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Category: Good News Pest Solutions

Ways to Go Green in Your Yard

Ways to Go Green in Your YardWe typically spend more time outdoors during the summer months than the rest of the year. So, we’re taking a slight detour in our quest to make your home as environmentally efficient as it can be. This month we’ll be looking for ways to go green… in your yard!

Plant Something!

The first step to going green is probably the most obvious.

Grow Your Own Food

Having your own garden can be convenient, healthier, and more cost-effective. Plus, it also reduces greenhouse emissions, and reduces carbon monoxide in the immediate area. And thanks to our year-round growing season on the Gulf Coast of Florida, there’s never a time you can’t keep your kitchen and family stocked with fresh veggies. Summer in Florida is particularly good for sweet potatoes, peppers, lima beans and eggplants. Consider also planting a whole crop of cowpeas every few summers to help bring nitrogen and nutrients back to the soil. Organic seeds aren’t a must but can also add a healthier touch.

Cast a Little Shade

There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now. Until they get the time machine perfected, there’s no better time than now to do your part. Trees help purify the air, give wildlife a home, and offer shade to your home, reducing cooling costs in the summer. Of course, palm & citrus trees are popular here. But also consider Florida native trees that do well in our environment while minimizing water use. Acacia, red maples, strongbark, marlberry, and wild cinnamon (canella) trees are all good options.

Manage Your Water

And speaking of limiting water…

Timing is Everything

By watering your garden or lawn during the coolest part of the day, you’ll ensure that more of it is absorbed by the soil. That means less as well as more efficient watering. Be aware of any watering restrictions your community places on homes and follow those guidelines.

Not Just for Monkeys or Laughs!

Especially during our rainy season, collecting excess in a rain barrel allows you to spread out the natural progression of the water flow and conserve the water you have to pay to bring in. You can even build your own inexpensively. Just make sure that the barrel is properly sealed or you’ll end up with a nice mosquito breeding ground instead – another good reason to collect the rain rather than letting it sit around.

Alternative Fuels

Leftovers for Life

If you have the available space, consider creating a composting area. Your scraps of food and leftovers become ‘black gold,’ enriching our  sandy soil with more nutrients. You can even add pulled weeds and tree-fallen fruit to the mix.

Get ‘Reel’ Man-Power

This is a harder option to consider in our Florida heat and humidity and it’s not recommended for large acres of land. But if you just mow the ¼ acre most of us live on, consider going old school with your lawn mower – you know, without the motor! You’ll still get the exercise of a push mower with the added benefit of not using gas or oil to run and maintain it. Also, it’s easier to fix with fewer broken blades. And you can breathe easier too.

Xeriscape 

How about considering no lawn at all? Less watering, less mowing and these days you can use a variety of hardy, native Florida plants to make a fabulous looking yard without any grass to mow. You’ll also tend to see more butterflies, bees and other pollinators coming around. Sunshine Mimosas, Gaillardia, Silver Buttonwoods and Helianthus make for a beautiful setting. Use stone accents to compliment the floral or build a path through for a unique Florida yard.

Local Yokels are the Best

Instead of shopping for the commercially harvested fruit and veggies at Publix or Winn Dixie, look for a Local Farmer’s Market, Co-op, or Community Supported Agriculture Group.  That way, you’re getting the freshest foods and supporting your local farmers. There’s often opportunity for honey, sugar cane and a variety of homemade citrus edibles as well.

Organic Answers

The beauty of most of these tips is that they help eliminate the need for harsh chemical fertilizers and herbicides. If need be, look for natural, organic substitutes for chemical weed killers.

As for pesticides, Good News Pest Solutions is an industry leader in adopting 100% all natural solutions to common pest problems. We’ve found them to be far more effective as well as safe for your family and pets. Our clients from Bradenton to Port Charlotte can’t say enough about how happy they are with the service from our highly-trained staff. For more information, give us a call!

 

New Tick Identified in New Jersey

New Tick found in New JerseyDespite being in the midst of rainy season, we tend to spend a bit more time outdoors during the summer months, often hiking and camping.

Unfortunately for us, that’s also the time that annoying bugs like mosquitoes and ticks are more prevalent, including a new species never before seen in North America.

Last November, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture discovered an exotic East Asian tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis), also known as the Long-horned tick or bush tick, on a farm in Hunterdon County.

