Cedarcide

LAWN & GARDEN

5 Tips for Keeping Wasps Out of Your Yard

Notorious predators of annoying insects like flies, wasps can be helpful allies around your lawn & garden. However, they can be a potentially dangerous hazard, too. In addition to the occasional painful sting, wasps can pose a health risk to our children and pets, especially for those knowingly or unknowingly allergic.

Struggling with wasps but don’t want to use toxic chemicals around your lawn, home, or family? We got you covered. Here are 5 tips for keeping wasps out of your yard without harsh chemicals. 

 

Remove Attractants

Prevention is the most effective form of wasp control. Removing or sealing items that attract wasps like pet food, bird feeders, and food scraps is essential.

Similarly, maintaining or repairing common wasp nest locations like broken siding, panels, rain gutters and window sills is crucial.

 

Remove Their Food (Other Bugs)

Wasps feed on smaller insects that commonly live in our lawns. By removing this food source you can substantially reduce the number of wasps near your yard and home.

Using a non-toxic, plant-safe pesticide like PCO Choice, treat your entire lawn, including shrubbery and bases of trees. Repeat monthly, or more often as needed.

 

Grow Wasp-Repelling Plants

Some fragrant plants like mint, citronella, thyme, eucalyptus and wormwood are known to naturally repel wasps. Install them throughout high traffic wasp areas and wherever you and your family spend the most time outside.

 

Essential Oil Spray

Research shows that essential oils like peppermint, lemongrass, clove, and geranium can do wonders for deterring wasps and their nests.

Start by adding a few drops of each essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and a half teaspoon of natural dish soap. Thoroughly spray the areas outside your home that attract the most wasps to prevent nests from forming.

 

Hang False Nests

Wasps are territorial and so they tend to avoid areas where another colony has already built a nest. Which is why hanging a few false nests can deter wasps or get an active nest to relocate.

Make your own false nests at home by filling a brown paper lunch bag with crumpled newspapers. Tie off the top of the bags and hang them near known wasp trouble areas, such as patios, eaves, and doorways.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, What are Fall Armyworms & How to Get Rid of Them

What are Fall Armyworms & How to Get Rid of Them

Cedarcide blog post image, What are Fall Armyworms & How to Get Rid of Them

Imagine this: You wake up, prep your morning coffee, glance out the kitchen window to admire your well kept lawn—and bam! It’s all gone. Where there was once a beautiful stretch of green grass there is now an ugly patch of brown. Unfortunately, if you’re facing fall armyworms this nightmare can quickly become a reality. It’s not unheard of for armyworms to devour an entire lawn overnight. One moment your lawn and garden are intact, the next you’re left with a backyard full of dirt.


What Are Fall Armyworms

Especially problematic in the South, Fall armyworms are the larvae of a small brown moth that lays its eggs in grass, crops and other greenery. Once hatched, these small green caterpillars begin feeding on nearby plant life, and can devastate an entire lawn or field of crops in days, sometimes hours depending on the size of the armyworm population. Unfortunately for your yard, these populations can get out of hand fast, as female months can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a single night. Once matured, these caterpillars change appearance, going from green to brown with white lines running along the side of their bodies. Because several damaging species go by the popular name armyworm, if you spot caterpillars in your yard, regardless of appearance, you need to act fast to preserve the health of your yard.

Here are 6 natural approaches to tackling these nasty pests:


Mow and Water Regularly

For whatever reason, armyworms tend to avoid moist lawns with shorter grass. Keeping your lawn a little shorter throughout fall, and watering soon after each mowing session, can help prevent an armyworm population from flourishing in your yard.


Trichogramma Wasps

These tiny wasps have a long history of use in natural pest control because they attack the eggs of many damaging bugs, armyworm eggs included. Trichogramma wasps can be found at many local garden supply shops and countless online retailers. This approach works best in the early stages of an armyworm issue, as this method will address armyworm eggs only, not recently hatched or mature caterpillars. Green lacewings, minute pirate bugs, ladybugs and other beneficial egg-feeding insects are also effective.

 

Invite Birds to Your Backyard

If your yard has never been the victim of armyworms, chances are natural predators like birds are to thank. Which means If you’re currently struggling with armyworms, you can alleviate the situation by inviting these predators back into your lawn. Bird feeders and bird baths are the most obvious choices and tend to work wonders. This natural approach can be a real time saver and is usually quite effective, given that birds target both the armyworm moth and the subsequent caterpillars.

