Natural Insect Control
Shop Online
Our Specials
Ask The Bugs
What's Happening
View Newsletter
Who is N.I.C.?
Ask The Bugs Archives
Woolly Aphids

Woolly Aphids
February 1st, 2010

Hi. Do you have a method of controlling woolly aphids on beech tree?

Thank you
Woolly Beech

Hi Mr. Beech,

Woolly aphids (family Eriosomatidae) attack both evergreen and deciduous trees. These insects appear as tiny (2 – 4mm), white, woolly spots on trunks, limbs or leaves. The waxy filamentous covering gives this pest a fluffy, cottony appearance, as though they are covered with wool. It is this waxy covering that makes it very difficult to control using beneficial insects such as ladybugs. The best advice I can give is using mineral oil or insecticidal soap. Any aphids that come in contact with the spray will be killed BUT the problem is that you need to get adequate/thorough spray coverage throughout the entire canopy. High pressure sprayers are excellent since they move the leaves and allow better coverage.
The Bug

Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats
February 9th, 2010

I love my house plants BUT have all these tiny flies around the soil and driving me crazy? Can you help? Going Gnatty

Dear Gnatty,
It sounds like you have fungus gnats. Fungus Gnats look like fruit flies, commonly they are found around indoor potted plants. They are small silver/blackish flies with long legs. Fungus gnats love wet soil and decaying plant material, searching moist soil in which to lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will feed on the roots of your plants. The easiest way to prevent fungus gnats is to water your plants properly. Overwatering, which causes your potting mix to remain moist for extended periods of time, attracts fungus gnats. If the adult fungus gnats are bothersome, trap them by using sticky yellow traps and place cards close to where the adults congregate on the soil. Beneficial nematodes are an effective control for fungus gnat in the soil. Easy to use by mixing with water and applying to soil by watering your plants. A repeat application in 2 weeks will control these nasty gnats. No Gnat treats 10 x 8 inch post twice (code 2204)
The Bug

February 16th, 2010

Dear Bug,
May I ask if your products will work on very tiny ants that seem to have infested our house (inside and out) they will start to overrun us when the weather warms up--peaking in summer we have tried borax based products before and simply cannot seem to stop the invasion.
Overrun in the City

Dear Overrun,
Keep using the borax baits; they are effective as long as the ants feed on them. It can take up to 2 weeks for you to notice a difference in the ant population. Here are a few other things to consider when controlling an ant situation.

1. Locating the place of entry of the ants into your home. Ants are deterred by chalk, talcum powder, cayenne pepper, charcoal dust and Diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth, called Insect Stop (code 3032A for 200g puff bottles for easy application along floor boards and entrance ways of code 3032B for 1kg can be used outside your home) will cut up ants as quickly as it cuts up other small insects. . So you could try lining your entryways with these products

2. Borax Baits. Borax baits, such Ant Attack (code 5420) are sweet and that is what attracts the ants to them. It is also attractive to kids and pets. Place your bait in small container like our Bug/Earwig traps (code 3079) to keep unwanted guest out of the baits. You can place this bait on wax paper as long your children and pets can not get to it, but ant can. The best place to put your baits is where you see the ant travelling.

3. Homemade Remedies. Another ant control method is to mix together baking soda with sugar (regular or powdered is fine) and placing them in small caps or Bug/Earwig Traps (code 3079). Put these caps or traps in areas where the ants can easily get to. This mixture will actually kill the ants and are a great method of natural pest control.

The Bug


February 22nd, 2010

Good morning to The Bug

I am enquiring about your ladybugs. I have the following questions......

1. Do you have Ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens) all year around? When can i get ladybugs to release outdoors?
2. Would they last in the fridge until the Spring?
3. Could I put some in bug houses for my children to observe and look after? If so, how long could you keep them in a bug house for before releasing them? Also, what do you feed a ladybug if it is in a bug house?
Miss Hippo

Dear Miss Hippo,
Yes, we do have ladybugs year around, expect for a short time in May. In late May, we usually have to wait a few weeks for our new (outdoor) ladybugs to arrive in June. Ladybugs have two collection periods which results in indoor and outdoor ladybugs. Our indoor ladybugs are available in the fall and must be released inside such as greenhouses or conservatories. In the late spring and summer, we have outdoor ladybugs that can be release outside to feed on your aphids. Indoor ladybugs tend to fly so they need to be confined, while outdoor ladybugs tend to stay where they are released. We will have ladybug for outdoor use in June. You can see our ladybugs and related products on our website (Indoor code 1011A and Outdoor code 1011A)
Ladybugs can only be kept in your fridge for 2 to 4 weeks. It is best to purchase ladybugs when you need them.
Ladybug houses are not necessary for ladybug survival. They are really just a garden decoration. There is nothing you can do to get your ladybugs to live in a house. If you want to keep your ladybugs in your yard, try our Beneficial Insect Food (code 5020A). It is an extra food source that allows you to attract ladybugs and other native insects to certain areas in your yard.
The Bug

Natural Insect Control