Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2 is powerful and works fast. I noticed immediate results.
Sponsored by Black Flag® Insecticides
Every year I get an invasion of enormous black ants. They march along the floor, gather in my sink, and parade all over my kitchen countertops. The highest concentration seems to be around the bottom of my dishwasher. I’ve checked for holes in my siding but can’t find any. I have no idea how they’re getting in. My usual routine is to spray ant killer around the base of the dishwasher as well as the kitchen baseboard and the patio door threshold. I have to repeat the application several times over a period of a few weeks to totally stop the invasion.
But this year was different. I ran out of the economy brand of spray I’ve been using and instead used a can of Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2. I sprayed the same places and got rid of the live ants in my sink and on my countertops with the Black Flag spray. I expected to see more new recruits show up, but this Black Flag home insect control product seems to be stronger and far more effective than my old brand. My kitchen was free of ants after one application. I’ve gone weeks now without ants since using the Black Flag home insect control spray.
I’m still searching for their entry point so I can plug it. In the meantime, I’m mighty impressed with my Black Flag® brand ant and roach killer. The Black Flag home insect control spray does exactly what it claims to do; it kills ants. The Black Flag spray doesn’t claim to last forever, but in my experience it lasts far longer than my previous ant killer product.
At the home center, I had a choice between name-brand products and cheaper economy brands I had never heard of. I had once tried an economy brand of household ant and roach killer to get rid of huge black ants in my kitchen. But I was disappointed with the results. The ants were still there even after multiple applications. With that bad experience in mind, the price savings on the economy brands of wasp, hornet and yellow jacket spray weren’t enough to entice me to take a chance, especially since I wanted this to be a one-time procedure.
I needed something powerful to kill off the nest quickly so I could use my sidewalk again. I didn’t know what type of “bees” I was dealing with. But the label on the Black Flag® Wasp, Hornet & Yellow Jacket Killer can said it killed those three types of flying insects as well as one more. Plus, it had a money-back guarantee. I figured the company must take a lot of pride in its product to offer that kind of guarantee. So I bought it.
I read the label directions of the Black Flag home insect control spray, which pretty much confirmed what I had read online—don’t do this during the day in the height of nest activity and don’t spray when it’s raining. There was no rain in the forecast for that evening, and it was supposed to be calm. The directions say you can spray if there’s wind, but only if it’s at your back (to prevent spray drift). After sunset, I checked out the nest activity and noticed a substantial drop in glide path traffic. That’s when I decided to act.
Now on to the creepy crawlers on my lower level
Here’s my other insect problem: I’ve got creepy crawlers on the lower level of my split entryway home. My grandkids sleep in the lower-level bedrooms when we have weekend sleepovers. The grandkids totally freak out when they see spiders, centipedes and silverfish. I’ve set out sticky traps to catch them in advance of the sleepovers, but the kids always seem to find the few live ones that manage to evade the traps. So I’ll hear these blood-curdling screams in the middle of the night. I have to run downstairs and kill the critters, saving my grandkids from certain doom. Trust me, the critter screams get really old, really fast.
After my experience with the Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2, I decided to try Black Flag® Home Insect Control, which can be used indoors and out. I figured that’s just what I need to keep the lower level free of bugs. I followed the directions and sprayed Black Flag home insect control along the outside foundation and along the baseboards in the lower level. I set out new sticky traps to see if they repopulated. It’s been a few weeks and the traps are still empty, so the insecticide is working as promised.
The grandkids will be ready for another sleepover soon. Maybe this time I’ll have a scream-free weekend with help from Black Flag® home insect control product.
Here are the takeaways from my experience:
• Spray the Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2 along possible entry points indoors. I used it along baseboards, the bottom of the dishwasher and the patio door threshold. It’s an indoor product and shouldn’t be used outdoors.
• Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2 is powerful and works fast. I noticed immediate results.
• Buy a high-quality product. The Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2 did a much better job than the economy brand I had been using. The small price saving between the Black Flag® brand and the economy brands simply wasn’t worth it to me.
• For other household pests, spray the perimeter inside and outside. The Black Flag® Home Insect Control can be used indoors and outdoors. So it works as a perimeter barrier to keep critters out of your home.
• Don’t skip the shaking step. The purpose of shaking the can before using is to get a fully mixed, full-strength spray to hit the nest right away. Once again, reading and following the label directions will get you the best results with Black Flag home insect control.
