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V.25 No.14 | 04/07/2016

Trouble with Termites

Roaches, too

Termites are swarming now because of the recent rains. The drought-like weather conditions have prolonged the normal termite swarming season, which usually occurs in March. What should you do if you see termite swarmers in your yard. If you are concerned, it would be a good idea to get a termite inspection to make sure they aren’t infesting your home. If someone finds termites, or you just want to get your home treated to be on the safe side, then make sure you hire a reputable company. When they give you a quote, they need to give you a graph of your home showing where there may be an infestation. The graph should tell you how they are going to treat it as well. They will measure your home and determine the linear footage. Most companies do this, but some of them do not measure the depth of the footer, which they need to know as the amount of termiticide they will use depends both on the linear footage of your home and the depth of the footer. If a company finds termite activity in your home and wants to use bait sticks outside, I would recommend passing on that. Why would termites leave a perfectly edible home to go out in the yard for a termite bait stick? If you opt out of getting your home treated, is that bad? Not necessarily so. We have arid land subterranean termites in most of NM and they are the least destructive species in the country. They often do some minor damage to drywall and occasionally studs, but rarely do substantial damage. However, if you are ever planning on selling your home, you should get it treated anyway, so you don’t have to deal with repairing damage later, even if it is minor. The most destructive species of subterranean termite is the Eastern species. That termite is found over much of the eastern half of the country and is found in NM in the eastern counties. That species if very destructive. Because of climate change I suspect this species will eventually expand its range over all of the state. If you have swarmers, make sure you get them identified to species. Any competent termite company should be able to look at the swarmers and identify them. It isn’t hard to tell them apart.

We also have drywood termites in NM, but they are not as common as subterraneans. They have brown swarmers, instead of black ones and they usually swarm in summer rather than in spring. They can be more difficult to treat so make sure the company you call knows how to treat them.

On another note, cockroaches are also very active now because of the weather. In some areas, they can come up through the sewer system and into your sinks through the drains. It would be a good idea to keep all of your drains closed at night, as that is when the cockroaches are most active. Check your doors also to make sure they close tightly. If you can slide a piece of paper under a door, a cockroach can come in. So can other pests like scorpions and centipedes. You may want to install door sweeps. You should also get some Niban Bait, which is a granular bait made from boric acid, and put it under your appliances, under your sinks and even around the outside of your home. You can only get Niban online. One NM supplier is If you like, you can put out some pie pans filled with beer around your house. Roaches love beer and will go in the pie pans and drown. And they don’t check IDs. They also prefer good beer and not Lite beers. Not making this up. Another good way to catch them is with some duct tape placed sticky side up in the garage or anywhere you want, where pet can’t step on it. The roaches are attracted to the glue and get stuck on the tape. Crickets will also be attracted to the tape and get stuck.

There is no need to use pesticides to control most pests as the pesticides are potentially hazardous to your family and pets. If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at or by phone at 505-385-2820. There is also lots of non-toxic pest management information on the blogs on my website at

V.24 No.37 | 9/10/2015

The Bugman

Potential Hazards of Pesticides

UC Davis study may link poison to autism

The Bugman advocates that some pesticides should not be used in public areas without the knowledge of the public, and that pesticide applicators be trained in all categories for which they are re-certified.
V.24 No.27 | 7/2/2015

The Bugman

Choking on the Splinters

Termites aren’t the only bugs eating at Woody’s Diner

Certain beetles and ants will attack wood.
V.24 No.24 | 6/11/2015

The Bugman

This “Mite” Save You

Because of the weather activity, it would be a good idea to get a termite inspection, but there is no reason to panic.
V.24 No.17 | 4/23/2015

The Bugman

Pest Control Without Poison

Keeping bugs at bay without hurting the Earth or yourself

Tips for keeping pests out of your life while staying green.
V.24 No.14 | 4/2/2015
Photo by Jonrhanna


Pesticides Are Weapons of Mass Destruction

Richard “Bugman” Fagerland takes on needless use of pesticides and rodenticides and the potential, devastating consequences of exposure.
V.23 No.30 | 7/24/2014

The Bugman

New Research Links Pesticide Exposure to Autism

Wherein Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund breaks down new research on the link between in-utero pesticide exposure and autism spectrum disorders.
V.23 No.24 | 6/12/2014
CC by Hamed Saber

The Bugman

The Bugs of Summer

A long-term drought shakes up the insect world, here’s how to deal with it.

New Mexico’s drought brings grasshoppers and other crawly fauna into our fair city. The Bugman explains how we can deal with them.
V.23 No.8 | 2/20/2014


Forget the Groundhog: Harvester Ants Say Spring is Here

Important weather info: Not only were termites swarming early, but ticks are out in full force and that’s about a month too early. More importantly, harvester ants are coming out; they would never come out if the ground were going to freeze again. Spring is here to stay, and summer is around the corner.

Because of the drought, many insects will be trying to get inside your home. Many more will be coming out of the desert looking for water—there isn’t any out there.

Surprisingly, there was a mosquito under my outside light last night. I could tell by the way it was standing that it was an Aedes mosquito. Of the 18 species of Aedes in NM, 13 are vectors of encephalitis or West Nile Virus. There won't be much water out in the wilderness, so they’ll be breeding in standing water around our homes. Mosquitoes aren't going to go away; they are going to become even more common in cities and towns, where the water is.

The termites, ticks, harvester ants and mosquitoes convince me spring is here, and global warming is a real thing. You’ll need to keep plenty of non-DEET mosquito repellant on hand.

V.23 No.7 | 2/13/2014
Compfight cc via Paul Carroll

The Bugman

Meet the Prairie Dog

And its friend, the burrowing owl

Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund makes the case for peaceful coexistence with the prairie dog.
V.22 No.47 | 11/21/2013

The Bugman

Home Invaders

The Bugman covers common insect invaders in your home. Here’s how to get rid of them without pest control companies or pesticides.
V.22 No.40 | 10/3/2013

The Bugman

La Cucaracha

Minimize roachiness the nontoxic way

Audit Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund’s virtual environmentally friendly pest control course; the cockroach is the star of this week’s lecture.
V.22 No.35 | 8/29/2013

The Bugman

Shoo, Fly, Get Off of My Cloud

Nontoxic solutions for Burque’s latest plague

Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund gives helpful tips on how to curb your fly problems without calling on toxic pest control.
V.22 No.32 | 8/8/2013

The Bugman

Beware Poison Pumpers

Why you don’t need toxic pesticides injected into your walls

The Bugman warns against unnecessary pesticide application and consequent toxic exposure.
V.22 No.25 | 6/20/2013

The Bugman

Weighing Risks of Big-Gun Pesticides

The Bugman makes the case for effective and nontoxic pest control.

Today's Events

Bees and Seeds Festival at Tractor Brewery Wells Park

Second annual fest with eco-friendly vendors, food trucks, artists and professional beekeepers. Free plants available courtesy of Red Tractor Farm.

Albuquerque Wine Festival at Balloon Fiesta Park

Cloak and Dagger Fest • Gorgon City • electronic, house • Treasure Fingers • dance • option4 at Effex

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