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Monday, November 8, 2010

Almost Over

Our visit here is almost over, here is a recap of the last week.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we were with Marie and the kids, they are a hoot. Eli cries every time I hold him. I keep trying though and occasionally, not very often, he will let me hold him and we talk. I wish we could have had more time with the other grandkids but next year we will see if we can spend more time with all of them.

Earlier in the week, I had put the Buick on Craigslist hoping to sell it, by Thursday I did not have one legitimate inquiry. I did have someone, Amanda, write and say she would pay the amount I was asking and she had a shipper ready to pick up the car all she needed was my PayPal account information to consummate the deal. I wrote back and said I think not. So Daniel and I were talking he said he heard CarMax buys cars, so on Thursday I went to CarMax to see what I could get for the car. After 45 minutes, they gave me a quote at the low end of what NADA indicated it was worth. I told them I would get back to them; you have 7 days to accept their offer. I knew I wanted to sell the car, it was in good shape but there were a couple issues I knew of that would have cost over a thousand dollars to fix. As I left CarMax, I noticed signs at the dealer next door indicating they also bought cars, so I popped in on them to see what they would give me. I was hooked up with a salesperson and asked the obligatory questions, I did get a free soda here, and she took the car and did the appraisal on it. She came back with the same price CarMax gave me so I figured that was about all I was going to get. I asked if I could keep the car until Monday and then bring it to them. She was taken back a bit and said no, the quote was for leaving them the car today. I told her I would need a ride to my truck she said she would take me to it. I hemmed and hawed a bit and finally she said what do you want for the car. I quoted here a price a thousand more than their offer she said she would ask. It was interesting, no matter what the deal, buying or selling, the sales person has to ask the sales manager to get the deal accepted. Anyway, she came back and offered 500 more than the original quote so I took it. I took a lot less for the car than if I had sold it on my own, but I do not have to worry about the upkeep on it anymore and the biggest benefit is now Sarah will ride in the truck with me. So now, we are a one-vehicle family living our dream.

Friday we went with Marie and the kids to see her grandmother Jewell. Jewell has moved into an independent living facility, http://www.rlcommunities.com/index.html. This is a very nice facility I believe a group out of Lincoln, NE. owns them. We had a nice visit, she is on the second floor and quite a ways from the dining room but she has a motorized scooter to get around. I know Jewell reads the blog so if we do not get over to see you before we leave, take care and we will see you in the spring
Saturday Daniel cooked a turkey on his Weber grill, he put some hickory wood in with the charcoal and the turkey had a nice hard brown skin to it, I thought maybe it was overcooked but the meat was very moist, tender, and very good. Robert is a good griller also, so I guess I taught them well.

Yesterday we went to church, picked up the paper; Omaha has a very nice paper the http://www.omaha.com/. On a previous excursion into Gretna, I had found a donut shop so we stopped there so I could get my apple fritters. I use to eat them once a week when working and they were good but these are much bigger and better tasting. So I bought three and some other pastries, I also bought the girls some donut holes.

Today was clean the camper day, we moved furniture and Sarah vacuumed, I wiped down the woodwork with Murphy’s Oil Soap, it worked great. We are having guest tonight and we wanted to have the place look good. A person I worked with at Ruan, Greg Welp and his wife Sue are coming out to the camper tonight and we are going out to dinner. I have not seen Greg for over seven years so it will be good to see him and catch up on with each other’s adventures.

Tomorrow we are going to spend the day with Marie and the kids and see Daniel when he gets home from work. Then Wednesday we will get up early, hook up, and head out for Smith Center, KS and the Excel service center to get a few items replaced and fixed. Then it is off to Branson, MO to spend a couple days with Carl and Merilee, then on to Duson, LA and Frog City RV Park, http://www.lafayettervpark.com/.

I have to say I have enjoyed being at the West Omaha KOA except for the lady bugs. We are inundated with them so I thought I would do some research on them.

I guess we probably have the Asian Lady Beetle, well it is a lady bug to me and a pest. According to http://www.epestsupply.com/asian_beetles.html#asian_lady_beetle_facts.

I have made a couple editorial comments, in bold, but if you are interested it is “fascinating reading”, right.