 

Naturally Sourced Outdoor Pesticides

Naturally sourced outdoor pesticides—like those made with all natural cedarwood oil—can be effective at both preventing and killing active armyworm populations, without using the harsh chemicals associated with traditional pesticide use. Apply at the first sign of trouble, whether that be armyworm moths, eggs, or immature caterpillars.


Bacillus Thuringiensis

This bacterium is a popular and eco-friendly way of naturally ridding your lawn of armyworms. Typically applied to yards as a spray, bacillus thuringiensis works by paralyzing the armyworm digestive system, eventually killing them via starvation. Best of all, this bacterium is not harmful to beneficial insects, humans, pets or other wildlife. This method works best when used in the early stages of an armyworm problem, when the caterpillars are small, green and immature. Bacillus thuringiensis can be purchased from local gardening stores and countless vendors online.


Beneficial Nematodes

As one of the most well known biological pesticides, beneficial nematodes work to combat dozens of unwanted pests. After applied to the yard, these near microscopic roundworms parasitize armyworms and armyworm eggs without affecting humans, plants or beneficial insects.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!

6 Reasons You Can Feel Good About Switching to Cedarcide

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, Why You Can Feel Good About Switching to Cedarcide

Did you know over 1 billion pounds of synthetic pesticides are used worldwide every year? Even scarier, over 95% of these chemicals end up somewhere other than their target destination—such as in oceans, forests, drinking water, our food, and inside our homes, pets, children, even breast milk! By choosing Cedarcide, you’re helping combat this worldwide problem, and taking steps toward a brighter, less chemical-dependent future. Here are 6 reasons you can feel good about switching to Cedarcide.

 

You’re Helping Protect You & Your Family

From flea collars to yard treatments to personal bug sprays, traditional pesticide use can have a serious impact on you and your family’s health, especially in the long term. Not to freak you out, but many synthetic pesticides have been linked to all of the following health conditions:

By switching to a non-toxic alternative like Cedarcide, you’re helping minimize you and your family’s pesticide exposure. Children and pregnant women stand to benefit the most from this switch. Studies show that children with parents who use chemical-based pesticides are at higher risk of behavior issues, brain damage, lower IQs and several types of childhood cancer. Because of their tendency to put their hands in their mouths and proximity to flooring (most floors are tainted with pesticides), children absorb considerably more pesticides from their environment than adults. And because of their low body weight, our kids are much more likely to be harmed by this exposure.

As public health scientist Miriam Rotkin Ellman has said, “with a pesticide it doesn’t take very much to cause effects that will stay with kid[s] for the rest of their lives.”

 

You’re Helping Pets Live Longer, Healthier Lives

Much like children, our pets are extremely vulnerable to pesticide poisoning. Unfortunately, from flea collars to yard sprays, our pets have countless opportunities for exposure. Choosing naturally sourced yard sprays and pesticides over traditional chemical-based options helps limit that exposure.

Think about it: Your pets live and play in your yard (they sometimes eat its grass, too!). Studies have shown that dogs exposed to lawn pesticides have up to a 70% higher chance of contracting potentially fatal canine malignant lymphoma. Other studies have found that bladder cancer is also associated with lawns treated with synthetic pesticides, with even indirect exposure from adjacent lawns raising your pet’s risk of this cancer. Chemical burns, gastrointestinal complications, organ failure, even death—all have been associated with use of traditional flea and tick medications. In addition to using pet-safe bug repellents, we suggest consulting a vet or holistic vet to find the healthiest flea & tick options for you and your pup.

Worried that your pet may have pesticide poisoning? Read Signs and Symptoms Your Pet has Pesticide Poisoning


You’re Not Poisoning Your Home or Yard

A big issue with traditional pesticides is that they contaminate your home and lawn with toxins. Whether used inside or not, pesticides almost always find their way indoors. Pesticides applied to your lawn, for example, are easily introduced inside via windows, vents, shoes, and even your pet’s paws. Studies have found that within a week after outdoor pesticide treatments, pesticide residues are commonly found on indoor surfaces—including flooring, kitchen countertops, and tabletops. By choosing non-toxic options like Cedarcide, you’re helping reduce the levels of pesticides both inside and outside your home, doing a big favor to the environment, wildlife, and your neighbors in the process.

