We all of a sudden have a horrible rice fly problem outside (primarily on the back deck). We live in Kelseyville, CA – Lake County. We’ve been in this house 15 years and have NEVER had this problem before. What should we do?
Rice flies can swarm in the thousands and seem to love landing on decks, trees and homes. In the yard, they’ll take over empty air space making the area unsuitable for picnics, barbecues and other outdoor activities. Swarms can last for days and in some cases, weeks. They generally need standing water to reproduce but will take advantage of well irrigated landscape common in most any subdivision.
Common nest sites include ponds, lakes or drainage ditches. But any moist yard will suffice so if you or some neighbors are irrigating your grass on a regular basis, this water alone could be all they need to multiply and take over. The good news is they’re easy to control with a few treatment options available.
The first option is a time released concentrate known as ONSLAUGHT. This material should be mixed with water and applied with a good PUMP SPRAYER to all surfaces where you see them landing. Common areas to treat would include decks, home siding, under soffits, on tree trunks, tree limbs, fences, etc. – basically anywhere you see them landing. Onslaught is odorless and treatments will last a good 2-4 weeks outside; longer when applied to areas where the surfaces are protected from direct sunlight. Once these areas are treated, rice flies that land on the treatment will die as will any hatching eggs they left prior to the treatment.
Add 1/2 to 1 oz per gallon and expect to get about 1,000 sq/ft of coverage per mixed gallon. Good for spraying the homes exterior and small yards, treatments will last several weeks but if you find rice flies landing on treated surfaces within 14 days, treat again.
Use a good PUMP SPRAYER to apply Onslaught.
The second option is to SPACE SPRAY. For small areas, PT-565 can be sprayed as often as needed. Space spraying is easy to do and effective at killing off the swarms you typically see in early morning or around sunset. You should see results within 10-20 minutes of doing an application and though not permanent, this is a good way to reduce their numbers for awhile 1/2 day or more
PT-565 uses pyrethrin as it’s active ingredient so treatments won’t last long; maybe just an hour or two. This is why you’ll need to treat over and over – especially right after a major hatch. But its easy to do and you can safely use it in the yard where people and pets are active.
Another space spray that provides a more “permanent” is to install an AEROSOL MACHINE with some CLEAR ZONE refills. These are small devices that can be placed in the yard, on the deck, etc. and configured to release a small 1 second dose of Clear Zone every 15 minutes. Clear Zone uses the same pyrethrin based active as the PT-565 and by setting these up in the yard, you can effectively have the treatments done automatically which for some people is easier compared to using PT-565.
One machine can cover up to 400 sq/ft effectively and they can be used in garages, basements and the living area of any home too.
You’ll need a can of Clear Zone for every machine; cans will generally last 30 days when set to release chemical every 15 minutes. So in general, you’ll need to replace the can once a month.
Lastly, if you have a large yard and find rice flies on a regular basis, one of our misting machines will prove to be cost effective compared to using an aerosol. These machines can easily treat large areas and by mixing up the pyrethrin based adulticide long with the egg killer, you can kill off whats active and prevent reinfesting by using the growth regulator.
The Mini Fogger is good for yards 5,000 sq/ft or less. It has a 32 oz holding tank and will pump it empty in about 5-7 minutes. Use 1 32 oz tank of mixed product per 2,500 sq/ft of landscape.
For yards 5,000 or more, consider the FM6309. It has a 1 gallon holding tank and will effectively let you cover up to 10,000 sq/ft per gallon of mixed solution in about 10-12 minutes.
In either of the foggers above, you ‘ll need two chemicals. The first is safe for use around water like ponds, rivers, streams, etc. Known as ESSENTRIA, it uses nothing but essential plant oils so its fine for use anywhere in the yard. Add 4 oz per gallon of water for most problems and expect to get about 1/4 acre covered per gallon of mixed material.
To achieve longer lasting control, add 1 oz of NYLAR to the tank mix along with the Essentria. This will effectively prevent eggs from reaching adulthood which will effectively break the egg cycle that will get established if given the chance. When using Essentria alone, you would expect to be spraying every 7-10 days. But by adding Nylar, you’ll knock them down longer and therefore only have to mist every 2-3 weeks.
Give us a call if you need more help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM Mon-Thur; 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Friday and 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday, Eastern Standard Time.
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