Asian Lady Beetle Facts

Lady bugs surrounding and invading your home by the thousands? millions? I believe all the millions are at our camper. It's not lady bugs, it probably the Asian beetle. Asian beetles have become a homeowners worst nightmare. Asian beetles, which are sometimes mistaken for ladybugs or lady bird beetles, are familiar insects in many parts of the United States. For the most part, Asian beetles are beneficial predators that eat aphids, scale, insects, and many other pests that injure plants in gardens, landscapes and agricultural settings. However, in many places the multicolored Asian lady beetle has become a household pest. This beetle feeds on aphids and other soft-bodied insects that dwell on crops and trees. Soybean crops are reportedly a favorite of Asian beetles and when the soybean crops get harvested in late summer/early fall, watch out! Asian beetles will be migrating to find a new place to live and breed. Maybe your home! Of course, spring time is also a good time to have an Asian beetle outbreak. Why do we have such large numbers - sometimes epidemic numbers of Asian beetles? You can thank science and the US government.

The multicolored Asian lady beetle was first recorded as a pest in houses in 1988 in Abita Springs, Louisiana. It had been first released in the early 198%s as a biological control agent; and numerous subsequent releases have been made throughout the United States. Because the beetle was not recovered after this release, it was assumed that it had not established and was incompatible with North American conditions. The source of the 1988 infestation in Abita Springs, LA, is unknown; but it is not thought to be linked to the controlled releases. Guess where we are going to spend the rest of the year?

The original infestation site was close to ports used for international shipping including cargo containers from Asia. Since this inadvertent release, the beetle has rapidly expanded its range and is now commonly found throughout much of the U.S. Large congregations tend to be found on windows, doors, and porch decks, and in the walls of buildings.

Asian Lady Beetle Identification

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Harmonia axyridis

Multicolored Asian beetles are slightly larger than most native lady beetles, with adults measuring 9/32 inch (7mm) long and 7/32 (5.5mm) wide. They are oval or convex in shape, and yellow to red in color (without black spots on wing covers). The beetles' spots, which can vary in size and pattern, number from no spots to as many as nineteen; however, nineteen is the most common number. The head is usually concealed beneath the disk-shaped pronotum, which is cream to yellow in color with a black 'M' design in the center. Asian beetle larvae are elongated, flattened, and covered with minute tubercles or spines. They are often described as alligator-shaped. The eggs, which are laid upright in clusters of about twenty, are oval and yellow.

Asian Lady Beetle Life Cycle

Once the weather starts to turn colder, lady beetle adults begin to seek over-wintering sites. The lady beetles appear to orient toward light colored, conspicuous objects, such as white buildings. What could be more conspicuous than a large white RV? It is like we have a WELCOME sign out for them. Large numbers collect on outside walls warmed by the sun, especially on the south and southwest sides. When one lady beetle lands, many others soon follow. Some research suggests that this aggregation behavior may involve chemical cues (pheromones), visual cues, or a combination of all.

Asian Lady Beetle Benefits

The Asian beetle is a voracious predator of aphids and scale on trees, shrubs, and crops. Adults are capable of consuming 90 to 270 aphids per day and larvae can consume between 600 and 1,200 aphids during its life stage. Both adults and larvae have been observed in soybean fields feeding on the newly introduced soybean aphid and are believed to be effective biological control agents in controlling this important new pest.

Asian Lady Beetle Damage

The greatest damage caused by the multicolored Asian lady beetle is the discomfort they give to homeowners. It is not uncommon for tens of thousands of beetles to congregate in attics, ceilings and wall voids. When the heating is turned on the beetles tend to move around inside these voids and exit into the living areas of the home.

In addition to biting, they exude a foul-smelling, yellow defensive chemical, which will sometimes cause spotting on walls and other surfaces. Most people are only annoyed by the odor of these chemicals. However, some individuals experience an allergic reaction to the defensive excretions. Sinus irritations and mild skin irritations have been reported subsequent to encounters with the Asian beetle. It is probably not an over-reaction to wash hands or other skin after contacting the beetles. In at least one study, the severity of sinus problems subsided with the removal of beetles from the home.


Non-Chemical Control Measures For Asian Lady Beetles

I have one method to add here, stand around and squash them, I have killed, maybe, a trillion of them so far.

Asian Lady Beetle Light Traps may provide relief from beetles flying or crawling around the interior of homes. The Asian Lady Beetle drawn to the trap by its light source and a unique pheromone sex lure. Asian Lady Beetles will be attracted to the trap because of the pheromone lure. Once at the trap, the Asian Lady Beetles will be enticed into the jar by a special UV light source. No poisons. This is a live trap. This trap does not kill the Asian beetles. The Asian Lady Beetles will be collected into the collection jar. The jar will need to be emptied on a regular basis. If you decide to use a live trap such as the Asian Lady Beetle Light Traps, do not take the beetles outside and let them go. They will come right back. Remember, Asian lady beetles are not the same as Lady Bugs and do not make a good beneficial insect. The best way to dispose of the beetles is to fill the jar with soapy water and when all the beetles are dead, clean it out. DO NOT use the type of light trap that utilizes an electrical grid (commonly called 'bug zappers') to kill the beetles inside the home. Light traps are most effective at night when there are no competing light sources, or during the day when curtains are drawn and other light sources are minimized. The Asian Lady Bug pheromone lure needs to be replaced every 4- 5 weeks for best results.

