Garden moles are cute little creatures that have a habit of making tunnels in the garden or pushing rocks around that can potentially harm the garden or equipment that is sitting there. These creatures are almost blind but it doesn’t stop them from getting to where they are going. Since they spend a lot of time under the ground, they don’t use them much anyway.
Unfortunately, these furry critters have the potential to damage other things aside from the garden and equipment like such things as the drainage systems. Also, with the tunnels that they build, weasels can access the territory which is another story altogether.
Moles aren’t all bad as their digging helps to aerate the soil and because they eat invertebrate animals, they don’t eat the plants. They can however make your garden into an eye sore because of the mounds of dirt that they push up aside from the damage that they can cause.
Because garden moles are not social creatures, there is good news and that is that you only have to get rid of one of them to end the problem.
You can find out which tunnel the mole uses by ruining a part of it and see if the animal fixes it. When it does repair the tunnel, that is the tunnel that you need to put the trap in. You don’t necessarily have to use a trap because you can often catch them with a shovel. You can also use a mouse trap because they are about the same size as a large sized mouse.
When you mix castor oil, cayenne pepper with water and spray it into the tunnels, this will stick onto the fur of the creature and cause it to itch and burn. This will make the creature run from the property and not want to return.
Fox urine and human hair can act as a repellent for these creatures when they are put down into the tunnels. Castor oil can also be used as it gives the mole an upset stomach. If you want to take the route of poisoning them, you can purchase mole pellets or invest in a cat that may send them over to the next door neighbor’s yard.
Keeping them Around
Even though a mole can be destructive, they can also help the yard. They aren’t harmful to humans or pets so it might be worth it to outlast their visit too.
Birds are very pretty in nature and there are plenty of people who have taken up watching them as a hobby but when you have a lot of them in your yard, it might be more of a hassle than anything else. It is not like watching the cartoons but it turns into a real-life nightmare. There are many types of birds that might have a desire to take over your home and there are different ways of dealing with each one.
- Feral pigeons are the number one bird pest, which are known for their debris. This debris collects on roofs and in gutters, drain spouts, as well as other various places. This debris can then damage these areas. The feces are corrosive aside from it adding an unpleasant sight to the area but is also the carrier of various health risks because of various parasites and fungi that live in it. To keep them away, you can try using netting but it won’t come without a battle. They do like to stay where they originated from.
- Starlings and sparrows while they are beautiful birds can cause the same damage as pigeons but they also tend to drive the native birds to extinction. This being said, unlike the pigeon, they can be trapped and relocated but they may be quickly replaced with another group. Starlings are however easily spooked by loud noises and both starlings and sparrows can be deterred by mild electrical shocks. Once the birds have been removed, the nests should also go.
- Gulls can also cause the same problems as pigeons but they are mostly located near coastal areas or various bodies of water. They can be deterred through various means such as electrical shock, netting, noisemakers or by shapes of their natural predators.
- Canada geese are more of a nuisance for farmers when they are migrating north or south. They like to eat and trample the crops. They are also worse for air safety than even the gulls are and they can become aggressive during mating season. There are fencing systems that can work as well as the visual and/or audio systems that you can use. Denying them access to the water source such as ponds as well as the grassy areas can also be effective.
- Woodpeckers cause damage to trees and to homes but can be deterred with protective coatings being put on the wooden areas effected as it leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
- Grackles and blackbirds do similar activities as the starlings do but they also make a lot of noise. Electric shocks, irritant fogs, visual fright devices as well as noisemakers work well in getting rid of these creatures.
Ladybugs have a lot of great qualities. They are a pretty insect for one thing, but they also eat other bugs that can be harmful to plants. On many occasions, gardeners have brought in ladybugs to protect their plants from these other insects. The unfortunate thing about this whole scenario is that there was such a demand for these creatures that companies started to import them from Asia and they do not act the same way as the other species normally available. They are more voracious and they hibernate in winter unlike the North American ones that are more domestic and that die in the cold season. This has caused a problem with ladybugs that we are now trying to fix.
Generally these ladybugs look for cracks and crevices to make their homes in and if you have a home that is made with wooden siding or is painted using a light color, it is a great attractant for these insects. The pheromones that they excrete attract even more ladybugs and they start to overflow the home after some time. They don’t tend to damage anything within the home but they can be a nuisance when they are flying around, land on you or even bite you if they are in need of food.
