Tagged with "Pesticides"
Many people never ask whether their landscapers are using chemicals. Are you walking across a toxic lawn to get to your organic vegetable garden?
In many places, landscapers are required by law to inform the person hiring them of any pesticides—natural or synthetic—used on a property. These chemicals are often listed in your contract by brand name and EPA registration number. (All pesticides must be registered with the EPA, but that does not mean they are safe for humans or the environment!)
When your landscaper sends your contract for renewal, take a close look (many people don’t!). See words ending in "–cide"? Long chemical-sounding names that you can’t pronounce? References to "weed and feed" or "broad spectrum" applications? Time to ask your landscapers which chemicals they are using and why, and let them know you want to have a PRFCT landscape.
If they have questions about getting started, send them our way. Please don’t fire them—we want to convert them! With your help, we can transform every landscape professional into a land steward.
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.
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.
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
Something slimy slithering through your garden? Slug and snail season is back. These pests can often wreak havoc on lawns and landscapes. While a nuisance, the good news is they can easily be controlled with safe, non-toxic methods:
- Watering: Snails and slugs thrive in high humidity, damp conditions. Frequent watering, and areas of standing water, creates an ideal environment for slugs and snails. Deeper, infrequent watering make your lawn less hospitable for these pests.
- Shade: Slugs and snails love shaded areas to hide during the heat of the day. Eliminating shady spots makes your landscape less welcoming.
- Traps: Trapping with natural methods such as melon rind, sugar water, or beer can be effective in small areas. However, please note these methods require constant upkeep and removal of dead pests.
- Baiting: Slug baits containing carbaryl or metaldehyde are highly toxic to children and pets! CHECK THE LABEL! Baits containing iron phosphate are safe to use around pets and children, pick them instead. Try baiting right after watering your garden, when snails and slugs are most active.