Trapper LTD glue traps can also be used to trap Asian beetles. Trapper LTD's are small glue traps that can be placed under lights on window ledges and other places to capture Asian beetles. Once the Trapper LTD is full, simply toss it in the trash and replace. We sell Trapper LTD's individually and by the case of 72. Keep plenty handy, especially if the Asian beetle population is very large. Trapper LTD's also work well to capture cockroaches, crickets, flies, mice, geckos, lizards and many other insect pests.

Pest proofing or sealing the outside cracks may help to prevent Asian beetles from getting inside. This can be done by sealing all outside cracks and crevices around doors, windows, siding, utility pipes and other openings with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Window screens should not have any tears and should fit snugly inside the window frame. Install insect screening over attic and exhaust vents. Take measures to exclude Asian beetles before late autumn when they begin to seek over-wintering sites - potentially in your home!

If numerous lady beetles are entering the living areas of the home it is advisable to locate the places where the beetles gain access. Typically, Asian beetles will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Seal these openings with caulk or other suitable materials to prevent the beetles from crawling out. A temporary solution is to use duct tape or masking tape to stop the beetles. A helpful hint to remember - the beetles are attracted to light and can see light entering through cracks in the walls or ceilings. Initially, concentrate on sealing cracks in the rooms where Asian beetles are most prevalent.

Vacuuming may also help to collect beetles in your home. The major complaint for this method is that the beetles become agitated and expel the yellow, foul-smelling repellent, which is then circulated into the air by the vacuum exhaust. Also, it is advisable to empty the bag and beetles after each vacuuming to prevent them from escaping back into the house. It is possible to capture the beetles inside a knee-high nylon stocking that has been inserted into the extension hose or wand and secured in place with a rubber band. As soon as the vacuum cleaner is turned off, be sure to remove the stocking so that the captured beetles cannot escape. As you remove it, the rubber band closes around the stocking, effectively "bagging" the lady beetles. You then can discard the contents of the stocking. This way you will not need to change the bag every time you vacuum every time.


How To Kill Asian Beetles - Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles

Using pesticides may be the only solution for eliminating Asian beetles. Non-chemical control measures will provide some control, but spraying may be the only real solution.


Use Demand or Demon WP and spray on all baseboards, window sills, doorsills, and other areas where Asian beetles persist. A direct spray on the beetles provides the best results. Demand provides a longer residual since it is microencapulated, Demon WP provides a much quicker kill. Use a good quality sprayer such as the Ortho Heavy Duty Sprayer to provide a uniform spray pattern. Be sure to read and follow label directions on any pesticide that you use.

CB80 is a pyrethrum based aerosol handheld fogger that quickly kills large numbers of Asian beetles indoors. Simply aim the CB80 can at the ceiling of every room, push the button and fog the room for 3-5 seconds (average size room) and then close the door and leave for 2 hours. CB80 also works best when the fog is directed to the beetles such as corners of rooms, etc.

Trapper LTD glue traps can also be used to trap Asian beetles. Trapper LTD's are small glue traps that can be placed under lights on window ledges and other places to capture Asian beetles. Once the Trapper LTD is full, simply toss it in the trash and replace. We sell Trapper LTD's individually and by the case of 72. Keep plenty handy, especially if the Asian beetle population is very large. Trapper LTD's also work well to capture cockroaches, crickets, flies, mice, geckos, lizards and many other insect pests.


Use Demand or Demon WP outdoors to kill Asian beetles. Treating outdoor areas is very time consuming and getting the appropriate coverage over the area can be a real challenge. That's why we recommend the Solo Backpack Sprayer or the Solo Backpack Mister for applying outdoor pesticides. The Solo Backpack Mister blows a mist of pesticide up to 40 feet away. You can mist the tops of trees and even mist the entire outdoor walls of your home or building in just a matter of minutes. This is especially important since repeat treatments may be needed every few days or weeks during a heavy Asian beetle siege.

Whatever you decide to do, ePestSupply.com is here to help. Call us or email us if you have questions concerning Asian beetles and we will do everything we can to help you kill Asian beetles.

So until we get to Louisiana remember Dreams Do Come True.

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