At Cedarcide, our all natural outdoor pest control formulas are some of our most popular products. Our outdoor pesticide concentrate, PCO Choice, and its ready-to-use counterpart, Yardsafe, both help keep your yard free of biting insects and dozens of other bugs without endangering your family, your pets or the environment.
While application of these products is rather straightforward (they’re best applied early morning or late evening, and can be used throughout your yard to kill and repel insects) there’s one issue that can complicate the process: Rain. We’re often asked questions like these:
- “It rained after I used PCO Choice, do I have to apply it again?”
- “It rained yesterday, can I apply Yardsafe today, or should I wait till the soil is dry?”
To simplify things, Here’s an outline of when and how to use PCO Choice and Yardsafe when rain is an issue:
Applying Before Rain
If the forecast is predicting heavy rainfall in the next 24 to 48 hours, it’s best to wait to apply PCO Choice or Yardsafeuntil after the rain has passed and the soil has adequately dried (moist soil is fine, but soil saturated with water is too wet for application). Similarly, if heavy rain occurs less than 24 to 48 hours after you’ve treated your yard, we recommend an additional application. Note: light to medium rains do not necessitate additional applications.
Applying After Rain
Let’s say it just rained, maybe a few hours ago or the day before. If the soil is dry or only slightly wet, you’re fine to apply PCO Choice or Yardsafe to your lawn. However, if the soil is muddy, saturated with water or otherwise extremely wet, it’s best to wait until the soil has had more time to dry.
Additional Guidelines For Applying PCO Choice
Using a Hose End Sprayer, it takes just 4 oz. of PCO Choice to treat up to 5000 sq. ft. of outdoor space. PCO can also be diluted down to 1:1000 for larger, agricultural use. Avoid applications during peak sun hours—early morning or late evening is best. Apply monthly or as needed.
- Dilute PCO with warm/hot water; shake to mix until milky white
- For Hose End Sprayers: Add 4 oz. of PCO per 20 gallons of sprayed water (treats up to 5,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space).
- For Tank Sprayers: Add 2 oz. per 1 gallon of water
- PCO can be diluted down to 1:1000 for larger, agricultural use
Additional Guidelines For Applying Yardsafe
Simply hook up the Hose End Sprayer directly to the bottle, then attach it to the hose and begin spraying. Avoid applications during peak sun hours—early morning or late evening is best. Apply monthly or as needed.
At Cedarcide, we offer several pest-control solutions for both indoor and outdoor use. From concentrates to ready-to-use formulas, from personal & pet use to lawn & garden care, we have what you need to keep your home, yard and animals free of pests.
But which products are right for you? To make your shopping experience easier, we’re launching a series of blog posts to help you better understand the differences between our most popular formulas. Today we’re talking about our two all natural pet & livestock solutions: Vet’s Choice and D.A.S.
Vet’s Choice is an extra strength, all natural and highly versatile concentrate designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock. Vet’s Choice eliminates and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and dozens of other biting insects. Vet’s Choice can be mixed with water for use as a bath, spray or dip. Vet’s Choice can be used in stables, barns and kennels to reduce flying insects, or used as a treatment for mange, hot spots and other animal skin disorders.
- Dilute Vet’s Choice with warm/hot water; shake to mix until milky white
- For Direct Spray: Add 4 oz. of Vet’s Choice per 1 gallon of water
- For A Bath: Add 2 oz. per 1 gallon of water
- For A Dip 1:200 ratio of Vet’s Choice to water
What is D.A.S?
DAS (Domestic Animal Spray) is an all natural and highly versatile solution designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock—think of it as a ready-to-use version of Vet’s Choice. Like Vet’s Choice, DAS is ideal for use in stables, barns and kennels to reduce flying insect populations, and can be used as a bath, spray or dip. DAS eliminates and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and dozens of other biting insects; it can also be used to treat mange, hot spots and other animal skin disorders.
To use: DAS works best when animals are thoroughly wetted with the product and then allowed to air dry. Apply directly to your animal’s skin or simply add it to their bath for lasting protection against pests. For additional protection and prevention, dilute DAS with water at a 3:1 ratio and apply to your pets’ bedding using a spray bottle.
How Are They Different?
Who Should Buy Vet’s Choice?
Those treating many animals—such as in agricultural use or for facilities like animal rescues—should choose Vet’s Choice because it’s concentrated, meaning it will last longer than the same amount of DAS. Vet’s Choice is also more customizable, allowing customers to dilute the solution to whatever concentration they prefer.
Who Should Buy DAS?
Those looking for a quick and convenient solution to protect pets or livestock from biting insects. While Vet’s Choice will last longer because it’s concentrated, DAS is easier to use, with less need to dilute.
