Three widely used cutting actions for grass shears are draw cut, scissor action and leverage-assisted action.

Draw-cut trimmers have a stationary lower blade and moving upper blade, operated by an up-and-down squeeze on the handle. Blades are tempered, hollow-ground steel to hold cutting edge.

Draw-cut trimmers are usually considered better quality and have higher prices than scissor trimmers.

Scissor-action shears have two moving blades and work much like ordinary household scissors-with side-to-side pressure.

Although some manufacturers still make quality scissor shears with hollow-ground blades, many of these trimmers have lower-quality stamped blades that will not hold a sharp edge.

Leverage-assisted trimmers use a between-the-handles cam with an off-center pivot that increases the cutting efficiency while reducing the effort to squeeze the handles. Variations of this design include one where a rod pulls the blade like the draw cut and one which pushes the rod towards the blade with a significant increase of leverage. This shear has deep bevels, hollow-ground tempered stainless-steel blades with hand-honed edges.

All of these trimmers incorporate a safety lock or catch to hold blades together when not in use.

Long-handled grass shears-same operating action as the short handled ones-relieve tiresome crouching when there’s a lot of trimming to do.

Cordless electric grass shears and long-handled string trimmers have gained wide popularity in recent years.


Hand-operated hedge shears have a scissor-like cutting action. Blades are from 6″ to 10″ long, some with serrated edges, others with notched positions for bulk cuts, or arc-edge blades that have two curved blades that pass through growth from either side.

Most shears have one cutting and one holding blade. The arc edge has two cutting blades.

High-quality hedge shears have bumpers or metal shock springs to take some of the shock out of the cutting action. High carbon steel blades in the better quality shears are fully heat treated to hold their sharp edge longer. Both wood and steel handles are available in various lengths.

Variations of hedge shears are an evergreen shear which has a longer handle and a multiple-pivot leverage system shear that increases leverage.


Hand pruning shears come 6″ to 9″ long, with blade and anvil (or draw cut) and hook and blade (or bypass) cutting patterns.

Draw cutting results from one sharp cutting edge moving firmly against a non-cutting anvil.

Bypass cutting moves one sharpened blade against a stationary curved hook. Although they are difficult to sharpen, most professionals and rose growers prefer this pattern, because it cuts closer to the stem.

Top-quality pruning shears offer specially ground, hand-honed blades for extra cutting strength; blades perfectly balanced against each other or the anvil; Teflon-coated cutting blades for easier cutting; rubber- or plastic-covered handles and adjustable tension-joint assemblies. A sap groove on bypass blades eliminates gummy buildup and makes pruning easier.


Tree pruners are pruning shears or a pruning saw attached to a long pole that will accept extensions or telescope- usual length is 6″ to 12″.

Leverage is essential. The length of the lever arm, multiple pivot points and the number of pulleys all increase leverage to make cutting easier. Gear-driven blades make cutting even easier. In addition, the compactness of the head adds convenience and maneuverability to cut in tight places.

A rope and pulley operate the cutter. The cutting mechanism is at the cutting head with rope extending the full length of the pole. High-quality rope and a gripping handle on the rope make cutting much easier.

Saws will cut limbs larger than 1 1/2″ thick and shears, depending on strength of construction and jaw opening width, will cut limbs up to 1 1/2″ thick.


Pruning saws are used to cut dry or green limbs from trees. In addition to the pole pruner, saws include curved pruner, double-edge pruner, folding pruner and long-handled pruner.

Blades come in lengths to 24″. Quality blades are flat ground tempered steel and handles are polished hardwood. Gear-driven assemblies are also available.

Steel-framed bow saws are also popular for pruning.

Some feature a high arch so all the blade length can be used for cutting and lever-type handles to hold blades at proper tension and to give easy blade changes.


With their long handles for firm leverage and hard, tempered tool steel blades, lopping shears eat their way through heavy underbrush.

Handles are up to 30″ long and jaws will cut through limbs up to 2″ thick.

As with other pruners, most operate on anvil or bypass principles. There are various multi-power lopping shears. Gear-driven assemblies or a multi-pivot system give 300 lbs. of cutting power, three times that of conventional shears of equal length.


