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.

 

Grass Carrying Wasps

Grass carrying wasps, A solitary wasp, packs a small cavity such as around a window or storm window frame with grass, stings a grasshopper or other bug and lays her egg inside. Her hatched egg feeds on the insect and grows up to build a pupae casing in the grass nest created by its mother. Next spring the pupa will emerge and start the process again. Not structure infesting, does not sting, never even noticed by customers usually with the exception of the grass in the windows.

Change your dehumidifier filter every 3 months.

Change your dehumidifier filter every 3 months and the black plastic prefilter annually. A dirty filter makes the machine less efficient and have to work harder.  The picture here is a clean Santa Fe Classic dehumidifier filter on the right compared to a dirty filter on the left side.

Citronella Ants – Fall ant swarms

On nice sunny fall days we get calls for flying ants, often suspected as termites, inside homes or adjacent to them. Inside they are often in the basement near a furnace.  Usually the culprit is:  Citronella Ants.  Crushing the ant between your fingers will release the characteristic odor of citronella that gives this ant its name.  Not a structure infesting ant this ant lives in the ground and is usually only a pest when they swarm in the fall and are confused with termites which normally only swarm in the spring in eastern Massachusetts.
-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.

A flock of crows attacks a lawn

A flock of crows on the lawn or animals rolling back sections like the lawn is carpet.  Grub damage in the shows up as brownish areas that are often attacked by animals who feed on the grubs.  Grubs can be reduced by an application in the spring with a material that will be in the plants root system to kill any eggs that hatch in the summer and start to feed on the root zone.  In the photo to the left the lawn on the left whose property line is in front of the white picket fence has been protected by a June treatment with Acelepryn.  The lawn on the right was not and was treated with a curative treatment now.  Preventative treatments are much longer lasting and lower toxicity when compared to curative treatments.

Termite Mud Tubes

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The thin brown line running down the side of this foundation is a termite mud tube. In New England we deal with the Eastern Subterranean termite. This termite must be near soil at all times, so to move up into and out of your home the termite (the size of a small ant, lacking pigment so referred to as a grain of rice as a visual reference) builds mud shelter tubes by placing grains of soil cemented together with saliva to protect the termites from drying out. Even inside the wood they consume they carrying in soil and plaster it against the walls to control humidity in the wood. They need the soil to manage the moisture in their environment. Exposed termite shelter tubes like this can easily be overlooked against gray foundations or when the height of the grade is much closer to or in contact with the siding of the structure.