Pestcast – Lawn, Mice & Horror Stories

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Finally a chance to put our knowledge out in an audio only format.  For people that like to learn new things on the move, our Pestcast podcast may be the ticket to learning something about pest control and lawn care.

Springtails! Snow Fleas!

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A favorite spring insect, snow fleas or springtails, are making themselves known outside right now.  These ground pepper sized insects flick their tails and jump to amazing heights.  This jumping action is what gets them confused with fleas.  This insect, pictured here from under a microscope, loves the cool wet conditions of spring.  They are often seen most clearly jumping over a patch of snow in a sunny lawn.  Don’t worry, these tiny insects will not bite.

Ultrasonic pest control devices simply don’t work.

Ultrasonic pest control devices – Don’t work. This is probably not a news flash, but people continue to purchase and promote ultrasonic devices to control insects and rodents. Not only has there never been any university testing to prove efficacy, the FTC has successfully sued manufacturers to make them stop publishing claims that the devices work. Don’t rely on manufacturers data to make a decision, look for independent research before purchasing any pesticide, including an ultrasonic repellent.   Click on this link for an example of a press release detailing a successful FTC intervention regarding false claims. 

Plan for spring – Get ready to test your soil.

Plan for spring! Get ready to test your soil and plan your garden. Here in New England you may see your grass and garden again soon as the snow melts over the next two weeks. Plan on running a soil test if you haven’t in the past 2 years, or ever. Pulling and preparing a sample for shipment to the soil test laboratory is easy or call us and we will be happy to handle it for you. For do it yourselfers-start with a clean bucket and clean small garden spade to take samples 3 to 6 inches deep for turf or 6 to 8 inches deep for gardens and ornamental beds. Use a random walk around the sample area to pull around 12 samples, mix them up, let them dry on a plain piece of paper, then mix them again and put a cup into a sandwich bag to mark with your sample id and send to the lab.

Your feedback and reviews are appreciated!

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Thank you Mindy for the great review.  We appreciate your taking the time to give us feedback.  Our only purpose is to have satisfied customers.  We want to hear from you if you are not happy and always stand behind our work with our money back guarantee on our service.  Review us on Google+ if you haven’t already!

3 myths on pest control.

Beetles in dog biscuits.

We make sure you have the truth, even if you don’t like it.  Three very common things people don’t want to hear from us.

First you can’t spray away all pest problems – the perfect example is pantry pests (pictured left) and clothes moths (pictured below).  For those pests you need to inspect, clean and repeat the process.  Many companies with call centers will sell you a service for those pests leading to disappointment when the results fail.  We want to start with our fact sheets and get you involved in the inspection and working on sanitation right away.

Second – and this will break the heart of everyone trained in pest control at the hardware store – there is no rodent bait that makes mice thirsty to go outside and die.  When a rodent eats bait, it dies where it is when it succumbs to the mode of action.  Mice do not leave a structure after they eat bait to search for water and die outside.

Third – there is no such thing as a one time service for mice.  Traps have to be removed and updated.  Baits need to be monitored.  Spending money on a one time service for mice is not a good value.  Save your money instead of doing a one time.  One times are limited to insects that form visible colonies or whose life cycle exposes them to treatment easily.  Think of bees and fleas.

Clothes moth damage to wool rug.

Boston Flower Show-Spring will soon be here

Go get inspired at the Boston Flower Show, the theme this year is Savor Spring.  It runs March 14-18, 2018 at the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston.  Follow this link for information. #bostonflowershow

Continuing Education continues!

Hank Pena, a valued team member for the past 2 years has completed the Purdue University Introduction to Urban and Industrial Integrated Pest Management, offered through Purdue University Digital Education in Integrated Pest Management, a leader for over twenty years.  This advanced training is an important part of the level of professionalism that distinguishes Greenhow service.  Each year service team members complete courses or accreditations to improve their knowledge.  Combined with field and office training the result is service team members with the most knowledge and resources in the industry backed up with the tools they need to take care of our customers.  Currently we have team members involved in, just completed or studying for 7 different advanced training courses, programs and certifications!

Tree Identification – Great school vacation activities

Winter Tree Id Acorn Line Up – Which one fell on your head?

If you have little minds on or near school vacation, consider having them use their feet, eyes and brains to figure out what kind of trees are in their environment. This tool from the National Arbor Day Website you can access by clicking here will help, but looking at the bark, needles, twigs and most importantly, seeds or cones, make winter tree identification a rewarding challenge.

Diapause-and other winter insect survival strategies.

Diapause is an inactive state when animals do not develop any further.  Some insects use diapause to overwinter in cold climates.  Many insects also burrow done to shelter out of the way of wind, cold temperatures and other weather impacts.  Grubs and termites underground stay just below the frostline, yellowjacket and ant queens are under bark, logs and rocks.  Ladybugs and cluster flies are aggregated in groups in tight spaces like cracks in rocks or cracks in trees or in window frames or other components of your home.  In addition, many insects, such as ants, produce alcohols that act as antifreeze allowing them to survive temperatures below freezing.  As temperatures, humidity and sunlight all increase in the spring insects will start to venture out of their winter shelters to find food sources.