• It’s safe. The Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2 and Black Flag® Home Insect Control products are safe when used as directed. You don’t need rubber gloves or a respirator with Black Flag home insect control.
For more information on Black Flag® Ant & Roach Killer2 and Black Flag® Home Insect Control, go to blackflag.com or visit their Facebook page.
— Rick Muscoplat, Contributing Editor
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Black Flag® Insecticides. The opinions and text are all mine.
Plus: Try These 11 Strategies for Do-It-Yourself Pest Control
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How Common Household Pests Get In
Although your walls may appear solid, many walls are full of tiny pest passageways. Small insects can sneak through the tiniest cracks, so you may not be able to make your home absolutely bug-proof. But you can seal most gaps, especially the larger ones that let in mice and larger insects.
Put on some old clothes, as you'll have to get on the ground, slink behind bushes and even crawl under your deck to examine your home's exterior. Take a flashlight and a mirror along. If mice are your main concern, also bring a pencil. If you can slide the pencil into a crack, it's large enough for a young mouse to squeeze through.
Take your time and examine every square foot of your home. The key areas to inspect include wall penetrations, doors and windows, the foundation, dryer vents, exhaust fans and roof vents.
Check the Foundation or Siding Joint
Inspect the underside of your siding using a mirror. If you find a foundation gap, mark the location with masking tape so you can seal it later.
Plug Gaps With Mesh
Stuff in a generous amount of copper mesh with a screwdriver, leaving about half an inch of space for expanding foam sealant. Seal gaps with foam.
Caulk Gaps Between Trim and Siding
Fill gaps between trim and siding with acrylic latex caulk. Keep a wet cloth handy to clean up any stray caulk. Smooth the bead with a wet finger.
Examine dryer vents to ensure the damper isn't stuck open or broken off completely. Also check that the seal between the vent and the wall is tight.
Foam Large Soffit Gaps
Pull nests from the soffit gaps and then fill these openings with expanding foam. After the foam hardens, cut off the excess with a utility knife.
Protect Wood From Moisture
Insects and other small pests need to draw life-sustaining moisture from their surroundings, so they avoid dry places and are attracted to moist ones. If the soil around your house, the foundation and the walls is dry, it'll be less attractive to insects, spiders and centipedes. Rake moisture-wicking soil and mulch away from the window frames and low wood. Turn your mulch periodically to help keep dampness down, and keep bushes trimmed back as well.
Store Pet Food
Store pet food in a lidded metal trashcan, as mice cannot climb the slick, vertical sides of the can. Sealed plastic containers are also a good option.
Snap-type mousetraps, when well placed, can be an effective way to rid your house of mice. Snap traps may seem cruel, but compared with a slow death from a glue trap or poisoned bait, they're a more humane way to exterminate mice. And because you toss the remains in the garbage, there are no dead mouse surprises to encounter later.
Common mistakes with do it yourself pest control are poor placement of traps and using too few of them. Mice have poor vision and prefer to feel their way along walls. Place snap traps along walls in areas where you've seen the telltale brown pellets. For an average-size house, two dozen mousetraps would not be too many.
The best technique is to set two traps, parallel to the wall, with the triggers facing out. While mice can jump over one trap, they can't jump two. Favorite baits of professional exterminators are chocolate syrup and peanut butter.
Live traps are best used in pairs in the same manner as conventional mousetraps. Place them back-to-back with the open doors on each end.
TIP: Before you sweep up mouse droppings, always spray them with a disinfectant spray such as Lysol. Mice can pass disease to humans through their waste.
You can virtually eliminate spiders in your basement by using a dehumidifier to maintain a 40 percent humidity level and vigilantly sweeping down cobwebs whenever they appear. Keep the basement windowsills brushed clean too. In a matter of weeks, the spider population will die down significantly.
Tucking paper bags under the kitchen sink is tempting, but unfortunately it creates a cockroach condo. Even worse, once the cockroaches move in, they deposit their pheromone laced fecal pellets. If you have cockroaches, it's usually best to hire a professional exterminator. You can buy high-quality bait products, but they're expensive and are only effective if you place them properly. If only 5 percent of the roaches survive your attack, they will completely repopulate in just a few months. For a little more, you can hire a pro who understands the habits of cockroaches and will place the bait in hard-to-reach crevices. Furthermore, a reputable exterminator will guarantee the job.