  1. Study the plant to decide what its pruning needs are. Information on the correct time to prune each plant is available to you through your local extension service. Decide how the plant grows and how you can maintain its natural form.
  2. Make all cuts flush above a bud or on adjoining branches. Always cut above a bud that is pointing in the direction you wish that new branch to grow. The proper pruning cut will develop the shrub’s proper shape, reduce disease problems and allow for stronger branch development.
  3. Remove all dead or damaged branches first. Next remove (thin out) or cut back branches that detract from the tree’s overall shape. These include branches that are weak or may cause future problems by competing for light or growing into other branches.
  4. Treat all wounds larger than a dime with a good tree wound dressing.


    • Major pruning on fruit trees should be done while the plant is dormant. Minor pruning on fruit trees can be done anytime.
    • Pruning most leafy shrubs should follow a renovation program. Remove one- fourth to one-fifth of the oldest, largest canes each year. If this is done the oldest cane in the shrub will the three to four years old. Keep only the strongest new canes for replacement and remove the weakest canes.
    • Shrubs like forsythia, flowering quince and pussy willow that bloom early in the spring should be pruned immediately after they bloom. Shrubs such as rose of Sharon and hydrangea that bloom later in the season should be pruned while they are dormant.
    • Most plants used in sheared hedges can be pruned throughout the growing season.
    • Some trees such as birch, maple, walnut, dogwood and elm should not be pruned in late winter or early spring when sap is moving, as they may “bleed” profusely. These trees should be pruned when they are in full leaf.
    • Annual and perennial flowers will also become more bushy and produce more flowers if new growth is pinched back. This will create a fuller plant. Pinching chrysanthemums should be discontinued after July 4.
    • Hybrid tea roses should be pruned back to 9″-12″ in the spring to a bud pointing to the outside of the bush. Make all cuts 1/4″ above the bud or branch to give strength and support to the new growth.
    • Remove old canes of climbing roses immediately after they bloom. Allow new canes to develop for next year’s bloom.

Source: National Lawn and Garden Distributors Association with the aid of the Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Hand edgers (round blade) consist of long handle; sharp, high carbon steel blade and turned step for better foot pressure and leverage. They function well for edging thick sod around walks, flower beds, trees and shrubs.

Rotary edgers come with single or double wheels. In the single-wheel model, a rubber-tired wheel moves along walk or driveway turning cutting blade against cutting edge. Teeth float above the bottom trench to cut grass without being clogged by stones, sticks and other debris.

Better edgers have high-carbon steel, self-sharpening blades; hardened wood or metal handles long enough to allow the user to walk upright; and cutting width adjustment.

Two-wheeled edgers give better traction, but are unhandy for edging around house foundation or trees.


Weed cutters cut thick, heavy weeds with a double-edge blade. Some blades have serrated edges. They are available in elliptical (oval shaped) and whip design.

Blades are forged from high- carbon steel, tempered to keep a sharp cutting edge. Weed cutters are usually preferred by persons unskilled with a scythe.

Similar to weed cutters are brush hooks, a heavy-duty tool for hacking through unusually heavy brush, and grass hooks, double-edge blades on long handles that slice through grass.

Any tool performs better if it is kept in top condition. Follow these tips for season-end maintenance:

  • Clean up all cutting or bladed tools-clean off dirt and rust and sharpen edge.
  • Condition blades by spraying with rust-preventive lubricant or rust-inhibitive paint.
  • Condition wooden handles by sanding off splinters and rubbing with linseed oil.
  • Clean rakes and straighten bent tines.
  • Clean garden sprayers by flushing chemicals out with clear water or with a household detergent.
  • Drain and properly store garden hose.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

As environmental issues continue to pick up steam, many consumers are turning to fans as a lower cost and environmentally safe cooling alternative. Fans, as a whole, use little energy compared to other cooling methods, and their low price point attracts cost conscious customers.


A window fan can add greatly to the comfort of a home. It is an alternative to air conditioning and will save energy. It may be used to expel warm air or to draw in cool air .

Most window fans have a 20″ diameter, although smaller units are available. The majority require mounting kits and side panels. The panels, in addition to supporting the fan, prevent air from circulating around and back into the fan, which could result in a performance loss of as much as 8-10 percent.

