Those Pesky Ants
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Those Pesky Ants

Growing up, I lived in a sprawling farmhouse in the country. This beautiful home was constantly filled with the sounds of laughter and the smells of delectable food being prepared in the kitchen. Unfortunately, our home was often invaded by some unwanted guests, ants. Pesky ants would welcome themselves into our living room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. One night, I crawled into my bed only to discover I wasn’t alone. Ants had somehow climbed onto my bed! These destructive ants even ate holes in some of the clothing hanging in my closet. Is your home filled with unwanted, biting ants? On this blog, you will discover the latest methods pest control specialists use to rid homes of pesky ants.

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Those Pesky Ants

A Beginner's Guide To Natural Pesticides

Logan Watson

From Bronze Cutworms and Japanese Beetles to Red Imported Fire Ants, you might be surprised by the sheer variety and numbers of insects crawling around your yard. Some of these insects are innocuous and others are beneficial. However, there are others that will wreak havoc, leaving your lawn completely destroyed. If you're hesitant to use chemicals on your lawn, there are several natural pesticides available. Here is some valuable information about some commonly-used natural pesticides:

Neem Oil

A product derived from the neem tree, neem oil is a natural pesticide that according to the National Pesticide Information Center is used in several commercial products that you probably have in your home – including toothpaste and pet shampoo. It is also a powerful pesticide that can be used to get rid of several types of insects, including:

  • Leaf miners

  • Mealybugs

  • Whitefly

  • Thrips

To use, Organeem recommends creating a mixture of one-quarter teaspoon liquid dish soap, one teaspoon pure neem oil and one quart warm water .Pour the mixture into the reservoir of a garden sprayer attachment. Attach the sprayer to your garden hose and use it to treat your entire lawn. Because neem is an oil, make sure to periodically shake the bottle to ensure the oil and water don't separate. You can also use neem oil to get rid of pests in your garden, as well.

Pyrethrum

Just like neem oil, pyrethrum is another plant derivative. Pyrethrum is a safe, natural pesticide that is made from the flower heads of the chrysanthemum plant. When an affected insect is hit with the pyrethrum, its nervous system is compromised, causing it to perish almost instantly.

Pyrethrum is effective on several varieties of pesky garden insects, such as:

  • Mexican bean beetle

  • Cabbage worms

  • Spider mites

  • Flea beetles

  • Flies

  • Harlequin bugs

To use, Mother Earth News recommends applying the pyrethrum directly to any areas where you've noticed the nuisance insects. Follow the package directions for the recommended amount to apply.The product will lose its effectiveness when exposed to sunlight, so make sure to apply it first thing in the morning.

Ryania

If your lawn and garden is plagued with Corn earworms, Thrips, Aphids, Codling moths or Oriental fruit moths, ryania is a great product for you to try. It is derived from the roots and stems of the Ryania speciosa plant, which is native to several areas in South America. The pesticide works by interfering with the insects' feeding habits, which slowly causes them to become less active and eventually perish.

Unlike pyrethrum, ryania can be used effectively in hot weather. It generally comes in powdered form and should only be used to treat small areas. Once again, read the directions to learn how much product to apply. Don't treat your entire lawn with ryania because it is potentially toxic to your pets.

If you suspect your pet has ingested ryania, contact your veterinarian immediately.

General Tips for Use

As with any pesticide, it is important to test the product on a small patch of grass before using it on your entire lawn. Always wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves, long pants and a long sleeve shirt.

If you get any product on your skin, wash it away immediately with soap and water. If you ingest any of these product, or any other type of natural or commercial pesticide, contact your physician immediately.

If you have pets, make sure they stay away from the treated areas until the product is completely dry, or a few hours after application.

Finally, it is vital that these products are not accidentally used on beneficial insects, such as honeybees, Tachinid flies, Spined soldier bugs, Lady beetles or Ground beetles.

Natural pesticides are an amazing option if you want to safely get rid of harmful, pesky insects insects from your lawn and garden. However, before using them, make sure to read the package directions completely and protect yourself and your pets from unnecessary exposure.  For more information about natural pesticides, contact your local pest control


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