The right bait is the key
“In the past seven years, I have
trapped well over 50 small animals.”
Finfrock says his success at doing his own pest control comes
down to researching appropriate
baits and trapping methods for each particular
animal. Local extension services, the “critter library”
on havahart.com, and state DNRs provide detailed
trapping and baiting information on their Web
In many areas, it’s illegal to relocate nuisance animals,
so check with local authorities. Also, according
to wildlife experts, more than 50 percent of relocated
animals don’t survive because they
don’t have an established shelter,
food source or
Photo provided by GettyThe baby brown snake, found in Australia,
is one pest you should avoid trying to control
on your own.
You Think You Have Problems?
I dived into our pool and came
face to face with a baby brown
snake, the second most lethal
snake in the world. Getting ready
to strike, it hissed at me and I
leapt out of the pool faster than I
had dived in! We got it out of the pool, and my
wife grabbed a spade and
chopped the snake into
three pieces with one
swing! Three hours
later, as she showed my
son the snake pieces, it
lifted its head and hissed at
him. An old man explained
this, saying, ‘Snakes only
die once the sun goes down.’
Bleach gets rid of drain flies
Healthy turf fends off burrowing wasps
These large wasps live in all states east
of the Rockies. Male cicada killer wasps
are aggressive, but they don’t have
stingers. The females do but will only
sting if they feel threatened. These
wasps, which feed cicadas to their
young, typically nest in disturbed, sandy
areas and rarely infest healthy turf.
Adequate lime, fertilizer and frequent
watering promote a thick growth of turf
and can usually eliminate a cicada killer
wasp infestation in one or two seasons.
Mulch heavily around flower beds and
shrubs to cover sandy soil. For severe
infestations, call in an exterminator.
Control crickets with DIY sticky traps
Lemongrass contains citronella. Repel
mosquitos by growing it in clumps
around your deck and mash up the inner
leaves and rub the juice on your skin.
Even the “experts” don’t
agree on what works for
moles, so we can’t give
you any magic bullets.
But some of our readers
have real-world success
stories about controlling these pests.
“I tried all of the typical mole
products and remedies and
finally the Wire Tek Easy-Set
Mole Eliminator Trap did the
trick,” says Field Editor Ed Stawicki.
“It traps the moles with a ‘scissor-effect.’
The Mole Eliminator is available through our affiliation with Amazon.com.
“The Mole Chaser worked for me,”
says Field Editor Scott Craig. “It’s a
foot-long metal cylinder that
vibrates underground intermittently
and causes the moles to find a new
Mole chaser stakes are available in several models
for $12 and up at home centers and online.
Lights and sprinkler deter raccoons/foxes
We have chickens in our backyard, so we
have a problem with foxes and raccoons.
I installed an electric fence, which
helped, but the biggest success was a
motion-activated light on the chicken
coop along with a motion-activated
sprinkler. It works quite well.
Banish bats with an exclusion door
“We installed the door,” says Phelps,
“and within a week the bats were
gone. I sealed the hole to keep them
out permanently. We also built a
couple of bat houses since bats eat mosquitos.”
Gel ant bail targets tough areas
New expanding foam has pest barrier
Remove bird feeders to prevent nighttime visitors
We live on 20 acres in the mountains
of northern New Mexico and have regular
visits by elk, deer, coyotes and
bear when I forget to take my bird
feeders in at night.
Strong scent keeps ants away
How to get rid of woodpeckers
Woodpeckers sometimes peck holes in a house to get to
insects. But they also peck to attract mates and establish
their territory. And once they find a good spot on your home,
you’ll have to act fast or you’ll never get them to leave. However, it’s easy to do your own pest control.
Start by covering all woodpecker holes with metal flashing
or tin can lids (fix the actual damage later). Then hang shiny
deterrents like Mylar strips, magnifying mirrors or pinwheels
all around the repairs. If that doesn’t work, cover the entire
side of the house with plastic netting from a garden center. Once the woodpeckers leave, you can remove the netting.
Back to Top
Carpenter ants can wreak havoc
After college, I moved into my blind
grandfather’s decrepit house to care
for him. I kept seeing big ants in the
kitchen, but ant bait did nothing and
my grandfather insisted the ants
were from the houseplants I’d
brought with me. One afternoon, I
walked into the kitchen and headed
for the ancient refrigerator.
Suddenly, I noticed strange
movements on the walls. I looked
around and there were literally hundreds
of winged carpenter ants covering
the walls, counters and ceiling
of the kitchen. It was a scene from a
horror movie. Turns out carpenter
ants had been nesting behind the
refrigerator for years and had tunneled
through nearly every bit of
wood. The entire back of the house
was being held together by lath and