Hi, Before I decide to order your sprayer/chemicals, I was looking for some info/advice. I purchased a house mid July, and discovered our infestation of wasps a month later when we had a couple hundred cicada killer wasps flying under/around our front porch area. They left a couple weeks ago as expected, but now we have at least 300 new holes around the front of the house, mostly under the wrap-around porch. I probably have many more, but those are what I can see through the pine straw. I plan on removing the pine straw the previous owner had put down, and covering the area under the porch (where 90 % of the holes are) with garden tarp and stone. Do you think it will be necessary to treat the area first, or should I simply just cover it up ? There are several groups of holes in areas where I do not want to cover. Should I treat these holes now with your suggested method/product and hope that the larvae will die, or should I wait until closer to next August when the adults begin to emerge ? I’d prefer to kill them before they emerge if possible, but I realize I’ll probably be out with my badminton racket again next August no matter what I do ;’) Also, your site is the only one that I found that suggests Cypermethrin. Can you tell me how this compares to gamma-cyhalothrin for treating ground larvae ? Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
As a general rule, we don’t suggest covering up any pest infestation without first doing some treating. The reasons are many. One of the biggest is that “Mother Nature” has a tendency to be a bit stubborn and persistent at times. Just covering up a problem won’t make it go away; many times this will just force it to surface elsewhere. In some cases the relocation is never noticed; other times the relocation can end up being a real inconvenience (like close to a deck or patio, in a garden or even inside the living area of a home!).
Additionally, I’m not sure what exactly is making all the holes you report and in all likelihood, there is more than just one insect involved. Something else to consider; moisture. Ground tarps many times will form “super conductive” moisture barriers with the net result being that the ground underneath them becomes a sort of “insect factory”. Remember, the main ingredient for most any developing stage of insect is water (moisture). Remove the moisture and most any insect population will disappear – especially when dealing with young developing stages of insects – and in the end this approach to pest control is very efficient. That being said, it is quite common for homeowners to install things like watering/irrigation sprinklers, small ponds, lush gardens and ground cover. These all tend to collect and harbor moisture. The net result is a plethora of insect activity and though it can be managed, getting rid of problems in such an environment is a never ending, ongoing pest control maintenance program. Most home owners are not prepared for the work these sites create and I’d consider these issues before installing the ground cover; the rock is not such a bad idea as long as moisture is able to funnel and drain down underneath it through the ground and not accumulate in the soil. We have a lot of information posted in our “why doing pest control is inevitable” article which has a whole section listing the more common weak points most any home has and why they contribute to insect infestations. Minimize these hot spots whenever possible and in the end, maintaining these “problem situations” will be a lot easier.
That being said, you still have a current issue/problem that needs attention. I strongly recommend applying some Deltaguard Granules or Merit now, before the end of the year, to get a jump start on the problem. Since so many grub stages are active through the fall and even winter, treating now could have a huge impact (positive, that is). As our Grub Control Article explains, many of these insect larvae will be active high up in the soil, near the top, and therefore be extremely vulnerable to any treatment applied. The net result could be a lot less activity next spring/summer requiring a lot less work and treatment attention.
As for our recommendation of the Cypermethrin; this is largely due to the great results we have found it produce over the years. It seems to have a better solvent system so when applied to the ground, it penetrates better than the Cyhalothrin. I don’t think either active is better but the penetrating power of the Cypermethrin enables that active to do it’s thing more effectively so for now, we tend to recommend it over the Cyhalothrin. Especially when it comes to these deep digging pests like Cicada Killers.
One more concern I have; the Soil PH should be tested if you haven’t yet done so. As our Soil PH Control article explains, if you don’t have a stable and well balanced PH, your yard will be impossible to maintain. There are many problems associated with a bad PH including weed growth, poor grass growing results and insect infestations. I strongly recommend getting the PH measured ASAP if you haven’t done so anytime recently. Once you know it’s Ok, start a good granular treatment regime now, before the end of the year, and by next spring you should be well on your way of getting the yard back in shape!