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Further Comments on Supplies and Equipment


All of these products are useful in some degree.  None of them are an ultimate cure-all for any problem and must be used in conjunction with other integrated pest management practices. None of these insecticides are restricted, all can be purchased on the open market in most states. The opinions below are ours, and reflect what we have learned using these preparations.

We use all of these products, (almost) every day and have confidence in them.  They are generally very easy to use in household situations.  Used as directed, they can help you with your normal pest problems.        
(caveats)




ADVANCE CARPENTER ANT BAIT (ABAMECTIN)
I'm leery about this stuff because it's attractive to other animals - dogs, cats, whatever. Not that it's that toxic to those other animals, they do have to ingest quite a bit, probably more than they could find or you would use.  But since there is a danger, and just the fact that they will readily EAT a chemical designed to kill, bothers me.  And my hesitation is not because I think it "doesn't work" either.  It does work for where and when it's intended.  It's just that many exterminators (and homeowners) look for the easy way out, and when this is the only method used to control carpenter ants - it usually doesn't control them very well.

If carpenter ants are a long, ongoing problem, simple bait placements are just not going to do the trick.  In such cases, what's really going to work is a careful, methodical search to find and correct the reason the ants are there in the first place.  The actual need is to devote more time to the correction of conditions, than to the chemical controls.

HOW TO USE IT....
Use this product not to PREVENT a problem, use it when you DISCOVER the problem. Make little piles directly in the path, or adjacent to the path of ants you discover.  When the carpenter ants discover it, they will work hard to remove all they can carry.  You'll see them carry away the granules.  Keep the bait available to them for at least 24-48 hours.  After that, you can hold off on any more placements as the ants will store more than they can use.   You should see a reduction (elimination?) of the problem within a few days after that.  If your problem continues, you can then try other placements, using the same technique, perhaps in other areas.

(Caveats:)


MY INFORMAL TEST ON CARPENTER ANT BAIT (ABAMECTIN)
I like to use this product on the inside, out of the weather, for inside carpenter ant problems.  As a test, myself, I did try this product, in an outdoor environment, on an older tree, with many carpenter ants, coming and going from a large tree hole, and many yards from any structures.  No neighboring structures had reported any carpenter ant problems before, during or after my informal test.  As a control, there was an equally sized tree, about 35 or 40 feet from the test tree. It also had carpenter ants, although only slightly less in number than the test tree, but no observed tree holes such as the subject tree.  A true, worst-case scenario.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I "TESTED" IT.....
Before treatment, prodigious amounts of ants were easily observed going up and down the tree trunk, to a large tree hole some 30 feet up the trunk.  The number of ants, going up and down, past a determined point, were about dozen or so every second. All my observations and placements were done in the daytime, which means that nighttime ant activity was considerably more intense.  Both trees were mature maples, with the placement area in deep shade, all day, and the ground showing in some places with low-growing weeds mostly in evidence.  My placement was made in April, 2000.  The weather was hot and muggy, unusual at this time of year.

No other insecticides were used in this test, the tree, and the control tree are in a private area of the Garden State Racetrack not normally accessible to the public, areas untreated with any professionally applied insecticides for at least 10 years.

I used about half of an 8 ounce bottle, and made one placement, at the bottom of the tree, a pile about 3 inches high.  The ants discovered it within seconds and some ants immediately started carrying it up the tree.  I watched for about 20 minutes or so, and did notice that activity seemed to increase.

I returned about 4 hours later to indeed find much more activity surrounding the pile, and many more ants carrying their booty up the tree.  I even observed other species of ants joining in the feast and carrying away some of the material.  Carpenter ant traffic (up and down the tree) seemed to be a little more than double.  The pile was completely gone the next day.  (The fact that the pile was gone means nothing. Other animals will be attracted to the bait, and consume it.)