Just a couple months ago, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed that the new species of tick survived the winter and is now considered to be established in the area. Researchers don’t know how the tick got to our shores, but they are taking steps to eradicate it.

While we haven’t seen the bush tick on the Gulf Coast of Florida, like the deer ticks we do often see, the adolescent or nymph form of the ticks are difficult to spot – looking like tiny pale spiders. So, it’s especially important to keep an eye out for your family and do regular checks on your pets.

Ticks are responsible for ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and Lyme disease. If you get a fever, headache and muscle aches within 2 weeks of a bite, see a doctor to get antibiotics.

To prevent ticks from taking up residence in your yard, make sure your grass and bushes are kept trimmed and clean – we know, that’s harder to maintain during rainy season too!

And if you find or suspect that your kids or pets have accidentally brought ticks into your home, give us a call. We have a safe, 100%  green pest solution that is much more effective than the harmful chemicals you may find elsewhere.

And if you haven’t already, consider signing up for our comprehensive Go Green Plus 3 program to keep your home and perimeter safe from most common pests. We’ve been serving happy customers from Parrish to North Port for almost 30 years.

Keeping Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

Keeping Your Pets Safe this Fourth of JulyFor many families on the Gulf Coast of Florida, their four-legged friends are just as much a part of the clan as their blood relatives. They ride in the car, share dinner, even go with you on vacations. But the annual Fourth of July celebration? That’s one time where it can be painful and scary for your pets to be around.

The Great Indoors

While the sights and sounds of fireworks and firecrackers excites and thrills us, it has the opposite effect on your pets. Even if they’re normally outside pets, keep them in the house and secure. The bright lights can startle them, even causing them to try and go anywhere to escape.

Make sure your animals are wearing their ID tags and consider chipping them in case they run away. And if they do escape, as soon as you notice they’re missing, go look for them.

Dogs can hear sounds 4 times farther away than we can, AND they hear much higher frequencies. So you can see why the sound of the explosions can be terrifying to your pets. In addition to putting them inside, experts suggest turning on the TV or radio to help muffle the loud noises outside.

Outside Precautions

If you do let your pets go outdoors, there are a few things to watch out for.

No matter how much they beg, don’t let them have any of your alcohol! Fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats. Even just a sip of beer can send them into an intoxicated coma or even fatal respiratory failure. Just don’t do it.

Some of us like to share off the dinner table, but be aware: chocolate, onions, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins and salt can all pose potential harm to pets, for various reasons.

Keep fireworks away from your pets. Lighter fluid and matches can be harmful, if ingested. Bright sparkles from lit fireworks can attract attention, leading curious pets to get too close before they explode. And even unexploded fireworks ordinance can be harmful to pets.

Glow sticks have become increasingly popular for outdoor gatherings in recent years. But while the materials are no longer highly toxic, they are easily swallowed by pets, and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress.

Need Not Apply

Just because your pets are members of the family, that doesn’t mean they need to be slathered with sunscreen. Even if they don’t try to lick it off, it can seep into their skin, causing drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.

The same is true for insect repellents. Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA, and can lead to pneumonia. The most common ingredient in most bug sprays is DEET, which can cause neurological issues for pets.

Our love for pets is one of the reasons Good News Pest Solutions led the pest control industry in switching to 100% safe, natural, green pest solutions. Both our popular Go Green Plus 3 home and yard treatment and our exclusive No Bite Zones Mosquito Protection Program have been proven safe for family and pets everywhere from Lakewood Ranch to Port Charlotte. We offer more effective pest control with no harmful chemicals! If you’d like to get started, just give us a call!

A Healthy Summer Snack to Keep You Cool

A Healthy Summer Snack to Keep You CoolWhether you mark the time by the end of the school year or what it says on the calendar, summer has officially begun on the Gulf Coast of Florida!

It feels like kids these days are more inclined to play video games or interact with social media than going outside like we remember. But whether their adventures are real or virtual, they’ll still need a healthy snack to keep them refreshed in between.

Things have come a ways since the Tupperware molds that mom used to fill and throw in the freezer, but popsicles can be a handy – and healthy – treat. And not just for the kids, either!

You could go sweet or sour, but we found this recipe that combines both and tastes great! They only take 30 minutes to get ready, then pop them in the freezer for 6-8 hours before handing them out. The recipe only makes 6, so you might want to double down, or increase as needed, because these’ll go fast!

