HOMESKOOLING 4 DOGS

               Building Trust, Respect, and Desire

Go Green! 

Pest Control 

Private Pest Exterminators

Serving the Temecula Valley area
Bob Garcia
951.676.6812

Uses EcoSmart Products which contain a patented blend of botanical oils that effectively targets a broad spectrum of pests...not people or pets.

www.ecosmartprofessional.com





Insecticides

In our effort to battle home invasions of unwelcome pests, we often unwittingly put our pets at risk. In 2008, our toxicologists fielded more than 31,000 calls related to insecticides. One of the most common incidents involved the misuse of flea and tick products − such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. Thus, it′s always important to talk to your pet′s veterinarian before beginning any flea and tick control program.

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/





Make sure your lawn is safe for your children and animals.

EcoSMART Company Information

 

EcoSMART Technologies, the world leader in safe pesticide solutions, is a venture-backed company with patented technology and a world-class management team. Our mission is to create the world's safest, most effective pesticides based on natural ingredients. We have 15 years of scientific research and a wealth of patents behind us. We make the only 100% safe insecticide that is proven to work. We offer the only complete line of EPA exempt pesticides sold in the US.

Essential Oils - Nature's Way

EcoSMART was the first company to apply modern science to essential plant oils − creating the first 100% safe pesticides. Our products are based on the natural defenses that plants and trees have used for their self protection against insects and pathogens for millenia - essential oils.

http://www.ecosmart.com/index.php



PoopBags.com offers two (that's right - TWO!) varieties in three different quantities of regular-size biodegradable dog poop bags that are made with Mater-Bi, which originates from renewable resources such as corn to meet the ASTM D6400, the highest standard of biodegradability. Both varieties have a really awesome silky smooth feeling. The primary differences are that the black poop bags are European while the green poop bags are thicker, are slightly bigger and are made in the United States. Don't forget: Free Shipping!

These extra large dog poop bags are also 100% biodegradable just like our regular-size dog waste bags, but are huge in comparison - almost 2" wider and over 1" longer! Seriously, Actual size is 10" L x 13" W!




Sergeant's Nature's Guardian products are highly effective, yet they′re safe for use around your pets and your family when used as directed. Over hundreds of millions of years, certain plants have developed highly effective defense mechanisms against potentially harmful insects. Now, Sergeant′s has harnessed the power of these natural botanical extracts to produce a line of flea, tick and mosquito control products that features natural active ingredients such as peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil and thyme oil. The exclusive formulations that feature these ingredients are safe to use around children and pets, but they're deadly to biting pests.

http://www.sergeantsnatural.com/products.html




West Paw Design

West Paw Design manufactures the highest quality dog and cat toys and bedding available, made in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, in the good ol' U.S. of A. We are a small but mighty company dedicated not only to creating safe, fun, and durable products for your pet, but also to making a contribution to the greater picture.

Zogoflex is West Paw Design's exclusive material that's made in the USA. Zogoflex is a super durable, extremely pliable material that's tough, buoyant, non-toxic, and guaranteed to last! This incredible high-tech material is used to make our Huck, Hurley, Tux and Zisc. These fun dog toys are easy for your pup to pick up and won't hurt their teeth. Recommended for aggressive chewers, pullers, and fetchers.

By simply sprinkling a small bag of these tiny Beneficial Insects on your dog poop areas just as the weather turns warm you can prevent flies from ever becoming a nuisance. Then by continuing to release Fly Predators monthly through the summer you'll keep the fly population under control.

 

The tiny Fly Predator beneficial insects are the natural enemy of flies, but never bother people or animals. Many of our customers say they hardly see a fly all season. For best results you want to start before flies are bad.

 

No Pesticides, No Worry

 

Fly Predators eliminate the next generation of pest flies by means of natural biological control. Unlike pesticide sprays that only affect adult flies (who likely have already laid hundreds of eggs insuring more flies in 10 days) Fly Predators target the pest fly pupa (cocoon) stage killing the immature flies before they can bother you and your animals or reproduce to start the cycle again.

 

Using Fly Predators completely avoids any of the potential adverse side effects associated with pesticides. Just reading the warning label on almost any fly pesticide or repellent is perhaps the best advertisement for biological control. By contrast there is no warning label for the species in Fly Predators and in over 30 years of commercial use no known adverse effects.

