Crocuses.



Crocuses (and ants) are like the foot soldiers of Early Spring. It seems amazing that they are already out in full bloom after the harsh and long winter we had this year. What a nice surprise to see their bright jewel tones popping out of the drab landscape in our own yard.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

GreenShield Certified!

We are proud this week to become the 2oth company to earn GreenShield certification, and to be the third company since the inception in June 2007 to offer 100% Green Shield certified pest management services. Green Shield certification is a rigorous standard for Integrated Pest Management that includes an audit by a third party evaluator. GreenHow, Inc. offers Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Green Pest Management (GPM) services to customers throughout eastern massachusetts. We solve ant, cockroach and rodent problem (in addition to other covered pests such as spiders, stinging insects, pantry pests, fabric pests, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes) and termites (soon to be swarming throughout New England).
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Family Fun at Harvard Museum of Natural History.

On Saturday, March 28, children’s book author Melissa Stewart, reads from A Place for Birds at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, part of the Nature Storytime program at the museum. Readings at 11 am and 2 pm. The museum is located at 26 Oxford St. in Cambridge is open 9 to 5 on Saturday.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Flying Ants.

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Often the first time a customer has an idea about a termite infestation is the spring swarm. Termite swarmers differ from ants because they have a thick waist where ants have a pinched waist. Termite swarmers are black, which differ from the white of the workers. Most companies will inspect the home for termites at the time of any pest issue, even ants and mice.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

What does green mean? Continued.

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Termite Control: The most difficult area to be green. Our use of the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination system, an EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Award Winner, relies on grams of material instead of gallons to control termites. We first used Sentricon in 1996, and as a system has evolved over time, becoming more effective. In the meantime, at least 4 other liquid termiticides have made the rounds from favored product to disappearing. The strategies are the same with non repellent liquid or bait, a few termites get involved with the active material and are used to eliminate the rest of the colony, the difference is the amount of pesticide (volume) used to control them. Since I am writing about green, here is our ecological commitment.
Our Ecological Commitment: At our offices, on the road, we commit to reducing the amount of resources it takes to bring solutions to you. That means eliminating paper use wherever possible, cutting electric and fuel consumption. That means designing service routes that are as efficient as possible and using the most fuel efficient service vehicles with alternative fuels if available. It also means making your green life simpler, by offering a simple fluorescent bulb disposal program and by setting up your family’s composting program. Whether we are in our office or your home or business, our commitment is to save resources and source supplies locally.
In our office, we reuse materials, avoid printing whenever possible. Our business has regulations that require we use paper to document material usage and provide certain information to customers and regulators. As much as we can, we minimize that use. Then, when it comes time to get rid of the old deposit slips or other records, we shred them and introduce them to the compost pile, where they serve as the brown ratio (remember 3 to 1, brown to green) when leaves are not available.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

What does “green” mean? Continued.

What does “green” mean? Continued…
The answer is (obviously) stated what “green” means to us, GreenHow, Inc, in terms of pest control, lawn care and termite control. “Green” is a vague or ambiguous term. The term “greenwashing” is a response by consumers to a perceived or real misuse of the term “green.” Generally speaking “green” means environmentally-friendly products and services. Usually it is self imposed by a business, but it can be part of a certification or accreditation process. In our business lines, which are lawn care, pest control and termite control, the term “green” refers to different aspects. This is a continuation of the brief descriptions, in alphabetical order by our service types, appearing here over the next few days.
Pest Control: Our primary service is Green Pest Management (GPM). GPM or green pest control is considered some an extension of IPM, since they both follow the same foundation, with GPM the use of natural materials including organic or plant based materials (such as rosemary oil), biochemical or microbial materials (such as abamectin) and inorganic, but naturally occurring materials (such as boric acid and diatomaceous earth). Others consider GPM part of IPM, with GPM materials used first, then traditional materials later, in case they don’t work. We consider GPM the use of a set of green materials. We look to outside resources, such as the IPM Institute’s GreenShield, for direction about whether a material is green or not. That helps us present information to customers that is built on a foundation from resources outside our company (to provide clarity to our opinions, which may need help to become focused). We also use NEPMA IPM Registry and others we are pursuing as outside verification (like the NOFA Organic LandCare accreditation mentioned in the last post) that our processes, products and services are “green.”
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

What does “green” mean?

