Watch out for insects around the home

Just as I was about to write this article, a little creature walked across my computer screen.

Just as I was about to write this article, a little creature walked across my computer screen.

My first thoughts were — what the heck is it and where did it come from? After all, it is the middle of winter.

My second thoughts were—am I seeing a hatch of some sort? Was this the beginning of a horde of unwanted visitors in my office?

My third thoughts were— I’d better squish it before it takes off preventing me from knowing what it is, so I did— squish it that is. And guess what?

It is very difficult to identify something that has been squished other than it appeared to have wings like a tiny moth of some sort.

It was brown and the wings folded straight back.

It was probably some type of moth whose larvae feeds on something organic.

I will not be concerned unless I see more of them of course.

This is the time of year when grain beetles, flour beetles and clothes moths appear. All of these can proliferate in our homes on occasion and all of them are managed by just eliminating their food source.

A very common source of food for these critters is found in the pantry.

When lentils, peanuts, oatmeal, cereal and other grains are not in sealed containers you are definitely asking for trouble.

Bread boxes are another great food source for these little devils.

Where there is a crack that crumbs and small seeds can gather it is an invitation for an adult to lay eggs and begin to multiply so good housekeeping is a must.

If an infestation occurs, after the initial cleanup you may want to apply a low toxicity material such as diatomaceous earth or one of the residual crawling insect controls with permethrin as a deterrent.

Now I hope I’m not freaking anyone out as I’m not suggesting we have these creatures invading households in a big way, however, they do occur and there is no need to panic.

I think of the time I was in New York with my rock and roll band in the early 1970s.

We were staying with some friends we met in Bermuda and the first night I slept there I was introduced to New York cockroaches. Ugh!

Turning that light switch on in the kitchen so I could get a drink of water in the middle of the night was an experience I do not like re-living. Hundreds of large roaches raced for the drains.

Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with them here

•••

There are still a few seats available in my classes held at the UBC campus:

Pruning—March 5 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Trees and Shrubs (woody ornamentals)—March 12

Plants and Flowers (herbaceous ornamentals)—March 19

Roses—March 26

Home landscape design —April 2

For more info or to register call the folk at UBC 250-807-9289 or go to

Tune in to The Don Burnett Garden Show on AM 1150 News Talk Sports Saturday mornings from 8:00 to 10 or log on at www.am1150.

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