The first step in getting rid of roaches is to get rid of their food. Clean up every speck and crumb—from shelves, drawers, pantry, under appliances, under the sink. Store any accessible food in plastic containers. Equally important: Remove the roaches' water supply. Fix leaky sink traps and drippy faucets. Elevate Rover's water dish. Eliminate damp dish towels, sponges and scrub pads. Sealed bait containers like Roach Motel are most effective. Boric acid pesticide powder also works. Just sprinkle it lightly into all cracks and crevices. It's long-lasting and relatively nontoxic. Look for it at hardware stores and home centers.
Box Elder Bug Swarm
When box elder bugs swarm in the fall, you may think they're taking over your house—maybe even the world! Even though they're harmless, here's a solution. Look for major congregations of bugs outdoors and spray them with a strong solution of soapy water. Keep the spray bottle handy, and spray wherever they recongregate.
Photo by Fotosearch
Stop Moles From Tearing up Your Yard
Moles can eat their weight in worms and grubs every day, so they find healthy, well-watered lawns—which are full of worms and grubs—very attractive. Tunneling as fast as a foot per minute under the sod, one mole can make an average yard look like an army invaded it.
To their credit, moles do a good job of aerating the soil and controlling Japanese beetle larvae and other harmful bugs, and they don't eat flowers or plants. If you can live with them, they generally won't cause any serious, long-term damage to your yard. However, if you can't, you'll have to do some DIY pest control methods to trap or remove them. The population density of moles is generally no more than three per acre, so catching even one might take care of the problem.
Livetrapping moles by setting a deep bucket under an active tunnel is sometimes effective. To set up a live trap, dig a hole at the tunnel deep enough to set a 2- to 5-gallon bucket below the level of the tunnel. Pack the dirt around the edge of the bucket, then cover the hole with sod or plywood so you can check the hole daily. The mole will fall in, and then you can take it to a new location.
However, the most effective, time-tested method is to set up a spring-loaded prong or choker-loop trap that is activated when the mole pushes against it.
For the spring trap, flatten an area of the tunnel slightly bigger than the base of the trap and set the trap over it. Follow the manufacturer's directions to arm the trap, then cover it with a 5-gallon bucket to keep kids and pets away. Remove it and the mole after it's been triggered, or try a different tunnel if it hasn't been triggered after several days.
Whether you set up a live or a spring-loaded trap, the first step is to locate the active tunnels. Step on the tunnels you see in one or two spots to collapse them, then check those spots the next day. If the tunnel has been dug out again, it's an active one, and a good spot to set a trap.
Keep Raccoons Out
Raccoons will eat almost anything and are always on the lookout for a good nesting site, so our houses, with all their nooks and crannies and overflowing garbage cans and backyard vegetable gardens, are very appealing. Light, water, noise and chemical repellents may work in the short term, but raccoons eventually learn to ignore them. The best way to discourage these pests is to make your house and garden inaccessible. Try these DIY pest control ideas to get rid of raccoons:
Cut back overhanging tree branches and brush so raccoons can't get onto the roof.
Add chimney caps, or replace them if they're damaged. Fireplace chimneys make great dens for pregnant raccoons. If you hear raccoons in the firebox in the spring or summer, you may need to wait until the fall for the raccoons to leave before capping the chimney, or else call an animal control specialist.
Block crawl spaces and other possible entry spots with securely nailed 1/4-in.-mesh hardware cloth. Wait until the fall after the babies are out but before hibernation, or until you're sure the raccoons are gone.
Raccoons eat garbage, pet food, fruits and vegetables, and fish from garden ponds. Make trash cans inaccessible. Cover fish ponds with netting. Don't leave pet food outside.
Protect vegetable gardens, especially if you're planting sweet corn, with wire electric fencing (consult the manufacturer's instructions for spacing and wiring instructions). Fencing is available from farm supply stores and Internet suppliers.
If raccoons have already made a den in your attic or crawl space, put a radio, flashing lights, ammonia, mothballs or commercially available repellents in it, then give them a few nights to leave. To make sure they're gone, stuff the entry with newspapers. If the paper is still in place after a few days, the raccoons have left.