Friday, May 18, 2012

Wasting away in 'misquitoeville'!!!!!!

Oh my, oh my, it is that time again. The miserable female mosquito is back and seeking some assistance in her program of expanding the birth rate of the mosquito population. Who, besides we humans has to concern themselves with mosquitoes? Well...your pets and all other warm blooded animals that's who.

Heck, its just a mosquito bite! Oh yes, but what else bad can happen? Let's try West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, malaria and river blindness for starters. Think of all of the little children, you know the ones: yours! We all have seen the results: welts, sores, scabs, insane itchyness and damage to your skin. Malaria is unheard of in our country but in other places it is a different story.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ALERT! Insects and your Azaleas, Boxwood and Holly

Now is the time for all of us to take a good close look at our shrubbery. Have you ever checked the replacement cost of an Azalea that is, let's say 3 'high and 6' in diameter?


How about an American Holly at about 8' high and beautifully shaped? Can you imagine the replacement costs for mature American or worse yet English Boxwood?
Well you better be seated when you do: the costs of mature azalea, holly or boxwood can easily go to hundreds of dollars. How foolish it would be to lose several large azaleas, hollies or other large shrubs. Leaf miners, aphids, spider mites and lace bugs all do the same thing: destroy beauty. Yes, there are non-spray alternatives: notably soapy water, lady bugs, parasitic wasps and flower flies can and in some cases are all that is needed. If, however, your shrubs need help now then reconcile yourself to many applications of soapy water and remember that the bug predator approach is rather sketchy and probably won't do the job.

Lace Bugs

Of course the choice is yours: we did notice that one of the finer greenhouse locations does stock lady bugs for the purpose of dealing with the aphids and other insects. Aphids are a bug that just plain keeps on giving; they feast on the stems and leaves and secrete a substance popularly referred to as "honeydew" translation: a really sticky gooey slime on the plant and if you are really unlucky: all over the floor of your home. There are products available through your local lawn care company. First of all they will have staff available to diagnose the problem and to offer a solution. I do know in our home aphid damage is severe and has resulted in the plants death. Why use insecticides? Well, the insecticide used is organically based and is very effective. Soapy water, while an effective agent is not systemic and the soapy water approach must be repeated for many, many weeks!!! Lady Bugs are an excellent defense: if they will stay.

 Please, please inspect your shrubs: the signs are there and so is an answer to the problem. Contact us at: 1-800-529-6227 or 410-867-8873. Remember BOG: we offer solutions to your problems!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fertilizer Use Act of 2011

Gov. O'Malley, on May 19, 2011, signed into Maryland Law, the Fertilizer Use Act of 2011. The law is designed to reduce the amount of nutrients into the Chesapeake Bay from lawns, golf courses, parks, recreation areas and other non-agricultural sources. The law mandates several things: the amount of phosphorus contained in fertilizer sold to the public, establishes a training and certification process for persons who are hired for applying fertilizer, limits the amount of fertilizer applied to turf and implements a program to educate homeowners on best practices for fertilizer application... Read full article on Fertilizer Use Act of 2011 on our blog

Many of the provisions are already in place for commercial applicators. Homeowners will now be required to follow the guidelines established by the University of Maryland when fertilizing their lawns, gardens and landscaped areas. The guidelines will be promoted through a public education program that will include information on best management practices to follow when using fertilizers, soil testing information and how to read and follow a fertilizer label.

Specific guidelines for homeowners and do it yourselfers include:

  • Prohibits use of lawn fertilizer on impervious areas
    Prohibits using fertilizer: Between November 15 and March 1
    When the ground is frozen
    Within 10-15 feet of waterways

  • Restricts the amount of phosphorus applied to turf, with allowances when soil tests indicate low levels of phosphorus or when the homeowner is establishing a new lawn

  • Establishes maximum application rates for total nitrogen and water soluble nitrogen

  • Establishes maximum application rates for enhanced efficiency controlled-release products

  • Authorizes county, municipality or the Maryland Department of Agriculture to enforce these requirements

Additionally, new training and licensing requirements have been established for professional fertilizer applicators. The law must be n place by October 1, 2013.

The changes have been put in place to help the state comply with the new requirements for the control of total maximum daily load of pollutants entering the Bay by 2020.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A word about "good bugs" - Ladybugs

Ladybugs, often called white waxy ladies:

When the waxy lady bug is in the larvae stage, the larvae will devour several thousand immature scale insects. As an adult lady bug, the bug will eat many other harmful insects. Sometimes we do get a bit carried away and will eliminate beneficial insects along with the harmful insects. Lady bugs are very
easy to identify: they are usually black with two red spots n the wing covers. Sometimes there will be yellowish spots or stripes on their backs. I the spring, the waxy bugs will return to devour scale.
Wintering over in leaves and beneath bark liter the lady bug will truly help you. Please do not destroy them; there is no danger to your home! We can all remember those winter days when we get several consecutive days of above average temperatures. The warmth of the sun on the house, especially the south west sides of the house, will often cause the waxy lady bug to suddenly appear in incredible
numbers. Again don’t worry; there will be no damage to your home.

