Fire Ants

Fire ants tend to nest in a mound of sand or dirt. When the mound is located, use a hot water bath to kill the colony. Prepare 2 to 3 gallons of very hot water, around 170 degrees Fahrenheit and pour the water down the mound around noon to 2PM on a warm day. The queen is most active during this time of day and you stand a better chance of getting her. Be sneaky! Stay away from the mound on the day of attack. The workers will hide the queen if they are concerned about unusual activity. It usually takes 3 treatments to completely get rid of the colony. Having trouble finding the nest? Peanut butter with a dab of sugar on it is a favorite treat. This bait will make them very easy to follow back to the nest.

If you find ants in the house, set out a small bowl of mint-apple jelly mixed with a small amount of boric acid. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Aphids

Aphids are found on most every plant, shrub or tree in the lawn and garden.  Aphids usually appear in the fall and will cause yellowing and wilting as they stunt the plants growth and eventually kill it. Aphids also transmit a number of diseases making them a serious threat to any garden. Using a high nitrogen fertilizer will attract even more.

Citrus Spray
Add the grated rind of 1 lemon or 1 lime to a pint of boiling water. Remove from heat and allow to steep over night. Strain the mixture and spray it on the aphids or use a small paint brush and brush mixture on the plant. Apply mixture on a leaf or two and wait 24 hours to test for possible damage. If the mixture appears to strong, dilute with more water.

All Around Insect Sprays

Nicotine Spray
Place one or two cigarettes in a quart of warm water and let stand over night. The nicotine that is released is a deadly poison to many insects. Strain and place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray directly on problem insects.  Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

DO NOT use on tomato plants or roses of any kind.

Hot Pepper Spray
1 tablespoon hot sauce or 1 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper.
6 cloves of garlic.
1 quart of warm tap water.

Chop garlic very fine and add hot sauce or peppers and water. Mix well and allow to stand for at least 1 hour or over night. Strain and pour into sprayer. Apply mixture on a leaf or two and wait 24 hours to test for possible damage. If the mixture appears to strong, dilute with more water.

Ivory Soap Spray
Mix 4 drops of Ivory liquid soap, half teaspoon hot pepper sauce and 1 crushed garlic clove in 3 cups of warm water. Let steep overnight, strain and pour into sprayer. . Apply mixture on a leaf or two and wait 24 hours to test for possible damage. If the mixture appears to strong, dilute with more water.

Another Ivory Soap Spray
Mix 1 tablespoon Ivory soap and 1 teaspoon canola oil in 1 quart of tap water. Pour into sprayer. Apply mixture on a leaf or two and wait 24 hours to test for possible damage. If the mixture appears to strong, dilute with more water.

Alcohol Spray
Place 2 cups of rubbing alcohol in 1 quart of water and spray the infected plants. Apply mixture on a leaf or two and wait 24 hours to test for possible damage. If the mixture appears to strong, dilute with more water.

Winter and/or Dormant Oils
Many insects hibernate in trees during the winter months. Special winter or dormant oils are heavy oils and should be used when the trees are dormant before spring growth appears. The oils will not harm the trees but will kill the hibernating insects before they can emerge in the spring. Be sure to water the trees well before applying the oils. The oils can be purchased at most nurseries or lawn and garden supply stores.

Summer and/or Superior Oils
These are light weight oils and can be used all year round. They work by smothering the pests and their eggs. Always water the trees well before spraying the oils. The oils can be purchased at most nurseries or lawn and garden supply stores.

Special Oil Spray
2 quarts tap water
1 Teaspoon of horticultural oil
2 Cups of isopropyl alcohol

The alcohol mixed in with the oil will kill the bugs on contact. The oil allows the mixture to stick to the tree long enough to kill off those that missed the initial spraying.
NEVER USE ANY OILS IF THE OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE IS OVER 90° F!