The newer, smaller fans come with side panels in place, so all the do-it-yourselfer has to do is open the window, stick the fan in and switch on the power.

Some models are made to permit the window to be closed with the fan mounted in the window frame.

Deluxe models are thermostat controlled and may have as many as six speed selections. The thermostat is an advantage in areas where there is considerable variation between day and night temperatures.

Some models feature electrical reversibility, enabling the user to switch the fan from intake to exhaust, or vice versa, without turning the fan around.

A stand mounted fan can be moved from room to room or away from the window. Tilt knobs allow the user to position the fan at the angle that best suits the purpose.

When used for exhaust, stand mounted fans should be positioned about 2′ to 3′ away from the window; for intake they should be placed as close to the window as possible. Some models can be removed from their stands and used as conventional window fans.

To cool one room, a window fan should be run on intake with a second window open to serve as a vent. However, if the fan is to cool several rooms, it should be run on exhaust, and windows and connecting doors of the rooms to be cooled should be opened.

An efficient 20″ fan can change the air approximately once a minute in a 2,400-cu.ft. area (e.g., a room measuring 20′ x 15′ x 8′).

A typical portable fan uses 50 to 200 watts.


Floor fans provide a pattern of air movement to cool and circulate air without causing drafts.

Fan sizes are generally 10″ to 12″ in diameter, mounted in rectangular or round, hassock type cases. A hassock fan will throw air outward and upward in a 360 degree direction.

A rectangular fan will tilt about 170 degrees and may be used as a table fan, throwing air current outward. As a floor fan, it can be tilted to throw the air upward, or it can be wall mounted and tilted at any angle desired.

Some of the more expensive floor fans have speed selection controls; others run at a fixed speed.


Oscillating fans with a circular grille varying in diameter from 8″ to 16″, may be used on the floor, on a table or wall mounted. They do not have as high an air delivery as some floor fans.

The tilt angle varies from about 50 degrees to 90 degrees and the oscillation, which has a radius of 90 can be switched off by the twist of a knob.

With all fans, care should be taken to assure that the grille work is close enough not to pose a danger to small children who may put their fingers in far enough to touch the blades. If the grille work is large enough that this possibility exists, the fan should be placed out of reach.


The primary use of an exhaust fan is to extract stale air from an attic, kitchen or bathroom.

Fitted above a kitchen range or under a range hood, a 10″ exhaust fan will prevent smoke and grease from accumulating in the kitchen and from spreading throughout the house. The switch simultaneously starts the fan and opens the outside vent.

Bathroom exhaust fans may have a light or heater or be only a fan. Separate switches allow one, both or all three services to be operated independently or together.

Wholehouse fans draw hot air from the living area into the attic where it is vented. Installation and operation is less costly than an air conditioner, and used alone, it can keep a gentle breeze stirring through the house that will make the temperature seem 2 to 3 degrees cooler.

Most wholehouse fans have louvers that open automatically when the fan is running and close when the fan is off. This way, the louvers seal out hot air in the summer and cold air in the winter. Automatic switches are available for single speed fans only. Some fans have variable speed motors that cool the house at a higher speed and then maintain a general circulation of air throughout the house when turned down.

Wholehouse fans are rated according to the measurement of cubic feet of air per minute (cfm) that they move.

Exhaust fans carry certified sound ratings developed by the Home Ventilating Institute and its member manufacturers. These ratings provide dealers with reliable guidelines for noise level and air movement.

Sound levels are stated in sones, internationally recognized units of total loudness. Ratings are in steps of 0.5 sones and 10 cfm. Multiple speed fans must be rated at maximum speed but can also be rated at lower speeds. Limits for sound outputs are 6.5 sones for bathroom fans and 9 sones for kitchen fans up to 500 cfm.


Aside from their decorative and fashion functions, ceiling fans create a gentle indoor breeze that eliminates stale odors, repels insects and supports heating and air-conditioning systems on less energy than is used by a 100 watt light bulb. Homeowners use them in all rooms of the home to allow energy saving thermostat settings.

