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So this happened yesterday

So this happened yesterday by arborct
So this happened yesterday, a photo by arborct on Flickr.

Arbor Services’ headquarters is in a fairly rural location – our town, in fact, has quite a few DEP-released bears – but this was the first we’ve ever had in the yard. It was an interesting day, to say the least.

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Cedar Oil Tick Sprays

As you may know, we recently joined Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT-NOFA) as a Business Member, while one of our spray technicians, Tom Lappala, joined as an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP).

We’ve been into the earth-crunchy organics since the mid-80s, and while we eat and live that way to the best extent of our abilities, sometimes the industry can take a bit longer to catch up.
(In many cases, the synthetic version of a pesticide is actually less toxic to humans and pets than the organic version!)

So, when we come across an organic product, that is non-toxic to humans and pets, AND completely effective? We are EXCITED.

Enter CedarCide, a fabulous Texas company that manufactures all sorts of cedar products for the home, individual, and professional.

We decided to test-drive their professional-strength pesticide.

From their site:

PCO Choice is a concentrate composed of 85% modified cedar oil and 15% Ethyl Lactate. Cedar oil is a natural essential oil that provides a pheromone interruption agent that impairs the insects mental capacity (fries their brain). When combined with Ethyl Lactate, a corn oil by-product, it becomes a bio solvent which is instrumental in triggering instant erosion and dehydration of the insect’s exoskeleton and subsequently, the egg and larvae.

We have a 3-acre property in Northwest CT. Despite spraying several times annually for years in a row (to break the tick egg-laying cycle), our 3 cats and 2 dogs always pick up a few ticks from their rambles in the woody areas or shady spots.
We had NO ticks this year. None. Not one.

Customers who also used the Cedar Oil spray likewise reported that they found very few ticks, and in some cases, none at all.

CedarCide’s site states:

PCO Choice in combination with large amounts of water sprayed from a hose end applicator that is supplied with the product will be instrumental in the demise of numerous non beneficial insects including but not limited to fleas, ticks, mites,mosquitoes, scorpions, beetles, mole crickets, grubs, chinch bugs and many others. It has no effect on sight driven beneficial and pollinator insects such as butterflies or bee’s. It will not hurt any of the amphibians or lizard family but will deter venomous snakes and rats from the treated areas.

How great does that sound? We’ll be using this permanently on our property and strongly recommending it to our clients. The synthetic and organic pyrethrin tick sprays are effective and we will still offer them. However, we are delighted with the harmlessness and great smell of this spray, and the fact that a single spray will kill so many pests at the same time.

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Emerald Ash Borer info & Invasive Bug poster

Via the TCIA,

“Yesterday, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in two eastern New York counties that lie within 25 miles of both Massachusetts and Connecticut.

This small but destructive beetle is notorious for infesting North American ash tree species, including green, white, black, and blue ash. Once infested, the mortality rate for infested trees is 100 percent and the only certain treatment is cutting down and destroying the ash trees.

Both New York counties have already placed traps that should attract and trap adult EAB’s and are conducting a thorough survey of trees to assess the extent of beetles in both areas.

This outbreak has been linked to the introduction of firewood from an infected source, so please remember to buy firewood locally and help control the human-assisted spread of this pest.

Please watch for signs of EAB while working to prevent the spread of this non-native insect. New signs may be difficult to detect because damage may not surface for up to three years and old signs may include branch dieback in the upper crown, excessive epicormic branching on the tree trunk, vertical bark slits, and woodpecker damage. If you suspect your ash tree could be infested by EAB, please call the US Department of Agriculture at (866) 322-4512.

“Buying firewood locally” means don’t bring firewood from your area to anywhere else. Don’t Move the Firewood has lots of great information on this topic, I urge you to read up and educate yourself on this.

The TCIA has kindly provided this great Invasive Bug Identification Poster to help with identification. Print it out, put one in each fleet vehicle, in your shop, in with your camping gear, etc. Should you find one of these bugs, identify them using the poster, and email the TCIA, TreeBugs@tcia.org.

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