Richard  Fagerlund

The New Year is coming, and we need to reduce, and hopefully, eliminate the use of toxic pesticides in society. The best way to manage pests is to exclude them from your home. When they do show up, in most circumstances you can control them without using toxic pesticides.

Why use pesticides when beer and duct tape will work on controlling roaches, non-toxic baits will control ants, and there are many more non-toxic options.There is no good reason to spray pesticides when you can easily manage any “pests” in your home safely and effectively. You may need a professional for termites or for dangerous pests such as yellowjackets, but for the majority of household pests, you don’t need toxic pesticides. You can even manage bed bugs in your home if you get them.

If you made a list of the 100 most dangerous pests in the world, bed bugs wouldn’t make the list. If you made a list of the most profitable pests in the world, bed bugs would be at the top of the list with termites.

The most effective part of pest control is exclusion. The purpose of pest-proofing your home is to help keep cockroaches, ants, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, rodents and other pests out. Along with pest proofing your house, you need to remember to keep all of your sink, tub and floor drains closed at night. This will prevent cockroaches from coming up the drains from the sewer system or septic tank. If you don't have a drain cover, you can fill a Ziploc bag with water and place it over the drain. That will keep the roaches out.

You may need to install door sweeps on all outside doors that need them. If you can slide a piece of paper under a door, it needs a door sweep. Also, add a door sweep to a door going into the garage.

Don't leave any debris laying around the house. This is a good hiding place for cockroaches, scorpions and centipedes. If you have firewood, stack it away from the house as it will attract black widows. It is a good idea to cover firewood with black plastic and stack it in the sun. The heat under the plastic will keep spiders and insects from hanging out in the firewood.

When you have branches touching the house or roof, it will allow acrobat ants and carpenter ants access. You should trim them back and keep them from touching the roof during the warm months. Also, you should sweep down any spider webs anywhere around the outside of the house.

When you get to the garage, you will probably find that the door doesn't close tightly and never will. There are almost always small areas at either side of the door when any insect or rodent can get in. As mentioned earlier, make sure there are door sweeps on the door entering the house.

Put Niban Bait in any areas behind storage or shelves where roaches can hide. Niban will last three or four months, so you only need to apply it a couple of times a year. Niban is made from boric acid. It is available online. If you have roaches in an area you can also put down some duct tape, sticky side up. The roaches will be attracted to the glue on the tape and get stuck. When I mention roaches, I am referring to large American roaches and oriental roaches. If you have German roaches, they require German Roach Pheromone Traps. They are also available online

This procedure will keep most crawling insects and other arthropods out of your house. Keep anything that pests can hide in or under away from your house and don't leave outside lights on any longer than necessary as they attract insects. Check your home every few months to make sure all of the work you did is still in place and effective.

If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at askthebugman2013@gmail.com or call me at 505-385-2820. My website is www.askthebugman.com