Cedarcide

BUGS & PEST CONTROL

How to Get Rid of Grubs Naturally

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Grubs Naturally

Grubs, the larval form of damaging scarab beetles like June bugs and Japanese beetles, can be a big problem for you and your beautiful lawn. Feeding on your grass’ roots from underground, grubs can cause thousands in damage before you even know they’re in your yard. To make matters worse, once they emerge as fully grown beetles, they’ll continue to tear up your lawn, damaging nearly all plant life they encounter. In only a few short months the beetles will again lay more grub eggs, starting the whole horrible cycle all over again.

Worried you might have grubs or could in the future? Currently struggling with an ongoing grub problem and not sure what to do? We have your back. Below you’ll learn how to identify, prevent, and get rid of grubs without exposing your family or pets to poisonous pesticides.

 

Not sure if you have a grub problem? Look out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Brown patches of grass
  • Spongy, unhealthy spots of grass
  • Brittle turf that can be easily pulled from the soil, essentially grass without roots
  • Unusually high and sudden wildlife activity, such as birds, reptiles, skunks, and raccoons digging at your lawn. 
  • Small holes throughout your lawn, usually a sign that animals have been feeding on grubs.
 

We’ll save you the suspense—your lawn has grubs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a grub problem. Moderate population sizes are normal and rarely if ever cause much of an issue. In general, 4 or less grubs per square foot is just fine. However, having 5 or more indicates a surging grub population that could cause significant damage and cost you hundreds in the long run. Here’s how to check:

Approach one of the brown, dying patches of turf in your lawn and dig up a square foot of sod about 3 inches deep. Closely inspect the soil looking for white or off-white C-shaved larvae—these are your grubs. If you find 5 or more, you need to act fast before things get worse

 

Natural, effective, and economical, beneficial nematodes are a popular gardening tool for a reason. Once they’ve taken hold in your lawn, these microscopic, parasitic worms attack grubs, killing them from the inside out. 

Because they’re alive and need to remain so to work, make sure to buy your nematodes from a legitimate dealer like your local garden shop, and water your lawn soon after applying them. This approach can take a season or more to be fully effective, so practice additional grub control methods in the meantime. Note: Using traditional, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can kill nematodes, negating their pest control effect.

 

Lasting upwards of 20 years, a dose of milky spore introduced into your lawn can often solve grub issues outright. While it can take around 3 years for the bacterium to totally eradicate ongoing grub problems, the investment is well worth your time. 

Note: Using traditional, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can kill milky spore bacteria, negating their pest control effect.

 

Feeding on both grubs, their adult beetle form, and countless other unwanted bugs, birds are arguably nature’s most efficient pest control tool. Attracting them is usually as simple as adding a few baths and/or feeders to your yard. You should notice a drop in your grub and beetle populations almost immediately. 

 

Adult grub beetles tend to avoid laying their eggs in longer, healthier grass. Simply keeping your grass to no less than 2 inches long during the fall, spring, and late summer can dramatically decrease and in many cases prevent grub problems.

Additionally, healthy lawns are overall far less vulnerable to grub and other pest problems compared to those in poor shape. Seeding and fertilizing patchy or otherwise damaged areas of your lawn during both spring and summer is another simple but effective way to deter grubs. For best results, avoid synthetic fertilizers and practice natural pest prevention. Don’t worry, our Lawn & Garden Kit has you covered in the bug department.

 
 

Overly wet or consistently moist lawns are known to foster larger, more damaging grub populations. To avoid this costly scenario, water your lawn as little as possible through July, August, and the latter parts of June. Doing this will help dehydrate and kill any grub eggs buried in your yard, dramatically reducing how many grubs you’ll experience the following year.

We know it’s not easy to avoid watering your lawn as often during the warmer months, but so long as your grass is in good shape, it should bounce back to full health as soon as you begin watering again.

 

How to Get Rid of June Bugs Naturally

cedarcide blog post image, how to get rid of june bugs naturally

We all know June bugs, those annoying, buzzing beetles that despite centuries of evolution still haven’t quite figured out how to yet. But did you know the term “June bug” actually includes a wide variety of plant-eating beetles, including the infamously damaging Japanese beetle? Regardless of the species you experience in your region, these scarab beetles and their larval grub form can cause serious damage to your lawn & garden—and fast! 