 

You’re Helping Save Wildlife

Wildlife—especially marine life and birds—have been hit hard by traditional pesticide use. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 72 million birds die in the U.S. each year as a result of pesticide poisoning. Because many types of pesticides are bioaccumulative—meaning small, incremental exposures can can build up to toxic levels within an organism over time—they have the potential to disrupt entire food chains, affecting nearly every living thing on the planet.

But what can homeowners like you do to help minimize the impact of pesticides? A lot, actually! The average homeowner uses ten times more pesticides per acre than farmers do on industrial farmland. So in many ways, it’s in the hands of people like us to start reducing pesticide use for the sake of animals and families everywhere.

 

Your Purchases Support Good Causes

Without you we could not support the causes that inspire us! Animal welfare is one such cause essential to the Cedarcide mission. In addition to supporting animal rescues and founding the Cedarcide Horse Rescue, our team spends a great deal of their personal lives fostering and volunteering for disadvantaged cats, dogs and other animals.

Veterans, soldiers, and first responders also play a big role at Cedarcide. These real life heroes inspire us every day, which is why each year we support and participate in Dallas’ Carry the Load March. This 20-hour walk honors military service of all shapes and sizes, with proceeds benefiting corresponding charities.

 

You’re Helping the Environment

As mentioned earlier, pesticides nearly always end up somewhere other than intended. Wind, runoff, and over-application are the obvious culprits. In addition to wildlife, the environment pays the highest price for this widespread pesticide contamination. But just how extensive is pesticide pollution? According to one study by the U.S. Geological Survey, pesticides were found to contaminate every stream in the United States, and over 90% of all wells researchers tested. Unbelievable, right? By adopting non-toxic pesticides and engaging in responsible pesticide practices—like careful application and avoiding overuse—you can have a real impact on the health of your family and community.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Cedarcide? What do you most enjoy about the switch? Let us know in the comments or head over to our Facebook page and strike up a conversation!

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What You Need to Know About Mites

What You Need to Know About Mites

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, What You Need to Know About Mites

What Are Mites?

There are over 48,000 species of mites. They can be found in almost every corner of the world, surviving everywhere from tropical environments to arid ecosystems, even indoors alongside humans.

Like ticks, mites are both arthropods and arachnids, but unlike ticks, not all mites are parasites. Some—like house dust mites—are scavengers, feeding off the dead skin and hair of humans. Some mites feed on mold and other plant-life. Some are symbiotic, living on the backs of insects like bees. And, yes, some are parasitic—like bird mites, rat mites and chiggers—which feed on the blood or skin of their hosts.

Do Mites Affect Humans?

You might be surprised to learn that the overwhelming majority of American homes have mites. The good news is that most mites are harmless to humans. However, there are in fact a few species that bite or pose other health risks to people. The extremely irritating skin condition scabies, for instance, is caused by an allergic reaction to the itch mite, which burrows into the skin of mammals to live and lay eggs. Mange is often the result of the same itch mite, along with another species, the Demodex mite (or eyelash mite), which infests the eyelashes of millions of people each year. The Demodex mite has also been linked to rosacea.

The most common biting mites found in the home are rat mites and bird mites. These two parasitic species prey mostly on small animals, but occasionally feed on humans too, causing dermatitis and acute itching. Another common household mite, the dust mite, is not parasitic and therefore does not bite; however, it’s a leading cause of allergies and has been found to cause asthma, too.


How Do You Get Mites?

The two most common biting mites—rat mites and bird mites—enter our homes through wild animals and pests. The former is typically brought into the home by a rodent, while the later finds its way in from nearby bird nests. Dust mites on the other hand live almost exclusively within homes, where they deeply embed themselves in carpets, bedding, rugs and other especially dusty surfaces. In fact, a typical mattress contains tens of thousands of these mites. Even more—around 100,000—can live in a single square foot of rug or carpet.

Perhaps most offputting of all, Demodex mites—sometimes called eyelash mites—make their home in the hair follicles and glands in and around the human eye. People with pets are particularly at risk of contracting Demodex mites, as these insect-like organisms are usually transferred to humans from dogs and cats.


