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The Heat Is Finally Here - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

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The Heat Is Finally Here [Jul. 18th, 2009|04:26 am]
Kelly J. Cooper

Don't forget, you can kill the itch of a mosquito bite by running a spoon under hot water and then pressing it to the bite to kill the proteins that make it itchy.

Those little hand-held zappers do pretty much the same thing, but they're portable, so you can take 'em camping & whatnot. (Do NOT heat a metal object, using a lighter or something, and then press it to your skin - you will burn yourself.)

Skeeters are attracted to foot stink, so keep yer sandals clean.

The more ya know, etc.

OH, and also, if you have fruit flies, I got this recipe from aroraborealis and it works brilliantly:
  • Wide-mouth jar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 drops of dish soap
  • Honestly, the 2-2-2-2 is just the easiest way for me to remember the ingredients. I usually just fill my bug jar most of the way with warm water, dissolve in at least 2 tsp-worth of sugar (err on the side of too much), stir til the sugar's dissolved, then add the cider vinegar, give it another little stir, then finish with the dish soap.

    I do it in this order to maximize mixing and minimize agitation post-soap, which makes it less effective (the bugs land because it all smells good and sticky; they lean in to take a sip, then can't escape because the soap messes with surface tension, but it doesn't work as well if you let the soap foam).

    If you don't have cider vinegar, white vinegar and a splash of juice will do, but not as well.

    Pour out the dead bugs every week or two and remake the mix to keep it fresh & attractive to the little bastiches.

    [User Picture]From: iy
    2009-07-18 04:55 am (UTC)
    any moth suggestions? we have many or snails we have lots of those too
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: kjc
    2009-07-18 05:35 am (UTC)
    What kind of moths? Those annoying kitchen ones or the ones that eat clothing or are they just outside, buggin' you? (Heh!)

    For kitchen moths, there are a couple of vendors who offer "scent traps" - they're pieces of sticky cardboard and you open a scent lure and drop it onto the sticky bit. The cardboard is folded into a triangle shape to minimize the dust intake, so the stick stays sticky. They're open on either end so that the scent of the lure can move with the air in your kitchen.

    I've used both Safer's Pantry Pest Trap and SpringStar Bird Seed Moth Traps to excellent effect. I like scent traps because they're targeted & minimize chemical crap in my kitchen. They attract the males and the buggers get stuck, so no breeding, which gradually depletes the population.

    However, if your infestation is quite bad, you'll need to ALSO clean the kitchen from top to bottom. Focus on the trouble spots, take everything out of the pantry and throw away anything not sealed in a can or glass jar. No matter how good the plastic container, the eggs are microscopic and the fresh born maggots are so tiny they can get into ANY PLASTIC. I cannot emphasize this enough! Given time, they WILL get into even the best, highest quality plastic or rubber-ware. Chuck everything edible. Remove (if they're removable) the shelves and wipe them down with a good cleaner or diluted bleach. If you have those cabinets with extra holes for moving the shelves around? Get Q-tips and hit EVERY HOLE. They're like maggot condos for the little fuckers.

    Their favorite foods are grains & chocolate. So they'll focus on your pasta, your cereal, and your candy bars first, then everything else second.

    Dip the bottom of every can or jar into a diluted bleach solution, wipe with a clean cloth, and then put back on the shelves after they've dried.

    Buy all new pasta, cereal, other grains, etc. and, if you can, put them into glass containers. Tape the name of the food (cut from the cardboard box) on the OUTSIDE of the box. Don't put it inside - they often hide in the cardboard. Put scent traps everywhere, but focus on putting them up high - on top of the fridge and cabinets - so the air currents can carry the scent to the flyers.

    They like to go UP, so focus less on a dirty floor and more on cabinets - do NOT neglect the tops of the cabinets! Maggots will crawl up the walls & cocoon in the corner where the wall meets the ceiling - this gives the moth the best chance of being able to fly away. Watch the walls & doors of your cabinets for travelers heading up - squish them when found. Get a new mop or something that you can use to wipe them off the walls out of reach. Clean the webby stuff from wherever the walls meet the ceiling. And, of course, continue to squish & kill any moths you see.

    Once you've got the infestation under control and your traps aren't constantly full, you can go back to using tupperware (which you've thoroughly washed) as it does slow them down.

    Oh, almost forgot, foil (metal coated wrappers) foils 'em too! (Hah!) So certain snack bars are safe.

    I've never had closet moths, so I don't know much beyond using cedar.

    And bug zappers are great for regular moths as they're attracted to the light.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: iy
    2009-07-18 07:45 am (UTC)
    clothes moths - we had an incredibly bad infestation last year so I'm always on the look out about what else to do
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: kjc
    2009-07-18 08:52 am (UTC)
    Well, I've not had them, but I understand that cedar repels them.

    I've seen cedar hangers, little balls & blocks, tile-like things (short planks, held together by rubber straps, stapled on, like the "cedar tiles" on this web page: http://www.cedarwoodco.com/products.php), cedar oil, small cedar shelves for shoes, and even cedar drawer liners.

    I've noticed that cedar wood tends to slowly seep oil, so I tend to put my cedar blocks in plastic bags and roll down the tops of the bags so the cedar can outgas, but won't stain anything they touch.

    I've also seen the traps I mentioned above, that I use for pantry moths, for clothing moths as well. Probably a lot of the same things apply in terms of them wanting to move upwards and you wanting to put traps where there's some air movement, so the moths will sense and go to the traps.

    Here are a couple of good pages for getting rid of cloth moths:

    Apparently they dislike natural light and cleanliness, so a clothes line might help.

    And it sounds like, if you have a bad infestation, you need to do the same level of cleaning as I described for our kitchen, but do it where the clothes are stored. Finish with the vacuum.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    From: tamidon
    2009-07-18 08:16 am (UTC)
    I do the wide mouth jar, a coffee filter with a hole in it,rubber band, and beer
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: kjc
    2009-07-18 08:54 am (UTC)
    Ok, so if I understand you, you use a wide mouth jar full of beer and you put a coffee filter (snipped to have a little hole) over the mouth with a rubber band to hold the filter on?

    Or does the filter need to hang down into the beer or something?
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    From: tamidon
    2009-07-18 08:58 am (UTC)
    the first
    the filter stops them from getting out again
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: rosiewoodboat
    2009-07-18 11:55 pm (UTC)

    Vinegar flies

    Ah, what you call "fruit flies" I know as vinegar flies....
    (Reply) (Thread)