Also called May or June beetles, June bugs emerge each year in late spring and typically fade completely away by late summer. However, to successfully control these pests, you’ll need to take action at various points throughout the year, not just summer. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated, doesn’t take that much time, and you don’t have to resort to poisonous pesticides to get the job done. Here’s how to get rid of June bugs naturally 

 

Female June bugs lay eggs in the soil in mid summer and these soon hatch into grubs, which remain just under the surface of the ground through fall. They dig deeper down into your lawn as winter nears and hide out there until they emerge as adult beetles in late spring. Here are some steps you can take to disrupt this life cycle, helping you prevent costly June bug problems before they begin:

  • Frequently irrigating your lawn’s turf throughout late June can help discourage females from laying eggs in your yard.
  • Throughout June bug season—late spring through summer—avoid cutting your grass too short, aiming for about 3 inches instead. Females prefer to lay their eggs in shorter grass and keeping your turf a little longer can really cut down on the number of eggs that end up in your yard. 
  • If you garden, make sure to harvest fruits and veggies early and often. 
  • Lastly, and this is perhaps the most important step to prevent June bug problems, maintain a healthy lawn. If your lawn is host to various other harmful bugs or in otherwise poor condition, it’s going to be far more attractive to June bugs. To protect your yard from damaging pests, apply PCO Choice and Cedar Granules every 4-6 weeks from early March through late October. 
 
 

A little molasses and hot water can go a long way toward shrinking your June bug population. Mix 1 part of each into an empty jar and position the open container near known June bug attractants like plant life and outdoor lighting. They drop in, drown, end of story. Check the trap daily and replenish as needed. 

 

June bugs are clumsy, fly low, and therefore fairly easy to catch. It might seem silly, but collecting these beetles by hand is a quick and effective approach for helping get a June problem under control. 

Just catch any adult beetles you spot on vegetation or buzzing around outside and dump them in a cup of soapy water. June bugs usually won’t put up much of a fight during the process, but wear gloves just in case—several species have thorny spikes on their legs that can irritate skin if you grab them just right. 

 

You know how they say the enemy of your enemy is your friend? Well, snakes, birds, frogs, toads, and lizards are known June bug predators, meaning they double as effective allies in your battle to get rid of them.

Encourage birds by offering baths and feeders, and attract reptiles and amphibians by providing shallow dishes of water and cool, dark places to hide, like an overturned planter for instance. If you tend to struggle with mosquitoes, this approach likely isn’t for you. Adding additional water sources to your lawn is a big no-no when it comes to mosquito control. 

 

The easiest way to prevent June bug problems is to target them in their vulnerable, yet still damaging larval stage, aka grubs. Popular in gardening circles, the microscopic parasitic worms known as beneficial nematodes can help you in this arena. Simply pick some up at your local garden store or online and introduce them into your lawn as directed. For best results, apply them in early fall or mid spring. 

Bacillus thuringiensis, like beneficial nematodes, can be introduced into your lawn’s soil to attack June bugs in their grub stage. A bacterium that’s toxic to many undesirable garden pests when ingested, Bt can be picked up a your local garden store and usually comes in either a powder or liquid form. And don’t worry, it’s not toxic to pets or people.

Simply sprinkle or spray Bt throughout your yard or the most affected areas, like your garden. If you tend to experience heavy June Bug problems annually, you might need to reapply every few weeks during fall and early spring. 

 

How to Get Rid of Moths and Prevent their Damage: 3 Steps

Cedarcide blog post image, How to get rid of moths and prevent their damage: 3 steps

So you noticed a hole in one of your sweaters, or maybe just a single moth flying around your home. These might not seem like a big deal, but they’re a sign you have a moth problem, and if you don’t act quickly things could get expensive and fast. 

Don’t panic, moths aren’t fun but with the right knowhow you can save your clothing and other valuables from damage and get rid of your moths in no time. Old school methods like mothballs—which are notoriously harmful to our pets and families—simply aren’t the way to go. In fact, you’re usually better off living with moths than filling your home with naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, the active ingredients in mothballs, which have been linked to countless scary side effects. So skip the poisonous stuff, and let’s solve your moth problem without harmful chemicals.

 

Taking a few simple precautions can help ensure you never deal with moths or their damaging habits again. Here’s what you’ll want to do:

  • Basic housekeeping is essential to moth prevention. Regularly dust, clean, and vacuum flooring, rugs, moldings, furniture, etc to help keep your home free of moth attractants like dirt, dust, and food debris. 
  • Like any other pest, moths sometimes enter our homes simply by flying or crawling inside. Ensure all doorways, windows, and screens are in good working order and firmly sealed. Address cracks, holes and other potential entry points both inside and outside your home by using caulk or another appropriate sealant. 
  • Moths often hitch a ride into our homes by hiding out in used clothing, antique furniture, old rugs and stuffed animals, even your weekly groceries. Carefully inspect these items for eggs, webbing, caterpillars, damage, and other signs of moths before purchasing and bringing them into your house. 
  • Moths are much more likely to enter your closet or storage space if the items inside are dirty. Moths are strongly drawn to sweat, hair, skin oils, and food and drink stains. If you launder or dry clean items before storing or hanging them in your closet, you’ll enjoy far fewer moth problems in the long run. 
  • Additionally, when storing items away for longer periods of time, always use airtight plastic containers. Moth caterpillars can easily chew through other options like cardboard. 
  • Moths love dark, humid environments, so do your best to keep your closet on the cool side and well ventilated. 
  • Cedar and cedarwood oil are known to kill and repel moths, moth caterpillars, and eggs. Switching your clothes hangers to cedar and hanging Cedar Granules in your closet using a sock or stocking can do wonders for preventing costly moth issues. 
 
