Monday, February 25, 2013

"Green" Killers Part 2

This week I’m going to continue writing about “green” products that have been getting very positive reviews. If you missed part one of this article, you can go to and look under the Horticulture Hotline tab and the article should be there.

Last week, I ended with Essentria G. Essentria G controls many of our Lowcountry pests.
Ants, Bermuda grass mites, centipedes, chiggers, chinch bugs, clover mites, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, fall armyworms, fire ants, fleas, leafhoppers, millipedes, sowbugs / pillbugs and other insect pests. As you can see, Essentria G controls several of our problem insects. With no aquatic setbacks, this is a good tool to have in the tool box especially when controlling fire ants near a pond’s edge.

Rockwell Labs has a tagline of “creating the future of pest control”, and that is what their scientists are doing every day. At Possum’s we have heard many success stories from professionals to do it yourself homeowners about the effectiveness of the Rockwell line of products. Rockwell also packages their products so you can buy enough for one house or for one apartment complex.

InVict Gold Cockroach Gel is a LEED Tier 3 product. I helped a lady whose elderly father was about to be carried out the house by roaches. She had tried all kinds of other products that she had purchased elsewhere and nothing worked for her. She had roaches everywhere. She tried the InVict Gold, and their roach problem was quickly under control. She came back to the store just to thank us!

InTice 10 Bait is a LEED Tier 3 product that is N.O.P. (National Organic Program) Compliant. InTice 10 can be used indoors, outdoors and on turf. InTice 10 kills roaches, crickets, mole crickets, sowbugs, pillbugs, silverfish, millipedes, and some ants. InTice 10 is a mold and moisture resistant ready-to-use Orthoboric (boric acid) Acid Bait. InTice 10 lasts up to 90 days outdoors in the weather. The bait matrix contains a highly effective blend of attractants. With all the fishing in the Lowcountry, we all know how important a good bait is.

The last few Thanksgivings I get a call from a friend that tells me the drain flies are about to take off with his Thanksgiving turkey. InVade BioDrain takes care of the situation. A combination of citrus oil and microbes eats up the scum in the drains that the drain flies feed on and nest. I have several friends that use it in their kitchen sink because they like the citrus smell.

Preemerge your lawn and beds for small seeded summer annual weeds now!

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

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Green" Killers

Last week’s mention of some new “green” products in the industry, stirred up a few questions about the effectiveness and the names of these “green” products. The terms LEED, NOP (National Organic Program) compliant, and FIFRA 25(b) exempt will be used in this article to describe the products “green” credentials.  When I talk or write about new products, the products could be on the market for several years and I have just received enough results from the field to know the product will work well enough to recommend. Manufactures sometimes have to modify their formulas for better results, as well. The “green” products are a big push in the Pest Control Industry, so this article will have several parts.

The Essentria line of products by Envincio are getting great reviews. The products are N.O.P. compliant and FIFRA 25(b) exempt.  The essential oils that comprise the active ingredients in Essentria products work by disrupting the neurotransmitter function in target insects. In invertebrates, with their simpler nervous systems, a multi-functional chemical known as octopamine handles many of these functions. By targeting octopamine receptors, these essential oils provide insecticidal activity with a much wider margin of safety than other products. Because vertebrates like birds, fish, dogs and people don’t have octopamine receptors; they are not affected by this unique mode of action.

Essentria IC3 is a liquid that has a very broad label. Inside some of the insects it is labeled for include: exposed stages of crawling insects including, but not limited to, ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, cadelles, cigarette beetles, dark mealworms, dried fruit beetles, drugstore beetles, confused floor beetles, fleas, grain mites, fowl mites, mites, nuisance beetles (such as lady beetles), red flour beetles, rice weevils, sawtoothed grain beetles, spiders, spider beetles, and yellow mealworms. Outside some of the insects it will control on turf include: Ants, Armyworms, Billbugs, Chinch Bugs, Chiggers, Crickets, Cutworms, Earwigs, Fleas, Grasshoppers, Hyperodes Weevils (adults), Japanese Beetles (adults), Mole Crickets, Sod Webworms and Ticks.

IC3 can also be used safely on docks for spiders, mosquitoes and gnats. Bees, wasps, flies, and biting flies are also on the label.

Two other products in the Essentria line of products are a granular product that is great for lawns and an aerosol that is used mainly indoors for bedbugs, fleas, and their eggs. Controlling the eggs is a huge benefit especially with these two nuisance bugs. There is also a wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket killer that knocks them dead out of the air.

Preemerge for small seeded summer annual weeds now!

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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's - Moles, Roaches and Roses

We finally had some rain and I can see the ‘spring fever’ picking up. I have noticed several people planting new plants, pruning, and cleaning up their yards.

