eco advocate


Termite Damage Can Mean Big Bucks

They are as old as dinosaurs and will probably outlive humans…but while we’re here on Planet Earth, termite damage can mean big bucks.

That’s why it’s important to take precautions. Resolving structural and moisture issues inside- and-outside of your house and keeping wood, including mulch, away from your foundation can help to keep termites at bay.

Still, these sly pests, particularly subterranean termites in New Jersey, can very sneakily eat up enormous amounts of wood over time. And, they come in droves. As many as two million termites can invade your home!

Know what to look for. Subterranean termites produce winged swarmers. If you see swarmers or the dry, brown, cylindrical tunnels they build near your home’s foundation, you can be sure subterraneanan termites are chomping away at your beams, flooring and foundations.

A termite control expert can recommend treatment options. The good news: non-chemical or non-toxic termite control like neem oil, orange oil and boric acid can be effective for specific targeted infestations.

The most comprehensive, state-of-the-art green treatments, however, particularly for subterranean infestations, use bait stations installed around the perimeter of your house. Bait stations are filled with a pure food source termites devour and are monitored quarterly and bi-annually to deter and/or eliminate any termite colonies present in the soil without pesticide saturation. Arkadia provides installation and monitoring services for termite bait stations.

They may be ancient and resilient, but you can wipe out termites with eco-friendly methods that keep your family safe.


Think Green for Lush Lawns AND Good Health

Time was when you could walk barefoot across a lawn without worry about contamination from pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. These days, we’ve become far too accustomed to seeing those little white flags warning us to “Keep Off.”

Science may have brought us greener lawns, but all those chemicals pollute our water and pose serious health risks to humans, wildlife and pets.

But good health and lush lawns can go hand-in-hand. Here’s how to bring those carefree, barefoot days back:

Keep your soil nutrient rich. Run a soil test to determine soil pH. A 6.5 to 7.0 pH is best. Add nutrients as needed.

Fertilize once a year. Top-dress your lawn with a quarter-to-a half inch of compost. You can also use fertilizer that’s labeled “slow release” or “natural organic” to limit leaching.

Mow right. Adjust lawnmower blades to keep grass at two-and-one-half to three-and-one-half inches. Height gives grass more access to sunlight and results in thicker, deeper-rooted growth and soil moisture retention that helps prevent weeds.

Water wisely. Morning watering fosters absorption. Water only when needed with an inch of water. Placing a few same-sized cans around the watering area will help you measure.

Use holistic pest control. Environmentally-friendly DIY and some contracted lawn care services employ an Integrative Pest Management approach and/or use organic and chemical-free processes.

Reach for the vinegar. It kills weeds. A long-handled weed puller also works.

Mulch garden beds and remove diseased plants. This prevents weed and plant problems from spreading.

Give it up to Mother Nature. Lady bugs and praying mantises eat other bugs without causing humans harm. And, damaged areas may just bounce back. Health-wise, being patient and learning to live with a weed or two pay-off.

Till next month.

Barbara Mannino
Eco Advocate Writer/Editor
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