45 June 18, 2008

Each week, there always seems to be any number of things to tell you. Let’s start the list of things to do and things you should be looking for in your home and gardens.


All of the sudden the ants have appeared in many homes. In some cases, it is the little brown ants. In other cases, it is the black ant. The larger black ants are probably carpenter ants. Let’s start with the small brown ants.


The small brown ants are sometimes called sugar ants. They are usually looking for food to eat. I have found that using ant bait containing borax will stop the invasion of these ants. The bait is in a liquid form and is placed on feeding stations where the ants are seen around the home. The ants take the bait back to the nest and it will kill off the entire nest. This usually takes about a week.


The black ants on the other hand can signal a major problem in your home. The carpenter ants usually have a nest outdoors. The ants wandering around your home may be looking for food or water, but they are most likely looking for a place to bring eggs. The carpenter ants are looking for areas of soft wood where the baby ants can spend the early part of their life eating the wood in your home. The borax bases ant bait can control the ants early on, if you get to them before the ants set up shop in your home. The best control is to find the nest that is outside your home. I know that this sounds like a job for a day when you are totally bored, but if you can follow an ant back to where the nest is outside, you will probably find an old rotten log or some other similar site where the main colony of ants lives. If you treat this area with a carpenter ant control, you will greatly reduce or eliminate the ant problem. If the ants appear to be leading you back to a particular part of your home, then it is best to contact a pest control service to eliminate the nest. Carpenter ants can cause major structural problems in the home if they are not controlled.


We have had some very humid weather and now we have a forecast for a rainy week. The tiny bell you may hear in your garden is the dinner bell ringing for the fungus diseases to begin attacking your plants. Cooler and damp weather is the perfect breeding ground for fungus diseases in your gardens. Be on the look out for powdery mildew, leaf spot, rust and a host of other fungus diseases. Early treatment with a fungicide will prevent the disease from ruining your plants. Your lawn may be susceptible to fungus diseases when we get an extended period of wet weather. Make sure to check your lawn for signs of fungus diseases.


Rainy weather also signals the arrival of slugs in your gardens. Slugs feed at night. If you see holes in your hosta that are smooth edged cuts but you never see any insect feeding on your plants, then it probably is slugs doing the damage. You can confirm this by going out after dark with a flashlight and checking your plants. If you see this fat worm like creature feeding on your plants, then it is slugs have a meal on your plants.

Applying slug bait around the base of the plants can control slugs. During the day, the slugs hide in areas around your garden. As the sun sets, the slugs travel towards your plants. As they approach the plants, they eat the slug bait and will soon die. It is better to apply the slug bait at the first sign of an attack on your plants. The slug population will increase during wet weather so the sooner you begin to control these creatures the better off your plants will be.


Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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