What Are The Signs Of A Mite Infestation?

Because of mites’ near microscopic size, and because they vary so greatly from species to species, it’s extremely difficult to correctly identify a mite infestation. While some mites leave noticeable markings—spider mites spin webs, clover mites are recognizable by their bright red color—most mites leave little to no evidence of their existence.

In fact, the sole sign of an infestation often comes by way of the symptoms mites can cause in humans, such as skin irritation and general allergic reaction. Unless you’re able to capture a mite sample and have it identified by a professional, there’s little to no way to confirm what sort of mite infestation you may or may not be dealing with.

What To Do if You Have Mites

While some mites—like the mostly harmless dust mite—are all but impossible to completely eliminate from your home, troublesome biting mites are comparatively easier to treat. Rat mites and bird mites, for example, can often be solved simply by removing any small rodents, birds and bird nests from your home.

If you have mites, but are unsure of the source, fogging your entire home might be a good option for you. If you believe mites have infested your bedding or other linens, washing and drying them on a hot cycle should rid your items of any remaining mites.

Watch Cedarcide’s Fogging Tutorial Below:

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

How To Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Did you know mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet, causing more deaths annually than sharks, snakes, wolves, lions, crocodiles, tigers, bears and humans combined?

During the height of breeding season, Mosquitoes outnumber every other animal on the planet, except for termites and ants. Unfortunately, mosquito bites don’t affect only humans, they also affect animals like dogs, cats and horses, too.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your yard and family from mosquitoes. There’s no need to resort to toxic insecticides, either. Instead, follow these non-toxic tips to mosquito-proof your yard this mosquito season.

 

Remove Possible Breeding Sites
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The first and arguably most important step to keeping mosquitoes out of your yard is to get rid of all potential breeding areas—which primarily means removing all sources of standing water. Mosquito eggs often remain attached to receptacles even after they’ve been drained, so be sure to thoroughly clean, not just empty, all areas where water has collected. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove pet bowls, buckets, tires, unused lawn equipment—everything that easily catches rainwater
  • Change and clean bird bath water regularly, or, better yet, empty them during mosquito season
  • Fix leaky hoses, faucets, sprinklers and clogged drainage areas to prevent pooling water
  • Frequently check A/C drip pans for standing water
  • Keep pools well-maintained
  • Regularly check and clean pool covers and other tarps—these often hold water
  • Cover or fill hollow tree stumps and other natural water-collecting reservoirs
  • Clean and remove all blockages from gutters and storm drains
  • Check flower pots and flower pot drip trays for standing water
  • Cover all trash cans and dumpsters
  • Remove all additional clutter from your backyard, such as appliances, unused tools, sporting equipment, children’s toys—anything that can potentially hold water

 

Maintain Your Yard
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Mosquitoes love hiding in tall grass, shrubbery and damp, unkempt areas like woodpiles. Keeping your grass short and yard well-maintained is essential to mosquito control.

 

Treat Your Yard
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Treating your yard with an a non-toxic, water-soluble insect repellent, especially before outdoor activities, will significantly reduce the amount of mosquitoes in your backyard. Cedarwood chips are also a natural insect deterrent; sprinkle them throughout your yard—especially along foundations and fence lines—for additional mosquito protection.

 

Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours
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Lack of wind, sunlight and heat make dawn and dusk ideal feeding times for mosquitoes. In the U.S., mosquitoes are least likely to bite in the middle of the day, and most likely to bite just after sunset. Limiting outdoor activity—particularly in wooded, humid and shady areas—during these periods will greatly decrease the chances of being bitten. Wearing clothes that match your surroundings—darker colors at night, lighter clothing in the day—has also been shown to limit mosquito bites. Wearing closed-toe shoes helps, too.

 

Use Outdoor Fans
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Surprisingly, outdoor fans have proven effective at reducing mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, body heat and body odor. Fans work by dispersing and redirecting these attractants throughout the air, diminishing not only the appearance of mosquitoes in your yard but also the likelihood of getting bitten.

