205 Wilson Ave - Norwalk, CT 06854

Stay Safe This Summer: Treat for Mosquitoes and Ticks

With Zika virus all over the headlines and Lyme Disease an ongoing concern, more and more Connecticut residents are thinking about how to protect their families this summer. Mosquitoes and ticks have always been local pests, but over the past few years, their attacks have gone from annoying to downright dangerous. Protection has become a top priority for many families — and for us at Connecticut Green, as well.

How do you keep the bugs away?

While we can spray for both mosquitoes and ticks, it’s important to realize that the treatment for these insects is not the same, even if the substance we use to treat them is. Why? Well, very simply, mosquitoes are airborne, while ticks live and thrive in tall grasses, brush and shrubs, and in or near woods. (Because ticks need blood to survive, they actually seek out spots that are frequented by mammals. Nasty, but true!) Ticks require a perimeter spray to keep them at bay.  Flying mosquitoes require more frequent sprays on grasses and shrubs, as well as a repellent – not just for you, for your yard, as well.

What do you use?

The spray we use for both of these dangerous bugs is a safe product derived from chrysanthemums. This low-toxicity formula is used for both outdoor and indoor spraying, so it’s as safe as a pesticide can be for kids and pets. And it’s very effective.

In addition to a pesticide spray, we also advocate using a garlic oil-based repellent spray to keep mosquitoes from entering your yard in the first place. (It’s a fun fact that, like vampires, blood-sucking mosquitoes are repelled by garlic.)

How often should we be spraying?

For most homes, we recommend spraying three times annually for ticks: in spring, summer and fall. For mosquitoes, it’s suggested you spray monthly from June through September for the best protection. We can spray more frequently, and we can even come in advance of your next barbecue or garden party to ensure your guests stay comfortable.  (Have an event coming up? Contact us now for an advance treatment!)

What else can we do?

There are a lot of really simple things you can do to keep your family and pets safe in mosquito and tick season. Here are just a few:

  • Steer clear of standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, so make sure your property is clear of puddles and pools. Commonly overlooked places might include the bases of swing sets, sandbox covers and tents. Look carefully around your property, and if you find a pool of stagnant water, dump it ASAP..
  • Get an electric fan. Believe it or not, a simple electric fan can do wonders to keep mosquitoes away. Why does this simple solution work? Mosquitoes are weak flyers, and fans make that job even harder for them. Turn on a fan and send them in search of an easier meal!
  • Break out the DEET or Picaridin spray. Not everyone likes to douse themselves in chemicals, but the fact is that nothing has been proven more effective than bug spray to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other biting bugs. Note that Picaridin may be just as effective as DEET, but without the strong odor and other concerns.
  • Hiking or walking through woods or fields? Wear long socks or long pants. It’s an old, obvious tip, but it’s still your best protection against Lyme Disease. And even if you hike in knee-high boots, do a thorough check of all your skin when you get home.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about the right protection for your pet. Don’t like chemical treatments? Consider brewer’s yeast or other natural options for Fido or Fifi.

Ready to protect your yard from mosquitoes and ticks? Contact us today to schedule your first treatment.

Liquid Soil Drench: The One Thing You Absolutely Should Do Every Year for Your Shrubs – Especially if You Have Boxwoods!

If there’s one single, solitary thing you should do for your garden each year, it’s shrub fertilization.

In my opinion, it’s the most important service Connecticut Green offers. That’s because in only one application, we accomplish so much.

Our Liquid Soil Drench is much more than a typical sprinkling of 12-6-6 around your hedges. This carefully formulated treatment contains three key ingredients:

  • Water-Soluble Liquid Fertilizer: While many think of fertilizer as “plant food,” this isn’t really accurate. Plants don’t really need food; they need sun and water to complete photosynthesis, which produces the sugars they need to survive. That’s the only “food” they require! What they do need are additional nutrients that may be absent or not readily available in your soil. So really, the right fertilizer is more like a vitamin supplement than food.
  • Systemic Insecticide: We apply a widely-used insecticide that mimics the effects of nicotine, killing insects that eat your shrubs. (Nicotine has historically been used as a natural pesticide, FYI!)  These include several kinds of grubs and Japanese beetles, among other pests. The treatment we use is only toxic when ingested by insects and grubs, and actually shares the same active ingredient as leading flea and tick treatments, so you can feel confident that your family is safe. There are no fumes, no dust clouds, and no granules.
  • Biostimulant: Different from fertilizers, biostimulants improve soil quality and help plants more efficiently absorb nutrients. Plants are hardier, use water more efficiently, and look (and where applicable, taste) better. At the same time, biostimulants make soil more fertile by helping complementary micro-organisms flourish. If fertilizers are like vitamins for your garden, think of biostimulants as their annual megadose of probiotics.

This treatment, applied once annually, can dramatically improve the appearance of your garden – particularly if you (like everyone else) have boxwoods in your yard. A single treatment will eliminate pests for your boxwoods for an entire year. Your shrubs will be greener, fuller and healthier than you’ve ever seen them! No more ugly scabs from boxwood leafminers. No more mites or psyllids.

Why fertilize your shrubs?

If you’ve invested in a beautiful landscape design, annual fertilization will protect your investment and keep your yard beautiful. While shrubs can certainly survive on their own, they may not thrive – and they will be at risk of destruction by grubs and other pests. Fertilizing with our three-pronged approach will not only keep your garden looking beautiful on the outside, it will make all your plants stronger from the inside, as well.

Natural alternatives

While our Liquid Soil Drench generally uses more traditional ingredients, we understand that many customers prefer to take an organic approach to their garden care. We absolutely respect that, and we are happy to provide natural products as an alternative. Just ask – we can develop a custom treatment tailored to your plants and your values.

Ready to fertilize your shrubs? May through June is the perfect time! Contact us today to book your treatment.