Q: A commercial customer just installed a new security system with cameras under the eaves of his building. This system also includes high-intensity lights under the eaves. Now he is complaining about the flying insects attracted to the building at night.
— Tom S., New Mexico
A: Ideally, the lights would have been mounted on poles away from the building, but that would be an expensive modification now. Your client might consider placing filters over the lights to reduce the blue range and accent the yellow wavelength. He also may be able to change the bulbs to yellow to reduce the attractiveness to flying insects.
Q: I read one of your earlier columns about phorid flies. I was thinking that rather than removing contaminated soil, why not introduce a biocide to clean out the drains? This would deactivate the waste source in the soil and eliminate the laborious removal of contaminated soil.
— Bill K. Massachusetts
A: Although it would seem to have merit, I foresee several problems. The first is that you are adding more liquid to already-wet soil, which might exacerbate the problem. In addition, you might not get the biocide to all the areas of the contaminated soil. It is difficult to get uniform coverage when injecting a termiticide into the soil; this approach might be just as difficult.
Having said this, I would appreciate any comments from biocide manufacturers or pest management firms that have tried this. Until then, keep digging.
Q: A homeowner has a flea infestation. The house has hardwood floors throughout. The dog has been given away, but there is a three-year-old child in the house, so the parents are concerned about pesticides on the floor. How would you approach this situation?
— Jan T. Missouri
A: I suggest you apply an insect growth regulator (IGR) for long-term control. Then, because flea larvae can live in the cracks and joints in wood floors, apply a contact insecticide so there will be no residual on the floors. Plan on retreating with a contact insecticide until the infestation is eliminated.
Email your questions about insect identification and pest management technologies and techniques to Technical Consultant Dr. Doug Mampe at email@example.com. Your questions most likely will be printed and answered in one of Pest Management Professional’s upcoming Ask the Expert columns.