 

Use Mosquito-Repelling Plants
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The following plants are known to have mosquito-repelling properties. Place or plant them in areas where you spend the most time outside:

  • Marigolds’ distinct aroma is a natural insect repellent
  • Basil’s strong scent naturally deters mosquitoes and other insects
  • Catnip has been shown to be 10x more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET
  • Lavender, in both living and dry form, actively repels mosquitoes
  • Lemon balm attracts beneficial insects like bees, but repels mosquitoes
  • Peppermint’s smell helps drive away mosquitoes. It can also be crushed for use as an effective mosquito bite relief treatment
  • Rosemary has a long history of use as a mosquito repellent
  • Citronella’s strong smell can help mask carbon dioxide and body odor, in effect, hiding you from mosquitoes
  • Pennyroyal, both crushed and fresh, helps to repel mosquitoes

 

 

Team Up With Your Neighbors
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Regardless of how many preventative measures you take, if your neighbors don’t pitch in, they might not do any good. Managing and implementing mosquito control best practices—removing standing water, lawn care, etc—is almost always a team effort.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, 6 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Yard

6 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Yard

Cedarcide blog post image, 6 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Yard

 
Dog-proofing your home is a must to keep your canine safe and out of trouble. But equally important to the health of your pup, is ensuring your yard is dog-proofed as well. From removing toxic plants and chemicals to yard maintenance, here’s 6 tips for making your yard a safe environment for your pup. 

Maintain Your Yard

Harmful pests like fleas and ticks thrive in unkempt yards with tall grass. To protect your pup, keep your yard organized, free of clutter and regularly mowed. Keep shrubbery trimmed, too. To further ensure your yard remains bug-free, apply a non-toxic, plant-safe insect repellent monthly.

 

Use Non-Toxic Yard Treatments and Pesticides

From manure to weed-killers to pesticides, chemical-based yard products can be extremely dangerous to your pet, not to mention your family. While many guides advocate removing pets from the yard when using such products and then replacing them afterward, we don’t feel that goes quite far enough. After all, these chemicals can persist for weeks after application. A safer and more eco-friendly route is to switch out chemical-based yard products for naturally sourced alternatives—especially when it comes to outdoor pesticides.

 


Secure Trash Cans and Garden Supplies

It goes without saying, but dogs will put just about anything into their mouths. To protect your pup from themselves, make sure your outdoor trash cans and recycling bins are always sealed. The same goes for garden supplies and other outdoor storage items—keep them all out of reach.

 

Remove Toxic Plant life

Before introducing a dog into your yard, you need to remove all plant life that’s potentially toxic to your pup. Consult this list of plants toxic to dogs for help.

 

Fence Off Pools and Hot Tubs

Regardless of their swimming experience, no dog should be left unattended in a backyard with a pool or hot tub that’s not fenced off. We suggest installing a pet fence around your pool, or keeping your pup in an area of the yard without access to the pool.

 

Supply Shade and Water

Whether your dog spends most of the day outside or only goes in the yard occasionally, make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade. Dehydration and heat stroke can sneak up awfully fast. 

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Home

5 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Home


Just like baby-proofing, dog-proofing our homes is essential to keeping our loved ones safe. Dogs are naturally curious, and if given the opportunity, will explore any and every area of the home. By making several adjustments around the house, you can help prevent choking hazards, electrocution and maybe even the loss of your pet. Here’s 5 tips to dog-proof your home.

 

Use Baby Gates or a Kennel

Let’s get real: You can’t be everywhere at once, and you can’t foresee every possible item, nook and cranny your pup might get into. To make your life much easier, use baby gates or a kennel to limit your dog’s movement and exposure to potentially harmful areas of the home. This approach is especially useful when it comes to new rescues and puppies.

Keep Everything That’s Not For Your Dog Out of Reach

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many household items pose a threat to your dog. Things you might not normally worry about could actually be life threatening. For example, we all know to keep foods that are poisonous to our pups out of reach—like chocolate and grapes—but did you know dog-safe foods can be just as dangerous? The internet is littered with sad stories of pet owners losing their fur babies to food packaging materials, like chip bags and snack wrappers. Moral of the story: We can never be too careful when it comes to our pets.