Carpenter ants are among the the largest ants in the United States, measuring up to 20 mm—or roughly ¾ of an inch. Most often black but sometimes red or yellow, carpenter ants live both indoors and outdoors, nesting inside moist, decaying wood (like old tree trunks, or rotting wooden boards in human structures). While they burrow and colonize inside wooden materials like termites, unlike termites, they do not consume wood. Instead, their diet is like that of other ants, consisting mostly of sweet foods and meats.
Because they do not eat wood, carpenter ants are not nearly as damaging to homes as termites. However, if given enough time, a highly developed and mature colony can cause extensive damage to nearly any wooden structure. With queens living up to 25 years, it’s not hard to imagine how costly a carpenter ant colony couble be to a homeowner. If you’re seeing these little carpenters crawling throughout your home, or looking to prevent an infestation before it takes hold, here’s 10 Tips to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants Naturally.
Prevention is always the best form of pest control. Follow these simple guidelines to keep carpenter ants out of your home.
- Keep your home clean—particularly the kitchen, flooring, windowsills and countertops. Without a food source, ants will have no reason to enter your home.
- Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and residues (Tip: wipe off all those jam, sauce and honey containers).
- Never leave food remains or dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take the trash out regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed.
- Any spilled food should be cleaned up immediately.
- Seal any cracks, crevices and holes—all potential ant entrances—with caulk or other sealant.
- Remove or remedy all sources of unnecessary moisture both inside and outside your home, including: leaky plumbing, basements, crawl spaces, A/C units, hoses, faucets, sprinklers, clogged drainage areas, etc
- Remove possible nesting spaces from your yard, such as: woodpiles, wooden yard equipment, brush, dead or dying trees & tree strumps, unused dog houses, furniture, and any other possibly moist, wooden items.
- Keep tree limbs and branches away from the walls of your home. Carpenter ants use these as bridges to enter your home.
- Do not store lumber or firewood inside or right outside your home.
Find The Nest
The most effective methods for ridding yourself of carpenter ants all involve locating and treating their nests directly. Carpenter ants nest in moist, decaying wood. These nests can be located either inside or outside the home, and unless you actually follow the trailing ants back to their origin, it’s not always easy to determine which. However, in general, if you find carpenter ants inside your home during late winter or early spring, chances are the colony is located indoors. Here’s some tips for locating a carpenter ant colony:
- Look for frass. Frass is finely ground wood debris that resembles sawdust. It’s the result of carpenter ants boring into wood to build their nests. If you see this in your home, the carpenter ants are somewhere inside.
- Damaged wood on or within walls, doors, cabinets, and wood beams is a good indicator of an indoor colony. Look specifically for sandpaper-smooth carpenter ant galleries and holes.
- Place attractants like dog food, jam or other sweets where you most commonly spot carpenter ants. Using their trail, attempt to find the location of their nest.
- If you have woodpiles or other wooden debris inside or just outside your home, check them thoroughly—the ant colony could be inside.
If you were able to find the carpenter ant nest (and it was located outdoors), this natural method is a way to attack the ant colony directly. It’s simple: boil a few liters or more of water and then pour it directly into the nest (this can be dangerous, so please exercise extreme caution). Adding a natural and water-soluble insecticide, essential oils, or soap to the boiled water will make this approach even more effective. You may have to repeat this process two to three times to completely eliminate the colony.
Sugar and Baking Soda Bait
A simple and natural carpenter ant bait can be made by mixing equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. Strategically place this mixture in shallow dishes in the locations with the most ant traffic. These can also be placed outside, particularly near doors and windows. The sugar in the mixture attracts the ants, while the baking soda naturally kills them (for chemical reasons, baking soda is deadly to ants).
Like most ants, carpenter ants use pheromone trails for navigation and communication—it’s also how they find food. Essential oils can be used to disrupt these trails, which ultimately disorients and deters ants. Lemongrass, peppermint, clove, cedarwood, tea tree, orange and lemon oil are all effective.
Dampen a cotton ball or kitchen towel with an essential oil of your choosing. Use this to wipe windowsills, baseboards, the perimeters of countertops, door frames, and any potential entry points. Repeat daily until ant population disappears. Your chosen oil can also be diluted with a carrier oil to create a natural ant-killing spray.
Soap & Water
A simple mixture of soap and water is toxic to carpenter ants. Mix one part natural dish soap to two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray as needed to kill ants and eliminate their pheromone trails. Continue to treat problem areas until the ants no longer return.
