2-4-6 Mouse Kit

Our 2-4-6 Mouse Trap Kit includes 12 baited snap traps paired in 6 cardboard mouse trap boxes, plus 4 feet of copper for exclusion around your home and 2 pairs of biodegradable nitrile gloves.

Contents are:

2 pairs of gloves, use gloves when handling traps or dead rodents.

4 feet of copper for exclusion, use scissors to cut copper to appropriate size and fill holes from the outside of your home.  Don’t use copper against other metals, like iron gas lines.  Go around the outside with a mirror and flashlight and fill openings you locate.  Remember mice will go under doors that don’t have tight fitting sweeps and seals and that if you have a bulkhead you need a weather tight door with a threshold at the bottom of the bulkhead stairs.  The bulkhead door is not mouse proof.

 

6 pairs of baited snap traps in 6 boxes.  The traps have to be set by pulling back the hammer and securing it under the straight hooked bar by placing the straight hooked bar over the hammer and under the plastic catch. You will have to raise the trigger slightly off the wood to have the bar secure in the catch.  The F side of the trigger is for a firm setting, try to use the S side which is the soft setting.

Call to get your own, or to get support to set your traps, 617-964-4733.

 

Lawn & Plant Health Care Renewals

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Organic Lawn Care Service

Spring is coming.  Lawn and plant health care renewal notifications are now in your mailbox or email box.  Prepay discounts continue this year with a 5% off for full season prepayment made by March 21st.  For customers with aeration that prepay for the season by January 31st take another $50 off the aeration service.  If you want to update your program or have any questions just call us or email renewals@greenhow.com.

 

Tis the season to organize-Tips to help your house when get down to it.

Basement clutter-but at least on a metal wheeled rack using plastic bins.

New year and new resolutions.  Lose weight, don’t repeat the mistakes of last year, organize and stay organized!  If you are digging into your attic, basement or garage to finally get it organized and under control, please follow a few simple guidelines to help your house.

1)  Don’t store items in cardboard boxes or on unpainted wood shelves.  In New England the humid air we have 9 months a year will quickly create an environment where fungus will grow on cardboard and wood leading to odors and pests in your basement, attic or garage.

2)  Don’t store items against the wall of your basement.  Many home have a path from the bottom of the basement stairs to the laundry and hopefully the bulkhead or basement door.  This is because items are stored against the basement wall, then other items are stored in front of it, eventually filling the space with items you can’t get rid of.  Hopefully you have the courage to move on from what you don’t need and let Goodwill sell the stuff you don’t need to people who do.  If you don’t, or for what you have left, store those items off the ground, on metal racks with wheels (find them at ULINE) and – most importantly – away from the walls.  Make sure you can walk around the perimeter of your basement.  Leave enough space to walk around the basement walls.  This is important to allow air to flow around your stored items.  This allows you to inspect the perimeter for leaks that might occur such as from ice dams.  It keeps your stored items away from the cool foundation wall.  Your stone or concrete foundation wall stays cool even in the summer, causing condensation as warm humid air meets the cool wall, which will get moisture and fungus on your stored items leading to damage, odors and pests.

3)  When you are done take the time to add a fiberglass, weather tight exterior grade door to the bottom of your bulkhead stairs and a dehumidifier-both of which we can sell and install for you.

How Do Bugs Survive Winter?

How do bugs survive winter?

Like all animals, including people, insects must deal with surviving in cold temperatures.  Insects thrive in warm temperatures, but many species have adapted to survive in cold temperatures.  For soil dwelling insects such as grubs and termites, the insects go deeper into the soil, often found just below the frost line, avoiding the cold.  Other insects, like Monarch butterflies, migrate to warmer climates to survive the winter.  Others produce alcohol from sugars or proteins to help them avoid freezing.  The majority also hunker down in sheltered areas or seek out shelter under rocks and logs to survive the approaching cold weather by minimizing exposure and entering diapause which slows down their body processes to preserve energy.  Follow this link to an article from the Smithsonian magazine illustrates how insects overwinter in inhospitable environments.

Meal Moths, Beetles, & Stored Product Pests

Stored product pests are any pests that infest food products.  These have complete metamorphosis, meaning the insect progress from egg, to larva, to pupa, then adult.  In each stage the insect is totally different.  The larval stage is like a worm or maggot and starts very small after hatching from the egg.  This tiny larva feeds its way through the stored product growing larger and larger until it can pupate into an adult.

The first sign of infestation is usually the adult emerging out and becoming a pest by crawling or flying around.  The adults will mate and the female will lay her eggs near or on the food source, sometimes after tasting it.  The most common is the adult meal moth, known as the Indian meal moth, the less common drugstore or cigarette beetle is often found in New England.

