To welcome summer and the peak season of insect activity, we are presenting a special edition of our Pro 2 Pro e-newsletter. We’ve turned to Mel Whitson, our senior field technical service manager, to provide some of his best tips and product recommendations for taking on summer’s most active insects.
Mel is a trusted expert on all things bug related for not just our Zoëcon team, but for the entire pest control industry. A graduate of the University of Florida (Gainesville) Urban Entomology program, Mel has been with our team in a wide range of roles for the past 16 years. He has played a key role in developing and implementing strategies for the PCO market, and worked with Zoëcon Professional Products Division management in the development, field testing, and marketing of new products for the vector control and pest control markets.
Read on for Mel’s insightful tips, and let him know if you have any questions from the field he can help answer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ticks thrive in moist, humid environments outdoors, so this summer is providing ideal conditions for the pests to thrive across the country. These blood-sucking insects cling to tall grasses and can also be found under piles of chopped wood or leaves and latch onto pets and humans. Encourage clients to keep their backyards or landscaped areas well maintained, including regularly mowing the grass and raking up any weeds and leaves.
When tick-friendly areas are identified, apply a perimeter treatment like Mavrik® Perimeter – a great option for preventing ticks that is also safe on ornamental plants or shrubbery.
For a botanical pest control solution, Essentria® IC-3, can be applied to achieve broad-spectrum pest control. The natural liquid insecticide provides immediate knockdown and long residual control of ticks. For more information, download our new tick identification guide.
Before application, do a pattern check on the tips of sprayers to ensure you are spraying a fine mist.
The summer heat is sure to bring with it heavy fly activity. As temperatures begin to warm, keep these fly control tips in mind for successful treatments and satisfied clients.
House flies are attracted to decaying matter, especially in and around garbage. Remind clients to make sure that all trash cans are tightly sealed and placed as far from home and business entry points as possible. Zoëcon offers effective options such as Musca-Cide® Fly Bait Spray, a dilutable powder sprayed or painted on outdoor trash cans and under the lid. Starbar® QuikStrike® Fly Abatement Strips can also be a successful tool to help track areas of high fly activity on a client’s property. Start by hanging strips near garbage cans, under the eaves of dog houses and in garages where the cooler air attracts flies. Flies will feed on both of these products and quickly die.
Granular fly baits are also very effective at limiting fly populations, but maintaining a regular rotation is key to preventing flies from developing resistance. When granular baits, such as Golden Malrin® Fly Bait, QuikStrike® Fly Bait and Cyanarox™ Insecticidal Bait are rotated throughout the fly season, their efficacy is increased and fly populations will decline.
Mosquito season is upon us and complaints have started in many parts of the country. Mosquitoes are notorious for laying their eggs in shallow water, damp soil and other standing water locations, like bird baths. If a client has a bird bath, recommend that they clean it once a week to prevent mosquitoes from laying more eggs.
Mosquitoes are also drawn to the still and shady air provided by thick vegetation. Encourage clients to trim lower bush and shrub branches to allow for consistent air flow and to keep the area dry.
For product applications, Altosid® Liquid Larvicide can help prevent larvae from becoming adult mosquitoes. The product should be applied to vegetation and areas with standing water. For knockdown of existing populations, an insecticide like Lambda 9.7 CS or Mavrik® Perimeter can be tank mixed with Altosid® Liquid Larvicide.
Backpack blowers can help effectively deliver mosquito control products like Altosid® Liquid Larvicide, but they require regular maintenance to operate at peak efficiency. Before the season heats up, consider changing the air filter and thoroughly cleaning out backpack blowers to maximize the flow of product during applications.
Fire ants like warm, sunny weather, and populations are expected to be high this summer. These biting pests can take over a backyard, and will even find their way into your client’s home during bad weather.
Colonies start small and will set up under debris. Be sure to inspect your client’s property for potential activity sites including cracks and crevices, concrete expansion joints, watering devices and HVAC pads.
Extinguish® Plus Fire Ant Bait is an easy-to-use fire ant treatment that is approved for both commercial and residential use. Extinguish® Plus Fire Ant Bait will eliminate fire ant colonies while preventing new ones from forming. For best results, apply a one- to two-foot-wide band of the bait around the perimeter of the property.
Fire ant bait is oily, and the residue tends to build up on the paddles of bait spreaders over time. Make sure to give your bait spreaders a regular, gentle cleaning with a mild soap.
Now is the time for preventative flea treatment as the weather gets warmer, and people and their pets are outside more. In the home, advise customers to look for cats avoiding the floor by climbing on furniture. This may be an effort to avoid getting bitten by fleas. Outdoors, signs of an animal burrow can also mean a heavy flea presence. For example, multiple sightings of rabbits or their droppings likely means a flea-infested burrow is not too far away.
To stop fleas before signs of infestation, consider applying Precor® IGR Concentrate. The insect growth regulator stops fleas from emerging for up to seven months, taking customers through peak flea season. To protect pets outside of the home, educate pet owners to spray their animals with Petcor® Flea Spray before heading out of the house to kill fleas and other pests that pets bring indoors such as ticks, lice and mosquitoes.
Before applying Precor® IGR concentrate, give your tank a triple rinse. As a target-specific IGR, the product can be sprayed liberally around a home. Giving tanks a thorough rinse beforehand ensures no harsher chemical residues are left behind and mixing into your Precor® IGR application.
With the rainy spring in many parts of the United States, now is the time to remind clients to make sure that vegetation isn’t touching their homes. Vegetation around homes gives occasional invaders like earwigs, centipedes, outdoor roaches and other insects, the opportunity to climb inside homes.
For effective control of cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, silverfish and more, Lava-Lor® Granular Bait gives insects something to feed on. The bait should be placed outside around the home in a bait station or even rodent station. Consider placing stations underneath the back side of downspouts.
When treating occasional invaders inside, make sure to treat around window casings, door frames and any cracks. Essentria® IC-3 Insecticide Concentrate is a botanical pest control solution that can be applied indoors for customers requesting an environmentally friendly approach.
Treat your baits like your food. Keep products tightly sealed and away from other chemicals. If conditions are warm, Lava-Lor® Granular Bait should be kept in an insulated cooler to ensure that the bait stays fresh and effective.