What does “green” mean?
The answer is (obviously) stated what “green” means to us, GreenHow, Inc, in terms of pest control, lawn care and termite control. “Green” is a vague or ambiguous term. The term “greenwashing” is a response by consumers to a perceived or real misuse of the term “green.” Generally speaking “green” means environmentally-friendly products and services. Usually it is self imposed by a business, but it can be part of a certification or accreditation process. In our business lines, which are lawn care, pest control and termite control, the term “green” refers to different aspects. A brief description, in alphabetical order by our service types, will appear here over the next few days.
First, Lawn Care: The main terms we use to describe our lawn care services are organic, organic based and low impact. The organic service we describe uses materials listed on the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) list. This service includes no chemical herbicides or insecticides. This service is also accredited organic by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Organic LandCare Program. The organic based service uses blended or bridge materials. These materials are mostly (as a percent of weight) organic, but contain synthetic forms of nitrogen. The purpose of the synthetic nitrogen is to 1) provide a more rapid nitrogen or fertility and 2) to allow greater coverage per 1,000 square feet which decreases material and labor costs (and consumer price). This service may be a better option for some customers who are transitioning to organic, and may opt for organic based for one intermediate year from traditional lawn care programs. The low impact lawn care service utilizes more traditional types of materials including synthetic nitrogen with options for herbicide and insecticides as needed depending on the site.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

BugFest!

This coming Saturday, March 14th, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is running BugFest from 11 am to 5 pm. This is a great family event, run by Harvard University scientists and students. Of interest to younger children will be the live insects and information on the Monarch butterfly and it’s migration to Mexico each winter, as well as other information on insect movement. Longer attention spans will enjoy a screening of the BBC Documentary, Life in the Undergrowth, presented by Harvard biology graduate student Megan Frederickson, an advisor to the documentary. The museum is on Oxford Street, a short walk from MBTA bus or the Harvard Square stop, with parking available for free at the garage at 52 Oxford Street.
Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Spring Flowers!

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Just this past week, while measuring lawns for lawn care quotes, in some areas it was possible to see the small green shoots of bulbs coming up in some garden beds. Even though it will be cold and snowy again this winter, it will do your garden and probably your mind a bit of good to think about spring. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, known for their work at Elm Bank on the Wellesley, Natick and Dover line, is putting on a Spring Flower Show at International Place. This event, BLOOMS, will run the weekend of March 13th to March 15th at One International Place, the Intercontinental Hotel and 125 High Street. Companion exhibits will be on display at area malls including the Atrium, The Mall at Chestnut Hill (both on Boylston St, Route 9, Chestnut Hill), and Copley Place (also on Route 9, but on Huntington Ave in Boston). These companion flower exhibits will be on display from March 12 to 22nd. Just going and seeing the color of displays should inspire spring ideas on these grey days. Take heart in the approaching spring with the signs of life, from budding bulbs, to even the return of carpenter ants and termites.
Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Life Cycles-Fairly simply explained.

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Understanding pest life cycles, or insect development, is critical to pest control. The process is called metamorphosis. There can be critical differences in where pests are located from each stage in an insects life cycle. An IPM or GPM professional must know the differences to be effective. The example is killing an adult fly, without addressing where the larvae are feeding will be ineffective. First, what is metamorphosis? Imagine the butterfly you want in your garden, it is important to understand that it starts as a egg, proceeds through a larval stage, pupates and then becomes the admired adult butterfly. The four types of metamorphosis are without, gradual, incomplete and complete. The first, without metamorphosis, or ametabolous insects, such as silverfish, grow from egg to adult increasing in size and gradually maturing with each molt. All stages are found together. The second type, gradual metamorphosis, includes a set number of molts with definite development of reproductive organs (and wings if applicable) over the stages. Insects that develop through gradual metamorphosis share the same habitat as nymphs and adults and include bed bugs, cockroaches, and termites. The third type, incomplete metamorphosis, includes dragonflies. This type has an aquatic nymph known as naiads. The adults have a different habitat then nymphal stages. Usually, these are not pests. The final type, complete metamorphosis, includes many pests such as ants, fleas, flies, mosquitoes and moths. The larval stage is usually complete different than the adult (think maggot larval stage of winged fly). The differences include not only body type and mouthparts, but also habitat. For an IPM or GPM strategy to be successful, the professional must understand the pests’ life cycle.
Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.