 

So you have a moth problem on your hand. What now? First thing’s first: let’s protect your clothing and other valuables from damage. 

First, you’ll need to remove any moth caterpillars, adults, and eggs that might currently be on or in your clothing, rugs, or other textiles. Don’t worry, it’s quite straight forward. All you need to do is take all the items suspected of infestation and wash & dry them on warm settings. Dry cleaning will do the trick, too. Freezing these items for 24-48 hours is also effective, although usually less convenient. 

Next, thoroughly vacuum all potentially moth-infested areas like closets and storage spaces. Make sure to target carpets, rugs, drapery, and other fabrics, as well as any walls or baseboards that display signs of moths, such as webbing or caterpillars. After you’re done, make sure to throw the bag outside immediately to prevent possible re-infestation. 

Lastly, wash and scrub all hard surfaces within potentially infested spaces with a family-safe cleaner to remove any hard to see eggs or grime (moths often leave a dusty, musty film throughout storage areas).

 
 

Now that you know how to prevent moth problems and how to save your clothing and other valuables from damage, it’s time to finally kill and repel those pesky moths. 

TO REPEL

As mentioned above, using Cedar Granules by hanging them in a sock or stocking can be very effective at repelling and removing moths from unwanted areas. Just remember to replenish the Cedar Granules about every 6-8 weeks. For best results, spritz walls, baseboards, and clothing racks within storage spaces with our non-toxic repellent Cedarcide Original. Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks, or more often as needed for ongoing moth problems. 

TO KILL

Our pet and family-safe insecticide, Cedarcide Original, is excellent for solving moth problems quickly, killing not just adults but also moth caterpillars and eggs. Simply spray any adults, caterpillars, or eggs you see with Cedarcide Original and that’s all there is to it. Thoroughly spritz the walls, baseboards, ceiling, and flooring of infested spaces like closets to take care of any hidden caterpillars, eggs, and adults, too

 
 
 

How to Make Fly Paper at Home, Naturally

Cedarcide blog post image, how to make fly paper at home, naturally

Tired of seeing flies landing on your freshly cooked meals, buzzing throughout your home, and ruining outdoor entertaining? Us, too! Thankfully, there’s a family-safe, cost-effective approach for getting your indoor and outdoor fly populations under control: Fly paper.

Do yourself a favor, skip the synthetic versions found at your local hardware store and make your own natural fly paper at home. It’s inexpensive, easy to do, and the end result is non-toxic to kiddos and pets. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to do it:

 

With only a handful of household items, you can make your own effective and natural fly paper at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A brown paper grocery bag (approximately two feet deep)
  • Scissors
  • String (rotisserie string or baker’s twine works just fine
  • A spatula or wooden spoon for stirring
  • A saucepan and stove
  • 2 cookie sheets (at least as long as the paper strips you cut) and parchment paper
  • A fork
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup (or honey if you don’t have corn syrup)
  • 1/4 cup water
 

The following instructions make a dozen strips of fly paper or more, so if you need less feel free to adjust the recipe as needed:

  1. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and water in a saucepan and heat it on your stove at medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to boil. Then, drop the temp to low-medium heat and simmer, stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Once it’s fully dissolved, turn off your stove and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool for approx. 5-10 minutes as you get the rest of your materials ready. 
  2. Using your scissors, cut 2 inch strips down the length of the brown paper bag. If you have a hole punch handy, punch a hole about an inch down from one end of each paper strip. If you only have scissors, you can also fold the strip about an inch down from one end and use your scissors to cut a hole in the fold. 
  3. Tie about 6 inches of string or twine into each hole and set the paper strips aside. 
  4. Get 1 cookie sheet and line it with 1 layer of fresh parchment paper.  
  5. Pour the sugar mixture into your other cookie sheet, making sure that it doesn’t overflow.
  6. Drape the paper strips into the mixture-filled cookie sheet, making sure not to get any of the strings into the mixture. If necessary, you can flip each paper strip using your fork. Repeat step #6 for each paper strip until they’re all fully coated.
  7. Next, lift each strip by the string and feed it through your fork’s tines to remove excess mixture and avoid dripping. Once the paper is all the way through the fork, flip the strip and repeat on the other side.
  8. Place the finished strips on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and let them dry for a couple hours until the mixture has fully cooled and the strips are only slightly tacky to the touch (to avoid a mess, do not attempt to dry them using a fan or hairdryer).
 