 



PET SAFE LAWN CARE

Why Pet Safe Lawn Care? | Yard & Garden | Sustainable Agriculture

Are synthetic lawn chemicals pet safe? Pets, exposed to lawn synthetic lawn chemicals chemicals Exposure to herbicide-treated lawns and gardens increases the risk of bladder cancer by four to seven times in Scottish Terriers, according to a study by Purdue University veterinary researchers published in the April 15, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 24:1290-1297). The study adds to earlier research conducted by the National Institutes of Health that found elevated rates of canine lymphoma in dogs exposed to lawn pesticides (1991). (See Beyond Pesticides factsheet) Meanwhile the American Veterinary Medical Association issued a release, "Herbicide Exposure May Increase Cancer Risk in Dogs," with the study authors' recommendations that owners of Scottish Terriers "should decrease their dogs' exposure to lawns or gardens treated with common herbicides, particularly phenoxy herbicides and possibly nonphenoxy herbicides" and "veterinarians should perform routine (every six months) cytologic urine exams in Scottish Terriers and other 'genetically high risk' breeds over six years old."

For pet safe, green,  chemical free lawn, apply CBLC natural organic, pet safe lawn fertilizer in early spring and again in late autumn. Organic lawn fertilizer  will provide an even supply of nutrients during the growing season, and reduce winter kill. Avoid the use of quick release nitrogen on law and turf grass.. Quick release nitrogen can increase moisture requirements and decrease stress tolerance on most lawns and turf grass.

To promote rapid spring growth, apply pet safe natural organic fertilizer in "early" spring. Organic lawn fertilizer promotes both root and top growth. When  reseeding, apply two to three pounds of grass seed / 1,000 square feet. 

Grass clippings, left on the lawn, can be a source of nutrients.  As grass clippings decompose, they can provide the equivalent of one application of fertilizer per season. Typically, a lawn that is in good condition requires about 1 inch of water / week.  In cooler environments 0.5 inches / week might be sufficient.

Nitrogen is vital for plant growth. It is abundant in the atmosphere and in soil organic matter, but not in a form that plants can use. EcoChem liquid organic fertilizers are formulated to stimulate soil biomass and convert nitrogen into a form that is readily available to plants. In addition, they provide residual nitrogen, in the soil, which can reduce or eliminate nitrogen fertilizer requirements for the next growing season.

http://www.ecochem.com/t_lawn_organic.html




Integrated Pest Management

Holes in your chard? Gouges in your apricots? Yellowing, wilting leaves? It's time to get rid of the pests and keep your garden growing!

Chewed Chard

Photo credits: Autumn Barr-Engstrom, Peaceful Valley

 

We're going to try to make it easier to keep the good bugs and bad bugs straight and eliminate the damaging bugs this month. Of course, the first defense against pests is always a healthy plant. Pests usually go for plants that are sickly, lacking in nutrients, in the wrong site, or watered irregularly. So, your first resource should always be to grow healthy plants and have healthy soil.

 

We have some tips if you're asking yourself, "What's eating this leaf and how do I make it stop?" The first step to eliminating the pest at hand is to identify it! Many foliage chomping pests are most active at night, so if you haven't seen it in action during the day, take a flashlight out to your garden after dark and turn some leaves over in search of the culprit.

 

If you need help identifying the culprit, the book, "Pests of the Garden & Small Farm" is an indispensible resource as is the
UC Davis Integrated Pest Management Website.

Book: Pests of the Garden & Small Farm

 

Once you've identified your garden enemy, you can create an effective management plan. This may include trapping or hand picking, a biological control such as introducing a "good bug", a cultural control like reducing the number of cool moist hide-outs, and/or a chemical control including natural insecticidal soaps and BT.

 

The Top 5 Pest Complaints

 

The Pest: Snails & Slugs

The Problem: Leaves with irregular chewed holes with smooth edges. Fruits near the ground with large holes eaten out of them, especially strawberries.

Slug

Photo credits: Håkan Svensson, Wikimedia Commons

 

Know Your Enemy: Snails & slugs like cool weather and are most active on cloudy or foggy days and at night. A slime trail is a tell-tale sign that they've been around. They are one of the easiest pests to find: they are big!

 

Solutions:

Sluggo Plus:
Environmentally friendly bait effectively kills many of the gardens most prolific pests. Unique blend of iron phosphate, a natural soil element, and spinosad, which is derived from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacteria, and bait additives compressed into easy-to-use pellets.

