Killing stuff: Not just for hitmen and exterminators anymore

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Who would have imagined that I would be so knowledgeable about killing things?  We had a couple of commenters wondering how to get rid of various pests, and your Auntie Ivy is at your service.

First, commenter Denise wanted to know how to get rid of fire ants. I had a terrible problem with fire ants both this summer and two summers ago. Two summers ago, I called the county extension agent because I wasn’t entirely sure we would have fire ants this far north. Turns out, we do have fire ants this far north.

What we use that works to kill fire ants (and kills them for at least the entire season) is Amdro.  I normally look for natural, non-chemical ways to kill pests, but I’m not gonna play when it comes to fire ants. Someone could get hurt, most likely me since I’m terribly clumsy and will step in any hole within 5 miles of me. Amdro works very well and is not hard to use.  I highly recommend it.

Commenter Amber wants to know how to get rid of fruit flies. I wrote a post about getting rid of them, but have more information for you since I recently had an attack of drain flies in my own home.

With those tiny flies, the best way to get rid of them is to figure out where they are coming from. In my case, they were coming from the drains. I figured this out by taping a plastic baggie over one of my drains. It filled up with flies, and that’s when I figured out they were coming from the drains.

I spoke with a bug man who told me drain flies usually come from either a broken drain line or a broken sewer line. If several of your neighbors are having the same problem with the flies, it’s a broken sewer line. If it’s just you, then it’s a broken drain line.

Luckily for my pocketbook, it was not a broken drain line, which I would be responsible for repairing. I called and harassed the city until they finally came to my house and poured something down my drains that was supposed to kill the flies. It either worked, or the hard freezes we’ve had of late have killed them. If they come back when it gets warm again, it’s back to calling the city to get them to fix their broken sewer line.

If the bugs are not coming up from your drains, look high and low until you figure out where they are coming from. Be sure to check your houseplants, as often fruit flies or gnats or whatever kind of tiny flies they are will lay eggs in the soil of your houseplants. If this is so, you may need to replant your plant with new soil.

Also, thanks to the great drain fly invasion, I have found red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar attracts the flies better than white vinegar.  What worked best for me was putting the vinegar and about 3 drops of dishwashing liquid in a coffee cup, and putting them out all over the house. My house smelled vinegary, but that’s a heck of a lot better than having flies all over the place.

Hope that helps you guys!



2 Comments

  1. Cindy on November 10, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Oh man! It must be fruit fly season! I have come under attack lately. I’ve found that ginger ale and dish soap makes a GREAT trap, but I can’t quite get rid of the pesky things. That is my goal this weekend. Thanks for the ideas. 🙂



  2. Denise on November 8, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you for the tip, Ivy! I’ll give Amdro a try.