And that’s it—you’ve now got natural, non-toxic fly paper to hang wherever you need it!

For indoors, we suggest hanging them near your kitchen, doorways, windows, trash cans, pet spaces, and other areas with high fly traffic. For outdoors, position them near doorways, trash bins, and wherever else you experience the most fly activity. Replace each strip every 48-72 hours or more often as needed.

To save your fly paper for later use, just roll them into the parchment paper and place them in a sealable plastic bag. This way, when one strip gets covered in flies, you’ll have more ready to replace it!

Finally, if your strips start to dry out, give them a light mist of water from a spray bottle to replenish their stickiness.

 
 

How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers Naturally

Cedarcide blog post image, How to get rid of grasshoppers naturally

Trust us, you never want grasshoppers anywhere near your home. They’re arguably the most destructive pest you can have in your lawn or garden, capable of undoing all the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in your outdoor space in a matter of hours. 

For context, grasshoppers commonly eat 50% of their weight in a single day, with studies showing that grasshoppers eat ¼ of the total available plant material in the Western U.S. Pretty, shocking right!? In fact, estimates indicate that only 6-7 adult grasshoppers per square yard on a 10 acre plot eat as much plant life as a fully grown cow. 

Whether you’ve already spotted grasshoppers lurking in your garden or you simply want to make sure that never happens, the following natural tips will help you protect your precious crops and flowers from voracious grasshoppers and their infamous damage.

 

Floating row covers are essentially just lightweight rows of material gardeners use to shield their crops from weather and pest damage. As you might expect, these can help protect your flowers and veggies from grasshoppers, too. For best results, employ floating row covers starting in the earliest days of spring, just as the grasshoppers begin to hatch and emerge. 

 

Made from fossilized sea organisms, diatomaceous earth (aka DE) is a natural pest control tool popular among gardeners. This highly effective, powdery insecticide is sharp and angular at the microscopic level, damaging any bugs that come into contact with it, causing them to die via dehydration. 

To kill and repel grasshoppers, dust vulnerable plants and other high traffic areas with a light layer of DE. Then simply wait for it to take effect.

 

Laid near the end of summer, Grasshopper eggs persist in the soil through winter and finally begin to hatch in early spring. In addition to improving the health and productivity of your garden, tilling in fall and/or spring can help disrupt this cycle, preventing any of the eggs from producing more ravenous grasshoppers. 

 

Used in much the same way as diatomaceous earth, salt-less all-purpose flour can be sprinkled on plant life to deter and kill grasshoppers. While DE works via dehydration, flour works by clogging up the grasshoppers’ mouth parts, usually leading to starvation.

Grasshoppers might eat a lot, but there are a lot of things that eat them. Welcoming natural grasshopper predators like chickens, guinea hens, and common lawn birds into your yard can substantially shrink an ongoing grasshopper problem. Installing bird feeders is an easy way to help this process along without purchasing any fowl of your own.

Frogs, toads, and lizards are also known to munch on grasshoppers. So If you have a natural body of water nearby or a lawn friendly to amphibians, introducing a few reptiles into your outdoor ecosystem is another effective approach.

 

Bottom line: The healthier your lawn and garden, the less vulnerable it will be to damaging pests, grasshoppers included. To kill and repel unwanted bugs—including harmful pests like ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas—spray your entire yard and garden each month with family-safe PCO Choice.  We also suggest broadcasting Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden for additional natural pest protection.

Because PCO Choice is plant-based and pet-safe, you and your family can enjoy your lawn immediately after application. No downtime necessary.

 

 

How to Get Rid of Chiggers with Cedarcide: 3 Steps

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Chiggers with Cedarcide: 3 Steps

Relatives of ticks, chiggers pack one of the most irritating bites on the planet. To make matters worse, they’re nearly microscopic and you won’t know they’ve bitten you until hours after it happens. Even just a few moments in chigger-infested grass can leave you host to blisters, rashes, and hives that can last for months. Trust us, having your body covered in dozens of swollen, itchy bites can really put a damper on pool and beach season, not to mention long summer days spent with family and friends.  

