Whats your favorite Bug Killer for Lawns?

artzypantz(z5 / IOWA)May 12, 2007

Hi! I was planning to use Sevin granuals on my lawn for bugs & pests. I want to control ants, grubs, fleas, tics, roaches, flys, mosquitos, japanese beetles, spiders, beetles, those BIG brown flying bugs with the hard crusty shells, and wasps for the most part.

I sowed some grass seed in some bare patches about 2 to 3 weeks ago, and the grass is about 2 to 2 1/2 inches tall now. Will the Sevin or any other bug killer, harm my grass seedlings?

Children will play in the yard occasionally and cut thru daily. Will this harm the children with slow release granual?

I've never used Sevin before. I sprayed the foundation with indoor/outdoor bug spray in the past, but would like to cover more ground now.

Whats your favorite pest control for Lawns, and around the outside of the house?

Thanks for your input!

Enjoy your day!


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malorn(7 S.E. Mass)

This is just what I would do...and I would do it because it has been suggested on these forums..however it is just my personal preference..and my personal experience is limited..

I'd identify if I even had a problem with any of the critters you are identifying..if the critters are not a problem I wouldn't do anything..I personally do not believe that using chemicals as a preventive measure is a good thing..

If there is a problem..I'd try to find which critter or critters and treat it specifically..other than just using something that will kill all...I was told that 5 grubs per square foot might indicate a grub problem...some believe spiders to be a good thing..

I personally do not believe Sevin to be safe..I think it is toxic to some of the critters we want in the lawn, such as earthworms..but that is just a personal belief..I truly can't back that up..I do believe I read it here on these forum..I am not pro or against chemicals...I just had to use a product last week..but before I did use it I made sure to try every other eco-method first..

Personally..I like the manual method of removal..If I see it..squish it..and I love it when I see the robins out picking through my yard..

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 2:02PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Here's the scoop on Sevin. It is SO toxic to earthworms that it is used to kill them on golf courses or other areas where their activities aren't appreciated. They don't want those bumpy ol' worm holes and castings on those expensive greens, after all! Of all of the 'lawn' pesticides, that's the worst one for worms. There are others that are very detrimental, too. Don't forget the herbicides and fungicides.

I've found that the more one relies on pesticides, the worse the problems are likely to become.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 2:28PM
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artzypantz(z5 / IOWA)

Thank you both for your input! I certainly do not want to make problems worse, and i do not wish to kill off earthworms, nor toxify the area.

I have no idea how to keep the lawn and around the house area under control with out using pesticides. I am assuming if Sevin is toxic the rest on the shelf next to it are too.

Isn't there any thing out there that is safe to use?
We have tons of ant colonies in the yard, as well as spiders.
Now i don't mind spiders as they do alot of good when they are outside, but its to the point we can't get in the door without walking thru constant webs! These guys are HUGE!
They are definately eating their fill, but they produce very large webs and very fast. The deck infront of the door is constantly covered in them, as well as the front door.

Mosquitos are very bad, as well as wasp.
I know its only a matter of time before the rest move in as usual.

Our yard is kept clean with no junk piles or trash, and things are not piled up around the house, no weeds & such.

Any ideas? They make indoor SAFE pestcontrol for house plants, do they have something safe for the outdoors??

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:28AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't let those large garden spiders collect around my front door, either. I use a broom to discourage them and they soon find another roost. Keeping the porch light off at night might help, as well. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 11:18AM
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antzy -

You'll hear a lot here about avoidance of chemicals and not harming beneficial insects and the like. And believe me, all of it is good advice; after all, why kill an insect or worm if it is helping to aerate (and eventually fertilize) your lawn?

However, I, for one, have suffered ant infestations that have so over-cultivated beneath the lawn that two areas dried out and died - because I was trying to leave them there after hearing they were good for the lawn (incidentally, I DO leave them in my front lawn, because they aren't creating mounds there and they aren't causing the lawn to die). Chemical control was a Godsend.

Additionally, I nearly lost my front lawn to grubs (and the moles that followed) one year. Castor oil (nontoxic) successfully chased away the moles, but chemicals knocked out the grubs and saved the lawn. I now do alternating preventative treatments (Mach2 one year - Spectracide halofenozide product; Merit the next - Bayer imidacloprid product) - less toxic chemicals that replaced the more harmful "rescue" treatments necessitated by a previous avoidance of chemicals.