Cherry Lime Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cherries
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Small or medium sauce pan
  • Food Processor
  • Popsicle molds or small cups
  • Wooden sticks

Directions:

First, you’ll need to pit the cherries and juice the lime. You can use the store-bought lime juice, but it might not be as tart.

Now, combine the cup of water and the honey in a small sauce pan. Warm it up over medium heat on the stove, constantly stirring, until the honey has almost entirely disintegrated. You might get a little bit of foam, but just stir it in.

Put the lime juice, the cherry bits and the water and honey mixture into your food processor. Use whatever speed you’d like, but you’ll want to get the mixture very smooth, especially the cherry pieces.

Carefully pour everything into a popsicle mold and add wooden sticks. If you don’t have molds, you can easily substitute a small cup. Just try to lean the popsicle stick so you can tug everything out easier after they’re frozen.

Freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. Depending on your molds, you may be able to just pop them out, or you may need to run a little hot water on the outside of the mold or cup. Then just keep them in the freezer, ready to be enjoyed.

It’s a great, affordable way to cool down during these summer months. Just don’t eat too quick or you may get a brain freeze!

Speaking of Cool…

Another way to stay cooler while saving a few dollars is to invest in Thermal Acoustical Pest Control, or TAP. Not only does TAP keep bugs and rodents out of your attic and wall, it’s safe for the whole family, and more energy efficient than the popular pink fiberglass stuff.

TAP is made from fire-retardant recycled newspapers, treated with an all natural pest repellent that is blown into your attic and walls. TAP is denser than fiberglass insulation, so the hot air from outside (or cooler air in the winter) doesn’t transfer into your home through the attic. That means almost instant savings as your AC doesn’t have to run constantly to maintain a reasonable temperature.

Our customers from Ruskin to North Port love the TAP insulation and the extra protection it provides, without worrying about whether their kids might accidentally breathe in loose shards of fiberglass. If you’d like to find out more, just give us a call!

Cockroach Milk: The New Almond Milk?

Cockroach Milk-The New Almond Milk?There have been a lot of trends in alternative nutrition in search of better, healthier options for food. This is especially true for those folks who are Vegan, lactose intolerant, and those who suffer from gluten or nut allergies.

We’ve seen the rise of spinach, then kale, barley, then quinoa, and now, you can put down that coconut, rice, and almond milk because the latest, healthiest dairy alternative is Cockroach Milk! 😋

Don’t Stop Reading!

Pacific beetle cockroaches (Diploptera punctata), one of the smaller species of cockroaches (but not beetles) are native to the tropical forests of the Polynesian Islands, including Hawaii. The beetle cockroach is one of the few insects that gives birth to live young, like most mammals do, instead of hatching from eggs.

As a result, the momma beetle cockroaches secrete and feed their babies a yellow, milk-like substance made up of carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients necessary for baby roaches. Turns out, that combination is also very good for humans.

And while some researchers are studying the cockroach beetles to see how their genetic makeup differs from other insects, scientists at the University of Iowa are figuring out how to ‘milk’ the female cockroach beetles. They found ways to extract it both as a liquid and in crystalline form. And they determined a way to keep the insects secreting the substance even after their babies move on.

Enter a group of biochemists in India. They took a closer look at the cockroach beetle crystals and discovered that Cockroach milk crystals are among the most nutritious substances on Earth. In fact, the crystals were packed with three times as much protein and calories than the previous record holder, buffalo milk.

One of the scientists even tasted it and said it was pretty bland. But it will be a while before Cockroach Milk joins the ranks of super foods at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. For starters, it hasn’t been tested by the FDA, and, despite the Iowa research, it still takes considerable effort to milk the cockroach beetles.

The India researchers are also experimenting with a new genetically engineered yeast that can produce the same milk as the cockroach beetles. So, we might someday get the power, without the ick factor – fingers crossed.

If you find cockroaches or beetles in your home, don’t go trying to milk them…unless you live in the Mauna Kea nature preserve. For the rest of us on the Gulf Coast of Florida, whether you’re in Sarasota or Punta Gorda, when you see bugs in your house, reach out to us at Good News Pest Solutions. We’ll get those creepy crawlies out of your hair with our 100% safe, organic pest control treatments. Just give us a call!

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