Monday, July 17, 2017

Flea Cocktail Plus A Little Extra

Horticulture Hotline 07/17/17
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

With the rain, we are seeing a lot of ‘yellowing’ of grass at the stores. Some from fungus, some from chinch bugs (time of year – not rain), and most of the yellowing I’m seeing is from the soil being depleted of minor nutrients. Many people that fertilized in the spring are now due for some more fertilizer. If your grass is growing good, Excell, Perk, Possum Minors, or SeaHume would add minor nutrients without encouraging a bunch of new growth that could be susceptible to fungus attack. 07-00-14 + Allectus is a 100% slow release nitrogen product that would help with chinch bugs and many other insects. Hopefully in a month, it will be getting cooler and the grass will slow down.

Fleas (roaches, mosquitoes, and bedbugs) are very persistent insects that are a challenge to control. The use of an adulticide and a growth regulator (ie cocktail) will increase your odds of success greatly.

Adult biting fleas only account for about 2% of the population, the rest are in the egg, larva and pupae stage. If you are using a product that only controls adults, you are going to have to spray regularly to kill the new adults as they emerge. This constant spraying is a battle most people do not want to fight. However, if you mix in a growth regulator (many aerosol products have a growth regulator already mixed in), within about 2 weeks (it takes a little time for fleas to emerge and for the growth regulator to break up the life cycle) your flea population should ‘crash.’

There are some cultural steps (part of the cocktail if you will) that would help you with your flea control success as well. Vacuum, spray, let area dry then vacuum again. If your vacuum has a bag, be sure to take it outside to remove it and put it in another bag in the garbage can, so any fleas (eggs, adults, larva, pupae) you might have sucked up will not re-infest your home. Vacuum often, at least daily, for best results.

Treating your animal will also add to your success.  Prefurred One or Prefurred Plus are post patented Fipronil products that you apply directly to your dog or cat every 30 days. Being a “generic”, the price has dropped significantly (customers tell us 30 to 50 percent off). Petcor, Biospot or a flea collar will also protect your animal.

Treat your yard and bed areas with IC3 (National Organics Program compliant), Essentria G (National Organics Program compliant), Bug Blasters, or Sevin. Pivot is a growth regulator that you can use outdoors to break up the life cycle of many pests. Pivot works on many different flies, mosquitoes, fleas, roaches and many other pests.

By treating the family pet, the home and the yard proactively, you should have good success against the flea. If this sounds like too much work or something you would rather have a professional tackle, there are many good Pest Management Professionals in the area. If you call a Pest Management Company, give his products 2 weeks to work before you call him back out to your house (unless the company tells you otherwise). The process simply takes that long.

If you are thinking about aerating later this summer while the grass is still actively growing, while you have the holes open in your lawn, some good additives are: SeaHume G, 04-04-04 Bolster, Mule Mix, BGK 7500, Crab Shell and / or Cotton Burr Compost. Get the full benefit from the aeration! Sounds like another cultural / product cocktail!!

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Two Great Natural Pet Products

Horticulture Hotline 07/10/17
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Dog Rocks and Pet Remedy continue to help pet owners and win awards.

Pet Remedy is a natural de-stress and calming product for mammals and birds. This stuff is amazing! Pet Remedy works by enhancing production of GABA, a natural chemical produced by the brain, transmitted from nerve to nerve as a calming message when the body is stressed.

Animals can be stressed by fireworks, travel, separation, thunder, trips to the vet, surgery, cone on the head, new pet in home, new home, loud noises, loss of companion, … Pet Remedy has become a great substitute for ‘Doggy Downers’ around my house. I’m always afraid he is going to hurt himself on those pills (Ace).

Ol’Boy, my beloved 14 year old pound hound, recently had surgery. He had to wear ‘The Cone’. He was pacing, anxious and panting. I had pills for him, but I decided to try the natural product first. Pet Remedy calmed him down immediately – I also think it affected me too! A few days later it was fireworks – with Pet Remedy no problem. Then early Monday morning the true test came. A huge thunder storm hit the Lowcountry. Ol’Boy was up and digging in the carpet. In the past thunder would have involved the ‘Thunder Jacket’, a lot of petting and ‘good boys’ and possibly the ‘Doggy Downers’. One squirt with Pet Remedy he stopped shaking and digging and was right back to sleep.

Pet Remedy can be used on everything from horses to ferrets. If it didn’t come from the Dog Rocks people, I would have never tried it. I’m glad I did! Pet Remedy works right away. With pills the thunder could have pasted before the pills started to work then you have a drunk dog for hours and the thunder is long gone.

Dog Rocks are these crazy rocks that come from Australia. When put in your dog’s drinking water bowl or bowls, they treat the water with something (not harmful to your pet) that prevents those nasty yellow urine spots in your lawn. Often these yellow spots turn into dead grass.

I was introduced to Dog Rocks by a friend living in London that has 2 spaniels and a very small yard. Dog urine almost killed her whole yard. Dog Rocks worked great for her, so we began carrying them. Dog Rocks have worked great here as well.

Sometimes we move items around in the Possum’s Stores. When people that regularly use Dog Rocks come into the store and we have moved the display of Dog Rocks, the look of horror that comes across the customer’s face tells the story – oh no, not those nasty yellow and dead areas in my lawn again!

The key to success with Dog Rocks is that the dog gets all his water from water that is treated with the rocks. No toilet drinkers here. Dogs that drink out of coolers at the beach or on the boat or eat a lot of ice do not get as good results. Dogs that drink out of bowls with the rocks get great results.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.