ready for summer
ants, decks and gardens
not hard to tell what everyone is doing with their weekends.
spring fishtails into summer, Mike Frentz says he can tell just by
looking at his shelves what the weather is doing and what customers
are concerned about. He even tossed off a prediction that in just a
few days, 15 amp fuses
are going to be selling like gangbusters.
that’s getting ahead of things.
now, Mike says the big deals are carpenter ants; getting decks ready
for long summer afternoons; gardening like crazy; and preparing to
spend evenings in those well-tended gardens, but without the bugs.
For example, ant poison, such as Ortho® Home Defense® Max®, is a huge seller right
now, Mike says. "It like putting a bug barrier around the perimeter
of your house". This is the perfect season for carpenter ants (warm
days, cooler nights), and they’re making the most of it. If you’re
in one of Royal Oak’s older homes you might be seeing more of them
than, for example, the folks living in the new condos near on south
Main Street near Holiday Market.
ants tunnel to nest in rotted wood that has a large water source
nearby. Mike says
that means you’re more likely to find carpenter ants in Royal
Oak’s more established, older neighborhoods. The wood ceiling on a
front porch is a perfect spot for a nest.
to popular belief though, carpenter ants do not eat wood to survive.
They use wood to make a nest – Mike says he hasn’t seen many cases
of termites around Royal Oak. (He also says it’s important to
remember that if you find carpenter ants, then the wood was rotted in
the first place and needed to be replaced anyway – they don’t like
he knows how to get rid of carpenter ants and their friends. Ortho®
Home Defense® Max® comes packaged in a container so you can just shake it out – that
way you don’t have to touch it. You can keep ants away by shaking
out a perimeter of Ortho®
Home Defense® Max®
around your entire exterior of your house
– spread a foot wide path around the foundation.
you’ve got carpenter ants inside, Mike suggests Raid Ant Baits, in
particular, for one reason – the holes are large enough for
carpenter ants. Other traps won’t be as effective because the
traps’ holes are too small and the ants won’t be able to get
inside. He also says a poison called Shoo-Fly®, Ant, Roach &
Spider killer, a spray, is "excellent
stuff -- a lot of customers have had great results with it."
Mike is not a veterinarian. While he thinks your dog or cat would have
to do more than just sniff or lick a little of this stuff to get sick,
he still suggests keeping them away from the area until the powder or
spray has been absorbed into the ground.
gardening is a big deal in Royal Oak. "Potting soil, Miracle
Grow, hand garden trowels, Round-Up Weed and Grass Killer,
hydrated lime (which reduces the acid in soil), and pine bark or
cyprus chips are flying out the doors," Mike says. A lot of
it is leaving in 4 or 6 cubic foot wheel barrows, which he’s
having a hard time keeping in stock.
lot of people clearly want to enjoy their gardens, and it shows in
the choices they’re making for outdoor mosquito repellents. PIC
Mosquito Repellent Sticks are very popular – only three boxes
were left on the shelves Wednesday afternoon, before restocking.
Another repellent moving very fast is Eaton’s Coils, little
green spirals that burn on a small stand and contain the same
stuff as PIC sticks.
item people didn’t seem to know about is Bonide Mosquito Beater. If
you’re having a yard party and want your guests to be comfortable,
this is the way to go. One package is designed to keep a
100-foot-square back yard free of mosquitoes – just make sure you
follow the instructions for application, or ask one of The Hardware
Decks? Hey. There was only one packet of Wolman’s DeckBrite™ on the spindle Wednesday afternoon, but there’s more in
back. This stuff is Mike Approved. He has a cedar deck on his house,
which is pretty maintenance free because it’s cedar, but it was
really difficult to clean when he decided to do it. "This stuff (Wolman’s DeckBrite™)
did it, though. Usually, you just spray it on and rinse it off and
that’s it." He had a little additional scrubbing to do on his
deck, but said it turned out "perfect."
Those amps we
mentioned earlier? Right around this time of the year, when the
temperature goes from spring to scorching, a lot of people crank up
their air conditioners while something heavy duty is also just
cranking up, such as the refrigerator. When you stop by Frentz in the
next few days for fuses, let them know whether you live in an older
home. Often, a 15 amp fuse is more than enough for older homes,
although if you have a lot of appliances drawing a lot of energy
simultaneously, and if your wiring is adequate, a 20 amp might be in
order. Ask Mike or one of the others – that’s what they’re there