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You are here: Home Content On Our Radar Killing Two Birds with One Stone, or Two Pests with One Spray
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Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back t...

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was ...

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlin...

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district h...

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Killing Two Birds with One Stone, or Two Pests with One Spray

ticksprayWe hear about cases of tick-borne diseases like Lyme and Powassan regularly here in Westchester County and a case of West Nile was just confirmed as well. One in five ticks carries Lyme disease. And yet even without all the nasty diseases that these insects carry, it's a nuisance to not be able to eat outside because of mosquitoes and have to check for ticks every time your child plays in the yard.

And when you find a tick on you or your kid? Then the panic sets in of trying to remove the tick while your child squirms and tells you how gross it is which is followed by weeks of anxiously worrying about Lyme disease (among other things). Some parents go as far as not letting their kids play outside a lot because of having found ticks on them or because they are so prone to mosquito bites. One Scarsdale mom recalled a time that her daughter got 47 mosquito bites while being out in the backyard!

Spraying for ticks and mosquitos has become more common as the data gets stronger and the acaricide (tick pesticide) gets less toxic. Spraying for ticks and mosquitoes has also become more popular as tick and mosquito-borne diseases gain more attention in the media. Many pest control companies offer tick and mosquito spraying and many landscaping and tree care companies now offer this service as well. The good news? You can kill two birds (or insects) with one stone (or spray)!

Emerald Tree and Shrub Care is one such company that offers a comprehensive and natural treatment to reduce the tick and mosquito population in people's yards. They begin with an extensive evaluation of the property including looking for any high-risk areas that need modification such as areas of standing water. They look for evidence of mice as well since mice have been cited as a major vector for ticks. A treatment plan is then initiated based on the size of the property as well as the type; for example, is it near wetlands or does it back up to thick vegetation? Lawns, trees, bushes and garden beds are sprayed. Emerald Tree Care recommends spraying with their organic and natural cedar oil blend. It is effective (retreatment is needed only every 30-60 days which is similar to chemical treatments) and kids and pets can play in areas that have been sprayed 15 minutes after treatment versus 24 hours for chemical sprays. The CDC has deemed natural repellants safe for humans, animals and flora and they are EPA-exempt because they have been shown to not cause harm. 

So how often is treatment needed and during which months should yards be sprayed? Kate Flanagan from Emerald Tree and Shrub Care said, "Yards should be treated every 30-60 days depending on the severity of the mosquito and tick populations. The client feedback we receive from our all natural cedar oil blend is that it is very effective and the data out there supports this." Ms. Flanagan said that the initiation of treatment each year usually depends on how warm the spring is, but "...we usually recommend beginning to spray in April or May and continuing through the end of October."

Rebecca Wilcox has sprayed for ticks and mosquitoes a couple of times this summer. She chose an all-natural spray and hasn't had an issue with ticks since spraying. "Having been in someone else's yard that does NOT spray, I'll say we'll keep doing it every year," she said. She was "eaten alive" in a yard that was not sprayed. Joyce Russell had her yard sprayed in May with a cedar oil blend and noticed a huge decrease in the mosquito population. "By July, it was noticeably more buggy," she said. Joyce lives next to a pond so generally thinks her yard has more mosquitoes than others might have. "I resprayed last week and our yard is definitely less buggy. We've gotten no bites since we resprayed!" she said. Another local resident sprays because she knows she's reducing ticks and mosquitoes in one shot and that the formulation is safe for her dogs and kids. "I know the chemical pesticides are safe after 24 hours as well but it makes me feel better to use all natural oils if they work which I can say from experience that they do."

So is it an old wive's tale that all your neighbors also need to spray in order for spraying to be effective? David Wagner, ISA Certified Arborist with Emerald Tree and Shrub Care debunks this myth. "There is certainly a huge benefit to spraying your lawn even if your neighbors are not doing the same. Our spray is a contact kill and will help eliminate any ticks or mosquitoes that have settled in your lawn. You will definitely see an immediate impact," he said. "With that being said," he continued, "to truly stop the tick cycle, we recommend combining spraying with our Tick Tube treatment."

"Tick Tubes" are the latest adjunct treatment (in addition to spraying) being used to reduce the ability of mice, one of the main vectors for ticks, of transferring ticks to humans. Emerald describes their importance in their treatment and prevention of ticks as follows: While spraying is a very effective way to control ticks that have settled on your grass, Tick Tubes take the treatment back to the source of the problem: the nests of white footed mice. These biodegradable cardboard tubes are filled with cotton swabs that have been soaked in an insecticide called permethrin. Our team strategically places them in common areas of mouse habitat. Since mice are always looking for soft nesting materials, they grab up the cotton swabs and bring them back home where they will cover the mice fur with permethrin. The mouse then becomes our tick control agent, killing any ticks that were hosting on the mouse, along with any future ones that try to attach to the mouse.
Landscape modifications can also reduce tick populations in your yard. Recommendations from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station handbook are as follows:

• Keep lawn mowed
• Prune trees
• Clear leaf litter especially along edges of lawn, stone walls and driveways
• Move playsets away from woodlands
• Restrict groundcover in play areas
• Reduce Japanese barberry in and around yard

This is sponsored content from Emerald Tree and Shrub Care who is available for yard evaluations and recommends spraying through the end of October. They would also like to remind people to have their trees' health evaluated in the fall before storms and heavy snow to reduce the chance of trees falling and causing damage.

Emerald Tree and Shrub Care
914-725-0441
info@emeraldtreecare.com

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