While the list is seemingly infinite, here are some tips for keeping common household items away from your dog:

  • Organize your home, and do your very best to keep it free of clutter (trinkets and other little decorative items are common choking hazards)
  • Consider installing child-proof latches on all cabinets
  • Always keep toilet lids closed
  • Keep alcohol and tobacco products out of reach
  • Batteries are commonly lethal if ingested, keep them stored in a firmly sealed container or drawer
  • Verify that all houseplants are pet-safe and non-toxic if ingested
  • Keep lotions, cosmetics and other beauty products off sinks and out of reach
  • Keep toothpaste, floss, mouthwash and other toiletries out of reach
  • Never leave laundry items and shoes within reach of your pup (strings and buttons are common choking hazards)
  • Organize and pick up kids’ toys immediately
  • Keep all foods and food packaging off counter tops and out of reach
  • Store medications in tightly closed, out-of-reach places
  • Properly cover or fence off fireplaces
  • Give your dog chew toys to prevent them from chewing on household items
  • Replace household chemicals—such as cleaners, detergents and pesticides—with non-toxic alternatives. Naturally sourced insecticides are a good choice, as are brands like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyer’s and Method when it comes to cleaners and soaps

Cover and Latch Your Trash Can

Dumpster diving for goodies can easily make your pup sick. To avoid this problem, purchase a trash can your dog can’t get into—such as a sturdy metal option, or one with a latch or lock. If you’ve got an especially curious and willful dog, choosing a trash can you can store under the sink or in a cabinet might be your best bet.

Organize Cables and Wires

Electrical cords and wires are some of the household’s most dangerous items when it comes to pets. From Blu ray players and televisions to lamps and computers, our homes are filled with these electrocution hazards. Properly organizing or covering cables (and electrical outlets) could save your pup a burnt mouth and a scary visit to the vet. For more tips on pet-proofing household cables and wires, click here.

 

Dog-Proof the Garage and Yard, Too

People often ignore the garage and yard when dog-proofing their homes, assuming they can easily control their pup’s access to these areas. But as seasoned pet owners know, dogs have a way of getting into almost anything at one point or another. Here’s some things you should definitely address:

  • Keep the garage floor clean and free of clutter, especially with regard to chemicals like antifreeze and oil
  • Store all chemicals and other hazardous liquids in high out-of-reach places
  • Store all tools and other sharp objects in high out-of-reach places
  • Verify that all garden plants are pet-safe and non-toxic if ingested
  • Switch from chemical-based yard treatments and pesticides to non-toxic, naturally sourced alternatives
  • Check your gates and fencing for holes your pet could use to exit the yard
  • Secure open water areas like pools and spas (these are serious drowning hazards for pets)

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

How Cedarwood Oil Kills Bugs

Cedarcide blog post image, How Cedarwood Oil Kills Bugs

In case our name didn’t give it away, cedarwood oil is the driving force behind our pest control products here at Cedarcide. So naturally, the obvious question is: How does it work? How does cedarwood oil (aka cedar oil) kill bugs? While the answer can get a bit technical, there are 6 basic ways cedarwood oil works to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, mites and more. Here’s a simple outline of each one.

Dehydration

Most bugs are extremely sensitive to moisture loss, which is bad news for bugs that come into contact with cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is extremely effective at leaching moisture from insects and other bugs, leaving them dried out and eventually dead.

 

It Disrupts Their Pheromones

Pheromones are chemicals that many bugs use for navigation, mating, searching for food, as well as to regulate bodily functions. Cedarwood oil disrupts these pheromones which not only disorients the insects but interferes with their fundamental bodily processes like breathing. The disorientation helps repel insects and other bugs, the interference with their bodily mechanisms kills them.

 

It Dissolves Them

Insects in earlier life stages—eggs, larvae, pupae—are extremely vulnerable, so vulnerable in fact that cedarwood oil can dissolve them on contact. In adult insects, arachnids and other bugs, cedarwood oil helps dissolve their exoskeleton. This allows the essential oil to penetrate their shell, hastening the oil’s pest control effects.


Emulsification

Emulsificationor the breakdown of fat particles, is another way that cedarwood oil works to control bugs. Like many organisms, bugs require fat to live. By helping disintegrate this fat into smaller, more fluid parts, cedarwood oil attacks bugs from the inside out.

 

Suffocation

As mentioned above, cedarwood oil can interfere with bugs’ capacity to breathe. Unlike mammals, bugs breathe through openings located on the surface of their bodies. When faced with the lethal effects of cedarwood oil, bugs attempt to limit their exposure by closing these openings, which prevents them from breathing. In other words, the bugs suffocate themselves.


