Battling bugs on a budget

July 11, 2011 4:38:01 PM PDT
Chalk up another problem when it comes to the drought -- bugs! Pest control companies are getting a lot of calls about ants, fleas and chinch bugs invading lawns and homes. The bugs are looking for moisture and the only way to find that is usually in and around your home. But there is no need to call the pros. You can actually battle the bugs yourself and save hundreds of dollars.

When Tonya Ankenbruck noticed her grass was brown in spots, she thought it was because she wasn't watering enough.

"It's really bad and it's hard to determine," she said. "You know it's hard to figure out if it's the bugs or the drought."

Chinch bugs were actually killing her grass.

"If your grass is dying, more than likely it's chinch bugs," said Tom Rasberry with Rasberry's Pest Professionals. "If you treat it with a insecticide labeled for chinch bugs, you'll solve your problem and you won't waste all your water trying to bring back grass that won't come back until you solve that problem."

Rasberry says in a drought, chinch bugs, ants and fleas are a big problem.

"There are pretty heavy infestations of fleas popping up across the city and county," he said.

For do-it-yourself treatments, we headed over to Solutions Pest, Pet and Pool, a retailer that sells supplies to many pest companies and with the lack of rain, they are busy this summer.

"You have bugs looking for moisture," said Mario Quintero with Solutions Pest, Pet and Pool.

When it comes to combatting fleas, the pros like an indoor product called Medium Shot Precor for $25 a can. This product can treat 2,000 square feet. But for a better bargain to battle fleas, try a product called D-Fense.

"You can use this product in and out which is the beauty of it. No odor to it," said Quintero. "You just have to treat the floor surfaces. It only takes about 2 to 3 good treatments to eliminate a flea problem."

D-Fense costs $59, but it's good for 19 treatments. Over time, that's a savings of more than $800 if you do it yourself.

To battle chinch bugs, the pros like Cyzmic.

"Cyzmic is one of the ones we use quite a bit," said Quintero. "It has no odor to it and it will last a good amount of time. You spray it once every 4 to 5 months."

Cyzmic costs $46.99, and one bottle is good for up to two years of treatments, depending on your lawn size. That's a saving of more than $500 if you do it yourself.

Cyzmic also treat ants, roaches and other common household bugs.

You can treat your home by spraying this chemical in and around your home. If you are going to do-it-yourself, you will have to make a one-time investment of a spray can for $19.99.

And before doing it yourself, be sure you properly identify the pest you are trying to get rid of so you don't waste time or money battling the bugs. And as always, read the directions and wear protective gear.

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