What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When to Use a Residual Insecticide

Chemical insecticides can be quite useful in and around the garden when used properly.  They are available in two types.  The first is a quick action, complete no residual effect like most typical insect sprays.  The second is a quick kill with residual action that may last from 3 months to a year.  If you have an exterminator in they will use an insecticide with residual action to give you lasting protection for 6 months to a year.  So how do you know when to use a residual insecticide?

First you have to understand the insect or arachnid you are trying to control.  In many cases the use of any chemical insecticide can be avoided by manual removal and this method doesn't harm beneficial insects like honey bees.  So that should always be your first line of attack.  If you have a large infestation of something like termites, house centipedes, carpenter ants, certain spiders or cockroaches you may need to us an insecticide that has residual effects.  The reason for this is these insects are problematic to begin with causing potential risk to humans (eg. insect bites, asthma) and in the case of termites and carpenter ants the potential risk for property damage. 

Use an insecticide that kills on contact with at least a 3 month residual action that will effectively kill off any of the babies the initial spraying did not affect.  Pay special attention to any sources of entry into your house these pests may find.  Once the spray has dried go back and seal any of the entry points possible.  The next step is to identify any problem areas.  For example house centipedes feed off of other insects that like moisture like earwigs and pill bugs.  So they are an indicator species.  If you treated for house centipedes look for any areas where moisture is a problem in and around your house then correct the problem.  Spiders indoors are a sign of air leakage so check for any drafts wherever you find spider webs.  A residual insecticide gives you a bit of time to get control of these types of infestations while taking the necessary steps to correct the problem.

A residual insecticide should not be used for:

  • surfaces or areas where it will come into contact with food
  • insect control for edible plants
  • temporary insect control
  • minor insect infestations
  • in high winds or adverse weather conditions or on high heat/very sunny days
  • as a permanent solution to an infestation that has other corrective methods

Garden Gnome