Using integrated approaches to deal with rats will lead to successful population management. This technique is known as integrated pest management. It involves not relying on one approach, but instead using multiple approaches to deal with rats. Every location will have site specific opportunities. For example a dumpster area needs attention by people to avoid undue attention from rats. A solid pad, a solid dumpster (not rusted through on the bottom), doors and lids that shut and, most important, smart dumpster users. Smart dumpster users shut the lids and doors, clean up debris that falls around the dumpster and do not allow material to overflow. A parking lot needs to be free of trash and brush and weeds that leads to rodent harborage. Rats need a drink of water every day. Controlling or limiting access to water will keep rats out of the interior of facilities.
A treatment for subterranean termites will cost between $500 and $3200 dollars. There are four primary factors which impact pricing. They are location of service, size of structure treated, type of material used, and the complexity of the application.
Where work is performed impacts price. Termite pricing varies by region. In New England termite pricing varies even from state to state. Eastern Massachusetts labor costs are higher than Rhode Island leading to higher prices for termite control.
Second factor, the size of the structure. Subterranean termite service prices are based on linear feet treated. Linear feet is the perimeter of the structure. For example, a 25 x 35 Cape Cod style home has a 120 linear foot perimeter. Termites enter the structure by moving up the foundation to the wood structure. Treating the perimeter (or foundation wall) controls termite activity. Interior cracks, concrete cold seams or walls attached to slabs are drilled and treated. Add the length of those cracks, seams or walls to the foundation perimeter. Not included in the perimeter measurement is the garage door. No wood permanently attached to the foundation at that location. Two houses with the same square footage, but different perimeters will not be the same. For example the 25 x 35 Cape Cod style mentioned earlier may have a 1500 square foot living area over one and a half floors. A 35 x 40 ranch with a similar square foot living area has a perimeter of 150 feet. The twenty five percent larger perimeter results in a higher price.
The material used is the third factor that impacts price. Material costs vary depending on the type utilized. Baits are more expensive than liquid treatments. Manufacturers of baits have different systems that have different wholesale cost. For example, a monitor only bait system (where bait is added when termites are active) is cheaper than a system where active ingredients are used in each monitor. Liquid materials vary by the age the material has been on the market. Chemicals off patent protection and have that have competition from generic brands are cheaper than materials still under patent protection.
Application complexity is the toughest one to understand. To explain this, I will describe a straightforward termite application. It has on site water and power available. Off street parking is also available. Hard surfaces limited to front and back stairs. Decks and porches are accessible underneath, without debris and stored items against the structure. Interior drilling is into concrete without oil or water lines below the slab. No heat ducts in the slab. No well inside the foundation or within twenty five feet of the foundation wall. There is no french drain or sump pump. If the structure has any of those elements described above or lacks parking, water and power, the price must be increased for the additional time to complete functions and tasks to apply the termiticide correctly.
In conclusion, the price per linear foot for treating subterranean varies in eastern Massachusetts, but is normally (in 2021) between $7 and $12 per foot, with a minimum for smaller structures. The result is typical termite pricing in our area for a 25 x 35 Cape Cod style home $1080 to $1200 or more.
The hot, humid weather we had over the past weekend drove up carpenter ant activity. Especially at dusk and into humid nights, ant are very active foraging for food, maintain the nest and defending the colony. This video shows heavy carpenter ant activity in a Norway maple with center rot.
Spring seeding is not something we normally do. It is a common request, homeowners love to seed in the spring and professionals want to seed in August. The reason is in our area summer annual weeds like crabgrass will outcompete the cool season grasses we have in our area. To reduce crabgrass we apply a preemergent for summer annual weeds now that will last until the mid summer. If we seed bare dirt, those areas cannot have traditional preemergent.
Now, mid May is the time to apply a seed and soil mix over any bare spots. First, use a wheelbarrow to mix your seed soil mix. Select untreated topsoil or buy top soil. Use perennial ryegrass species of grass here in metro Boston for quick germination. Perennial ryegrass should germinate within 7 days. Mix starter fertilizer right into your seed soil mix. A ratio we use is one 40 lb of soil, then 16 lbs of seed and 1/2 pound of starter fertilizer. Then lay a thin 1/2 to 1 inch layer of the seed soil mix over the damaged areas you want to repair before summer. Keep the seed wet for the next month and monitor on hot days.
Yesterday I read Dr. Pat Vittum update on turf insects about the two common invasive craneflies that can damage turf. By around noon I was in Wellesley looking a Hemlock woolly adelgid in a very large and mature hedge that bordered a brook. Resting on the trunk of on hemlock next to the brook was a non turf grass damaging crane fly, the Tipula abdominalis, and I took a photo of it here. Thorax patterned with six black shapes over the gray.
We use snap traps in pairs. We normally set them in cardboard boxes. The boxes are inviting to rodents and lead to more trapped rodents. They also contain the trapped rodents to protect sensitive eyes from seeing the trapped rodents. This post contains images of trapped rodents if you are sensitive to those images. This box trap caught three mice. Two mice were trapped in the same snap trap. The third mouse was trapped on the adjacent trap.
Sebum stains are used to identify mice activity. Sebum is oil from the sebaceous glands. Think about what is know as “ring around the collar.” That is a discoloration to a shirt collar from sebum. Sebum from rodent fur is left on runways. The more the runway is used, the more sebum builds up. This is
known as a rub mark. Use rub marks to effectively place your rodent traps or bait stations. Finally, use rub marks to identify entry points from the outside.
What is causing the yellow and brown spots in my lawn? It is unusual in eastern Massachusetts to see turf injury in November. My initial reaction was a fungal disease. Looking at the margins of the injured areas the blades show symptoms similar to a disease, but without any characteristics to identify the disease.
This is the result of Chilling Injury. The symptoms show up on areas where it is sunny in the afternoon and has excellent air movement. It showed up all over Concord, Sudbury and Framingham over the past week. Reports came in beginning on Wednesday, Nov 4th and getting worse each day. Similar to winter burn in ornamentals, the cause is rapid dessication due to excessive transpiration. It is a rare injury to have here in New England. Chilling Injury is a condition I have never seen or heard of it before. I would still be trying to identify the disease if I had not received the update from UMASS detailing Chilling Injury. The contributing factors are sudden onset of cold temperatures, dry air and dry wind, plus lots of sun.
Soil testing is an important step for growing great lawns and ornamental plants. You can do a soil test anytime of year, but fall is a great time. First, the laboratory is a little slower than in the spring when they are inundated with soil samples to test. Second, the soil tends to have more moisture which means you can draw a better sample. Third, any amendments that are needed, especially lime, can be applied. We run our tests through the UMASS soil test laboratory.
This grey yellowjacket nest on the side of a home is located at the base of the window shutter. Yellowjackets made paper to construct the nests by collecting wood in their jaws from siding, trees or fences and using water to build layers on the nest. Working together they build the protective shell. Inside are layers of honeycomb larval chambers to use as a nursery. As the year progresses and the nest grows the protective range will increase for yellowjackets. In eastern Massachusetts these nests are built annually. They are not reused each year.
225 Riverview Ave, Suite B3
Auburndale, MA 02466-1369
Phone: (617) 964-4733