Now an interesting question: just where were those lady bugs? If you want you could take the frames of your doors off on the south west side: guess where the bugs have been living? Good guess: behind the frame!

Beware winter is coming to your neighborhood!!!

Please, please, please DO NOT STORE FIREWOOD INSIDE OF YOUR HOME!! There is any number of insects in the firewood just waiting for a nice warm environment to live in for the winter. Theses insects include: ants, termites, stink bugs, and hornets to list a few. The insects are usually in or under the bark.
Try not to stack firewood next to the house. The best answer, of course, is a wood crib close to the house.

Most winter insects will not have to be sprayed and can be merely vacuumed up. Be on the lookout for ticks, at least until we have several hard freezes. Check the children out every day. Lyme disease is nothing to play with!

Check out the cupboard for meal moths. This is especially true if the meal or flour has been there a long period of time. The problem is often more prevalent with "off brand" products. Just discard the flour, meal, rice or pasta that is infected. Be sure to vacuum thoroughly.

Try to seal all entry points into your home to prevent insects from invading! Pesticides do not store well: check with your county to determine when / you can dispose of pesticides. Freezing weather will generally reduce the effectiveness of pesticides.

If you have a fresh cut Christmas tree be on the lookout for emerging insects. Just vacuum them insects. Many times you will bring spiders in with the tree.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Mosquitoes reign in region"

The above is the headline in the Evening Capital from October 3, 2011. The recent very heavy rains have resulted in a dire and dangerous situation.

We at BOG Pest Control have been very worried about the results of over 30" of rain in large parts of our service area. Yesterday one of techs came back to the shop with very disconcerting news: he had been bitten in mid-morning by mosquitoes while on his route. The troubling part: Asian Tiger mosquitoes bite in mid morning and continue all day long. Asian Tiger Mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus.

To date there have been four reported cases of West Nile in Anne Arundel County alone. Mosquitoes are at very high levels in all parts of county. We also serve Montgomery, Howard, Calvert, Charles, Prince Georges and several counties on the Shore. We can't say which area has the most serious problem: all areas have very high levels of mosquitoes.

The situation is so dangerous the Public Works Department in Anne Arundel is starting a spraying regimen next week beginning in the Pasadena area. Those at most risk are the elderly over 50 and very young children.

We are advising our clients to check for standing water throughout their property. Look for mosquito larva in the standing water. A new brood will hatch daily from some parts of your property.

Do not hesitate to call for help. We many trained techs who specialize in mosquito control. We can be to your home this week. By Friday, October 7 the numbers of mosquitoes will be very high. Don't think for a minute that this will pass: the situation is very dangerous for you and your family.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Emerald Ash Borer - Now in Howard County, MD

The Emerald Ash Borer, as shown, has arrived into Howard County. This nasty pest is moving ever closer to Baltimore City. Baltimore City has approximately 300,000 Ash trees. The cost, just to remove a dead or dying tree is in the neighborhood of $500-1000. The Ash is planted in our cities since Ash trees are drought resistant and can tolerate adverse conditions.

The Emerald Ash borer is actually rather striking in appearance. From a bright glossy green on the wings to brilliant purple abdominal segments, you will be able to know immediately what you are seeing. Unfortunately, you may not see the borer! You will see, however, the damage caused by the insect. Very often the borers can be found in firewood. NEVER transport firewood from your home to a new location. The beetle will infest firewood. Transporting of firewood as of now is not permitted over
county lines in the state of Maryland.

It is just a matter of time before Anne Arundel County, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties will find the Emerald Ash Borer. If you are in doubt about the insect you have found please contact the county extension agent. As a society we need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of the beetle.

To make the situation worse there are other beetles that are somewhat similar in appearance to the Emerald variety. Most notably, the bronze birch borer, the six spotted tiger beetle and the two lined Chestnut borer are often mistaken for the Ash borer. The damage is caused by the small tunnels that are eaten into the tree just under the bark. These tunnels disrupt the flow of water and nutrients to the
tree. A tell tale sign is the dying off of the top of the canopy of the tree, the sudden growth of shoots at the base of the tree, severe splitting in the bark and a dramatic increase of wood pecker activity on the Ash tree.

Do not hesitate to CONTACT US, especially if you are a resident of Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Calvert or St. Mary’s counties, if you even suspect the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer.