Starting new season - Knowledgebase Question

Tyler, Te
Question by omarl_rodriq
January 18, 2009
As we know new spring is about to start. I just want to know what product is the best to control pest such as ants and others. I also whant to know what other product is a good one take away weeds spreaded out along the yard.

Answer from NGA
January 18, 2009


Like spiders, ants sometimes get a bad rap. If ants aren't a problem in your yard and home, then they are purely beneficial, since "pest" or "beneficial" is really a description of a relationship, not a strict definition. It's true that ants aren't generally direct pests of garden plants, but some are associated with aphids. They actually harvest the sweet honeydew (aphid waste) for food, and in return protect the aphids from predators and parasitoids. Other kinds, most notoriously fire ants, are seen as a problem when they build their nests in gardens and yards, since they are agressive and their bites are quite irritating. And still others infest wooden frames of homes and destroy the structure slowly over time, while some species live in homes and "clean up" after us, especially where there's sugar to be found. For the most part, ants do not cause any serious problems in yard and garden. Exceptions to this are the species that bite or protect aphids. Ant hills in flowerbeds and lawn areas can become a nuisance, however, as can ants that come indoors when foraging for food, returning to outdoor nests. If you have ant colonies that you wish to control, there are several things you can do. A good least-toxic method is the use of boric acid baits. Boric acid baits can eliminate some ant colonies in about one week. The trick is to not kill the ants at the bait station, but to get the ants to carry the boric acid back to the nest, poisoning the members of the colony that never leave the nest. Most ants feed either on sugars or on protein, fats, or oils. To see which type you have, place small dabs of jelly and peanut butter (not mixed) where ants are seen and watch which food they are attracted to. If they are attracted to the jelly, you can make a boric acid bait by mixing one-half cup jelly, such as apple jelly, with 1 1/4 tsp boric acid powder. Punch several holes in the lid of the jar, then screw the lid on tightly and seal with tape. The holes should be large enough for the ants to pass through to reach the bait. Place the bait jar on its side where the ants will come in contact with it. If the ants are unable to gain footing on the jar lid, you might want to scratch the surface with sandpaper or a pebble. If the ants are attracted to peanut butter, use that for your bait rather than jelly. If you find many dead ants around the bait station, whichever bait you use, lower the amount of boric acid in the mixture. If you are still finding live ants after a week to 10 days, increase the amount of boric acid. Although boric acid is of very low toxicity, it is best to place bait jars where children and pets cannot reach them.

To address your weed problem - there are several types of weeds. Not all weed control products work well in all situations against all types of weeds. If you cannot identify the weed, why not just dig it out while it is still small and before it flowers and sets seed?

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