It Messes With Their Body Chemistry

Like most every living thing, bugs must maintain a specific chemical balance to stay alive. Any drastic changes in this balance can have deadly results. Cedarwood oil neutralizes the acidity within bugs’ bodies, effectively throwing this balance out of whack. As a result they cannot properly function, and shortly die.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

Do Fleas and Ticks Survive the Winter?

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Do Fleas and Ticks Bite in the Winter?

Yes! While these pests thrive in humid, warm conditions, they can also live (and bite!) throughout the winter. It’s true they cannot endure freezing weather for extended periods, but they often find ways to survive anyway. In fact, some species of tick are most active in winter. Adult blacklegged ticks, for example, take their first blood meals during late fall or early winter. The winter tick is another especially durable individual, living exclusively during the year’s coldest months.

How Do Fleas and Ticks Survive the Winter

Whether hiding in leaf litter, attaching to a warm host, or overwintering in a garage or animal den, fleas and ticks have several methods for surviving freezing conditions. While fleas cannot hibernate or enter a dormant stage, ticks can. Going dormant on a host or under brush is actually a tick’s primary means of remaining alive through winter. Fleas, however, mostly seek warmth in shelters or hosts—like inside your home or on your pet.

 

Do I Still Need to Treat for Fleas and Ticks in the Winter?

Absolutely! Regardless of your environment, we suggest protecting your pets, your home, and yourself from fleas and ticks year-round. The risks are simply too great. Halting pest prevention, even for just a few weeks, can have frightening results. A single flea slipping through the cracks can lead to a full blown flea population in no time. Ticks are another matter entirely—we all know how dangerous they can be. We don’t even need to mention the diseases a tick bite can spread (but we will! Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, American boutonneuse fever, Powassan virus, tularemia, Colorado tick fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, tick paralysis and more).

 

How Can I protect Myself and My Pets from Fleas and Ticks

Prevention is your best friend. First, you need to ensure your home and yard are inhospitable to fleas and ticks. Remove all sources of clutter and debris from your lawn—this is where fleas and ticks will likely hide during cold snaps. A monthly preventative yard treatment with a naturally-sourced outdoor pesticide is also recommended (we do not suggest using traditional, toxic-based pesticides on your lawn or garden for the safety of your pets and family). For more detailed instructions on safeguarding your yard from pests, click here.

For indoor prevention, regularly spray possible entry points—like doorways, window sills, baseboards, attics, basements, etc—with a non-toxic indoor pesticide to create a repellent barrier against fleas and ticks. For more tips on preventing fleas and ticks from entering your home, click here.

For you and your pets, simply reach for a naturally-sourced insect repellent, like Cedarcide Original. Make sure to apply it before enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or visiting the dog park.

 

 

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Cedarcide blog post image, 13 Ways to Go Green with Your Pet Care

13 Ways to Go Green With Your Pet Care

Cedarcide blog post image, 13 Ways to Go Green with Your Pet Care

Did you know that pets create approximately 64 million tons of greenhouse gases every year—the same amount as over 13 million cars? While their meat-heavy diets are largely to blame (they make up almost 30% of the U.S.’s environmental impact from meat consumption), our pets influence the environment in many other ways, too. From the costly effects of packaging materials for pet accessories to the 5 million tons of poop they produce each year, our cats’ and dogs’ have a heavy impact on the planet.

Since there’s no way we’re getting rid of pets (they’re family!), we should all look for ways to decrease their environmental footprint. Making a few simple changes to your pet’s lifestyle can make a big difference. Here are some of our favorites.


Buy Pet Food in Bulk

Buying pet food in bulk is an easy way to lower both you and your pet’s environmental footprint. Not only will it lower the amount of packaging materials and waste required by additional purchases, you'll save yourself extra trips to the pet store thereby reducing gas consumption.


Spay or Neuter

On the surface, spaying and neutering might seem a little barbaric. However, that could not be further from the truth. These procedures save literally millions of pets from euthanasia each year. Local animal shelters would be considerably less full, much happier places if every pet owner were to spay or neuter their cats and dogs.


