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Inchworm Problems

inchworm

Having a few inch worms is not destructive to the natural habitat, since many trees and plant life can survive minimal inchworm feeding. However, when the number of inchworms grows, they can become a destructive pest, often damaging vegetable crops and ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers. The inchworm can be particularly destructive once an infestation is present because female moths lay their eggs in both fall and spring cycles.

To find out if you have inch worms, you can lightly shake plants to check for worms and larvae, or you can carefully examine branches for signs of infection. Infected plants will have noticeable tiny and irregularly shaped holes between the veins. Generally reaching one inch in length, they can be any color from white to green or black and are smooth and hairless.

The diet of an inchworm varies by its species. Typical inchworms cause damage on apple trees, oaks, and sweet gums. Other species of inchworm prefer vegetable gardens, and will feast upon almost any vegetable you plant, including tomatoes, celery, beans, potatoes, cabbage, and radishes.

The best type of prevention of an inchworm infestation is making sure your lawn or garden is hospitable to the inchworm’s natural predators like birds. Attracting birds with a birdhouse is a great way to get ahead of the problem.

However, if the infestation is large enough to present significant damage, you may opt to hire a professional to take care of the problem. A professional extermination company may use any number of treatment options.

 

Mosquito Control and the Zika Virus

 

mosquito

With the mosquito borne Zika Virus making its way up the coast the need for mosquito control. There are no treatments for mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue, so preventing mosquito bites is key.

There have been several dengue outbreaks over the last several decades. These infections can escalate to the point of causing severe pain, bleeding, shock and death. Other states have seen pockets of chikungunya in the last couple of years. It often afflicts the infected with debilitating joint pain. Another mosquito-borne virus, West Nile and can cause severe disease like chronic kidney disease and neurological problems.

The lack of antiviral medication and treatments for these diseases  makes prevention even more important.

While there have been reported cases of Zika Virus in New York, once the warm weather hits it is unknown how north the virus will travel. It is already not possible to entirely avoid dengue and chikungunya in the United States.

The good news is that all these viruses can be avoided by taking measures to prevent mosquito bites, which pass the viruses in their saliva.

Americans can take a break from worrying about diseases from mosquitoes in the winter because most mosquitoes are not active when it is cold, but summer is coming

You are more likely to encounter mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus, outdoors and at night. But you are at higher risk of bites from some breeds of mosquitoes, which can spread dengue, chikungunya and Zika, inside. That is because these types  are active and feed during the day. They come in the house for shade … they live very close to people.

The best thing you can do for mosquito control is tree spraying. There are plenty of organic insect control compounds that kill the dangerous insects, but are safe for your family and pets. Discuss your tree spraying schedule early to ensure a happy, mosquito free summer.

One of the most important things to do when the weather warms up is make sure you don’t have standing water outside your house, such as in a garbage can lid, birdbath or trays of potted plants. Anything sitting around for more than five to seven days can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Dump standing water at least once a week on dry ground — any larvae in the water will die when the water evaporates and they dry out. You can also take a look at standing water to make sure it does not contain mosquito larvae, which are visible to the naked eye.

Spring Has Sprung!

Tree Spraying Long Island

Spring is around the corner! It’s  time to break out the trowels and those gardening gloves.
Here is your spring gardening  check list:
• Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth. Cut back spent perennials and pull up old annuals if you didn’t get around to it last fall. Then look around. March is a good time to take stock of your yard and see if it’s time to thin out crowded beds and do some transplanting to fill in bare spots.
• Check for signs of growth-If the weather has been warm enough, some plants might have gotten started without you.
• Prep the beds-Remove winter mulch or, if it has been well composted, work into the top layer of the soil. Clear away any broken or damaged branches. Rake out fallen leaves and dead foliage. Also remove existing mulch to set the stage for a new layer once spring planting is done. Push heaved plants back into flower beds and borders. Spread a pelletized fertilizer tailored to existing plantings on the soil’s surface so that spring rains can carry it to the roots.
• Prune away dead and damaged branches-Where tree or shrub branches have been damaged by cold, snow, and wind, prune back to live stems; use a handsaw for any larger than ½ inch in diameter. Shape hedges with hand pruners, rather than electric shear.
• Divide perennials-Before plants have begun spring growth is a good time to divide many perennials. Prune flowering perennials to a height of 4–5 inches and ornamental grasses to 2–3 inches to allow new growth to shoot up.
• Where soil has thawed, dig up perennials, such as daylilies and hostas, to thin crowded beds; divide them, leaving at least three stems per clump, and transplant them to fill in sparse areas. Cut back winter-damaged rose canes to 1 inch below the blackened area.
• Perform basic maintenance-Check stonework for frost heaves. Check and clean the deck now so you don’t have to do it later; make any repairs.
• Start seeds indoors- Set your indoor seed planting now so they will be ready when the time is right.
• Plant veggies-Hardy vegetables, such as onions, potatoes, artichokes, and some lettuces, should be planted now.

Prevent Tree Trimming Emergency This Winter

Winter storms routinely dump ice and snow on trees and branches. Falling branches and trees can destroy cars, homes and knock out power systems. If a particularly bad storm hits, there can be a long wait for licensed tree service companies to take care of the damage.

Many Long Island tree service professionals agree that prevention is key to sparing your property from tree damage during a winter storm.

  1. Know the signs of a weak tree

You should routinely inspect your trees throughout the year, especially after a storm or heavy winds. Keep an eye out for any type of visible decay, such as mushrooms growing out of the base of the tree, or dead or hanging branches.

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  1. Not all trees are created equal

Certain trees are more likely to fall during a winter storm than others. Silver maple hybrids and fast-growing trees, such as poplars and cottonwoods, are more likely to fall during a winter storm due to their brittle wood. When planting these trees keep in mind that you should not plant them too near structures or powerlines.

For stronger, more storm-resistant trees, consider planting hardwoods, such as oaks and maples.

 

  1. Tree Pruning is Important

Regular tree pruning will keep problematic branches from endangering your property. If you notice a weak or broken branch, it might be a good idea to call a local tree trimming company or certified arborist before a storm to take a look at any potential problem trees

Pruning at an early age can help a tree build a strong foundation and prevent storm-related damage. However, homeowners often neglect pruning young trees because they assume there’s no immediate threat to their property.

Pruning can be done any time of year, but there is an advantage to assessing a tree while its leaves are off.