Made from crushed algae fossils, Diatomaceous Earth is a well known natural pesticide. This abrasive material damages the exoskeleton of ants that come into contact with it, eventually killing them. Spread DE throughout ant problem areas and directly on the colony’s nest if possible. Diatomaceous Earth is especially effective for combatting carpenter ants, which regularly die from consuming it.
Non-toxic Insecticides—Both Indoor and Outdoor
All natural, over-the-counter insecticides are often the easiest and most effective option for completely eliminating a carpenter ant colony. The best approach is to treat both outside and inside your home. Non-toxic indoor insecticidescan be used as both a repellent and a contact killer. Natural outdoor insecticides also work as both deterrents and spot killers. For best results, apply non-toxic outdoor pesticides alongside fence lines and your home’s foundation; this will create a repellent barrier to keep ants from entering your home. Treating your entire yard will help to eliminate any active outdoor carpenter ant colonies.
Vinegar is an extremely effective natural carpenter ant deterrent. It disrupts their pheromone trails and the smell prevents them from returning. Mix a 1-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar in a spray bottle (both apple cider and white vinegar will do). Shake the solution and then spray along baseboards, door frames, window sills, countertops, and directly on the nest if possible. Repeat the process daily or as needed to repel carpenter ants. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and multi-surface cleaner—so feel free to use the spray liberally.
Cinnamon & Cinnamon Oil
Not unlike the previously mentioned essential oils and vinegar, cinnamon and cinnamon oil deter ants by interfering with their pheromone trails. Dispense the cinnamon in whatever form throughout ant problem areas and directly on the nest if possible. When used around windowsills, baseboards, near doors and alongside countertops, cinnamon helps prevent carpenter ants from entering your home.
We love horses here at Cedarcide. So much so, in fact, we’ve rescued 7 of them from kill pens as part of the Cedarcide Horse Rescue. The strength, grace and kindness of these majestic animals continues to be a great source of inspiration for our Cedarcide team.
Occasionally we’re asked, “Is cedar oil toxic to horses?” The short answer is No—when properly formulated and properly used, cedar oil is not toxic to horses. But there’s more to be said on the topic. Let us explain.
Cedar Oil And Horses
It’s important to note that you should never use full-strength essential oils directly on your horse’s coat—that includes cedar oil. Undiluted essential oils can be irritating to horses’ skin, and “hot” essential oils—which includes cassia, cinnamon bark, clove, hyssop, lemongrass, ocotea, oregano, and thyme—can actually cause mild burns and rashes. When it comes to cedar oil specifically, some species of cedar—like Western red cedar and white cedar for example—are naturally toxic and irritating, and should never be used in topical horse products.
Full a full list of plants toxic to horses, click here.
How Is Cedarcide Cedar Oil Different?
Firstly, Cedarcide products never contain toxic species of cedar. Secondly, because we use only the highest quality cedar oil sourced from only pet-safe cedar trees (Juniperus ashei, to be specific), our products are always non-toxic, all natural, and safe for pets, including horses. Using a multi-step filtration process, our cedar oil is purified of all unnecessary contaminants and any other potentially harmful ingredients. However, as with any topical animal product, we suggest testing your horse for possible sensitivity or allergy to cedar oil with a light initial application.
How To Use Cedarcide For Horses
At Cedarcide, we offer four products for horses and horse owners: our all natural insect spray, Cedarcide Original, our natural extra strength insect spray, Tickshield, our concentrated pest-control bathing solution, Vet’s Choice, and a ready-to-use Domestic Animal Spray, D.A.S.
Note: all our pet products are natural, eco-friendly and non-toxic.
Tips for Using Cedarcide Original and Tickshield on Horses
We’ve found that some horses dislike being sprayed—for whatever reason, the spraying or spritzing action can occasionally frighten some horses. Because of this, we recommend approaching your first application of Cedarcide Original or Tickshield with caution. If you find your horse dislikes being sprayed, simply apply your chosen solution by misting your hands and massaging the spray into your horse’s coat.
If the spraying action does not bother your horse, apply Cedarcide Original or its extra strength counterpart, Tickshield, by misting your horse all over—including armpits, underbelly, and around the ears and tail. However, when applying these solutions, do not spray your horse’s face. Instead, spray the solution into your palms, and apply it to the face using your hands. Regularly treating your horses with Cedarcide Original or Tickshield will kill and provide protection against additional ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and other biting insects.
Tips for Using Vet’s Choice on Horses
Vet’s Choice is an extra strength, all natural and highly versatile concentrate designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock. Vet’s Choice eliminates and repels ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and dozens of other biting insects. Vet’s Choice can be mixed with water for use as a bath, spray or dip. It can also be used in stables and barns to reduce flying insects, or used as a treatment for mange and several other common skin disorders.
