Coastal and Tropical South

August, 2007
Regional Report

Controlling Indoor Bugs

Little black ants are moving into kitchens but you can chase them out with lines of plain talcum powder along the back inside of cabinets and entrances. Wipe their trails on the counter with vinegar to put them off the scent, too. These nontoxic controls also work when ants invade porches and patios.

Combatting Lawn Pests

Mole crickets, chinch bugs, and sod webworms are not uncommon lawn pests in our regions. Left to multiply, they can do serious damage. Explore organic controls such as parasitic nematodes for mole crickets, Botanigard or Naturalis T (parasitic fungus that loves chinch bugs), and good old Bacillus thuringiensis for sod webworms.

Getting Rid of Lawn Fungi

Periods of high rainfall, heat, and humidity can be followed by mushrooms and other slimy messes on the lawn. More unsightly than dangerous, the fact that the grass blades are covered by anything limits their growth. Rake out the large fungi, but use a broom on the molds once they've dried.

Tend Citrus

New growth on citrus makes a perfect aphid target. Inspect your plants now for twisting or tan spots on young shoots, sure signs aphids are feeding. Insecticidal soap mixed fresh and sprayed every 8 days helps control them. Water ripening satsumas regularly to be sure the fruit fills to yummy and juicy.

Dunk Mosquitoes

Don't drain the pond because you fear mosquitoes and the West Nile virus they can transmit. Natural predators exist and are made into "dunks" or donuts that release the good guys into your pond without polluting it. Where any stagnant water, such as overfull ditches, can harbor these pests, dunk 'em.

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