Many top of the line models feature quality cast iron motor housings, pull chain switches, reversible motion and precision- pitched blades for maximum air movement. Blades may be manufactured of real wood, metal or plastic. A heavy material motor housing will aid fan efficiency; the mass gains momentum, reducing the energy necessary to keep the fan in motion.

Ceiling fans are available in several styles, sizes and with a number of accessories. The fans generally come in 36″, 42″, 48″ and 52″ blade diameters, as well as 56″ to 72″ industrial models. Naturally, the larger the room, the larger the diameter that is required to circulate the air efficiently.

Most fans have more than one speed; some are variable speed. They have heavy-duty, induction- type motors that run quietly on leak proof circulating oil bath lubrication. They also have permanently lubricated, sealed ball bearings. Ceiling fans never interfere with television or radio reception while in operation.

Standard mounting kits are available for ceilings as low as 8′, and close to the ceiling models can be used on 7’6″ ceilings. Some are available with light adapter kits.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

All lawns are deficient in nitrogen because grass quickly uses up the natural supply. Some also need phosphorus and potassium.

There are three common types of fertilizers: natural organic, inorganic and synthetic organic.

  • Natural organic fertilizers, such as manure, do not dissolve in water. They are converted to usable forms by microorganisms in the soil. They help to create proper physical growing conditions, but can add disease or weeds to the lawn.
  • Inorganic fertilizers (ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate) do dissolve in water and become readily available to plants. They can cause fast growth for a few weeks, but can also cause foliage burn if improperly applied.
  • Synthetic organic fertilizers (ureafoam, methylene urea) provide a combination of slow and fast release of nitrogen, combining the best of the other two kinds of fertilizer.

Dry fertilizers come in several forms which combine all three nutrients and can range in weight from 14 to 70 lbs. for a typical-sized lawn.

Simple-mix fertilizers are mixtures of the three primary nutrients in a bag. The granules differ in weight and texture so that the heavier ones may work toward the bottom of the bag or spreader. The result is uneven distribution.

Pelletized fertilizers combine all the nutrients into semi-rigid pellets or capsules. This does not ensure a steady release of nutrients unless slow-release sources are included in the pellets.

Trionized fertilizers have the three nutrients bonded into a lightweight carrier such as vermiculite. Nutrients are uniform throughout the granules.

Polyform fertilizers require no added carrier, resulting in the lightest-weight fertilizers. A mixture of the three nutrients is screened to uniform size, putting a high proportion of nutrients into the bag.


Can you get along with just one application of fertilizer? Yes, but the lawn won’t be very healthy. Two feedings are minimum, although most turf experts believe three feedings or more are best.

When only two feedings per year are done, they should be done in the early spring and early fall. Each feeding actually serves a different purpose in helping grass grow.

  • A late winter feeding aids the lawn in early greening and building roots. The late spring feeding builds tillers or sideshoots that help fill in bare spots in the lawn.
  • A midsummer feeding makes a lawn more drought resistant. The fall feeding helps grass build more sideshoots or tillers and underground stems or rhizomes to thicken up a lawn. It is considered the single most important feeding of the year.

Apply fertilizers in both directions to avoid streaking or missed strips.


Every fertilizer consists of three nutrients, always listed in the same sequence in the formula, which must be printed on the bag or label. Each ingredient serves a separate function in enriching soil and stimulating plant growth. Listed in order, they are:

  • Nitrogen (N) – vital to plants for foliage color and density and for root growth. This is the primary nutrient that needs to be replaced.
  • Phosphorus (P) – for seedling development, cell building and root growth.
  • Potassium (K) – assists plants in forming starches and proteins and helps them resist disease and environmental stresses.
  • Sulphur and iron are two other important ingredients to look for in fertilizer. Both are needed to keep the grass from yellowing and to continue growth.

Each nutrient is designated by a number-a percentage of the pounds of each per hundred pounds of fertilizer. For example, a very common 20-10-5 formulation means there are 20 lbs. of nitrogen per hundred pounds of fertilizer, 10 lbs. Of phosphoric acid and five lbs. Of potassium. In a 50lb. bag with the same formula on it, there would be 10 lbs. Of nitrogen, five of phosphoric acid and two and a half of potassium.

