There are many pests which are drawn to areas where moisture accumulates. Moisture allows many things to thrive; it is the basic ingredient for life. Besides the thousands of microscopic organisms, many insects and other creatures will readily live where it is damp. Among these creatures is the sowbug. This article will explain some basic biology of this isopod and explain how to treat local infestations.
SOW BUG BIOLOGY *
Sow bugs are small, about 1/2″ to 3/4″ in length, gray in color and oval. They live under rocks, logs, mulch, wood chips and all around the home where it is damp, dark and moist. Generally you may see hundreds or thousands of them emerge when you attempt to do some gardening and begin to disturb the soil.
Though generally not a destructive pest, sow bugs will readily move under slabs, into doorways and window frames which accumulate moisture. This moisture may form due to leaks or condensation and with this moisture comes mold, mildew and algae – the basic food stuff of these pests.
Established colonies of sow bugs will move inside when moisture levels are too high or to seek relief from either cold or heat. It is when they migrate into living areas that people first notice just how bad of a problem they have.
Sow bugs will bear young at least twice a year and carry them until the young are able to keep up with the rest of the colony. Though the young may leave mother from time to time, it is not uncommon for them to come back and allow her to bear their burden for as long as she can.
As food supplies dwindle, colonies will relocate and forage to adjacent areas that meet dietary needs. Most feeding will be done during the night and due to their behavior traits, many people refer to them as “water bugs”.
HOW TO CONTROL SOW BUGS *
Controlling these isopods should be done in a two phase format. First, try to identify moisture problems. If you have a leaky window, roof or bad caulking, get it fixed. Any constant supply of water will allow mold and algae to grow as well as take away from the overall impact chemical treatments will have.
In effect, the moisture will allow the pest to be ever present – the ones you kill will quickly be replaced by new sow bugs seeking shelter and food. If the local conditions are OK but you have a lot of mulch, rock, pine straw, wood chips or other objects around the perimeter of the home, expect the activity to continue. But even as the moisture is reduced, the problem will most likely require some treatments to remedy it for good.
WHERE TO TREAT SOW BUG NESTS *
First, you must focus on the outside of the home. In most cases, this is where they’ll be nesting. Apply TALSTAR GRANULES to all mulch beds, gardens and turf around the home. Talstar is slow to act but will last 2-3 months per application. Use 1-2 lbs on each side of the home applying it over a 10 foot band. This treated “zone” will be pest free since Talstar will control just about any common perimeter invader. Do this treatment every 1-2 months when they’re active; once every 3 months to make sure they don’t return.
BEST SOW BUG SPRAY *
Next, spray the foundation and ground areas with DFENSE. This concentrate is unique in that it will stay on the surface of any porous substrate like cement and wood much longer compared to emulsifiable concentrates. Mix .5 oz per gallon of water and apply monthly where sow bugs are active. Once the problem is gone, treat every 3 months to insure they don’t return.
Use a good PUMP SPRAYER to apply the D-fense.
When spraying, get at least 1 foot out from the home on top of the turf, soil or mulch and end where the Talstar Granules will be active. Since mulch, siding and plants are where sow bugs like to live, treatment needs to address these locations around the structure. Do this at least once a month. When local activity has ceased, you may be able to go a little longer between treatments.
Also spray at least 2 feet up the side of the home. On siding where sow bugs are higher, spray higher to establish control.
HOW TO TREAT SOW BUGS IN THE HOME *
If you have sow bugs in the home, garage or basement, inside treatments will be necessary. Use D-Fense on baseboards in rooms where activity is seen. This is likely to be in garages, crawl spaces and around doors.
If they are up high where you can’t spray or nesting in wall voids or difficult to treat cracks and crevices, use DFORCE AEROSOL. This aerosol comes with an injecting straw tube which allows you to inject the material into cracks and crevices.
Dforce will kill sow bugs quickly since it’s both a contact killer and a flushing agent, it will chase them out of hidden spaces.
Sow bugs can become a problem in and around the home. Though they don’t cause damage, they can be a pest. Use Talstar Granules and D-Fense outside the home to kill off local infestations. Eliminate moisture for long term control. Treat cracks and crevices inside with Dforce Aerosol to quickly control any which are nesting in the home.
CONTACT US *
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