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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Foundation Treatments

Posted by John Fulton -

It's about that time once again when the lowly cricket makes a real nuisance of itself in your home. Add to this a large number of ants, and an ounce of prevention goes a long way. The best offense is a good defense, and that means putting down a preventative foundation treatment.

A foundation treatment entails spraying the foundation of the house and the adjacent foot or two of soil with permethrin or bifenthrin insecticide. This treatment creates a chemical barrier that the insects crawl through when trying to enter your home. If they don't die on the outside, they are very short lived on the inside. You can expect the chemical treatment to last for 3-4 weeks. Both of these chemicals are used on a wide range of plants, so should present no problems to flowers, shrubs, or turf.

Once crickets are on the inside, there are few effective options, and none that will do a good job over a period of time. These options include: spraying individual insects or small areas with an aerosol products containing pyrethrins, spraying baseboard areas with an aerosol containing permethrin, or a fly swatter.

Foundation sprays are also effective against ants, spiders, elm leaf beetles, and other nuisance pests so the benefits are several for applying these treatments. The addition of ant bait stations in the house should aid your control efforts against ants. With the bait stations, try not to spray anything indoors for about a week. This allows the poison bait to get back to a nest.

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