the first scout, a trail will begin to form.
Once a good trail forms, it is time to bait.
Treatment: I love these Terro liquid bait traps for indoor use. Just open one of these traps, set it very close to the trail where it won’t be in your way or disturbed by daily ongoings in your household, and wait. Within 24 hours, the ants will find the bait and begin to feed on it. The trail may even get thicker at first. Within 24 to 48 hours, the ants WILL die.
The most annoying but also the most concerning are mosquitoes. With the frequency of West Nile viruses, it is really important to do your best to control mosquitoes. You can spray a perimeter spray using Monterey’s new Mosquito Control.
You should also use Mosquito Bits in standing water that can not be dumped every couple of days or even in wet soil or planter beds. Mosquito Bits are safe to use around animals. It is merely a Bt strain that feeds on the mosquito larvae before they mature.
Now in stock is the Mosquito Go Granules. This is a repellent in the yard and is all-natural Cedarwood oil. This also repels flies and other nuisances flying insects but not beneficial insects!
For flies, trapping is the best way to reduce populations. My favorite and most successful trap is a Rescue trap. It is not pretty to look at when full of flies, and it smells, but that is what makes it work so well! Just put it about 20′ from a doorway, you won’t smell it from that distance, but the flies will!