Our downstairs neighbours are using poison to combat a rat problem. Our bathroom already smells putrid from a dead rat somewhere in the vicinity of the relevant air duct. While the rats rot downstairs, can I block off the vents in my apartment to try to reduce the odour? If so, how can I do this safely, cheaply, and effectively? [more inside]
Today, my normally backyard-loving dog refused to come out onto the back deck/porch and into the yard. This is very unlike him, and even the tastiest of treats could not persuade him to step more than a few feet out onto the deck. Further investigation revealed a soft high-pitched chirping coming from underneath the deck. I'm assuming something is living under there, and scaring my (wimpy) puppy. What could it be? (Possibly relevant details inside) [more inside]
There are a bunch of weird little insects in my office. That photo isn't to scale - I'd say they're maybe an eighth of an inch/3 mm long, really tiny, and they like to congregate in little groups underneath various things on my desk. What are they? What do I do about them? [more inside]
The possum is gone now and hopefully won't be coming back. Is it reasonable to think the attic itself as well as the insulation in the attic is covered in urine and feces? If so, is it reasonable to expect the property management company or owner to clean up the attic and replace any/all of the insulation? [more inside]
My garden suffered greatly this year from attacks from insects- what can I do next spring to avoid this happening again? [more inside]
I planted milkweed this year to provide a rest stop for Monarchs, and today I noticed these yellow bugs on several of the plants. They appear to be aphids, and I'm not sure if I need to get rid of them.
Can you help me identify these flat white bugs on my bananas? Google gives me a wide range of food pests, but nothing that looks like these critters. [more inside]
The exterior of our house has been overrun by these furry little cocoons. I need help identifying the little rascals and also advice on how to KEEL them and keep them from coming back. [more inside]
Last year, we had carpenter ants, and we asked them to leave. This year, the ants are back. I'm prepared to bring in professionals to explain matters to them more forcefully. However, I'm almost more scared of the solution than the problem. Talk to me about safety issues with poisons used to chase the bastards out. [more inside]
About a week ago, I noticed a dozen small dots moving on the wall of my shower. When I say small, I mean borderline microscopic. I caught one on some Scotch tape and filmed it under ~30x magnification. Please help identify. I've had a few itchy bumps, and surely this is the cause. How do I get rid of them? Link to video. [more inside]
How can I learn more about rat mites, that isn't just word of mouth? [more inside]
I don't have a cockroach problem in my apartment exactly, but there are cockroaches outside and I want to keep them far enough away from the door that they don't periodically follow me inside. Difficultly level: Please don't kill my cat in the process. [more inside]
Bedbugs in apartment we just moved into. What to do? Legally, practically, emotionally. [more inside]
We've been battling a carpenter ant infestation unlike any before. In past years we've had NO PROBLEM getting rid of them quickly. This year, they seem to be all over the house, and we're trying all the same tricks with no luck. I don't think we've ever been cleaner and we've been keeping things in airtight containers as we normally do. I have questions about how this could happen and what I can do. [more inside]
Today we found tiny ants on a kitchen counter and followed their path to a stretch of baseboard. We sprayed it with Sevin & left for work. Don’t know what to expect EOD. We’d prefer to use more natural products, but we’re willing to go nuclear if necessary. (We own the home; no landlord.) How have you handled ants?
My apartment has a beautiful walkway lined with flowers and overhanging tree branches. This is great except that spiders LOVE it here and I do not love spiders at all. I'm looking for a spider repellent that can be sprayed on the plants along the walkway so I don't have to walk through webs every morning and evening. The hitch is that the aforementioned flowers belong to my landlord, who I respect very much and who loves his plants, so the repellent can't have negative effects on them. [more inside]
How can I tell if an apartment building has pests (e.g. rodents or roaches)? Am I being unrealistic to hope to find a place that doesn't? [more inside]
Many hundreds of redwing blackbirds visit my feeders in the winter. Is it wrong to keep feeding them? [more inside]
My room has bedbugs. My landlord refuses to cover the costs of extermination, on the grounds that they've never had this problem before. Do I push it, or let it go? Complication: my landlord is not actually my landlord. [more inside]
A bird couple (pigeons, apparently) have set up shop in the corner of my balcony and I have tried various and relatively humane methods in an attempt to drive them away. They've barely reacted. What are my next courses of action? [more inside]
Ok probably sounds disgusting, but I just have a theoretical interest in this ever since I moved to my new apt with a balcony frequent by the flying rat kind. I don't have time in the morning but I frequently spray some bleach water solution on the pigeon feces to scrape off later, and then I was wondering what chemically happens to the feces (or well, anything organic that contains pathogens and bacteria) when soaked in bleach. Are the soaked feces on the railing theoretically "clean" and sanitized? What happens??? What is left over? I don't intend to leave them there, just curious. BTW: any tips to keep pigeons away while at it? We covered all the balcony railings in reflective tape. It looks like a camp, silver palace now, but they still like it.
My boyfriend walked into the bedroom to find this dude chilling on our comforter. What kind of beetle is this? Are we going to be eaten alive in our sleep? We live in Los Angeles, if that helps identify the beast.
