Author Topic: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care  (Read 5869 times)

starterstache

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Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:34:50 AM »
Hi Everyone -

I've recently cancelled both my Pest Control and Lawn Care services, and was looking for some advice from the community.  I'm specifically interested in two things:

1.)  What type of pest control products to you use as a barrier to insects for both your house and lawn?

2.)  Any recommendations for products to fertilize the lawn and keep it green/healthy/weed-free?

Thanks in advance!
-StarterStache

Greg

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 10:37:52 AM »
I think pesticides are awful, don't use them.  Killing bugs for no reason is threatening our species.  I'm a beekeeper and may not be able to be one much longer if folks keep using pesticides.

Lawn = facepunch.  But, if you have to have one, use a mulching mower, cut it longer.  Weed by hand if you care about that.

sandandsun

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 11:27:08 AM »
I never use pesticides -have kids and dogs...
I leave the cut grass to fertilize and AERATE... use weed and feed on occasion (every 2-3 years) in spots where it is really needed... that's it- and I have always done my own lawn and get compliments on it all the time!

Hvillian

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 12:46:44 PM »
Someone in another thread recommended Diatomaceous Earth (commonly just called "D E") for ants.   I think it is very non-toxic (used as a food additive sometimes).  I'm not sure if it works on other insects.  I bought some, but the ants mostly went away before I spread it around.  Killing/moving spiders manually bothers me less as I get older.

Nords

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 05:28:38 PM »
1.)  What type of pest control products to you use as a barrier to insects for both your house and lawn?
Well, we started shutting doors to the house after a bufo invited itself in to watch a little TV with my spouse.  It does a better job of pest control when it's outside the house.

We let the spiders live as long as they don't set up housekeeping in the high-traffic areas.  Cane spiders, of course, get the cardboard & glass jar treatment and are swiftly escorted back into the yard.  Scorpions (yes, Hawaii has small brown scorpions), cockroaches, and centipedes are killed on sight with a size 9 rubber slipper.  We run the water jets in the whirlpool tub at least monthly to discourage ants from setting up housekeeping in there.  I don't want to talk about how we learned that we needed to do that.

We cover our vermipost with a thick layer of newspaper to discourage the fruit flies, but we also have several anole and geckos living happily on the back lanai. 

The best way to discourage ants & cockroaches is to not make a mess, or clean it up as it happens.  The second-best way is to spray their entry point (window vents, door thresholds) with vinegar to destroy their scent trails.

I've killed a lot of ants with diatomaceous eath or with borax powder, mixed 5% with sugar water or grease/fat.  The little black ants prefer sweet while the bigger ones like the grease.  Pets & small children might be tempted by the bait, so it's best to use it outside on the ant trails. 

We just had a persistent invasion of carpenter ants and some smaller cousins.  They thought the borax was yummy (and it killed a lot of them) but it just seemed to be attracting the entire nest to move indoors.  Ant bait traps (using fipronil) didn't seem very effective either.  I finally used a spray bottle of Terro's Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer and wow-- four days later the ants are still staggering out from the nooks & crannies to die on the floors.  It uses deltamethrin, which seems to be the neutron bomb of ant neurotoxins.  I just sprayed a mist on the ground outside one door and on top of another nest inside a lava rock wall.  But at this rate it'll take me at least five years to use the one-quart spray bottle.

Our lawn is a combination of Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, and El Toro Zoysia IV.  About the only thing they seem to need is a good soaking every 4-5 days.  We've never needed to spray any pest chemicals on them, and over the last decade we've thrown out all our traditional lawn poisons.  I kill haole koa trees and nut grass with RoundUp spray.

2.)  Any recommendations for products to fertilize the lawn and keep it green/healthy/weed-free?
We don't use any fertilizer either.  If our fruit trees get any more productive then we'd be feeding an entire block of neighbors, and most of them already won't answer my e-mails or doorbell ringing...

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 06:52:47 PM »
Rocks.




OK, OK.  If you insist on having a green, lush lawn then make some compost tea:

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/compost-tea

Your lawn will smell like ass for a couple of weeks, but it will be green.  This is what the universities near my house do.  They have beautiful, chemical free lawns.  And I can smell it from 1/4 mile away when they apply it :-)

But really, think about converting the lawn to a maintenance xeroscape.  You'll save tons of money in the long term, and it's better for the environment too!

RichMoose

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2014, 07:46:08 PM »
Move to Edmonton, Alberta. :)

Short, lush summers = green grass with no effort

Long, cold winters = very few bugs.

Win, win.

starterstache

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 08:25:12 PM »
Interesting responses, thanks everyone!  Sounds like I should just rip out my lawn and have a harsh landscape of all rocks, lol.  Unfortunately that isn't really possible in southern California and with my HOA restrictions.  However, I'm definitely looking at some greener pest solutions based on the feedback here.  I certainly don't mind doing all the yard work myself, in fact, I actually enjoy it :) 

PhysicsCat

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 01:52:51 AM »
Pest Control:

1. Make sure all entryways are well sealed. (Good for energy efficiency as well)
2. Not 100% on the product name, but I think they're called Harris Roach Tablets. Its basically a borax tab. I put them in all the out of the way places that the pets won't get to but the pests will.
3. Spiders and centipedes are you friends. Centipedes creep me out.




Astatine

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 02:41:49 AM »
I'm on a different continent, so not sure what pests you get on your lawn that need to be controlled. Perhaps once you stop using pesticides you'll get a more natural balance of predators controlling prey? It shouldn't be the norm to use pesticides, unless maybe your pests are lethal to humans?

I'm actually in the process of digging up my front lawn and converting it to slightly xeriscape planting (bushes with mulch) and in summer, planting vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini. The backyard just gets mowed from time to time with a push mower.

Fertiliser on lawns seem to be relatively common here. You can just buy it from a nursery or hardware store and follow the directions. I've never used it, though. I use Seasol solution on new plants, fruits and veggies. I assume it could be used on a lawn too but if my back lawn died, I wouldn't be sad.

NL_sfc

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 02:59:41 AM »
Over in the NL's bugs aren't much of a problem due to lower temperatures. Weeds are an issue though, I use Roundup a couple of times per year to keep the weeds in between the bricks on the ground outside under control. Doing that by hand is killing for my back...

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 07:06:16 AM »
I wanted to post up and ask something similar for Fire Ants in the South.

The fire ants have been coming into the house and are all over the yard as well.

I tried using some different bait items from The Home Depot and did a spray outside a few times. This only helps a little. What I want to know is how can I get rid of them AND prevent them from coming back?

Will the vinegar trick mentioned above work for ants too?

Thanks guys!

Hvillian

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 10:08:50 AM »
I wanted to post up and ask something similar for Fire Ants in the South.

The fire ants have been coming into the house and are all over the yard as well.

I tried using some different bait items from The Home Depot and did a spray outside a few times. This only helps a little. What I want to know is how can I get rid of them AND prevent them from coming back?

Will the vinegar trick mentioned above work for ants too?

Thanks guys!

I used a bag of granules that specifically said they were for fire ants (usual brands from Lowes/Home Depot).  I probably only used half the bag in 6 years, and it always seem to do the trick.  Also worked on other ants if I found the nest.  I don't know the chemical, but wasn't too concerned since I very rarely used it.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Mustachian Pest Control & Lawn Care
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2014, 02:28:26 PM »
For ants and or roaches use boric acid.  It is cheap (2 or $3) , non-toxic and very effective.  Just spray the powder (it's just a squeeze plastic bottle) in cracks in the house (like in/around baseboards, cabinets, etc.).