While formulations vary, the most common are 20-10-5, 5-10-5 and 10-6-4, but others being offered include 24-6-6 and 23-7-7.

When you select a fertilizer, remember the purpose of each ingredient and relate the percentages to the needs of your plants and/or lawn.

Most fertilizers indicate on the package the number of square feet they will cover. To help figure out the amount you will need, take the size of your lot, and subtract the square feet of the house, garage and driveway.


While a 10-5-5 mixture may cost only two-thirds the price of the 20-5-5 mixture, it is delivering only half the needed nitrogen.

Fertilizers with slow-release or slowly available ingredients cost more because they dissolve gradually and give prolonged fertilizing action.

With some types of dry fertilizer, there is considerable danger of “burning” the lawn if applied too heavily or not watered immediately. Also, grass fed with a fast-acting fertilizer can be weaker and more susceptible to disease because it grows too fast.

Urea formaldehyde (or urea foam) is a good slow-release source of nitrogen, whereas urea alone or other mineral sources of nitrogen dissolve quickly.

Fast-acting inorganic fertilizers, with lower price points, appeal to price-conscious consumers. Remember that the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The important part is how the grass responds and thrives.


Specialized fertilizers, in dry or liquid form, are manufactured for specific plants. The best way to learn about the specific merits of each product is to study manufacturer’s literature.

The local agricultural extension agent is also a good source not only for product knowledge, but for information about the soil conditions, growing needs and special characteristics of your area.