RESULTS
A visit two days later confirmed ZERO ants on the trunk of the tree.  There had been no rain in the interim.  No ants, none whatsoever, (on the trunk) in maybe, 10 minutes of observation.  The adjacent tree, by contrast, seemed mostly unaffected.  The variation could have been natural.

A visit 10 and 14 days later with just about the same results.  Both trees were the same. None on the subject tree, the usual suspects on my "control" tree.  There had been a couple of rainstorms, one fairly heavy, over that period.

A month later confirmed carpenter ants again foraging the trunk of the subject tree, but less than my original count.  My control tree appeared the same as on all previous observations.

Over the 4th of July, 2000, I made a quickie stop to see what was going on.  No change. Subject and control tree both had ants going up and down the trunk, although considerably less (on both trees) than on my other observations.

NOTE:
Tree spraying is scheduled for these trees in the spring of 2001, which will affect any results in the future.  I will check the tree(s) before we spray this in the spring and will post my observation results right here.

On October 31st, 2000, I made a follow up stop at both these trees.  The weather was bright and sunny, about three in the afternoon, temperature around 60 degrees.

Both trees, control and subject tree seemed to have the same number of ants, going and coming, considering the fact that early fall weather conditions have obviously affected all outside carpenter ants.  Without climbing the tree, it appeared that there was again a carpenter ant nest in the tree hole of the subject tree.

In the first few days of January, 2001, I happened to be at this property for another reason.  I checked, out of curiosity, the two trees where I had been conducting my "test." The temperature was about 45 degrees, but it was sunny.  I didn't find any ants (nor did I expect to) on either of the trees.  But, technically, this is the dead of winter, and even a day with no freezing temperatures might not stir these critters.  I have made a mental note to check again on the first few "spring-like" days.

The first couple of days in June, 2001, I stopped by to visit our two subject trees.  No spraying was done this year, for the trees or anything else.  The two trees seemed to have the same amount of carpenter ants as they did on my very first visit.  I could see the tree hole was active again, I wished there was some easy way for me to look inside.

I don't know if I'll do another test here, the property owner has changed, and this property, (a race track) will be converted to mixed residential use very soon.




ANT BUTTONS (NOT for carpenter ants)
We actually figure they're good at least 50% of the time if you can catch them in time. If you have had ants for any length of time, or still have them after multiple treatments, it might mean you have a problem for the professional.  Ant buttons are ill-suited for this task.

The biggest reason I don't like the ant buttons, is because people get to think they're a "cure-all" and they definitely are not.  They are just another, convenient, expensive tool for dealing with those occasional ant problems.

The reason I DO like them is because they are a ready-made answer (sometimes) in those places where you can't treat with a compressed air sprayer.  Or maybe on a call-back and you don't want to use more of the same chemical for some reason.  The buttons do have a distinctive odor that, while slight, is detectable (and perhaps objectionable) to many people.  The smell goes away as the product ages.  In most cases, the buttons are not effective longer than 3 months at the most.  Before using, dip them in warm water and shake off excess moisture.  Remember to date them.

There are many different brands.  They all used to be more or less alike, but not now.  I have found that the MaxForce buttons seem to be much more effective, and last longer, than the others I've tried.  Oh.  And by the way, the ones I've seen in Home Depot don't seem to work that well.  Look for the ones manufactured by The Clorox Company.

(Caveats:)




DELTA DUST
Delta dust is the world's only water-repellent dust.  Perfect formulation for any place where you might have moisture problems.  Such as when you're dusting for carpenter ants and you have enough moisture so that conventional dusts will be compromised. Personally, I don't think it works very well on bees, but just about everything else is hunkey-dorey!

I have to say that I don't really use too much of this stuff myself.  Most of the time this is because I like to get RID of moisture problems before I treat anything.  Getting rid of moisture problems makes your eventual success much easier.   I will also use this product in COMBINATION with other dusts.

But I know a lot of exterminators that swear by this stuff.  Even for bees.  (Just goes to show you that we all have our own preferences.)  And as little as I use it, I always want it around.  Just in case.  This stuff isn't big bucks and if there ever comes a time when you have to have it, you'll be glad I recommended it.