 

Sluggo Plus

Slug Saloon
A safe, efficient, non-toxic method of slug and bug control. The Slug Saloon is a durable lifetime trap for slugs and earwigs. Child and pet safe.

 

Slug Salon

Handpicking
Wet down infested area in the late afternoon with a hose. Come back out after dark with a flashlight, gloves, and a pail of soapy water to drop them in. Repeat daily until there's been a noticeable decline at which point weekly handpicking should be adequate.

 

Copper
A flexible copper strip is a powerful deterrent for slugs and snails because it creates an electrolytic effect that repels them when they touch it. A reaction between their slimy secretion and the copper causes the shock.

 

Reduce Hiding Places
Eliminating overgrown areas, low-laying boards, and rocks will force them further from your garden to find a day time hiding place. Also, while mulches can be very beneficial in a garden, there is a trade off: mulches provide hiding places for slugs & snails.

 

Beer Traps
Dig a hole in the ground for a tuna can or similar container so that the lip is even with the ground. Fill it with beer and the slugs and snails will have a final toast. They can't resist the smell and taste!

 

 

 

The Pest: Earwigs

The Problem: Chewed leaves and stems and/or gouges in soft stone fruit or strawberries.

Earwig

Photo credits: Fitz Geller-Grimm, Wikimedia Commons

 

Know Your Enemy: Earwigs are most active at night and prefer cool, moist, dark places

 

Solutions:

Insect Baits, Traps & Sprays

Dozens available at GrowOrganic.com, including, organic traps, baits, and sprays.

 

Pest Spray

Diatomaceous Earth
Fossilized shells of tiny water-dwelling organisms called diatoms which, when ground, have microscopically fine, sharp edges. Used as a barrier to crawling pests such as slugs, snails, earwigs, etc.

 

Diatomaceous Earth

Earwig & slug trap: The Slug Saloon
A safe, efficient, non-toxic method of slug and bug control. The Slug Saloon is a durable lifetime trap for slugs and earwigs. Child and pet safe.

 

Slug Salon

Trapping in cans
Fill multiple tuna fish cans with 1/2" of water with a drop of oil and soy sauce or bacon drippings and place them throughout your garden. Capture daily, dump earwigs in soapy water, refill cans, repeat daily!

 

Trapping in rolled newspaper
Moistened newspaper, rolled up in a tube, provides the perfect hiding place for earwigs. Pick the newspaper rolls up daily and drown them in soapy water daily.

 

Reduce Hiding Places:
Eliminating overgrown areas, low-laying boards, and rocks will force them further from your garden to find a day time hiding place.

 

 

 

The Pest: Aphids

The Problem: Leaves that are curling, yellowing, and/or exhibiting oozing honeydew (the aphids suck the fluid out of the leaves). Leaves will often be covered with aphids.

Aphids on a leaf

Picture: Lady bug eating aphids off leaves.

Photo credits: Kathleen Madeira, Peaceful Valley

 

Know Your Enemy: Aphids are very small, soft bodied insects that congregate most frequently on the underside of leaves and do not move quickly when disturbed. They are often in large clumps rather than a solitary insect. They come in all colors as well, from pale green to dark brown.

 

Solutions:

Monitoring

Check your plants a couple times a week to catch infestations early. Remember to look on the underside of leaves.

 

Eliminate the Ants if they're around

Ants actually help aphid populations, protecting them in some cases from beneficial insects (see more on ants below).

 

Beneficial Insects

Introduce aphids' natural predators like parasitic wasps, lady bugs, lacewing & syrphid fly. Planting things like sweet alyssum or anything in the apiaceae family help to attract beneficial insects. The main defense against aphids is to increase beneficial habitat. You can also mail order beneficial insects.

 

Beneficial Insects

Row covers

Use a light weight row cover to protect seedlings which are more vulnerable than mature plants.

 

Row Cover

Reflective Mulch

Aphid and whitefly numbers can be lower in plants grown on reflective mulches. Reflective mulches were also shown to lower the numbers of cucumber beetles by 6 times in a study written up the American Society of Horticultural Science.

 

Reflective mulch

Wash 'em off

Using a strong stream of water, wash the aphids and their honeydew off plants.

 

Insecticidal soap

Spray infested foliage with neem oil, Safer Soap, Pyganic for temporary control. Multiple applications may be necessary as they will only kill aphids present at time of spraying.