I'm a busy man, but my lawn is a bit of a hobby and I've researched a lot of stuff, from toxicity to effectiveness. Ultimately, I've had a little experience, and continue to gain more.

First, Rhizo's entirely right - Sevin's murder on earthworms. It can be a grub "rescue" treatment (admittedly, it's what I used to rescue my lawn), if necessary, but acc. to pros I've read from, Dylox (Bayer brand 24 hr. grub killer) is stronger (on grubs), breaks down more quickly in the soil, and won't cause AS MUCH harm to earthworms (though it certainly harms them).

If you've determined you need some kind of control for pests, I would recommend you read the extoxnet and EPA info on the pesticides you're looking into, to see if they're good for your application. Additionally, lurk a bit on www.lawnsite.com, where professional lawn care people post regarding their experiences with different products (in the pesticide application section).

For what it's worth, I've had great success with Triazicide - both granular and liquid (granules last longer) on killing ants in the lawn. Its active ingredient, lambda-cyhalothrin, is a synthetic pyrethroid - the family of chemicals used for interior insect killing in homes and restaurants. It lasts long because it bonds to the soil; however, while it's labeled for grub killing, many say it's bonding quality lessens the effectiveness (because doesn't get deep enough in the ground). As illustrated by synthetic pyrethroids' widespread approval for interior applications, it poses little if any threat to mammals when used according to directions and allowed to dry before reentry.

Re earthworms, I have TONS of them after treating with Triazicide. I'm sure it's not good for them, but it hasn't changed their population noticeably.

For grubs, halofenozide (Mach2 - the active ingredient in Spectracide Grub Stop) causes grubs to molt early, which in turn causes them to stop feeding and die. Imidacloprid (Merit - active ingredient in Bayer Season Long Grub Control and the new Scotts GrubEx) is brought into the roots of the lawn (systemic) and when young grubs bite, it kills them. Both are very light toxicity to mammals, but because they are so mild, their application must be timed with the grub (several beetle species, most common Japanese and June beetles) life cycle. Pros suggest you put them down in early July so that the young grubs get them right after their eggs hatch. Run a google search to learn about the grub cycle. Merit and Mach2 have virtually no effect on earthworms.

If you have let the grubs mature come fall (or if your initial treatment fails), Bayer Dylox is the product to "zap" them. It uses Trichlorfon, an organophosphate insecticide, which is much more toxic to mammals so reentry rules must be observed carefully.

Some suggest beneficial nematodes for grubs (and even ants, for that matter). But I've heard from many (including pros) that they are very inconsistent, die or burrow too deeply in dry weather, and are very expensive. I'm not going to use them.

FINALLY, there is one product out that combines pyrethroids with Merit - Bayer's total lawn insect killer. It combines Cyfluthrin (a pyrethroid) with Merit, to get both contact killing of insects and systemic killing of pests that feed on grass roots. I may try this next season to see if it simplifies things.

I share your concerns and wish you all the best.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 11:18PM
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artzypantz(z5 / IOWA)

Smikes1031...........WOW! Now that is INFO!!
I have no experience or knowledge with any pest control other than the indoor/outdoor foundation spray that i finally resorted to 2 years ago to try to keep the Japaneese beetles out of the house. Other than that i have never used anything.

I returned the Sevin to Menards & didn't buy anything else.
I will use the Triazicide for the ants for sure. It is unbelieveable how many ant mounds i have this year & how big they are.

I did start leaving the security light off at night (as Rhizo suggested) & have seen a drastic reduction in the large spiders all over the front door.....(Rhizo....I miss my security light....I'm a big baby!)