Also known as harvest mites and berry bugs, chiggers live in grassy areas during the spring and summer months, just waiting for an unsuspecting victim to walk by so they can hitch a ride and feed. Contrary to hearsay, these arachnids don’t actually burrow into the body. Instead, they inject you with digestive enzymes that allow them to drink up your skin, leaving tell-tale clusters of red bumps commonly found on waistlines, ankles, armpits, and the crotch region. 

In short, you don’t want these bugs anywhere near your home, family, or pets. We’re here to help you make that happen. Here’s how to get rid of chiggers with Cedarcide in 3 simple steps.

 

Preventing chiggers from setting up camp in your lawn comes down to 4 main things: deterring wildlife, wearing chigger repellent when necessary, maintaining your yard, and limiting outdoor moisture. 

DETER WILDLIFE

Common wildlife like birds, reptiles, and rodents can not only introduce chiggers into our lawns but also attract them. Reducing unnecessary clutter like unused or outdated equipment, keeping shrubbery trim, and sealing attractants like trash cans will help limit the number of wild animals you experience in and around your lawn. Installing fencing will also help considerably.

WEAR CHIGGER REPELLENT WHEN NECESSARY 

It’s not uncommon for chiggers to hitch a ride on our own bodies, clothing, and pets. If one of those happens to fall off into your lawn you could have a thriving chigger population in no time. To avoid this, apply Cedarcide Original to you, your family, and pets before entering wooded spaces and areas with tall grass. 

MAINTAIN YOUR YARD

Like most pests, chiggers love areas that offer dense vegetation to hide and breed. In other words, the more overgrown your lawn, the more likely you are to get chiggers. Do yourself a favor, and regularly mow, trim, weed-eat, and clear brush as needed during the warmer months of the year.

LIMIT MOISTURE

Without moist vegetation or consistent water sources, chiggers will not be able to live in your lawn for very long. Anything that adds extra moisture to your yard—such as leaky faucets, hoses, sprinklers, and items that collect rainwater—should be repaired, replaced, or removed.

 

You don’t have to resort to scary chemicals to keep chiggers out of your lawn. Applying our family-safe lawn treatment PCO Choice to your yard and garden monthly will kill and repel chiggers along with many other common, unwanted pests.

Application is easy. To prevent chiggers before they become a serious problem, spray your entire front and back yards with PCO Choice monthly, including shrubbery and small trees. For warmer regions, applications should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than several weeks. If you live in a colder climate, we suggest spraying monthly through October and then starting up again in early March.

If you’re currently experiencing those horrible chigger bites and seem to be facing an ongoing population in your yard, start by spraying your entire outdoor space twice, two weeks apart, and then move on to monthly preventative applications afterward. 

Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your yard immediately after application!

For additional chigger protection, we strongly suggest broadcasting Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden, especially in the areas where you’re experiencing the most chigger activity.

 

 

This is the big one. After all, none of us would likely mind having chiggers around if they weren’t so keen on biting us all the time. 

Meet the only chigger repellent you’ll ever need: Cedarcide Original. It’s family and pet-safe, and can be used on clothing, footwear, outdoor gear, as well as your cat or dog. Simply apply before outdoor activities like dog walks, hikes, jogs, or backyard time to prevent chigger bites. For best results, reapply every 5-7 hours and after getting wet. That’s all there is to it. 

 

 

What is Integrated Pest Management? And How It Can Benefit You

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What is Integrated Pest management and how it can benefit you

Maybe you’ve already heard about Integrated Pest Management (aka IPM), or maybe it’s an entirely new concept to you—either way, we’re going to help you better understand how exactly IPM can benefit you, your family, and pets. So what’s the deal with this newer, supposedly smarter approach to pest control? We have your answers below.

 

There are countless definitions floating around the internet, but this info from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources seems to get it just right:

Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a process you can use to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, and wildland, or natural areas. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage 

 

After years of saturating our crops, lawns, homes, families, and pets with notoriously harmful chemicals, we now know there are safer, more effective ways to control pests, prevent their damage, and avoid bites. In fact, many traditional approaches have proven unsustainable, affecting not only the health of our families and pets but also the health of our lawns, ultimately resulting in even larger, hardier pest populations around the home. 

In short, Integrated Pest Management is about taking proactive steps to prevent or mitigate pests before they can become a serious issue. But don’t worry, even if you’re currently struggling with a heavy, ongoing bug problem, IPM is still an excellent option for you. 

You may be wondering, “What exactly do you mean by “proactive steps?” It might sound technical, but don’t worry it’s quite simple. It essentially comes down to three main components: prevention, monitoring, and family-safe pest control maintenance. Read on for the specifics.

 

Here’s how to start incorporating Integrated Pest Management to protect your family, pets, home, and lawn from bugs, their bites and damage. 