I have silverfish in all sorts of places in my flat (the toilet/bathroom when I don't clean it more than once a week, various cupboards in the kitchen at various different times). But this is the worst. They're collecting at the bottoms of my recipe books. Like, four a book. [more inside]
What is this pest on my apple tree? [more inside]
I am at the end of my rope with the mouse population in my apartment. Help me catch or repel them, humanely if possible. [more inside]
I have some sort of bug infestation in my house and am getting many little bites. What could it be? Here are some things, with a kitty picture. [more inside]
We apparently have bats in our attic. Should we call a pest removal service, or can we put up our own exclusion trap over the attic vent? [more inside]
I have a serious mosquito problem in my house, there are literally 10 or so in every room almost all the time. Every night before I go to bed I have to lay there and spray each one as it flies by me, it takes about 5 minutes and the spray smell lingers for ages. In the morning they are in the bathroom where the door has been shut and no windows are open, I have no idea where they are getting in. I leave my back door open a crack for my dog at night and I have a mozzie zapper in the laundry where the door is. It doesn't seem to be helping. I also have those plug in mozzie repellers but also not helping and very expensive. I don't have a pool or pond and don't know of any neighbours that do. Please help, this is really getting me down, not only the killing of them but the 30 or so bites I have right now. I am in southern Australia where it's hot now, but not humid.
Oh no! My winter squash, cucumbers, and peas are failing. Can anybody tell me why and what, if anything, I can do about it? Pictures inside. [more inside]
These little moth-like things are ALL OVER my raspberry plants. I am in Canberra, Australia. They just arrived, so I don't know what damage they are going to do (yet). How screwed am I and how do I get rid of them? [more inside]
Do any other bugs besides bed bugs leave blood traces? [more inside]
The mouse poison we've successfully used for years has run out and is now hard to get as consumers. Is there another brand we can replace it with? Any tips for better sealing our home? [more inside]
Help! We just found a black widow spider inside our house. They are endemic in our neighborhood. What do we do? [more inside]
My feet are so itchy I could punch someone. What bugs in my house could be biting me? [more inside]
How do I rid myself of the white mite infestation in my cupboard? I have cleaned everything multiple times and in multiple ways! [more inside]
Dead Mouse Smell at a Dinner Party: "Why, yes, our home does have its own supply of L'Eau de Souris"
We're having a dinner party tomorrow night, and now it seems there's a dead mouse in one of our walls. What can we do to mitigate the smell? We can't go into the walls. [more inside]
There are many feral cats in our neighborhood, which is extra annoying because 1) they drive my dogs bonkers, 2) they leave their droppings in our yard almost daily, which are super stinky, and 3) some spread fleas. Do you have suggestions for how to get rid of them? I may get cat traps from the humane society, and someone suggested sprinkling coffee grounds. Are there any other good ways to repel cats with something that is nontoxic for dogs?
Ants, scurrying rodents - what do I do with my WALL OF VERMIN? [more inside]
Today I saw a cockroach. It's huge. (3 inches?) But I mean - it's just a cockroach, right? RIGHT? [more inside]
Can you help me identify/fight back the bloodsuckers in our apartment? [more inside]
Please help me deal with these single-minded ants. [more inside]
How should I clean up after finding mouse droppings in my kitchen drawers? And is this mouse fighting strategy sound? [more inside]
Help me kill my super-roaches. [more inside]
We have an unknown critter nibbling the fruit and tomatoes on a counter INSIDE our house (in Miami, Fl). It's hungry enough to eat most of the bait on a mouse trap (say, leaving only the skin on a small slice of pear, as it seems to like fruit), strong enough to somehow move what's left of the bait about 1.5 inches away from the trap, but agile/light enough to not be caught by the trap. No vermin poop nearby that I can see. Ideas what it could be and how to get rid of it? [more inside]
I rent a 50 year old ground level home that has NO pests! This in Hawaii where every home has loads of roaches, ants, etc etc. I have seen one roach in 2 1/2 years. and a neighborhood where they abound! WE have used no pesticides in the past 2 1/2 years and the house has not been tented in 5 years I am worried that at some point in the past someone treated this place with something long acting and toxic: worried for my kids mostly. Landlord says not to his knowledge. What tests could one reasonably do to see if toxins are a problem? Is this fear ridiculous?
What's that chewing noise in the attic? [more inside]
The exterminator says it's a mild case of bedbugs. Is he almost certainly right? I don't have any bites and I don't want to go through an unnecessary fumigation. Could it be lice or something instead? [more inside]
What are these bugs in my wooden chest that eat paper (and cat toys)? How can I get rid of them for good? [more inside]
I'm looking to rent a studio or one bedroom apartment in Arlington, Virginia within walking distance of the Courthouse or Clarendon Metro stations. After a week or so of pretty intense searching (dozens of calls, two days spent wandering around) I finally found and visited a place in my price range (under $1250) a 10 minute walk from Courthouse. Unfortunately online reviews (20 or so) are largely (80%) negative and frequently mention roaches and bedbugs. How do I decide whether I can look past this or not? How do I broach the topic with the management? [more inside]
Is it worth renting this house that used to have bed bugs? [more inside]