Bug control 

If you don’t want to spray with insecticide, there are still some bug-eliminating options. One suggestion from James Dulley – a nationally syndicated columnist who writes about ways to save money in an Earth-friendly manner – is to launch a bug-world counterattack, pitting good creatures against the bad.

For example, dragonflies, bats and toads can all help to reduce the mosquito population: A single dragonfly can eat 100 mosquitoes in 30 minutes.

"Consider green lacewings to get rid of aphids," suggests Dulley. "One thousand eggs cost about $6. Beneficial nematodes ($14 per million) control fleas and grubs."

There are even special blends of flower seeds that attract the good bugs to your garden. For more information, visit Dulley’s Web site at www.dulley.com.

For further pest-elimination help, call the MSU Extension hotline at 810-244-8548. Its staff can answer all kinds of questions about insects and gardening.

Or, you can follow the discussion of the MSU Landscape Crop Advisory Team, a group of experts that get together once a week from April to October to talk about pest problems. You can find their newsletter at www.msue.msu.edu/, where you can also order a copy of Tom Ellis’ What’s Bugging You?.

If worst comes to worst, you can always turn to the professional pest controllers. The Michigan Department of Agriculture gives tips on its Web site (www.mda.state.mi.us) on how to select one. Keep in mind that in Michigan, pest control companies must be licensed to apply pesticides, and they have to have insurance.

Nicole Bosch is a Dutch freelance writer now living in Detroit. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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