(Caveats:)




DRIONE DUST
This is really great stuff as far as we're concerned!  It's always in our kit bags, ready to use.  First of all, it's not that expensive, it works on lots of insects, and it has common ingredients, in use for a long time, so far with proven results and no surprises.  The flushing ability means that it can be used as a "detector" to find problems in hidden areas and the silica gels have a long-term affect on insects by drying out their exoskeletons.

I use this a lot when working against carpenter ants and roaches.  When the exterminator comes for roaches or ants, he needs a tool to see where and how serious the problem actually is.  Drione can be a big help.  I never thought it was that good against stinging insects.

Most of the time I use Drione dust as a "detector."  I puff a tiny amount into where I suspect certain insect problems to be, and the pyrethrum will often chase them from their hiding places.  Make note of the fact that even though "roaches" are listed on the label, this is not a product specifically for use for roaches.  I never use Drione dust (alone) for roaches.  Only in combination with other chemicals and methods.  For homeowners, it's great for ants if you use it properly, but for roaches there are better (and cheaper) ways.

For the exterminator, Drione is good as an adjunct treatment for the many common problems people have, especially in the kitchen. You wouldn't ordinarily use this product outside. It is best used, inside or outside, in the cracks and crevices where insects may lurk.  If you can see it, you're probably using too much.  A little bit goes a long way.  I can have one of these bottles last months in my truck.  Reason I know is that as soon as I start one, I write the date on it.  HINT:  Do this with ANY chemical you use.

Asthmatics need to stay away from this stuff.  They probably should stay away from any other kind of chemical too.  With Drione, one or both of the ingredients, especially pyrethrum, will definitely have an effect on the mucus membranes of even a normal person.  Pyrethrum also tends to constrict the passage of air in most mammals, and although normally a transitory effect, it affects asthmatics more.  So the word is, use this with care, observe label directions and remember that SMALL amounts are all you need.

The 16 ounce jug DOES have an "applicator tip."  However, in practice, it doesn't work that well.  You should use a proper dust applicator for the best site applications, they are described below:

(Caveats:)




TRI-DIE
This product works well on all insects, I like to use it.  It has a very broad label, so I can use it in a LOT of places, even in places like food preparation areas.  Outside, it works well in conjunction with the treatment of active carpenter bee holes.  I always arm myself with a can if I'm working with carpenter bees, I'll use it in each hole, before filling the holes.  An excellent product, I feel sorta naked without it.

CONS?
Well, it's very expensive.  All products that are packaged in aerosol form are expensive.  Some even more so, such as this one.  It uses ‘pyrethrins,' which are very expensive on their own.  I do use it sparingly.  Some aerosols are noted for "short-fills," I have not had these problems with this manufacturer.

(Caveats:)




DUST APPLICATORS
These hand-held "squeeze-type" dusters take a bit of expertise.  And if you expect them to last, take care of them.  My Centrobulb dusters are all several years old, and the three or four "El Cheapos" are at least two years old.  Understand, however, these items get no respect in my truck and often turn up damaged long before they wear out. I love my dusters.  It's a very useful, very cheap and effective tool in our arsenal.  One of the things I'll want on that desert island.

You can always practice your own "dusting" expertise.  Obtain some unscented talcum powder from the neighborhood drugstore, fill up the duster (not all the way, leave room to squeeze) and get familiar with the action.  Most insecticidal dusts either use talcum as a base or are formulated to approximate the consistency of talcum.  Be aware of any differences in consistency between your test and the actual product.

In most cases, you only need a light coating of dust - "great gobs" of dust are going to force insects to avoid your dust trap, and all you really need is a very light coating.  If you can see it without a side-looking flashlight, you've probably used too much.  The tiny particles (that's all you need) will stick to the insect and be ingested in routine grooming. The only time when "too much" is forgiven is if you are using dust to eliminate some kind of stinging insect.  Speed, not much else, is your consideration under these circumstances.