PREVENTION

When it comes to personal pest prevention, your focus will be on making your lawn and home unappetizing and inaccessible to insects and other damaging pests. Arguably the most important step is to remove potential hideouts, food, and water sources. Below are some guidelines to get you started.

  • Clutter is your enemy—any unnecessary clutter both indoors and in your lawn needs to go, and fast. Whether it’s stacks of old newspapers, piles of laundry, or general messiness inside your home, or unused equipment, brush, or tall grass in your lawn, pests will use these spaces to hide and thrive. 
  • Lawn maintenance is vital. Regularly mow, weed-eat, trim shrubbery and hedges to remove potential breeding and hiding spots. 
  • Nothing attracts bugs like excess moisture, especially outdoors. If your home or lawn readily provides access to standing water, such as via poor drainage, clogged gutters, poorly maintained bird baths or pools, leaky hoses, faucets, drink spills, or water-filled dishes in the sink, you’re going to struggle with constant pest problems. Remove or address these water sources ASAP.
  • It’s all about cleanliness. If your flooring, sinks, or countertops regularly offer crumbs and food residues, we promise you the bugs will come. It’s crucial to keep these spaces and all food storage areas free of edible debris. For best results, keep all your food items sealed in tightly closed containers or baggies. For similar reasons, take out your trash and recycling often and periodically clean the bins to keep them clear of potential food sources. 
  • Block their entry. Bugs and other pests enter our homes via cracks or holes in foundations, walling, screens, doorways, and windows. Do a thorough check both inside and outside your home looking for potential entrances. Repair or replace any broken screens or seals you notice, and use caulk or another appropriate material to fill any cracks or holes you discover, too. Similarly, many bugs such as ticks are introduced into our lawns via wildlife like deer. In these instances, installing fencing or other wildlife deterrents is strongly recommended. 
  • Team up with nature and install bug-repelling plants inside or outside your home to naturally limit bug populations. Click here to learn more.
  • Consider replacing standard mercury vapor lights outside doors and windows with halogen lights. This will really help cut down on those nightly flying insects and the additional predatory pests they attract.

 

MONITORING

Periodically checking your home, lawn, and pets for bug problems is an important element of Integrated Pest Management, and can save you and your family tons of pain and money in the long run. This will allow you to gauge the extent of your pest issue as well as help identify the exact pest you’re dealing with, which will ultimately determine your pest control approach. 

If you need help diagnosing a pest issue or unknown bug bites, give us a call at 800-842-1464 or chat us on our website.

 

PEST CONTROL MAINTENANCE

Prevention is always the best form of pest control, which is why periodically treating your lawn, home, and pets with family-safe pest control products can save you tons of time, money, and headache. It’s simple: the longer a bug problem persists, the more difficult and costly it becomes. 

FOR OUTSIDE:

Old school lawn chemicals are scary, dangerous things. They not only wreck the natural ecosystems that keep your lawn healthy, including pollinators like bees and butterflies, but their toxic ingredients almost always find their way into the home. And when you compromise the health of your lawn with chemical-based pesticides, you’re only making it more vulnerable in the long run to pests now immune to traditional approaches.

Instead, spray your entire lawn and all shrubbery with family and pet-safe PCO Choice monthly to help kill and repel bugs in all life stages. For warmer regions, this should be done monthly until the temperatures consistently drop below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in a colder climate, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.

Unlike the gross, toxic sprays, there’s no downtime required with PCO Choice, meaning you and your pets can safely enjoy your yard immediately after application. 

For additional pest protection, spread single-ingredient Cedar Granules throughout your lawn and garden, especially along your home’s foundation and the areas with the most pest traffic.

 

FOR INSIDE:

The next time you reach for a bottle of bug spray to kill pests indoors, consider the ramifications. Old school, chemical-based bug sprays have been linked with a laundry list of side effects, including brain damage in children, canine cancers, and infertility, dementia, and several cancers in adults.

Family-safe Cedarcide Original is a non-toxic insecticide that won’t expose your family or pets to harmful chemicals, or pollute your home’s air quality. Whenever you see unwelcome bugs inside your home, deliver a quick spray for instant results. To protect your family and pets from bug bites, apply before outdoor activities in potentially bug-infested areas. 

 

To help prevent pests from moving indoors in the first place, spray common trouble spots and known entry points weekly with Cedarcide Original.

 

 

Here’s Why Everyone’s Worried about “Murder Hornets.”

Cedarcide blog post image, Here's Why Everyone's Worried about "Murder Hornets"

They look like something out of a sci-fi movie or horror flick. They literally have the word “murder” in their name. They pack one of the most painful and deadly stings on the planet. At roughly 2 inches, the Asian giant hornet, aka “murder hornet,” is currently the most talked about and feared bug on the planet—and now it’s in the United States.