The first step to taking control of the situation is to take away their access routes to your home. Inspect your home for cracks and crevices and seal them. Also, you can spray them with insecticide unless they are in the attic where this route of using spray is not recommended. Foam insulation is good for the sealing of cracks especially those near windows, light fixtures and so on.
You have other options aside from using harmful chemicals as you can use an insecticidal soap spray that will kill them when it comes into contact with them. It is not considered a repellent however because there is no residual effect. There is a chemical called cypermethrin which not only kills the ladybugs on contact but also repels them. It is used to spray over cracks and crevices after they are filled in and sealed.
In the case that you want immediate results that will kill the creatures, you can use a hand held zapper which electrocutes the creature. A bug zapper/vacuum is another option. This sucks the ladybugs right out of the air and you have a choice of killing it or letting it go. You can also opt simply to vacuum the bugs, which is a cheaper option than the zapper.
Box elder bugs are found all over the United States between the seasons of fall and spring. It is about half an inch long by quarter of an inch wide. Wherever there is a female box elder bug, there will be hordes of males. While they eat a wide variety of plants, they like to eat the seed pod from the female even more. The easiest way to remove the bugs might seem to be to remove the female but these bugs can fly a long distance so they can easily travel from place to place.
The Annoyances of Having Box Elder Bugs
These bugs are not potentially dangerous as other bugs are such as wasps or mosquitoes but they are an eye sore and they can stain various types of light-colored surfaces such as curtains. Also, if you step on, it has a very bad and strong odor. The only predators known to this bug happen to be worse than the bug itself and two of these are rodents and geese.
Making repairs to your home where the bugs invade the home is a good start. Seal up the points where they enter the home, repair any torn screens and repair the cracks around doors and windows. Vacuum the bugs that have already entered the home and dump them and/or spraying them with a mixture of laundry detergent and water can be a good fix. For removal from the exterior walls or tree trunks you can use a pressure hose.
Infestations caused by a female in the area is a different story altogether in many ways. It is not just as simple as repairing and cleaning but the tree that has the female needs to be eliminated. Any other method would only be a temporary fix. Insecticide is not usually effective. If the destruction of the tree does not work, then clear away the seeds from the fallen tree. You can do this with a shop vacuum. The seeds need to be removed from the yard, patios, and driveways. The leaves and weeds should be cleared away about six to ten feet around the foundation of the home, especially the south and west sides. If the tree is on your property and you don’t want to have it removed then you can have a tree sprayer come in each year to prepare it for when the female is to lay the eggs on the leaves.
Blackberries have quite a number of users. Therefore, you hardly want to waste them. You should probably pick every last one of them, and then find a way to get rid of some of the bushes if they spread too far into a garden, lot, or walk way.
The Main Concern
Blackberry bushes have thorns. Therefore, if they extend to far into walking paths they can cause an injury. They often grow very quickly and they are not even easily removed by mowing, cutting, or burning.
Even bulldozing them sometimes seems to be a challenge. However, you have to do what you have to do and you should just use whatever method is available to you. It probably would be to your advantage to seek out all methods and choose the one you think is the best for you.
Elimination of Them
Here are some preventive and maintenance tips that should help you along the way:
You should plant them right in the first place. It helps to plan ahead. You should leave enough room to grow all around the area where each blackberry bush is placed. You should, for one, account for this spreading plant’s potentially extensive root system.
Dig deep to remove the roots. Blackberries are a wonderful fruit. However, the reality is that you can only have so many of them. Come time to dig them out you should dig as deep into the ground as possible and reach to the end of the root system. That is the best way to prevent further spreading of this plant.
When cutting, cut as thoroughly as possible. This may not be the easiest method to try but when doing so you should do as thorough of a job as possible. The best way to do this is to cut off certain branches or sections from the root on up. This can be more of a challenge than digging, and cutting to shallow will cause you to need to cut more often as they will re-grow.
Do not procrastinate and do not give up. Blackberry bushes are very persistent. It takes quite a bit of persistence and determination to keep them under control. You can use a variety of methods to remove them or you can use just one method of removal.