To control:  look for larva in any opened dry food product and discard or freeze it.  Common sources include flour, corn meal, cereal, tea, chocolate, potpourri, dog treats, pet food, bird seed, oatmeal, granola.  Think of undisturbed food product and check old expiration dates.  You can freeze the product in the case of pet food or bird seed if you don’t want to discard it.

 

 

 Drugstore beetle.

 Cigarette Beetle

 Meal Moth Larva

 Meal moth damage (note the webbing and frass in the product).

Rodents and Door Sweeps

Rats and mice are lazy enough to use the doors we provide.  The openings at the bottom of the door are the first areas to seal to the outside.  Replace or add a door sweep to the side of the door with the door stops (the inside of the jamb) so that air cannot easily leave with heat, or in the summer cool air, and accompanying smells to the outside.  A brush style sweep is the most efficient at dealing with different surfaces.  These photos illustrate vinyl door sweeps chewed open by rodents.  

Restaurant Fly Issues & Wet, Organic Matter

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Keep your head down to try to solve fly issues.

When restaurants have flies, the management and staff spend time killing adults.  They will try to kill the adults with DDVP strips, sprays to kill adults, fly swatters.  Save your time, money and energy and look for wet, organic matter.  Adult flies pupate out of a pupa casing located in or just above where they spent their youth as a larva, in wet, organic matter.  Fly control starts by locating and cleaning or removing the wet, organic matter that is a food source for the fly larva.  These areas are usually hard to reach and even harder to clean.  They are usually under equipment, down drains, behind the icemaker or dishwasher.  Wet, organic matter is prevalent in restaurant environments.  The harder it is to locate, the more likely the location is a major source of fly activity.  The restaurants with the best success against flies make a team member the sanitation leader to look for wet, organic matter.

Under a table, onions that were there so long they sprouted.

 

Deer Protection

  

Over the winter deer can devastate ornamental plantings like arborvitae, rhododendron, boxwood and holly. We apply Deer Pro up to deer browsing height to make the plant tissue have a bitter taste. Deer tend to feed on preferred sources over and over so only light sampling will occur and the deer will feed on other, tastier, plants. The light green color at the bottom of the pictured arborvitae is the treated area. It lasts all winter, has anti-dessicant properties to protect the plant from winter burn as well and will weather off with the spring rains.

Rodent Entryways

This image is looking up below a deck at a corner in the foundation. Mice expanded an existing seam where the cut wood and concrete foundation was not flush. The grease (sebum) marks are from the hair (fur) of the mice passing through repeatedly. The ground below is littered with eaten acorns. Mirrors are essential for finding rodent entryways and performing rodent exclusion because you have to look up.

Fall Plant Health Care – Horticultural Oil

The Hemlock below has the woolly masses of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid eggs between the needles or leaves pictured in the photo.  Severe infestations resemble snow.  Dormant oil or Fall Horticultural oil applications to your plants has many benefits.  For hemlocks, the oil application suffocates hemlock woolly adelgid.

  • Oils are effective controls of many plant pests.
  • Advantages of oils include safety, effectiveness and limited effects on beneficial insects.
  • Horticultural oil sprays are directed to specific targets and do not leave a residual impact on beneficial insects or other organisms.

Various oils have been used for centuries to control insect and mite pests. Oils are an important tool to manage certain pest problems (e.g., scales, aphids, mites) on fruit trees, shade trees and woody ornamental plants. Several recently developed oils extend this usefulness to flowers, vegetables and other herbaceous plants. Oils also can control some plant diseases, such as powdery mildew. Oils used to protect plants have been called by many names, but perhaps horticultural oils best describes them.

  • For spider mites – hemlock, euonymus, forsythia, privet and pine.
  • For scale – euonymus, cherry, magnolia, hemlock, pine, oak, taxus, rhododendron, fruit trees, blueberry.
  • For hemlock woolly adelgid.
  • For lace bugs – andromeda, azalea, rhododendron
  • For winter moth – maple, birch, oak, blueberry and fruit trees.

Oils have different effects on pest insects. The most important is that they block the air holes (spiracles) through which insects breathe, causing them to die from asphyxiation. In some cases, oils also may act as poisons, interacting with the fatty acids of the insect and interfering with normal metabolism. Oils also may disrupt how an insect feeds, a feature that is particularly important in the transmission of some plant viruses by aphids.

Oils pose few risks to people or to most desirable species, including beneficial natural enemies of insect pests. This allows oils to integrate well with biological controls. Toxicity is minimal, at least compared to alternative pesticides, and oils quickly dissipate through evaporation, leaving little residue.