A: I suspect you don’t have clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa). Traveling 100 yds. from the grass would be difficult for that species. You probably have Erythraeid mites. They’re red and commonly feed on springtails and other small insects in damp areas. Flat roofs are a common breeding ground for these mites. Flat roofs, especially those with gravel, contain damp areas that can be ideal breeding sources for springtails and other small insects. Like clover mites, Erythraeid mites leave a red smudge on the wall if you squash them. Once you confirm this is the source, treat the roof with a residual insecticide. Indoors, the hospital staff can wipe up mites with a disinfectant. If the problem returns within a short period of time, roof drainage might need to be improved.
Q: I’m confused about the new pyrethroid label changes. When do these go into effect? When must we stop using pyrethoids the way we used to? J.T., Ark.
A: There’s no date set for complying with the new restrictions. The law states you must follow the label directions on the container of the pesticide you’re using. If your pyrethroid products have the new labels, you must follow the new restrictions. If you have older product with older labels without those restrictions, you can use the product according to the labels on those containers. Some pest management professionals (PMPs) might be tempted to keep old containers and refill them so they have the old label directions without the new restrictions. Don’t even think about it! Regulators will look at your supplier records to determine what you bought when. If you try this trick, you might be caught, and the punitive actions can be substantial.
Q: I’m dealing with a webbing clothes moth infestation in an upscale, 14-story high-rise. Many of these condo units have wool carpets and Oriental rugs. Moth sightings are widespread. I’ve placed pheromone traps in the lobby of each floor. If moths are captured, I place a trap in each unit on that floor. Any units with moths will be serviced. But how should I treat infestations? I know which unit started the infestation, and everything has been removed for treatment, but I want to disturb the other tenants as little as possible. T.S., Ill.
A: Thoroughly inspect each condo unit that has moths in its pheromone trap. Remove and dry clean or discard all infested goods. Check wool carpets. Consider installing an insect growth regulator (IGR) in each condo unit with moths. This will minimize treating with insecticides and eliminate stray infestations.
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