When you purchase dusts or powders for these items, make sure you get a quality product.  Feel and inspect the contents and packaging closely, if there are any lumps or irregularities, move on. You don't want to spend half your time reaming out the delivery tube, clearing blockages.  Could be dangerous if you're working with stinging insects. And remember to "shake and test" your bulb duster before each use.




ROACH BAITS
Use this sparingly. You don't need much. Squeeze out small, pearl-sized bait placements where you see roaches. Don't use too much, it's a waste. Roaches like corners, so be sure to put some in the corners! You can also make special placements in your cabinets and drawers, use bottle caps as little bait stations. Write the date on the bottlecap, so you know how long it's been out there. It should be effective for at least a good three months. Very easy to use, my Florida and California desert exterminator friends tell me it doesn't get runny and it has at least a one year shelf life.  

If you have LOTS of roaches, don't waste your time trying to do it yourself, get a pro to do it. He will have even more tools and the right chemicals to do the job correctly.  If you need that help, the Good Guys are where you start. Or check and see if any of the IPCO Guys are near you. Here's a listing right here.




MAXFORCE ROACH BUTTONS
We often use the buttons in conjunction with placement baiting using a syringe.  We then plot the placements by date and location of the buttons just to make sure they aren't taken by something other than roaches.  With the buttons, you have to change them more often, we do it almost every month.  Keep good track of your buttons for the most effective results and the minimum cost.

After opening, you have to take care of it.  Both the buttons and the syringes should be kept in a cool dark place, the buttons should be kept sealed in the original bag.  Don't get more than a year's supply, these products do have a shelf life.

Do not store roach baits in a freezer.

(Caveats:)




GENTROL AEROSOL FOAM
If there's any downside at all, (some might even say it's an upside) it's that the can is BIG.  Most people won't need this much.  You can do a lot of drains with this 16 ounce can. The large size is good for us (exterminators) but a large can is more than you'll probably need unless you have LOTS of drains to take care of.  Fortunately, this product is packed in a quality can and will last a long time.  (A small can, BTW, would be just as expensive.)

HOW WELL DOES IT WORK?
On drain flies it works very well.  Being a "growth regulator," it is not (technically) an insecticide.  Growth regulators work on insects by affecting the normal life stages as the insects develop.  The growth regulator blocks that action and the insect just stops developing from one stage to another.  The theory being that other organisms, including warm-blooded animals, don't go through a metamorphosis, and are thus unaffected. Growth regulators have been "designed" for a multitude of insect pests, fleas and roaches included.

HOW TO USE IT
This can comes with two pinpoint applicators, (one inch and six inch) use the longer one for drains, insert the tip all the way into the drain, spray as you pull the tip out.  It comes out kind of "foamy," and you really shouldn't use more than a 5-10 second squirt.  Check the drains again after about 6-7 days, you can re-apply if you need to. You don't need to re-apply if the problem has disappeared.  Check the drain for residual activity by using an overturned water glass to collect samples.

The label says you can use it in both food areas and non-food areas and that's true, you can indeed.  It also says you can re-apply every month for continuing control, but I think that's a bit much.  It also says you can use it as a "general surface spray."  Don't do it, you don't need much of this, it will sink into all the right spots..  Use it strictly as a crack and crevice tool, by using the applicator tubes included.  It works just as well this way, and you'll use a lot less.  This chemical (most chemicals, actually) should be used only when a problem arises and not continually, month after month.  In a commercial or multi-family dwelling, you should employ a professional exterminator.

This same product, in this same can, also works on roaches, but if you're using it for roaches, you should only use it as a "crack and crevice" device for the best results, I don't think it should be used as a "general spray" for roach control - it is important to remember that you don't need to use much!

Growth regulators are very valuable to exterminators, they give an extended time period that works on insects by preventing certain life stages to develop.  Drain flies, stored product pests, roaches and fruit flies are some of the insects that respond quite well to this attack.  IGRs are not something that insects can build a resistance, as they can do with some insecticides.