Ditch Canned Food

More so than dry food, canned pet food is often contaminated with toxins that could harm your pet. A 2017 study by the Ecology Center found the linings in most pet food cans contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and bisphenol A (BPA), hormone-disruptors which are known to cause considerable health problems in both animals and people.


Buy Organic, Sustainable Pet Food

Another easy—though sometimes costly—way to lower your pet’s environmental footprint is to buy organic, sustainable dog or cat food. Not only is it healthier, it reduces waste associated with industrial meat production. Click here for help on choosing an organic pet food option.


Reuse Human Food as Pet Food When Safe

Reusing human food as pet food is another option for reducing waste associated with pet food production and transportation. If you have leftovers or other food that’s soon to be trashed, consider using it to supplement your dog or cat’s diet instead of throwing it out. Just make sure it’s pet-friendly food before handing it off to your animal friend. Here’s a list of human foods that should never be fed to your pet.

 

Choose DIY and Recyclable Toys and Pet Products

Common plastic-based pet toys are not only a strain on the environment, but they’re often laced with chemicals that can make your pet sick. That’s why going DIY (sticks, socks, yarn, etc) and/or recyclable with pet toys is a no-brainer. It saves money, time, lowers your pet’s environmental impact, and allows you to reuse items you might have otherwise thrown out. In general, look for pet products (like beds, scratching posts, clothing, etc) made from natural materials and biodegradable packaging.

 

Go Green With Your Lawn Care

Replacing chemical-based lawn care products with plant-based alternatives benefits animals, humans and the environment. Another way to make your lawn more pet-friendly is to choose herbs and other plant life that are edible and healthy for your pet. Check out this article for help cultivating a pet-friendly garden.

 

 

Adopt Don’t Shop

The benefits of rescuing a pet over purchasing one are well documented. Doing so saves animal lives, saves money, saves resources, has less adverse environmental effects, and discourages the unethical puppy mill industry.

 

Protect Wildlife from Your Pets

Did you know cats kill over 2 billion birds each year? In addition, they kill upwards of 12 billion other small land animals each year, such as snakes, lizards and rodents. That makes house cats one of the largest human-caused threats to wildlife in North America. There’s several ways cat owners can help better this problem. Firstly, it’s important to keep cats indoors as much as is reasonably possible. Secondly, removing bird-attracting items from your yard—such as bird feeders, baths and food sources—is essential. The same approaches apply for dog owners, too.


Go Minimal

From toys, clothing and other accessories, the pet care industry would have you believe there’s innumerable items your pet can’t live without. In reality, apart from the essentials like medical care, food and water, there’s very little they need to live a full and healthy life. In fact, all these additional products only serve to worsen your pet’s impact on the environment. So the next time you’re considering purchasing another toy or cute outfit for your pup or kitty, ask yourself: “Do we really need this item, and is it worth the amount of waste it will create?”


Avoid Toxic Flea and Tick Control Solutions

Toxic, chemical-based pesticides are extremely damaging to the environment and our planet’s delicate ecosystem. Just as with your lawn care, going toxin-free with your pet’s pest control is one of the smartest moves you can make as a responsible pet owner. Doing so will not only lessen you and your family’s exposure to harmful toxins, but it might just save your pet’s life.


Choose Biodegradable Poop Bags or other Eco-Friendly Disposal Option

Dog feces poses more dangers than most pet owners think. Which is why it’s so important to properly dispose of dog poop. Following these simple guidelines will considerably lessen the negative impacts of your pup’s poo:

  • Never throw poop bags in the regular trash
  • Never put dog feces in your home’s compost—it’s full of dangerous bacteria
  • Consider flushing it (but not in a septic system)
  • If you live in a rural area, consider burying it (make sure it’s at least 5 inches underground and far removed from your home and garden).
  • When it comes to bags, choose an eco-friendly, biodegradable option. But choose carefully, not all are created equal.
  • Similarly, cat owners should consider eco-friendly cat litter alternatives.

 

Donate Pet Products You No Longer Use

Nearly every pet owner has tons of extra, no-longer-used pet items lying around. The next time you do a thorough cleaning of your home, set aside all inessential pet products you find. If they’re in suitable shape, consider donating them to a local animal shelter. If they’re not in good shape, recycle them or try to find a way to reuse or re-purpose them.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

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