You’ve probably heard tons about these terrifying insects already, seen dozens of stories in your social media feeds, local news reports, people at work won’t quit talking about it. But what’s the big deal? Why does it matter that this invasive species has found its way across the ocean and into our own backyards? Here’s the answer:

 

This somewhat dramatic fact is one of the main reasons for all the murder hornet commotion. Likened to searing hot metal driven into your skin, the sting of the Asian giant hornet is infamously excruciating and occasionally lethal. While deaths are rare, reports indicate these mammoth hornets kill roughly 50 people annually across Japan alone. 

The truth is unless you live in Washington State (where the first U.S. “murder hornet” sightings have occurred), you almost certainly do not have to worry about getting stung. Even if you do and even if you were to get stung, it’s very unlikely you would suffer a life-threatening reaction. Our children, the elderly, and our pets are at the highest risk of experiencing a potentially fatal “murder hornet” encounter.

 

Environmental changes and broad, indiscriminate pesticide use have crippled our globe’s bee populations for decades to come (since 2012, beekeepers have reported annual hive losses from 29-45%). The last thing our pollinating friends need is another enemy—and then here comes the Asian giant hornet, ruthlessly efficient killer of bee colonies. 

During the last weeks of summer and early fall, Asian giant hornets are known to work in groups to strike at the nests of other social insects, including vital honey bees. This so called “slaughter and occupation phase” sees the “murder hornets” living up to their name, often decapitating and dismembering an entire colony in just a few short hours. Apart from the devastating environmental effects, thriving murder hornet populations could have a massive impact on our country’s agricultural system, too, which depends largely on pollinators like honey bees. The financial toll of this impact could be severe, more on that next.

 

The USDA estimates about 35% of the world’s food crops rely directly on pollinators like honey bees to reproduce. Similarly, 1 out of every 3 bites of food in American is linked to honey bee pollination. In other words, if these “murder hornets” set up shop in the U.S., further debilitating local bee populations, it could potentially cost our country billions in economic hardship, to say nothing of the damage to residents’ personal lawns and gardens.

 

“People are afraid of the wrong thing. The scariest insects out there are mosquitoes. People don’t think twice about them. If anyone’s a murder insect, it would be a mosquito.”

The above words by University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum are something we should all take to heart. Bottom line: Mosquitoes are a much more serious and imminent threat to our families and pets than Asian giant hornets. 

SOME FACTS TO CONSIDER:

  • “Murder hornets” only sting when provoked. Mosquitoes require no such provocation and bite freely when they require a blood meal. 
  • Asian giant hornets kill at most 50-100 people across the globe annually. The World Health Organization estimates Mosquitoes are responsible for roughly millions of deaths each year, mostly by helping spread diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and rarer illnesses such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 
  • Lastly and perhaps most crucially, there are currently thousands of species of mosquitoes throughout the U.S., a population size whose individuals outnumber our own. Think about that: during mosquito season, there are more mosquitoes on the planet than humans, more than almost any other animal on the planet. Murder hornets, on the other hand, are limited to just a few known individuals in Washington State alone.

 

 

How to Tick-Proof Your Yard: 3 Steps

Cedarcide blog post image, How to tick-proof your yard: 3 steps

Of all the pests you could have lurking in your lawn, ticks are arguably the most worrisome. Few bug bites have the potential to alter your life quite like that of a tick.  The thought alone of having a parasite attached to your body, secretly feeding on your blood, is enough to send shivers down the spine. With kiddos or pups regularly playing in the yard, parents and pet parents need to be especially mindful about maintaining an outdoor space free of ticks.

Ticks are scary, we get it. But tick-proofing your yard doesn’t have to be. And we’re going to show you how to do it. Follow the three tips below to get the tick-free, bite-free lawn & garden you deserve.

 

Wearing family-safe tick repellents serves two primary functions: It protects against potentially dangerous bites and prevents you, your family, or pets from bringing ticks back into your lawn or home.

Before walks in tall grass, lawn work, and other outdoor explorations, apply Cedarcide Original or Tickshield to all members of the family to help keep them free of tick bites. 

It’s also essential to check everyone for ticks before returning home or walking through your lawn. Not sure how? Click here to learn how to check your family and pets for ticks and how to safely remove a tick should you find one.

