Backyard Assist Desk: Determining in case your infestation is termites, and tips on how to deal with them | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

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Backyard Assist Desk: Determining in case your infestation is termites, and tips on how to deal with them | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

Termites do not tolerate exposure to warm, dry air or light. They build mud burrows to protect themselves when they need to move across open spaces between earth and food sources such as drywall or wood.

Termites feed on the paper-based surface of sheetrock and tunnel through the sheetrock itself as they feed.

Oxalis in a garden or shrub bed can often be controlled with hand pulling, but it’s important to remove the weeds before they bloom to avoid adding new seeds to the garden.

When oxalis grows on a lawn, it becomes mixed up with grass plants and cannot be effectively or practically controlled by hand pulling.


Courtesy of Meredith Seaver

Termites do not tolerate exposure to warm, dry air or light. They build mud burrows to protect themselves when they need to move across open spaces between earth and food sources such as drywall or wood.

There are thick streaks of mud on the walls of my crawl space. Do bugs do these?

Without photos I can only guess. If your mud lines look like the photo I’ve attached then the problem is termites, insects yes but not members of the true beetle family. Subterranean termites are the most common species found in Utah, and that’s probably what you encountered with these mud structures.

Termites are small insects that can be mistaken for ants if you don’t look closely. Unlike ants, they have a soft body and a wide midsection. Ants have hard exoskeletons and pinched “waists”. Termites are social insects (they live in colonies) and their colonies can get quite large, making their diet very destructive.

Termites are not the hardiest of insects. They need warm temperatures, high humidity, and sun protection to thrive. Mud hoses protect them from cold or drying air and bright light.

These pests feed on cellulose, a major component of wood. Cellulose is not only found in the studs, rafters, stair stringers and beams of a house; It is also found on the outside of sheetrock and in a variety of paper products. Termite feeding can damage anything that contains cellulose. Termites will feed on any wood product that makes direct contact with the ground, building mud ducts to traverse areas of stone, cinder block, or concrete that are between the ground and wood products. Crawl spaces and unfinished basements are good examples of spaces where you might find mud hoses.

Courtesy of Meredith Seaver

Termites feed on the paper-based surface of sheetrock and tunnel through the sheetrock itself as they feed.

Termite problems require treatment by a pest controller. Most pest control companies that deal with structural pests will provide you with a free estimate for inspection and treatment. Before paying for pest control services, it’s good to get two or three different estimates that include the same basic treatments. Estimates from a national company, a regional company, and a small local company should give you a good idea of ​​your options.

Termites prefer moist locations. You can reduce the chances of having termite problems again by taking steps to reduce humidity in and around your home. Check your kitchen, bathrooms, utility and laundry rooms for leaks; improve ventilation in your basement; For foundation plantings, switch to drip irrigation instead of sprinklers and, of course, water deeply but not infrequently.

We had trouble with some hard to control clover weeds in our lawn last year. I’ve been spraying Trimec about once a month but the clover seems to be quite resilient while all the other broadleaf weeds die off. I could see there was a problem all over our street. Can you help me figure out why it has spread so quickly and how to control it this year?

It looks like your lawn has a problem with oxalis, also known as wood sorrel. It is sometimes confused with clover.

Oxalis is a perennial, so the weeds you struggled with last year will be back this year. You will also see new Oxalis this year as they are very easy to propagate through seeds. The mature seed pods open explosively and the seed can be thrown several meters. This explains how the oxalis has spread so easily in your garden and neighborhood.

Courtesy of Meredith Seaver

Oxalis in a garden or shrub bed can often be controlled with hand pulling, but it’s important to remove the weeds before they bloom to avoid adding new seeds to the garden.

The right post-emergence herbicide (weed killer) will help you get a grip on overwintering oxalis in your lawn. A better choice than Trimec for chemical control of this weed is triclopyr. It is an active ingredient in several branded products, often combined with other active ingredients in lawn weed control products. You won’t have any trouble finding what you need on store shelves this spring. Incorporating a pre-emergent herbicide into your spring weed control program will help prevent new oxalis seeds from germinating.

Also, make sure you follow good lawn care practices; They make it easier to control weeds in your lawn. Enough fertilizer (but not too much) and deep, infrequent watering will help your lawn stay dense and healthy, making it harder for the oxalis to thrive. Mowing your lawn higher and using a mulching mower will shade the ground, reducing seed germination and the vigor of the already growing oxalis.

Consistently practicing good lawn care, pre-emergence herbicides, and post-emergence herbicides will give you the upper hand over time.

When oxalis grows on a lawn, it becomes mixed up with grass plants and cannot be effectively or practically controlled by hand pulling.

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