InsectsInsecticide*Suggestions for Control
Ants (N HE- I11); Carpenter ants (NHE-10)Outdoors: diazinon 25% E.C.; Indoors: chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U., hydrazone baits, propoxur baits, boric acid R.T.U.Chemical: Use diazinon to spray completely around outside foundation and the adjacent 1 ft. of soil. Apply an R.T.U. spray to baseboards, cracks, and door thresholds. Apply boric acid in out-of-reach areas only.
NonChemical: Keep foods in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator. Most ants prefer sweets and fats. Practice good sanitation. Avoid leaving dirty dishes or other food particles where they are accessible to ants. Caulk cracks and crevices in house foundation.
Ants, Pharaohmethoprene baits, boric acid baitsChemical: Indoors: Place baits near ant food and water sources and in other areas where ants are found. Treat for several weeks, replacing bait as it becomes dry.
NonChemical: Follow suggestions above for other ants. Apply petroleum jelly or double-sided tape to furniture legs to keep ants off of furniture.
Boxelder bugs (NHE-9)diazinon 25% E.C., carbaryl 50% W.P., insecticidal soapChemical: Spray boxelder bugs on tree trunks, foundation walls (diazinon and insecticidal soap), under eaves, and other areas where they gather. Use carbaryl on foliage where beetles are feeding.
NonChemical: Keep screens, and other openings in good repair. Caulk all seams around windows and doors. Indoors remove the bugs by vacuuming.
Carpet beetles, clothes moths (N E-87)chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U.Chemical: Spray storage areas, edges of carpeting, baseboards, cracks and crevices.
NonChemical: Destroy all badly infested materials. If insulation is of plant or animal origin remove it from the structure. Check for any dead animal or bird carcasses that may be in wall voids, chimneys, or fireplace areas. Keep accumulation of lint to a minimum and vacuum thoroughly in areas where hair and other natural fibers gather. Remove all bird, insect and rodent nests in the fall before cool weather. Place cleaned or washed woolens in insect-free chests that are tightly sealed or in plastic bags. Dry cleaning and laundering kills these pests.
Carpenter beescarbaryl 5% dust, diazinon R.T.U.Chemical: Dust and spray entrances to nest with insecti cide. Do not plug entrance.
NonChemical: In the fall, fill the holes and paint or varnish the entire wood surface.
Centipedes, millipedes, sowbugs (NHE-93)Outdoors/Indoors: diazinon 25% E.C., chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U.Chemical: Apply diazinon as an outside foundation spray. If millipedes are abundant, treat entire lawn according to label. Indoors: Use R.T.U. spray according to label.
NonChemical: Correct situations where moist habitats occur such as crawl spaces, poorly drained areas, and piles of trash, mulch, or compost. Remove indoors by vacuuming.
Chiggers (NHE-127)diazinon 25% E.C., DEET R.T.U.Chemical: Treat lawns, roadsides, and areas not mowed. For personal protection, a repellent such as DEET will prevent attack.
NonChemical: Eliminate or mow breeding sites, especially briars, weeds, and other thick vegetation where there is an abundance of moisture and shade. Wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt and trousers, shoes, and socks. Tuck pant legs into boots or socks. Avoid sitting on the ground either in the lawn or brushy areas. Take a warm soapy shower or bath immediately after returning from any infested areas.
Clover mites (NHE-2)pyrethroid R.T.U., dicofol 35% W.P.Chemical: Apply dicofol spray to outside foundation and adjacent 1 ft. of soil. Indoors: Spray with pyrethroid.
NonChemical: Eliminate grass and other vegetation in a 1 ft. band all the way around the house. Also make sure window and door seams are properly caulked and sealed to prevent entry by the mites. Indoors: Mites can be removed by vacuumming.
Cluster flies (NHE-I)pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Fog lightly in rooms with pyrethroid. Repeat spray as needed.
NonChemical: Seal cracks and openings around windows, eaves and siding. Use fly screen over air intake vents or air conditioning systems. Seal off attic openings with screen or caulking. Indoors: Remove flies by vacuuming.
Cockroaches: German (NHE-3),Brown-banded (NHE-4), American and Oriental (NHE-5)chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U., bonc acid R.T.U., hydroprene R.T.U., hydrazone bait, propoxur baitChemical: Spray roach runways and hiding places. Treat under sink, refrigerator, cabinets, on baseboards, etc. Treatment throughout home may be needed to control brown-banded roaches. May be supplemented with boric acid applied into out-of-sight and out-of-reach voids under cabinets and appliances.
NonChemical: Practice proper sanitation by keeping food properly sealed or stored in the refrigerator. Keep trash covered. Do not allow dirty dishes to accumulate. Clean frequently under refrigerators and stoves where food particles may accumulate. Eliminate hiding places such as piles of newspapers, boxes and papers. Caulk cracks and crevices. Do not leave pet food out overnight.
Crickets (NHE-137), Field, House, CamelOutdoors: diazinon 25% E.C.; Indoors: chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U., propoxur baitChemical: Use diazinon to spray completely around outside foundation and the adjacent 1 ft. of soil. Apply an R.T.U. spray to baseboards, cracks, and door thresholds.
