Identify, Prevent, and Treat Outdoor Pests

I remember it like it was yesterday, walking through our soon-to-be home, rounding the corner through the swinging door and spotting our backyard for the very first time. It was perfect, with lush green grass, a huge oak and maples and a cedar fence lining the perimeter of the property line. We had hoped for a yard, but didn’t expect one, considering our modest budget and desire to live in the city.

What I didn’t see that day was the work it would take to keep that perfect yard looking perfect. Continue Reading

Identify, Prevent, and Treat In-Home Pests

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to enjoy my morning coffee and hearing a blood-curdling screech coming from the kitchen. I flash back to my superhero daydreams of childhood and jump up, adrenaline pumping, rushing out of the sunroom to save the day. Sprinting into the kitchen, I see the perpetrator: A dark black cockroach in the middle of our kitchen floor. Unfortunately, this has become a regular occurrence in our home.

As a first-time homeowner, the number of new responsibilities can be overwhelming. Continue Reading

How to make your own fly paper


created at: 2009-06-05

“This fly paper is delicious!” How couldn’t it be with ingredients like this?

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • brown paper

According to Make Stuff, you just mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and then pour it over strips of the brown paper, letting it soak overnight. The next day, you poke holes on the tops of the strips and hang them up with string. 

To see more easy recipes that help deal with pesky insects, including mosquitoes, ants, moths and roaches, visit this page on Make Stuff. Continue Reading

How to Make a Cheap and Easy Wasp Trap

The Garden Grapevine shows us how to turn a plastic soda bottle into a wasp trap. Chances are you have everything you need to make one! Oh, and it’ll trap other flying insects too–but no mosquitoes. 

What you’ll need to make one:

  • 1 plastic soda bottle, either 2 or 3 liter
  • wire or string to hang the trap
  • cotton balls or 1″ x 1″ pieces of sponge
  • a few drops of fruit flavored soda, but I’m guessing Kookaid would work too
  • scissors
  • nail or punch

To read the entire tute, head on over to this page on The Garden Grapevine. Continue Reading

Know Your Bugs.

I can't bear to turn on the AC yet, despite the 90-degree afternoons, so often, our doors are wide open to elements. And with the breezes comes the bugs, and lately we've been visited by some decidely complex looking creatures that my Biology-teacher mother didn't teach me as a kid.

Enter WHAT'S THAT BUG.COM, a charming database dedicated to, you guessed it, all your entymological inquiries, and some beautifully photographed from the insect world.

The Fiddler Beetle. Continue Reading

Low Tech Insecticide

I had used soapy water as a pesticide for indoor plants, but a few years ago, while kvetching about an outdoor infestation of box elder bugs (an example of the nasty things is pictured above), my next door neighbor Buzz, a retired bricklayer and WWII vet, suggested I use the stuff to tackle my buggy problem.

Any liquid dishwashing soap will work. Simply mix a couple of teaspoons to a gallon of water and hose the little bastar …I mean, buggers. Continue Reading