If you plan to spray your horse directly, use 4 oz. of Vet’s Choice per each gallon of water. For a bath, we suggest mixing 2 oz. of Vet’s Choice per each gallon of water. For a dip, use a 1:200 ratio of Vet’s Choice to water.
Tips for Using D.A.S. for Horses
D.A.S. (Domestic Animal Spray) is a ready-to-use, all natural and highly versatile solution designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock—think of it as a pre-diluted version of Vet’s Choice. Like Vet’s Choice, D.A.S. can be used as a bath, spray or dip, but with D.A.S. there’s no need to dilute beforehand. D.A.S. can be used in stable misting systems to reduce flying insects. It can also be used to treat mange and other common skin disorders. vr bgt/yuipo
Tip: D.A.S. works best when animals are thoroughly wetted with the product and allowed to air dry.
It’s well documented that gardening is beneficial for both mental and physical health. Which is great news for those with ample lawn space, but not so great news for those living in cramped urban landscapes. Urban Gardening—essentially, just gardening in urban spaces like apartments—is a way for those without yard space to enjoy the rewarding and therapeutic qualities of gardening. Because of the decreased sunlight and limited square footage associated with urban environments, an urban garden can be an intimidating and difficult project to start. But with a little know-how, some careful planning, and several visits to your local garden center, you can have a flourishing urban garden in no time. Here’s some tips to get you started.
Survey Your Space
How much space do you have—just room for containers like pots, or enough sq. footage for a garden bed or box? How much sunlight does your growing space receive each day? Do you want flowers, or something you’ll actually eat, like vegetables and herbs? These are the questions that will determine what type of garden you can grow, and how best to do it. Taking careful notes on sun exposure, physical space, and the types of plants you’re hoping to grow are important initial steps to planning your first urban garden. If you decide to consult a gardening professional (which we recommend), these notes will be essential in helping you both determine what growing methods are right for you and your space.
Pick A Growing Method
There are three main approaches to urban gardening: raised bed gardening, square foot gardening, and container gardening. Sunlight availability and the physical limitations of your growing space will determine which method is best for you. Here’s a short outline of each approach:
Raised Bed Gardening—If you have adequate space, this method affords the closest experience to traditional gardening. Raised bed gardening consists of isolating your plants using a large, raised container made from wood or brick. This approach offers additional protection from pests and elements like wind due to its elevated exterior. Raised bed gardening also allows for dense planting, and is a great choice for heat-loving plants like tomatoes and peppers.
Square Foot Gardening—If you’re looking togrow as many plants/vegetables as possible in your small space, square foot gardening might be the option for you. While not entirely different from raised bed gardening, this popular approach uses strict guidelines, specific soil mixtures, and a carefully measured spacing grid to make the most efficient use of your limited growing space. For specifics, visit squarefootgardening.com.
Container Gardening—If space is your biggest concern, container gardening—which requires the least effort, space, and setup—is likely your best bet. Using containers like small pots, this method allows you to grow various sorts of low maintenance plants within a limited amount of physical space. However, because you’re planting in a pot and not the earth, this approach will require that you water and fertilize your plants more often. For more info on these growing methods, click here.
Choose the Right Soil
Because urban soils are typically filled with debris like rocks and sand, and tend to lack the required nutrients, organic potting mix is generally your best option. As far as fertilizer, organic is also the way to go. In addition to the known health risks associated with chemical-based growing practices, synthetic blends like Miracle Grow tend to overfill your garden with nitrogen, which can in turn attract more pests and reduce fruit and vegetable output. We recommend consulting your local garden center or nursery to determine exactly which organic growing mediums and fertilizers are right for you.
Choose Your Plants Wisely
The unique combination of your growing space’s size and exposure to sunlight will determine what plants can flourish in your urban garden. While choosing the exact right plants is best left to you and your local garden center, the following are low-maintenance plants that tend to do well in urban conditions, where sunlight and space are in short supply:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
For more info on growing vegetables in your urban garden, click here.
Go Natural With Your Pest Control
Synthetic, chemical-based pesticides are dangerous to pets, people and the environment. Choosing natural methods for killing and repelling insects is not only more environmentally sustainable, but healthier for your garden, too. Healthier plants are more resistant to disease and the effects of garden pests, so consistent watering and organic fertilizers are the first step to safeguarding your urban garden against damaging bugs like mites and moths.
While there are many effective approaches to natural pest control, an eco-friendly, outdoor pesticide is the easiest and most hassle-free option. (Tip: when choosing a ready-to-use all natural pesticide, be sure that it’s both plant-safe and water-soluble).
Looking for an outdoor pest control solution?
We offer two: PCO Choice and Yardsafe. Click here to learn the difference.