NonChemical: Cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and in the foundation should be properly sealed and caulked. Indoors: Remove crickets by vacuuming. House lights attract both field and house crickets. Keep garbage cans clean and empty frequently. Keep firewood at least 1-2 feet away from the foundation. Apply a 6-inch band of ashes around the wood pile. Eliminate sources of moisture by fixing leaky pipes and modifying damp areas.
Drain flies (NHE-91)pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Use chemicals only after solving sanitation problems. Pour boiling water or rubbing alcohol into overflow drain to eliminate maggots.
NonChemical: Practice proper sanitation. Clean out overflow drains, drain traps, and basement drains. Keep screens in good repair.
Earwigs (NHE-142)Outdoors: diazinon 25% E.C.; Indoors: chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U., propoxur baitChemical: Apply diazinon as an outside foundation spray. Indoors: Use R.T.U. spray according to label.
NonChemical: Remove unessential plant debris, mulch, and boards from around buildings. Establish a zone of bare concrete or soil which will dry out. Indoors: Remove by vacuuming. Caulk cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and in the foundation.
Elm leaf beetles (NHE-82)carbaryl 50% W.P., Bacillus thuringiensis ‘san diego’Chemical: Spray nearby Chinese elm trees during the summer to reduce the number of beetles that come into homes in the fall.
NonChemical: Seal cracks and crevices around windows and other openings to prevent entry. Indoors: Remove by vacuuming.
Fleas (NHE-107)naled, carbaryl 5% dust, methoprene R.T.U., pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Replace flea collars on pets about every 3 months. Some pets are allergic. Dust pets directly as needed. Dust areas inside and outside the home where pets rest. For infestations in the home, spray edges of carpets and rugs and floors where fleas are observed. Follow label directions. Vacuum rugs and upholstered furniture thoroughly approximately 30 minutes after spraying.
Fleas (cont.)Diazinon 25% E.C.Chemical: Apply to lawn.
NonChemical: Frequently launder pet bedding and rugs where pets frequent with hot soapy water. Vacuum thoroughly to remove lint and dust around baseboards and cracks where flea eggs and larvae accumulate. Eliminate vegetation that will serve as a harborage for the native mammal population (carriers of fleas). Prevent pets from resting under the house and exclude mammals by screening attic and eave entrances. Thoroughly clean furniture in areas pets tend to frequent.
Flies (NHE-16), Houseflies, Gnats, MidgesOutdoors: malathion 50-57% E.C.; Indoors: pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Use malathion to spray around garbage cans and other resting sites. Apply fine mist or fog of pyrethroid.
NonChemical: Proper sanitation is important. Dispose of refuse frequently and prevent the accumulation of rotting or decaying vegetation. Keep screens in good repair. Fly strips and fly swatters can also be effective.
Honey bees (NHE-141)carbaryl 5% dust, diazinon R.T.U., pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Drill holes through siding to inject insecticide, if necessary. Remove nests and honey and destroy them. Treat nests at dusk or dawn.
NonChemical: Caulk cracks and crevices during the winter or early spring to prevent nest building. Seal off attic openings, air intake vents, and air conditioning systems with fly screen.
Lice (NHE-105), Human, Head, Crab, BodyKwell 1% shampoo, pyrethrin R.T.U.Chemical: Dust lightly over body hair. Repeat in 2 weeks if needed. Do not get in eyes. Consult a physician.
NonChemical: Practice proper personal hygiene. Avoid using other individuals’ combs, hats, towels, or hair brushes. Bedding and clothing should be changed and washed frequently. Sanitation of locker rooms, and proper laundering will help reduce the incidence of lice. Crab louse is usually transmitted through intimate sexual contact.
Mites, Human, Human scabies, Human itch mite (NHE-135)Kwell 1% lotion available only by a physician’s prescription, pyrethrin R.T.U.Chemical: Consult a physician.
NonChemical: Consult a physician.
Mosquitoes (NHE-94,132)Outdoors: malathion 50-57% E.C., pyrethroid fogger, Bacillus thuringiensis, ‘israelensis’; Indoors: pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Spray tall grass, around doorways, and other resting sites. Use a repellent like DEET when entering mosquito-infested areas. Apply fine mist or fog of pyrethroid.
NonChemical: Keep screens in good repair. Flues and chimneys should be covered during the summer months. Eliminate resting places such as tall grass, weeds, shrubbery, and vines from around the home. Eliminate rain-water-collecting items such as old tires, pans, cans, and buckets. Weekly, drain plastic swimming pools and bird baths. Provide for proper water drainage around the foundation of the home. When visiting mosquito-infested areas, wear protective clothing to prevent bites. If small garden ponds are present use Top minnows Gambusia sp. or Bacillus thuringiensis ‘israelensis’. Bug zappers” and ultrasonic devices have not proven to be extremely effective in controlling mosquitoes and other noxious flying insects.