(Caveats:)




BAYGON BAIT
As we used to say way back in the ‘60's, "dynamite s---!"  This stuff is great for water bugs. Crickets too.  Last year we did a large warehouse with an equally large infestation of water bugs and the Monday after the Friday we did it, the owner called to say there were THOUSANDS of dead waterbugs everywhere.  He thought he only had "a few." (Waterbugs = oriental roaches, which look like this.)

Naturally, you have to be scientific about this.  You've got to place it where the roaches ARE, you just don't scatter this stuff about.  Make little piles where you know the roaches are, along pathways (walls) where they traverse.  And, of course, this is where experience comes in, so you're going to get lousy results if you don't think this out. Make your placements correctly and you'll get immediate results.

The product looks and feels like a granular sawdust, is placed where you see the roaches. The roaches are attracted to it, eat it, and die.  Quite effective for field crickets (inside or outside) too. This product is NOT as effective on camel or stone crickets. In use, outside, except for limited areas, Baygon would prove to be expensive also. There are other, more economical ways for the outside treatment of crickets.

The good thing about Baygon bait is that it's not really attractive to other things either - your dog or cat won't normally be attracted to, or eat it.  Baygon is much more effective against waterbugs (Oriental roaches) than spraying with conventional insecticides.  It is a good tool and we like it.  Recommended.

REMEMBER:  This product is not as effective against camel crickets (also called stone or cave crickets) and while it works, it doesn't work as well.

(Caveats:)




TALON-G (for rodents)
These work great for mice and rats.  We don't normally like to use bait inside, but sometimes you have to.  Like just inside the garage, on either side of the garage doors. Then you can pick them up, occasionally, inspect them for activity, and you'll know what's going on.  They do have a polyethylene liner so unless they're soaked under water, they stay fresh.  Good detectors.

Talon G is what they call a "single dose" rodenticide.  It's supposed to kill with a single feeding.  Doesn't always work that way, and it still takes a good seven days to take effect.  By the time the rodent feels any effect, it is too late.  While we may use many different bait formulations in our work, we use this, overall, the most.  Make it available for three days after it is taken, then suspend baiting.  Results will appear in few days, and last about seven days after that.

The toxic effect is in a direct relation to body weight.  Rodenticides are designed to kill small animals (like mice and rats) without a toxic effect on larger animals that may consume this product.  Actually, most pets are not attracted to it, and for humans, there's a "bittering agent" built into the formula, which makes it bitter to human taste. Most rodent baits are colored in green or some other "sickly" color as a visual tag.

(Caveats:)




GLUEBOARDS
These are only one kind - the cheap kind.  They also make a somewhat more substantial type, in a plastic tray, but they all work the same way, pressure-sensitive glue that acts as a trap for small rodents.  You have to be careful with these also, because they'll stick to anything they touch.  In use, you place them where the mice are and then throw away the glueboard with the mouse(s) attached.  You can also use these for "detectors."  Place them in an area (put the date on it) and you can tell, after awhile, what's been traversing the area.  Cheap and effective.

An advantage of the cheap cardboard kind, is that you can customize them with a pair of scissors and a staple gun and put these things where you'll get some action.

Or put them, folded, tent-like, on either side of your (attached) garage doors, inspect and change them on a regular basis.




RECHARGEABLE FLASHLIGHTS
Sometimes I even take it to church - if I need to inspect those areas where no one but the exterminator cares to go.  One time, I dropped mine 6 stories down an elevator shaft.  It bounced around, all the way down.  When I retrieved it, it was shining brightly through the soupy mess of oil and water at the bottom of the shaft.  I still use it.  This flashlight is supplied to us by the world's largest supplier of police and fire equipment.

Included, are TWO charger-holders, one is a 12-volt model and the other can be plugged into a standard 120-volt home electrical outlet, so you can have a charger in your car (or boat) and one at home.  It comes complete with mounting screws for both charger-holders, the battery and complete instructions - in four languages.