 

 

Moisture, wildlife, and clutter—those are the big three you have to worry about. Without water, animals to feed on, and places to hide and breed, ticks will have little interest in your lawn. Anything that adds unnecessary moisture, invites wild animals, or offers shelter needs to go.
Here are the primary things you need to do:

  • Keep your grass and shrubbery cleanly manicured. Any overgrowth or tall grass is just asking for tick problems. Mow, weedeat, and trim shrubbery as necessary. 
  • When doing lawn work, always bag your clippings. Keeping them in or around your yard is like setting up little tick condos. Mulch made from anything but cedarwood is equally problematic, especially when moist. 
  • It’s simple: drier yards have fewer ticks. Remove or repair superfluous water sources like leaky hoses, sprinklers, clogged drainage areas, and anything that collects rainwater. Avoid overwatering, too.
  • Remove clutter like woodpiles, brush, leaves, and old, unused gear and equipment. These make for excellent tick hiding spots. 

DETER WILD ANIMALS

Wild animals like deer and raccoons commonly introduce ticks into our lawns & gardens. Here are some tips for keeping these tick-carriers away from your premises.

  • Consider rescuing a new dog best friend. Dogs and their urine are known wildlife deterrents, as canines are natural predators for many of these animals. Just make sure your dog commonly wears tick repellent or they’ll become a tick-carrier, too. 
  • Seriously consider installing fencing, especially if your space is surrounded by a wooded area. If you already have fencing, frequently check it for damage and other openings animals could use to enter your lawn.
  • Replace or remove plants that commonly attract animals into your lawn, like beans, roses, corn, tulips, peas, apples and other fruit. Fencing off your garden with something like chicken wire is another effective approach.
  • Other plants like chives, lemon balm, lilac, holly, iris, and sage are said to help deter deer, perhaps the most infamous of tick-carrying animals. Consider installing these plants throughout your space for added protection.
  • Tightly seal outdoor trash cans and recycling bins, or consider storing them in your garage or storage shed, especially during the spring, summer, and fall.

 

It might sound like a lot but our family-safe lawn spray PCO Choice does all three. It’s also pet-safe and targets ticks in every stage of life—egg, larva, nymph, and adult. 

If you’ve already spotted ticks in your lawn or garden, start by thoroughly spraying your front, side, and back yards all in one session to kill and repel ticks (don’t forget shrubbery, bushes, and small trees, too). Repeat this process again in two weeks, and then proceed to monthly PCO Choice applications after that. If you’ve yet to see a tick and you’re simply looking for prevention, move on to monthly applications right from the start. Because ticks can live all year long, even in freezing conditions, we strongly suggest sticking to monthly applications all twelve months of the year. 


Because PCO Choice is plant-based and family-safe, no downtime is necessary. You, your family, and pets can enjoy your lawn right after application!

 

 

5 Insect-Repelling Plants for Your Home & Yard

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Insect-Repelling Plants for Your Home & Yard

It doesn’t matter if we’re relaxing in the backyard or basking indoors by the window, bugs have a way of finding us and being super, super annoying. Turns out, plants can help with that. Which, personally, we think is mega cool. Here are 5 such plants that can help keep bugs away from you, your family, and pets at home and in your lawn. Now it’s time to get your green thumb on and soak up some sun!

 

Love lavender? Moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes don’t. You can plant lavender by your front and back doors or in your garden to repel insects. If you have trouble with bugs indoors, try placing lavender bouquets around your home. The smell will leave you happy and help you stay bug-bite free!

 

Mint is a delightfully aromatic plant that’s famous for repelling mosquitoes and other troublesome pests, both indoors and outdoors. Mint grows quickly, so it’s best to plant it in pots to avoid it reaching into unwanted areas of your garden. Placing mint near entryways and in hanging pots throughout known trouble spots can help substantially with flying insects. For indoor use, use dried mint in open containers wherever you experience the most bug traffic.

 

We love lemongrass! It smells so, so good and it’s incredible at helping kill and repel unwanted bugs. So good in fact, that it fuels one of our most popular products, Tickshield with Lemongrass.

Citronella emits a similarly clean, lemon-like scent and is widely used to control mosquitoes, flies, ants, and other irritating pests. From sprays to candles, citronella is used in a wide array of over-the-counter bug repellents, especially those that target mosquitoes. So why not skip the middleman and plant it yourself instead?

 

 

Basil is another great herb that’s used both in the kitchen and to repel bugs like flies and mosquitoes. Plant your basil in containers and then simply place these near where you relax and unwind both in your backyard and indoors. Bonus: as you grow basil, you can also throw it in your favorite recipes to add a pop of flavor.

 

This stunning plant will brighten up your place and repel bugs all at the same time. Even better, it’s super easy to grow! You can place petunias in planters or hanging baskets both inside and outside for natural pest control. Planting petunias in your garden can do wonders for helping keep fruits & veggies like tomatoes bug-free.

 

 

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