Pantry and Cereal Pests (NHE-11), Grain beetles, Indian meal moth, Flour beetlesdiazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U., chlorpyrifos R.T.U., pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: Force spray into cracks an crevices; allow to dry; cover shelves with clean, fresh paper. Do not contaminate food or utensils with insecticides.
NonChemical: Discard infested packages. Thoroughly clean and vacuum food cabinets and shelves. Keep dry food in tightly sealed containers. Keeping nonhuman food at 32 degrees F for 3 to 4 days will kill eggs and larvae.
Powder-post beetles (N HE-85)chlorpyrifos 42% ECChemical: Use chlorpyrifos to paint or spray infested unfinished wood. Follow label directions.
NonChemical: Avoid buying furniture of wood products that have not been stained, varnished or properly dried. Properly paint or varnish new wood items to seal pores and to prevent egg laying.
Silverfish (NHE-86)diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U., chlorpyrifos R.T.U., boric acid R.T.U.Chemical: Spray runways, baseboards, closets, and places where pipes go through the walls. Repeat treatments in 2 weeks if needed. Apply boric acid in out-of-reach areas only.
NonChemical: Alter the physical environment of the infested area by reducing the humidity. Reduce harborage sites by caulking cracks and crevices. Eliminate their food source by storing books, papers, and linens in tightly sealed containers or cabinets.
Spiders (N. HE- 17, 116)Outdoors: diazinon 25Sc E.C.; Indoors: chlorpyrifos R.T.U., diazinon R.T.U., propoxur R.T.U.Chemical: Use diazinon to spray completely around outside foundation and the adjacent I ft. of soil. Apply R.T.U. spray to baseboards, cracks, and door thresholds. Do not use diazinon E. C. inside.
NonChemical: Keep screens and other openings in good repair. Caulk all seams around windows and doors. Spiders are considered beneficial as they are predators of insects and other small animals. Indoors: Remove by simply vacuuming.
Springtails (NHE-70)Outdoors: diazinon 25% E.C.Chemical: Outdoors: Spray soil next to the house, especially grassy moist areas.
NonChemical: Eliminate moist areas around the home where mulch and rotting vegetation are present. Keep outside light use to a minimum. Keep screens and doors in good repair. Allow potting soil of houseplants to dry out between watering.
Swimming pool insects (NHE-103)Do not add insecticides to pool waterChemical: None.
NonChemical: Keep outside light to a minimum. Maintain proper chlorine balance in the pool. Cover pool when not in use.
Termites (NHE-57)chlorpyrifos 429 E.C. (Dursban T.C.), fenvalerate 24.5% E.C. (Tribute), permethrin (Dragnet 36.8Sc E.C.), (Torpedo 25.6Sc E.C.), cypermethrin 25.3% E.C. (Demon T.C.)Chemical: Fenvalerate, cypermethrin, and permethrin are restricted-use pesticides. Control by pest control operator (exterminator) recommended.
NonChemical: Remove termite tubes connecting the soil to wood sources. Eliminate wood-to-soil contacts. Ventilate damp areas such as crawl spaces for proper drying. Use treated wood when landscaping or constructing outside structures. Cedar and redwood are somewhat resistant; termites prefer hardwoods.
Ticks (NHE-56), Brown dog tick, American dog tick, Deer tick, Lone star ticktetrachlorvinphos 50% W.P., malathion 50-57% E.C., carbaryl 505tc W.P., carbaryl 5ic dust, tetrachlorvinphos 3Sc dust, DEET R.T.U.Chemical: Apply spray to lawns, fencerows, roadsides, and areas not regularly mowed. Dust pets directly as needed, according to label instructions. Dust baseboards, cracks, and crevices around pet bedding. Use a repellent like DEET when entering tick-infested areas.
NonChemical: Keep vegetation, weeds and brush, mowed and clean. Avoid areas where ticks are known to be present. Wear long-sleeved shirt and trousers when visiting infested areas, tuck pant-legs into socks. Check for ticks on skin or clothing every few hours. Vacuum baseboards and other cracks and crevices thoroughly to destroy eggs and immatures.
Wasps (NHE-141), Hornets, Yellowjacketscarbaryl 5Sc dust, diazinon R.T.U., pyrethroid R.T.U.Chemical: For nests below-ground, apply diazinon according to label and seal opening with soil. Spray aboveground wasp and hornet nests in partitions with carbaryl. Drill holes through siding to inject insecticide, if necessary. Remove nests and destroy them. Treat nests at dusk or dawn.
NonChemical: Keep garbage cleaned up and properly covered. Avoid indiscriminate killing of wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets, as they are considered beneficial. If picnicking, keep food properly covered or sealed. Avoid areas where yellowjackets are prevalent. Keep overripe fruit and vegetables cleaned up and away from human activity. Caulk cracks and crevices during the winter or early spring to prevent yellowjacket nests but do not caulk opening of active nest.
E.C. = emulsion concentrate; W.P. = wettable powder; R.T.U. = ready to use; G. = granules. * Whenever possible, purchase specially prepared, ready-to-use forms of insecticides for indoor use. Use only one insecticide from those listed. When preparing a quantity of 1 gallon or more of a spray, follow the mixing directions on the pesticide label.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.