 

Insecticidal Soap

 

The Pest: Ants

The Problem: Ants on plants (which usually indicates a presence of scales, mealybugs and/or aphids) and/or ants parading into your house.

Ant & Lady Bug

Picture: Ant farming honeydew from the aphids (not pictured) while lady bug tries to control aphid population.

Photo credits: Kathleen Madeira, Peaceful Valley

 

Know Your Enemy: Ants are usually attracted to sugar and sweet nectars.

 

Solutions:

Band tree trunks with Tanglefoot

Prevent crawling insects from ascending trees, shrubs, vines and woody plants by forming a barrier they can't cross. Apply tanglefoot to a tree wrap (and not directly to the bark of young trees).

 

Tanglefoot

Terro Ant Bait

Highly effective for eliminating sweet-feeding ants. Ants carry the bait back to the nest, eliminating the entire colony. Contains boric acid and sugar in a liquid solution that can be applied on cardboard squares (included) using the handy squeeze bottle.

 

Terro Ant Bait

Caulking

Observe where ants are coming into your house and block their entrance with caulking.

 

Chickens

If you have chickens meandering around your yard, you probably don't have an ant problem.

 

 

 

The Pest: Loopers & Worms

(caterpillars including cabbageworms, webworms, armyworms, corn earworms, and tomato horn worm)

 

The Problem: Ragged holes in foliage. The horn worm will leave scared fruit, leaves & blossoms. They can eat a huge amount of foliage and stems as well.

Hornworm

Photo credits: Dave Pape, Wikimedia Commons

 

Know Your Enemy: A great way to find the Horn Worms is to look for their large black excrement on the ground and foliage. And then search the plant for the worm. Also, look on the underside of brassicas that have holes in the leaves.

 

Solutions:

Bacillus thuringiensis (BT)

Can be bought under the name of Safer Caterpillar Spray, Safer Garden Dust, or Dipel for commercial growers. Bad bugs ingest BT and die. It is a very pest specific treatment and thus is considered to be an environmentally friendly solution.

 

BT

Beneficial Insects

See our website for details. Benefical insects, paired with proper management, can be an effective, healthy long-term solution.

 

Beneficial Insects

Handpicking

Go out in the early night with a flashlight and pick 'em off one by one! Look on the underside of leaves with holes.

 

 

Other common pests

Our websites are full of useful information:

 

See our Main Catalog Pest Control Solution Chart

 

See our Main Catalog Beneficial Insects Usage Chart

 

Find related posts on our blog: In The Loop

 

Or click on one for more information from UC Davis

leaf miner, cucumber beetle, flea beetle, codling moth, weevils, corn earworm, nematodes

 

 

 

Know Your Good Bugs

The Lady Bug, or lady beetle, is the quintessential good bug. Not only are they cute, they devour aphids!

 

There are at least a couple dozen bugs that act as natural predators to our garden pests. Familiarize yourself with this list of natural enemies in their egg, larval, and adult forms so you don't accidentally destroy the "good eggs" (this UC Davis IPM resource includes actual pictures of each phase of the life cycle of good bugs!).

 

For a great book to have at your finger tips in your garden, the "Natural Enemies Handbook" has a handy quick guide.

Book: Natural Enemies

If you find yourself in need of more good bugs to control an infestation, many of these organisms can be mail ordered.

Lady Bug

 

Introducing Omega 2000

Omega 2000

 

After over 15 years of enthusiastic grower response to Omega 6-6-6 and Omega 1-5-5, we were quite disappointed that these fine products would no longer be available.  However, we are excited to offer its newer version, Omega 2000.  Although it no longer has a guaranteed NPK analysis (since Omega is used at the rate of only 1-2 quarts per acre, the main benefit of the previous Omega products was their incredible biological activity, not their NPK value). It is still manufactured following the same proprietary process of microbial digestion of soy protein, casein, whey, bone meal, rock phosphate and sulfate of potash. All microbes used are naturally occurring micro-organisms, excluding any Genetically Modified Organisms.

 

Regular use of Omega 2000 will help create a rich diversity of soil microbial life with better nutrient uptake, better crop quality, increased yields and improvements in disease and insect resistance.  Omega 2000 applied to the soil will stimulate vigorous healthy root development.

 

It is excellent as a soil soak when transplanting or starting seeds.  Test results over the last few years have shown up to a 35% increase in yields when Omega 2000 is used in combination with natural fertilizers.