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.
Now once a home gets activity? It will become “marked” meaning certain pheromones will lead to more and more coming as the local population grows. Basically the offspring of the first few that used your home will be “wired” via their DNA to use the same areas as their parents. And so the problem will grow.
Common nest sites include ponds, lakes or drainage ditches but for energy gathering every morning and night rest time? It will be on structures.
And of course moisture will play a roll 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 depending on where they’re active.
The first option is a BITHOR. This concentrate has two actives; one is fast acting, long lasting and highly repellent to rice flies. You can spray house siding, turf, etc. Treatments will provide instant control and usually just 1-2 treatments when they first start will keep them away for their swarming season. The second active will last so new rice flies coming around or hatching eggs will die following your treatments.
Add 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 Bithor.
The second option is for inside the home. Known as a SPACE SPRAY, small areas can be treated with MULTI PURPOSE INSECT KILLER 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
MultiPurpose uses permethrin 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 or even inside where people and pets are active. And it kills them on contact.
Another space spray that provides a more “permanent” solution for any structure 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 Multi Purpose 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 Multi Purpose.
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 BITHOR and covering all plants, you can kill off whats active and prevent re-infestment.
In either of the foggers above, use the Bithor. But if you have water like ponds, lakes or rivers, go with 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.
Give us a call if you need more help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Mon-Fru; 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM Saturday, Eastern Standard Time.
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