It comes in colors too.  The only one we regularly stock, however, is the black polymer model pictured.  (In the winter, the plastic case is much easier on your hands.)  There is also a model with an aluminum body and another model that is yellow and black for easy visibility.  They even make a camouflage model for all you survivalists out there. All are the same price, we can ship the black polymer model immediately, the others in a day or two.




RESPIRATORS
The mask pictured is a "Medium."  It's adjustable and  fits anyone I know.  You big-headed guys can order a "Large."

That 40-hour lifetime depends on a couple of factors.  What you're using it to filter out, of course, and how long you use it.  If you're using it in long stints, figure 3 sessions of 8 hours - and then throw it away.  The cartridges are not replaceable.  If you use it only occasionally, as most homeowners might, 40 hours can be a long time.  In this case, you can just about use it the full 40 hours, maybe more, depending on what you're using. Between uses, keep the mask in it's zip-lock bag, but leave it out for a couple of hours, after each use, so all perspiration will evaporate.  Don't forget to mark the date in indelible marker, somewhere on the rubber face parts so you'll know how long you've had it.  For each hour of use, "notch" it with the marker, so you can keep tabs on the 40 hours.

Under no circumstances use a mask when you can detect chemical odors.  The 40 hours is not written in stone, and can often be less.  It is a "manufacturers guideline" and we all know what that means.

Also, if you have any facial hair, (beard, etc) this mask is not for you.  You'll need a full-face respirator.  I can get you one of these, just let me know, I'll send you a price quote.  You'll easily spend more than two hundred dollars, depending on accessories, but all parts will be replaceable.  You MUST buy the bag to keep it in, (it's an accessory!) this is a precision instrument, not a toy.

THIS IS NOT A GAS MASK!
Also remember this is NOT something you'd want to use in a "terrorist attack" with lethal gas or germs.  I'll tell you right now, you just won't stand a chance.  Don't waste your money.  This resirator is for insecticides.  It can also be used for painting.




Victor Snap Traps
We think these are the most economical, most dependable and the most efficient of all of the mouse traps.  They are cheap to buy, can be used many times over, (even better when re-used) and we always have some in the truck.  GREAT product!  (And they don't pay me to say that, either.)

Our Trap Placement Page tells you how to use them.

Best way to handle a mouse caught in a trap?  Put a baggie on your hand, extract the mouse from the trap in your bagged hand, turn the bag inside-out, with the mouse inside.  Throw the baggie (with the mouse inside) in the trash.  Simple, clean and easy. And you still have the trap to use again.  (Of course you can use it again!)

The trap platform is wood.  Use a marker to put the date and location on the back, so you can keep track of it.




Caveats:

The most important thing to remember is to read the label on any product, especially any insecticides that you ever use.  Even if you have read the label before, when you buy another supply, even of the exact same kind, read the label again.  The manufacturers change their labels routinely, and there might possibly be a change in specifications that will make a big difference in how you treat for something.  This, and the shelf life factor, is also why you don't "stock up" on chemicals and insecticides.

Also, don't use any biocide (anything that kills life) in someone else's home, business or apartment.  Almost every state has regulations that require a pesticide applicator license for even common insecticides you might buy at the grocery store.

When you exterminate for someone else you are, in effect, acting as an exterminator, even if you're doing it for free.  So if you own an apartment house, don't go over and take care of someone's problem because you think you'll save some money or even if you know exactly how to do it.  If there's a problem, there's no insurance you have that will cover it.  If the tenant (or person) decides to sue you, you could be in deep doo-doo. So unless you're doing it only for yourself, on your own property, employ a regular exterminator.  His experience (and insurance) covers such eventualities.

So if you purchase any of these products from us, promise that you'll be a good boy/girl and won't do this.  Also check the terms and conditions of equipment or supplies that we stock and sell.

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