Treating Attics, Crawl Spaces, Voids for
|Dusting Cracks, Crevices||Dusting
|Insecticide Dusts||Dust Applicators, Dusters|
Insecticide dusts are important tools in the control or elimination of ants, spiders, carpenter ants, cockroaches, ticks, bed bugs, lady bugs (Asian Lady Beetles), silverfish and other household pests. Most of us are somewhat familiar with dusts used to kill bugs but are not quite sure when or how these products are to be used.
Generally, insecticides in dust formulation are applied to areas where pests are known to hide and migrate - especially areas where insecticide sprays do not reach or cannot be safely applied. When used correctly, dusts will give a much longer pest killing residual than liquids.
Many pesticide labels use the term "crack and crevice" or other similar term (attics, crawls spaces, wall voids, etc.) when referring to where an insecticide can be used. Putting it plainly, a crack, crevice or void is an area where certain household pests are most likely to travel, hide, breed or forage for food, but where people and pets are least likely to come into contact with pest control materials - sprays, dusts, baits, aerosols, etc.. By treating these out of the way areas we are placing products where they are needed the most and also placing them in areas that are safe for our families, pets or even wildlife.
Besides the safety of where dusts are applied (out of reach of people and pets) there are other advantages to using insecticides that you purchase in dust formulations. Dusts are ready to use, meaning that no special mixing is required to prepare the product for application. The only exception to this is when you want to mix two or more types of dusts for longer residual, faster knock down, to change the density of dusts or when you suspect that your targeted pest might have a resistance or tolerance to a particular class of insecticide.
In certain pest control jobs, treating wall voids or cracks and crevices
is more important than spraying a liquid insecticide on baseboards and
carpets. Asian Lady Beetles (ladybugs that are not considered good
guys), cluster flies, young ticks, bed bugs are just a few of the indoor pests
that are very difficult to exterminate (or prevent) if dusting is not
incorporated into your pest management plant. Lady beetles and cluster
flies will hibernate or over winter in wall voids and (in the case of cluster
fly infestations) attics. Applying only a spray on the exterior surfaces
of your home will not always give you the results you seek with these types of
pests. You must attack them where they hide.
Ticks are notorious for reacting to pesticide sprays, running upwards (away from the chemical spray) and hiding in dark areas such as your wall voids or even underneath pet bedding. Many pest control technicians have discovered that skipping the dust application to these areas means that their customer calls them back to complain of poor pest control service. If you have seen more than a few ticks indoors or if you have been unsuccessful in eliminating an indoor tick infestation, it is probably because you skipped your dust application.
In many cases, large numbers of ants, spiders, roaches, silverfish or other bugs are seen inhabiting spaces beneath the home or in the attic areas. When this happens it is often necessary to dust these larger voids.
When dealing with pests that hide in walls or enter from outdoors through
your walls, crack and crevice work is often necessary or is used for safety of
children and pets in sensitive areas. Cracks and crevices are areas such
as those behind light switch covers and electrical outlets and spaces where
window and door frames meet walls. Another important area is beneath false
bottoms of kitchen or bathroom cabinets. The bottom shelves of cabinets
are usually a couple of inches above the actual floor of the house. At the
far back side of these shelves you can find an access or space where insecticide
sprays, dusts or baits can be applied.
If applied with care, some dusts can be applied behind or beneath stoves but should not be applied beneath or behind refrigerators, freezers or other appliances that are motorized. Dusts can be dispersed into the air of living spaces when these motors are running, which is not considered safe for inhabits of the home or business.
When dealing with White Footed Ants or severe silverfish infestations, the areas between and beneath rolled insulation are considered to be crevices to be treated with dusts. Broadcasting or power dusting attics in these situations are helpful but applying your product in areas other than the visible surface of insulation is often necessary.
The best insecticide dusts for this type of work:
D-Fense and Delta are water-proof, a characteristic that makes the products invaluable for
using around plumbing lines or other areas where condensations, leaks or other
wet situations are present. Certain insects (ants, carpenter ants and
others) are usually found foraging along plumbing lines and also prefer other
damp environments. Drione Dust is a
combination of Silica Gel, Pyrethrins that has an excellent quick kill of
spiders, scorpions and many other bugs. The only drawbacks of Drione:
expense and need to be applied in dry situations only. Most pest control
operators prefer to use Drione Dust if the areas to be treated are not
damp. If the area to be treated is too large, many pest control operators
will combine Drione Dust or Cimexa with a Deltamethrin dust (D-Fense or Delta.) This great combination exposes
the targeted pests to different types of insecticides with one
application. It also helps lower the cost of the job at hand.
Combining dusts will be discussed further in dusting attics and
The best way to apply dusts to cracks and crevices is to use a hand bellows duster. The Crusader Duster and the B&G Bulb Duster are examples of hand bellows dust applicators. Crusaders have been around for many years and are considered to be a very important tool to any good pest control technician or operator.
Broadcasting dusts in attics and crawl spaces is often desirable because
it gives you the option of applying product in great volume (making escape
practically impossible for bugs, ants, spiders) in areas that are not living
areas or places where children or pets play. Generally, one to two pounds
of dust per 500 to 1,000 square feet are required when treating beneath homes or in attics. Never
broadcast an insecticide dust on or above false ceilings, drop ceilings or other
areas where the material can fall back into the living areas. If your
attic is used to store items, you obviously do not want to apply the dust in any
manner that will contaminate your stored goods. The whole point of
dusting such areas is to kill bugs in areas where people and pets will not come
into contact with your product.
A popular way to dust for pests (in attics and other such voids) is to combine 1 pound of Drione Dust with 1 pound of Delta Dust. The combination gives a better residual and quicker knock down of targeted pests. This application requires the use of an applicator that is made for such jobs. The B&G Electric Duster and the Dustin Mizer are two such products.
Dust Applicators, Dusters
Cracks and crevices are easily treated with the use of a hand bellows duster such as a Crusader or B&G Bulb Duster Model 1150. The duster is small enough to hold and use with one hand. Dusts should never be applied in a manner that allows the material to "pile up." To this day, many people insist on layering piles of boric acid or other dust along baseboards or inside cabinets. This is not the approved method of application. First, it is just not safe. Read the label - insecticide dusts are for cracks, crevices and out of the way areas when used indoors. A hand bellows duster "blows" or injects dust into wall voids where the dust adheres to all sides of the void, instead of just laying in a pile. Bugs can avoid a pile of dust but cannot avoid thin layers of dust.
The Dustin Mizer is what we call a hand-crank duster. This apparatus has a hopper that is filed with insecticide dust. When the handle or crank is turned at medium speeds, the dust is dispersed through an applicator tube. The dust will travel three to six feet. Use the Dustin Mizer for small jobs or areas that have easy access. For hard to reach areas or larger jobs, use an electric duster.