It can be amazing watching seagulls flying in the sky or by the beach but they are also very smart animals that have complex forms of communication with each other. These creatures generally like to hunt crabs or other forms of seafood but they also like to get their food from humans as well. Other than scavenging from humans, when around the home, they can cause other disturbances such as building their nests and leaving droppings around the cars. These gulls can also become aggressive and hurt people while going about their activities. While it might be tempting to kill the creatures, they are protected under certain laws so you have to take other routes to getting rid of them.
The Problem with Gulls
The problem with gulls does not stop at the nuisances that they may be or at their potentially aggressive behavior. The content in the droppings are rich in nutrients and can cause the growth of dangerous bacteria. There may also be traces of E-Coli and other dangerous organisms. These droppings are corrosive so may damage the car in the meantime.
There are a number of ways to get rid of seagulls. Here are some of the ones that work most effectively.
Spikes: Although the name sounds dangerous, seagull spikes do not hurt or harm the animal because they are blunt. They are merely to be stuck on the roof or other places where the animal may perch to dissuade them from going sitting there for any length of time.
Wires: Seagull wires are long metal wires that have springs placed on each end. When the seagulls sit on them, they will not stay for long because the springs make the wire seem unstable.
Nets: The bird net is made from strong synthetic materials that are used to cover larger areas such as the entire roof. These are quite durable and can last for up to ten years. These do not affect the look of the building as most are made to be unnoticeable from far farther distances. If you use this, the 75mm mesh size works the best.
Nest Removal: If you can’t obtain the other methods then you have ask to have the nest to be moved in a legal fashion. This is only permitted to be done by licenses companies and the professionals know how to complete this task properly.
Many times prevention is the best medicine and you can do this by keeping your grounds clean of debris and garbage. Also install poles around your yard in the case that you like to eat outside. Seagull control devices that emit high-frequency sounds are another option.
Dandelions are a very persistent perennial weed. They can be beautiful, but many people who have them in their yards prefer them not to be there.
The main reason they are often considered a nuisance is because many people prefer just a totally green lawn with no weeds or flowers in it. Maybe they would be the type of people who would prefer that the dandelions be in decorative patches but just not spread over the whole lawn.
A variety of methods of dandelion removal have been used over the years. You can pick and choose which ways are best for you. More than one way is provided as a suggestion to help you in case one way does not work as well as you hoped.
Mow your lawn. If you do this while your lawn is in bloom it can help you get rid of dandelion patches. If you mow your lawn or garden regularly it can help prevent the dandelions from blossoming, maturing, and seeding. If you prevent seeding you can prevent future dandelion growth.
Dig out the dandelions by the root. This means more than just pulling the flowers out of the soil. You actually need to dig as deep as possible until you get to the bottom of this flower’s web of roots below the surface of the dirt.
Boil them to death. This method is otherwise referred to as “poaching.” It involves pouring hot water over dandelions in order to kill them. You might want to especially try this on a hot, sunny day-just on the dandelions not the grass.
Feed the animals with these flowers. If you do not at all like the looks of dandelions in your lawn you can at least make some use of them. You could learn how to make dandelion wine, or even use parts of this flower in salads. However, one very useful tip is to give them to animals because they have in them Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
Feed the dandelions corn gluten (safe herbicide alternative). This is a substance that has been used on quite a few types of weeds in lawns and gardens. It can be used on dandelions, too. The main purpose is to kill these flowers without using dangerous chemical herbicides.
Burn the dandelions. This is easiest done with a weed torch. You could also hire a professional burn crew if you do not want to do this yourself. This method is very effective, but it is not necessarily considered the safest so be careful.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that dwell where humans tend to be found. They make their meals from dead skin from humans, pets and various microorganisms. They are also the cause of many of the allergic reactions that humans experience. In the case that you have allergies, there is a good chance that this is one of them. They can be the cause of breathing problems such as asthma, as well as dermatitis, and conjunctivitis. These conditions can be more than irritating and in fact can be quite dangerous so it is important to control the problem of dust mites as much as possible.
A Dust Mite’s Favorite Spot
There are a number of places where these dust mites like to live:
- Pillows and bed: These areas should be kept clean at all times. You should be spending several hours a day in these places and the dead skin starts to add up.
- Couches and chairs: Couches and chairs end up with a lot of dead skins cells also and quickly become a favorite for dust mites.
- Drapes and curtains: While these heavier materials might look nice, they collect dust which makes them a nice buffet for these creatures.
- Carpets: A drop off spot for flying dead skin cells whether from humans or pets, the more carpet you have, the more dust mites you have also.
