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Category Search Results for:
Animals and Pests

87 Total Found

Question: 447-3510
What can I use to drive away bees? Irene, Swansea, MA

Mort's Answer:
You can spray with Sevin. It only lasts 24 hours. So you may have to reapply to get the sons of bees.

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Question: 3-5201
I also saw ants around there last year. Could this be a problem? Burt, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
This could be a problem, if you let the home of the earwigs continue to spread. You can perform some basic tree surgery. With a sharp razor knife or linoleum knife, make a cut that has a point at the top and another at the bottom. The incision will be leaf shaped and enclose all the affected area. Go as deep as necessary to get out all the brown wood. You can do this as soon as the tree is not frozen. Dab a little malathion in the area and seal with tree seal or tree wax. The ants are predators trying to steal the eggs. The ants will disappear as soon as you complete this procedure. If you do not do this surgery, the earwigs may encircle the bark and cut off the fibrovascular tubes. When the cambium inside the bark is eaten out, the tree will be unable to take up nutrient and water and will eventually join the great majority in Eden.

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Question: 674-1816
yes

Mort's Answer:
no

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Question: 838-4212
I have tried everything to get rid of ants. What is the latest and the best? Pat, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
A caller to my radio show suggested using a hose from the car exhaust to the mounds. Bait pesticides work best to get at the queen but usually take a while to reach the newly hatched ants. Another caller suggested turkey compost. It is straw soaked with turkey urine. That may be hard to come by. Cinnamon was another suggestion. A Texas extension expert uses Logic combined with sulphur. Micronized sulphur is readily available at most garden stores.

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Question: 956-2413
I have a long needled plant with dime size yellow flowers along the stem in bloom now. What is it? How do I get rid of ants around my cement foundation? Julie, Templeton, MA

Mort's Answer:
What you describe is probably Scotch Broom. Unfortunately, you cannot use it to get rid of ants. You could call a pesticide company. They could use a bait insecticide to get at the nest. They use pyrethrum compounds to kill marauding ants. It is an organic compound that can be synthesized. It is a neurotoxin that can affect cats but not other mammals.

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Question: 1057-2416
There are many ants that are crawling up to my bird feeders on poles. Is there a spray that I can use to get rid of them? Ronnie, Putnam, CT

Mort's Answer:
Ants are predators of other insects. They carry off their eggs to their nests. A caller to my radio show suggested fly paper wrapped around the pole. You can also buy feeders with ant and bee protectors at the box stores. You may be doing more harm to your garden by killing the little bugs. Ants do not harm plants or drink much nectar.

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Question: 1246-1415
I have been composting for ten years in this four foot black plastic bin. How do I get rid of the ants that are always present? Elizabeth, Ledyard, CT

Mort's Answer:
I suspect that you are not turning your compost enough. Ants are looking for insect eggs, which could be in banana peels and other fruit and vegetable skins or migrating from flies from the garden. You would be better served with a rotating barrel with a crank or have your pile in an open area behind a bush. Take the bottom part of the pile and toss it to the top at last once a month. Compost should endure at least one winter. In the open it will self sterilize in the winter once a frost sets in.

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Question: 404-3410
What can we use to get rid of wooly aphid on our hemlocks? Mike, Galesferry, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can still purchase Diazonin during 2002. A high pressure spray in combination with malathion is still the most effective treatment for wooly aphid. Follow directions on the label. After 2002, you can use soap and malathion. It is not as effective. You will have to spray more often.

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Question: 420-3410
How do I treat for wholly aphid? Ron, Westerly RI & Mike, Galesferry, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can still buy diazonin until the end of 2003. Combine the diazonin with malathion. Follow directions on the packages for evergreens. Spray again in ten days to catch the eggs. High pressure sprays are more effective. Arborists have this equipment for hire.

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Question: 842-2616
How can I get rid of aphids on my ash tree? John, Las Vegas, NV

Mort's Answer:
You should check for Emerald Ash borer first. if there are any cracks in the bark, scrape out the area for sawdust. When a tree is attacked by a pathogen, chances are that they are vulnerable to other infestations. If your tree is less than ten feet, you could use a pump spray mix of old tobacco and micronized sulphur for the aphids. Follow directions on the package for the sulphur. One old cigar butt per gallon will suffice. You will need a licensed arborist for a larger tree or if you have the borer.

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Question: 1351-2616
It looks like I have thousands of black aphids on my lupines. I do not want to harm the flowers but get rid of the bugs. Jim, Gardner, MA

Mort's Answer:
Aphids are about an eighth of an inch. There are 4,000 specie of black, red, brown, white and green aphids. Some specie will change color to the match their host plants. Many carry plant viruses and they can suck the life out of a plant. Insecticidal soap can be effective. We can no longer buy nicotine sulphate, which was deadly to insects, as well as humans. You can make a concoction of tobacco and sulphur and liquid soap to spray on the plants. You may have to repeat after a rain storm. There are a few neonicotinoids that are available for sale that well kill the little aphids or any other sucking or chewing insect.

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