PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Pests"

Entomopathogenic nematodes nematodes under microscope

Maybe you've seen beneficial nematodes for sale at your local organic gardening center. Or heard about nematodes attacking the roots of your neighbor's tomatoes. What's the difference? And what are nematodes, anyway?

Nematodes are round, threadlike organisms that eat organic material—from bad bugs and bacteria to plant roots—in your soil. Like the bacteria in our bodies, soil nematodes can be helpful or harmful, depending on the type and number present. A healthy balance of nematodes is key to the health of your soil's ecosystem.

Good nematodes:
• Break down soil nutrients so that plants can easily absorb them
• Eat pests like grubs, bad bugs, and fungus
• Harmed by synthetic fertilizers and pesticides

Bad nematodes:
• Eat plant roots

Want to make your soil friendly for beneficial nematodes? Make sure it is well-aerated; nematodes need plenty of space to move around. Kicking the chemical habit and adding compost to increase organic matter will help balance your soil's biology. When your soil biology is healthy, the less-desirable nematodes—and other pests—will be kept in check naturally.

Photo credit: D. Kucharski K. Kucharska / Shutterstock

Bat house

Bats Are Good Guys

October 27, 2016

Bats get a bad rap, especially this time of year. Instead of screaming the next time you see one, consider the following:

  • Every night, an insect-eating bat will eat its own weight in bugs. A whole colony? Hundreds of pounds of bugs a night. More bats = fewer mosquitos in your yard, fewer pests in your garden, fewer pesticides sprayed.
  • Bats eat more than bugs. Around the world, fruit- and pollen-munching bats are important pollinators and seed dispersers.
  • Installing a bat house (see photo above) is a great way to encourage these furry flying friends to take up residence on your property.
  • Using pesticides is not. Pesticides, especially insect sprays, limit the amount of bugs and other healthy food for bats to eat. Pesticides also build up in bats' little bodies over time, which has been linked to immunosuppression and endocrine disruption.
Lawn puddle

Are You Feeling the Squish?

August 11, 2016

Mosquitos sucking the fun out of your summer?

Reduce the mosquito population on your property by reducing the wet conditions where mosquitos breed. PRFCT watering techniques—seldom and deep—prevent lawn puddles and surface moisture that attract mosquitos.

How to tell if your lawn is mosquito party central? If it hasn’t rained recently, but you hear a “squish squish” sound when you walk across your lawn, time to cut back on your watering.

No tick

Seems like we can’t go outside these days without seeing an ad for a tick spray company.

A word of warning before you call someone to nuke your yard: Synthetic tick sprays are toxic and create a false sense of security. They kill pollinators (butterflies!), they do not kill all the ticks, and new ticks wander right back in soon after the spray is applied. So what else can you do?

Organic sprays are a non-toxic option, but they also kill beneficial bugs. If applied early in the morning or at the end of the day, there is less damage to our pollinator friends.

The most environmentally-friendly and secure option is to apply tick repellent to yourself, your kids, and your pets. Spray yourself, not your entire property. We keep a supply by our office door and always cover our legs and ankles before we head outside.

mosquito

They buzz. They bite. They suck, literally.

Mosquitos are they last pests you want swooping in while you’re trying to relax in your backyard on a summer evening. So, make sure they don't see your lawn as an open invitation.

The most effective way to control mosquitos is to get them before they grow into bloodsucking adults. Overwatering your lawn and landscape encourages water to gather, and subsequently encourages mosquitos to breed. Target their breeding grounds by eliminating that source of standing water.


Refrain from broadcast pesticide sprays for mosquitos. These sprays are short lasting, kill pollinators, and are harmful to children and pets.

Our advice: Water seldom, water deep. That method will provide your landscape with the moisture it needs during the summer months, while discouraging mosquitos from calling your backyard home

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