Fending Off the Creatures
There are a number of different things that you can do to get rid of these creatures. The first step is to clean the areas where they feed and breed. Dusting does not count as real cleaning because it only touches the surface and only a few of these creatures live there.
Instead of just dusting the areas, vacuum. Use your vacuum for your mattress and pillows. It is better if there is a HEPA filter in the vacuum.
Wash everything. Wash your pillows, bedding and even your mattress. Leave the mattress in the sun to dry as the sunlight kills dust mites. Wash everything else with hot water because they can’t endure hot temperatures either.
Repeat this with the carpet. Vacuum the carpets or get rid of them altogether.
Washing drapes is a little difficult but you can replace them with shades that are much easier to clean and they don’t collect dust.
In the case that you have children that love stuffed animals or perhaps you love them yourself, keep them clean. If you can’t wash or vacuum them then keep them in a sealed plastic bag. This not only keeps them clean but also preserves them.
Other places to keep clean include drawers, closets, attics, and hard to reach areas such and under heavy furniture.
Bamboo has long been used as a way to decorate. However, in some cases they may spread so rapidly throughout the yard that they become a total nuisance.
The method of removal may depend upon the type of bamboo. The types of bamboo are briefly described, and then you are given general methods of removal.
Types of Bamboo
There are essentially two major types of bamboo, running and clumping. The running bamboo is named for its rhizomes that spread out eventually into a full bamboo.
The clumping bamboo stays in tighter clusters and does not spread like the running type. The clumping bamboo shoots also grow slower. However, at one point both types can be equally as tough to eliminate.
A variety of ways of removing unwanted bamboo shoots is provided below. The methods you choose depend upon preference as well as severity of the problem.
Starve them and contain them. This is one method of getting rid of bamboo shoots that have gotten out of hand. The first step of this process is to dig to 16 inches below the surface of the soil where the bamboo grows, creating a trench around this area of growth. The trench should be 30 inches deep. When you are done digging, fill the trenches with concrete or gravel as this will help prevent the bamboo shoots from reaching the surface.
Put a barrier around them. If you want to control your otherwise attract bamboo trees you can build a barrier around them. This will block the bamboo from spreading throughout your yard. You can make this barrier out of plastic or metal and it should be placed about two feet under the ground for it to hold properly.
Use an herbicide. If you cannot seem to control the bamboo shoots that grow beyond the original plant sometimes killing them may be the only way to remove them. This is a method that should be used with caution, and it should be done as a last resort. For this process to be most effective you should cut the bamboo shoots down to six inches.
Cook them. First, you should cut the bamboo shoots to no more than a few inches from the ground. Then, you should spread some nitrogen fertilizer over the entire grove of bamboo. It should be thick enough to cover all the shoots that have been cut. Then, cover it with a transparent sheet.
Bees are essential for a few main reasons, two of which include the making of honey and the pollination of flowers. Despite the fact that they help so much in nature they can be pesky creatures that cause pain at the same time. These creatures can build nests near various parts of your home including the garden and the balcony. When they believe that you are crossing on their territory, they can be defensive and decide to take action. This is where the stinging comes in. This sting hurts and causes some swelling in the area which of course is temporary. The bee also only stings once as it causes their death.
The Bee Sting
The first thing you might notice with the bee sting is the sharp burning pain then you might notice the stinger left in place. You can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to remove the stinger but don’t leave anything behind. Place a cold compress on the area immediately to stop the swelling. You can use painkillers to reduce the pain and itch from the sting.
The first step in getting rid of bees is getting rid of the nest or beehive. This may contain hundreds of bees and are usually located underneath the porch or eves of the home. They can also be located in crevices, cracks and in the corners of the garage. To locate the hive, go out either early in the morning or late dusk when the bees will be home so to speak. Contact a beekeeper to help you remove the beehive as they will usually do it without any cost.
If there isn’t a beekeeper in your area, you can use a bug spray or insecticide to do the trick. Spray the liquid into the hole of the hive when the bees are at home and it will kill the creatures. Repeat this procedure the next day also to ensure that the bees have been killed. For some circumstances when you aren’t sure about the situation, you can call an exterminator for help.
To keep the bees from back, you need to have the hive removed completely. For a nest that has been created in the crevice of your home, seal the crevice once the nest is removed. Check around your home and make sure that other such spots have been sealed as well.