Still the most asked question I get is about that little furry guy (or gal) the mole. As popular (or problematic) as the mole is the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition should dedicate an area for the mole. Realize hunting moles is a war not a battle.

I’m sticking with the three pronged approach:
  1. Kill the mole. Trap it. Poison it. Dig it up. Have your dog dig it up. Kill it.
  2. Manage the food source. If you thought Michael Phelps burned a lot of calories swimming in a pool, think of a mole swimming through the soil. The mole eats constantly. If you jump to step 2 before doing step 1, the mole tunnels around even more looking for food and tearing up you yard.
  3. Create a repellent border to keep new moles from moving into your yard to occupy the previous mole’s tunnels. Again if you skip step 1, you might trap a mole in your yard with the repellent. If you have a dog fence and the dog escapes, then the dog cannot get back into the yard because the barrier will not let him back in the yard. Similar idea. When using snake repellents or mole repellents you want to be sure your yard is free of the undesirables first.

With all the cardboard boxes associated with the holiday season and the cooler weather, roaches seemed to hit a population spike. Treating the perimeter of your house (outside) and using growth regulators and baits inside your house, should go a long way to tackle (left over Super Bowl lingo) this issue. We have been seeing some very effective ‘green’ products introduced on this side of our business. When commercial pest management professionals are willing to use them in their business, you know they are effective.

Rose pruning and sanitation is beginning. Remember to spray lime sulfur on the ground around the plants to kill overwintering fungus spores. If you have other plants that get leaf spot diseases, consider using lime sulfur spray around them as well. Blueberries, hydrangeas and figs could also benefit from this ground spray.

Oh yeah, one other small thing that should be applied to your landscape beds and lawn areas right now – PREEMERGENT PRODUCTS!! Kill some weeds, proactively.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Preemerge Turf And Beds

Call it climate change, a weather pattern, or not to be political, “global warming”, I like this weather. Baggy t-shirts all year long!  Daffodils showing color, Prunus trees blooming (Cherry, Peach, Crabapple) and the soil temperature indicates that it is just about time to apply preemergent products to your beds and turf. I know many of you are used to waiting for Valentine’s Day (a great present by the way if you like living with the dog in the dog house) or the running of the Daytona 500 to apply the magical weed preventer, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

Depending on which Phd doctor you believe, crabgrass germinates when the soil temperature (3 inches deep) stays above 55 degrees (some people say 57 degrees), for 3 straight days provided adequate moisture in the soil. Now some doctors say remains 57 degrees or above for 24 hours at a depth of 3 inches with adequate moisture.  If you are not in to monitoring the soil temperature, Valentine’s Day or the running of the Daytona 500 should work for you.

The turf areas as well as the landscape bed areas will greatly benefit from the use of preemerge products. Not only will the yard look better, but your plants will not have to compete with the weeds for sun, nutrients, and water. If you are controlling weeds with preemergent products, there are less weeds there for you to spray or pull, saving you time.

For those new readers of the Horticulture Hotline, preemergents kill weeds as they germinate.  The weeds never come up and you never have to worry about them.  Crabgrass, goosegrass, barnyardgrass, crowfootgrass, dallisgrass (seedling), foxtail, annual bluegrass, smutgrass, barley, kikuyugrass, wild oats, bittercress, carpetweed, chickweed, Carolina geranium, henbit, knotweed, lespedeza, marestail, black medic, mustard, oxalis, pineappleweed, pigweed, redroot, parsley-piert, purslane, rocket, shephardspurse, speedwell, spurge, and woodsorrel are examples of weeds controlled by preemergent products.  Small seeded annual weeds are controlled by preemergent products. 

Clover, Florida Betony, Nutsedge and Dollar weed are not controlled by preemergents.  These are perennial weeds. Weed Free Zone is a liquid that will do a good job on controlling many of your broadleaf weeds. The Nutsedge will require a different product and is most likely not visible right now.  It is important to control these weeds now before they go into their reproductive stage.  A weed in its reproductive stage is harder to control than a weed in its vegetative stage. By killing the weed now you avoid having to deal with more weed seeds next year.

With the warm weather we have had, it is very noticeable when you ride through the Lowcountry which homeowners and which businesses used preemergent products last fall at the correct time. One business or home lawn will be nice and brown and dormant with-out a spec of green in sight. Right next to it will be brown turf mixed with green weeds. Again, it is very important to control those weeds now before they begin to flower.

If you want to control the Sweetgum balls, now is the time to arrange that treatment. An arborist can inject Snipper now and the balls will not develop into the nuisance in the landscape that they would otherwise. Call right away as this is a timing issue as well.