I think i will try the Bayer's total lawn insect control & see how that works for us.
I will definately put all this knowledge to work and do my searches on your suggestions!
This is great!
I hope you don't mind but i am going to print this out so i can refer to it later with out the chance of loosing it in cyberspace!
I sure to appreciate your knowledge, experience and willingness to share!! You went above and beyond & i thank you!
Enjoy your day & take care!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 11:31PM
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There is no valid reason to be poisoning ants which are part of Ma Natures recycling machine. There is no good reason to apply many of the poisons being sold today, because they kill off beneficial insects that can help control the pests as well, and the pests are developing immunities to these, very often, overused poisons so we will need stronger and stronger poisons to control them in the future.
A lawn, properly cared for, will not have pests that need control. Only lawns that are on drugs will have these pests in numbers large enough to require control.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 7:20AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Those yellow lights are supposed to be 'anti-bug' attractors, but I don't know if that really works. Does anyone have any personal experience with them, to help artzy out? ;-)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 8:26AM
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Tonia - thanks for the compliments. I always encourage independent research on these kind of issues. If you're trying the Bayer complete, you won't need the Triazicide (the Bayer will get it all done).

Rhizo - I don't have personal experience with the yellow light bulbs, but we have a sodium vapor (the orange-ish kind) security light, and it really doesn't attract much for bugs (though it also doesn't repel them).

Kimmsr - I really believe you make some good points; however, I have wonderful soil, a well-nurtured lawn, and an abundance of earthworms (which I checked for in several locations following Triazicide application this season). I mow high and rarely need to concern myself with weeds (no broadcast chemical applications - ever - and primarily pull/dig my weeds), and STILL the ants have pushed up hills and dried out sections of lawn. As rare as this is, I have found that a little insecticide (used judiciously and only when ants appear) helps keep the problem from becoming worse. I respect your position, and I even let the ants live in my front lawn where they cause no problem, but ants really can necessitate treatment in lawns, as they have in my back yard.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 2:58PM
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Plus it's naive that everything is nice and balanced in nature. organisms and their prey are in a constant cold war of adaption, with one side winning for a while then the other. Changing the factors changes the war. The very fact of trying to create an artifical environment, ie a lawn is ruining this "balance." my yard is probably closer to the natural environment than most peoples here...half weeds and obviously not maintained beyond mowing for years, and I'm over-run with pests. if you're going to create an artificial environment, you're going to need to resort to artificial means. :(

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 2:09AM
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If you look at ants as a problem you will see tham as a problem. The only place ants do not belong is in your house, outside they belong as part of Ma Natures recycling machine and even very healthy eco systems will have ants present, out side, and you should not do anything to control them there. Anything you put down to control ants will also harm the other beneficials in your environment. 50, 60 years ago people recognized the place all critters had and then the get rid of all insects people came along and started selling poisons that not only will kill insects but also adversly affect our health.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 8:01AM
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Wasn't speaking about ants so much. up north here I've never seen ants be a problem anywhere except in houses, in which ant baits have dealt with nicely. I'm speaking of pests on the whole. I have to go the chemical route because my yard when I bought it was a mess and I can't afford in time or money "organic" solutions.
Incidentally read an email about the effectiveness of nutrisweet as an ant poison. anyone tested this before? If true, might be a route less likely to have toxic risks for humans and other animals.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 11:57PM
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I don't know if it's true but have heard ants won't cross a line drawn with ordinary chalk. I suppose if you drew one at the door sill they wouldn't come into the house.
I use Grant's kills ants spikes along sidewalks and even nailed some on the grapefruit tree trunks when I notice them in a caravan up and down the trunks. They work good.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:56PM
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Hi Kimmsr. I enjoyed your article, and am hoping you can make me see your side. I have a large backyard, and have never sprayed a chemical on it for bugs, or for weeds. I use an organic fertilizer made from corn syrup, which does a wonderful job on keeping the lawn thick, and the weeds few. I have used beneficial nematodes with GREAT success! I haven't seen a Japanese beetle here for some time. However, I have odorous ants in my house. It has gotten to the point where I keep NO food in the house, except for my dog, and I keep it in a Rubbermaid container, to keep the ants out.

I keep the house pretty much spotless, as well. And still I have thousands of ants in each of my bathrooms, and, when I do have food in the kitchen cabinets (boxes of unopened cereal, even) they also take over my kitchen. I have tried natural preventatives, such as cinnamon, osage oranges, etc., with only temporary success.

You still don't think I should try any ant poisons? What would YOU do, if you wake up at night, with ants crawling up your bedposts, and getting in your bedding, even?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:54PM
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