Rats!

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A continued menace in Metro Boston. Since the time the first ships with settlers arrived. No fun to deal with in your home, either alive, or dead.
Integrated or Green Pest Management Keys for rat control:
1) Sanitation: Remove and deal with trash effectively, metal cans or strong plastic, in a room with tight fitting doors and concrete floors. Rats love to burrow, concrete will slow them down.
2) Exclusion: Exclude the rats from the structure by employing concrete instead of dirt or wood basement and crawl floors. Fill holes in the foundation walls with cement or metal. Use gravel in dirt areas inside and outside the foundation walls.
3) Harborage Reduction: Remove clutter inside and out to reduce areas for rats to move about undetected. Keep grass mowed and shrubs trimmed 18″ off the structure. Remove debris around the structure. Inside stored items should allow access to all perimeter walls, so keeps stored items 18 to 24 inches away from the walls.

-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.

Pesky ants & simple steps to reduce them.

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As it warms up into spring, remember these simple tips about ants.
1) They are primarily nocturnal, but driven by food and other factors in the spring, so you will see them active throughout the day.
2) They leave a pheromone (scent is closest definition) to tell other ants that this path leads to food. This is left by the ant rubbing or dragging its’ abdomen on the surface. Cleaning and wiping down a surface will remove any pheromone trails, forcing the ants to forage for new feeding site and find the food resource again.
3) Ants love edges. They will follow line and edges, which can also be “soft spots” on the cleaning list, so spend some time during spring cleaning focusing on edges of counters, backsplashes, trim boards, etc.
4) Prune off brush and limbs. As ants follow lines, such as branches and limbs, don’t let a destination be the soffit or worse, the window box outside your kitchen window. Prune vegetation off the structure and up to 18″ from the structure.
This will help reduce the ants you see this spring.
-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.

New Year’s Resolutions-Clean and organize the cabinets to prevent stored product pests.

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As we start January looking outside at an ice covered and frozen landscape, it can be difficult to imagine the myriad of commensal rodents and insects living in and around our homes and businesses. Right now, the key pest problems in residential homes are rodents, like the house mouse and deer mouse, and the indoor moths, such as the Indian meal moth, and webbing clothes moth. This time of year, the new year, might be a great time to go through your cabinets and make sure that no forgotten boxes of corn bread mix lie hidden behind other items in the pantry. Making sure that you use products and refresh your stored items a great way to spot infested materials early, before you have the telltale signs of worm like moth larvae climbing on the ceiling.

If you open or look into a package and notice holes, webs, larvae, then you may have found a source of a stored product pest. If you have seen moths inside your kitchen or pantry and suspect an infestation, start with the oldest products and work out. Trust me, I’ve had them in my pantry and hate to get out the step stool and start searching through all the products, so you won’t be alone in feeling disgust at this project.

If you suspect you’ve found the source, discard the product, or freeze the product for more than 3 days (or heat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours) if you want to continue to use it. Freezing (or heating) and continuing to use product is usually done with pet food. After removing the source, clean the cabinet, pantry or storage area the product was located in, and use your vacuum’s crack and crevice tip to vacuum the cabinet, and the top interior corners and edges of the cabinet. Finish by vacuuming or dusting the corners of the room and the edge where the ceiling and wall meet. If all else fails, call a professional to come inspect the situation.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.greenhow.com
Effective organic & low impact solutions for environmentally conscious people.
Green Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton, and Metro Boston, and Eastern Massachusetts.