Brrr!

What a change from last year! Starting April with snow is one thing. How about these other interesting differences year to year. This March ends with 12 Growing Degree Days (GDD’s) where last year ended with 20 GDD’s. So it has been much cooler (with the exception of March 18th). And much drier, Last March ended with over 14 inches of rain, this March just under 2 inches of rain. This will be a slow start for insect pests, such as the winter moth which needs 20 to 50 GDD’s to hatch. -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Occasional Invaders: Western Conifer Seed Bug (Stinkbug)

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The cool weather brings the occasional invaders to our homes and businesses looking for overwintering sites. Besides the Asian Ladybird beetle, another fall pest to arrive on the side of our structures is the Western Conifer Seed Bug. This bug only uses structures for overwintering sites. A complete exclusion service from an integrated pest management professional is the key to keeping this bug from becoming a nuisance. The next time they are spotted at a home or business is late February or early March when they come out from overwintering sites in walls or attics.
-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.

Green News

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Recently Sean was interviewed by the Lowell Sun as part of the Green Column written by Hiroko Sato. You can link directly to the column in the Lowell Sun here. It discusses integrated pest management, the employment of cultural, mechanical, physical as well as chemical strategies to manage pest populations.
-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.

Mosquitos

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Biting flies and mosquitoes are coming out. Mosquitoes can breed in moisture as small as a soda or water bottle cap, so vigilantly inspect your yard for breeding sources, swings, kiddie pools, tires and toys that collect water. For mosquitoes an integrated pest management program is critical. Focus on reducing breeding habitat (water) by eliminating standing water, keeping gutters clean and using repellents if outside at dusk and screens on windows. Mosquito dunks, or larvacides, such as the small donut shaped bacillus thuringiensis dunks are available at hardware stores and are widely used around homes in standing water, like rain barrels. They have no effect on other organisms, except they kill all stages of pupating mosquitoes, not just the final pupation like growth regulators do.
-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

Octopamine Blocker?

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Octopamine is a neurotransmitter that is found in insects and crustaceans. The botanical oil products we use for pest control act by focusing on and interrupting the octopamine neurotransmitter receptors in insects. This leads to a breakdown in the insects central nervous system. These botanical oils are beneficial to our service because when used properly they provide control, and since mammals, birds and fish do not have receptors for octopamine, botanical oils do not effect them adversely.
-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.

Moisture

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We are in June, and starting to spend time maintaining our gardens. Moisture around a home is a sure way to attract insects. Integrated pest management and green pest management rely on making changes to the physical environment to reduce pest populations. Pruning vegetation off a structure is a great way to start. Try to keep at least 18 to 24 inches of clear space around your home. Walk around your home staying against the siding and see if you can do it without being engulfed in branches. If you cannot, it is time to prune the vegetation like trees and shrubs off the structure.
-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.

Carpenter Ant Frass

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To the left you will see conical piles of sawdust and carpenter ant body parts (carpenter ants are cannibals) that piled on folding tables below a pair of skylights. This sawdust and ant parts is called “frass” and when falling continuously from the same spot forms conical piles. This is a sure sign of a structural carpenter ant nest and should not be ignored. An integrated or green pest management program should be implemented to eradicate the nest and a plan put in place to protect the structure from further attack.
-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.

Carpenter Ants!

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You may have noticed Carpenter Ant foragers returning to the exterior of your home. Look out for foraging trails to see what lines the ants are using. This is useful for you or us to apply baits and other materials to the active areas. Carpenter Ants are most active after dusk, so inspecting at the end of the day, or early morning will yield the best results. And always think of wood that has gotten wet in the past, such as areas with former plumbing leaks or ice dams. When examining those areas look for frass, essentially sawdust with ant parts in it, falling out from wood members.
-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.

Gutters and Biting Flies (Mosquitoes)

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Mosquitoes and biting flies such as the small, but painful biter called the no-see-um, will soon be here, usually arriving in late June as we begin to enjoy the warm dusk outside. Reduce wet vegetative matter is critical to mosquito and biting fly control, that means treating with dunks catch basins on your property and eliminating potential breeding sites. Look for water collecting in tires, planters, cans, trash cans, children’s toys, even forgotten cups or pet bowls hiding under tables or play area equipment. A critical and often overlooked area is the gutter. We install the Leaf Defier to keep debris out of the gutter and to keep mosquitoes and biting flies from using the gutter as a site to lay eggs. Even if you don’t want to install a solid product like the Leaf Defier, keep your gutters clean and catch basins clean and dunked (with Bacillus thuringiensis isrealensis) to reduce the biting fly population around your home.
-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.

Air Humidity

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In New England, it is common that homes have a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are great appliances to remove moisture from air inside homes, usually in basements and crawl spaces. Controlling humidity is a great addition to a integrated pest management (or green pest control / green pest management) program. We sell, install and recommend high quality units. The brand we prefer is Thermastor, using the Santa Fe Classic or Compact to efficiently and effectively remove moisture from the air at typical basement and crawl temperatures. These units offer better energy efficiency and water removal performance over other units. In Metro Boston, these are usually installed with a condensate pump pulling the condensate from the unit to the exterior of the structure.
-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.