Chemicals and your pets
Q: A friend of mine had his yard granulated with a termite granule. I have never heard of that. Is this something worthwhile doing?
A: Premise makes a termite granule that has not been received very well from the pest control industry. In fact I think it is a very good product and can be practical in some uses. If you have wood on the ground near your home and it is infested with termites, it would be a good idea to use the Premise termite granules in that area. The granules will not repel termites and when they come in contact with it, they will bring it back to the colony. This is similar to Premise liquid and Termidor which are used in termite treatments. It also has a six month residual so you can put is around your house twice a year.
Don’t get me wrong. If you have termites in your house you still need to get it treated properly. Also, there is no guarantee other termites won’t move under it and get into your house from inside the foundation wall. If you have a crawlspace, it would be worthwhile to put the granules under the house along the foundation and around the piers. Of course you would have to do it twice a year as well. As I said before, it won’t guarantee you won’t get termites, but it will certainly help in preventing them and since the granules are inexpensive, it would be worth doing.
Back to your question. I see no need to granulate your yard for termites. First of all you would have to keep any pets off the treated area, including the area around your house. Secondly, many yards have termites somewhere. Let them live in the yard. It is better than having them live in your house. You can get the Premise termite granules online. One supplier is www.pestcontrolsupplies.com. Also it would be worthwhile getting your home inspected annually in this part of New Mexico. This is particularly important if you have a crawlspace under your home.
Q: The last two times the pest control company came to my house my dog got sick. The service ticket says they used Demand, Termidor and several other products, but it doesn’t say what they used inside and what they used outside. I didn’t get much satisfaction when I called their office. What can I do? I don’t know what is making my dog sick.
A:When someone uses any pesticide in your home, make sure they make a note of what it is, where they used it and how much they used. They should also put the target pest on the ticket so you know what they are spraying for. However, it would be much better if they didn’t use any liquid pesticides in your home as there is no reason to. Any pest can be controlled with baits, repellents, diatomaceous earth, borax and a host of materials you have in your home. Pesticides are not necessary. There is nothing wrong with spraying pesticides around the outside of your home where bugs can come in such as along doors and around windows and plumbing connections.
Q: Is there a safe way to control ear mites in my cat? I hate using pesticides on her.
A: You can apply vegetable oil or baby oil to a Q-tip and rub it on the mites in the ears. It is very effective as it will smother them. You can also use Vaseline to smother scabies and other mites on your skin if you get them. No need to use pesticides or miticides on your animals. If your dog gets fleas from a squirrel or other animal, there is a safe way to remove them. Mix apple cider vinegar half and half with water in a spray bottle; add the juice of 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 T. dish soap, 1 tsp. canola or olive oil and 1 tsp. salt; shake and spray into the fur. Reapply as needed. This spray removes fleas, dog odors and gives your dog a shiny coat.
Fagerlund can be reached by e-mail to email@example.com or by phone at 505-385-2820. If readers have any pest control questions, please contact me and I will be happy to help. I may use some of your questions in this column. If you want to send me a bug to identify you can get information about the process on my Web site at www.askthebugman.com.