New York’s bedbug infestation hit the city hard in 2010, but directed much business towards the bed bug detection service industry. As schools, shopping centers, and movie theaters uncovered cases of bed bugs, small business owners experienced a busy season. It was not solely the detection services that saw an increase in service calls. Lawyers also took cases from victims suing establishments, and therapists were being called upon to treat clients with bedbug anxiety. During this time, inspection services were overwhelmed with requests from frantic customers. Bob Young, operations manager at Terminix said that “More often than not, Terminix would provide a free inspection, only to find nothing more than a few harmless beetles. Everything with six legs was a bed bug. Sometimes things with less than six legs”. However, after the city experienced its bedbug peak, landlords and business owners are required to perform more frequent inspections and treatments, which has proven to simultaneously reduce the widespread panic. Midtown Psychologist Steven Brodsky noted that far less patients enter his office seeking help for bedbug anxiety, and when his existing patients get bedbugs, “they take it in stride – sort of”. Bedbug detection business owners also agree that the panic has lessened. Terminix reported that business is down 20% from the 2010 peak, but specialists are seeing far fewer false alarms. Despite a subdued hype, bedbugs still remain, and will always remain a potential problem since the insects are infamously known for being pesticide-resistant. For this reason, experts suggest that the public stays informed, for spreading alarm has proven to create much unnecessary insect hysteria.
This information is as reported by the Wall Street Journal. For more, please visit http://online.wsj.com/articles/where-are-new-yorks-bedbugs-now-1409337589
Seventy years ago, journalist Joseph Mitchell wrote about New York’s rat problem claiming that “some authorities believe that in the five boroughs there is a rat for every human being.” Nowadays, experts estimate that there are even more. In attempt to fix this problem, New York City officials are piloting an initiative to reduce the rat population in infested neighborhoods. One tactic in practice is to get more exterminators on the streets while also closing up holes in public infrastructure. Caroline Bragdon, a rat expert with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, explains that “rats only need a hole or a gap the size of a quarter to enter. It’s not enough just to poison rats and collapse their burrows”. Exposure to tips like these are what city officials believe can help solve the problem. Accordingly, the city has introduced the Rat Academy, a free, two hour course offered to business, apartment building, or community garden owners/tenants. Bragdon reinforces that in order to solve a rodent problem, you must rid of all conditions that brought them there in the first place.
A recent increase in meat allergies across the nation has doctors pointing fingers at a trouble instigating bug, the Lone Star tick. How does a tick cause meat intolerance? The problem was discovered a few years ago, and countless cases later, doctors are able to explain why. The Lone Star Tick shares a common constituent called Alpha-gal with red meat and even some dairy products. Alpha-gal is a sugar that people digest normally when the medium is food. However, the body’s high-alert response to this tick’s bite is to make antibodies that fight the foreign substance sugar in order to prevent it from entering the skin and bloodstream. Accordingly, the next time the tick bite victim is faced with Alpha-gal, an allergic reaction occurs. Unfortunately, few patients are aware of the risk, leaving people confused and covered in hives.
The Horsley Witten Group, Inc. (HW), a Cape Cod organization dedicated to sustainable environmental solutions, has implemented a project to investigate the effects and better monitor the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the region. According to the final report of the Cape Cod Pesticide and Fertilizer Use Inventory, “a portion of pesticides and fertilizers applied to fields, lawns, and other areas makes its way to surface waters through storm water runoff, to groundwater by leaching through the soil, and to other areas by volatilization into the atmosphere from which it is redistributed by precipitation.” Although the substances are used both privately and commercially, individual homeowners represent over 80% of pesticide product use and nearly 70% of fertilizer product use. Commercial users (golf courses, agriculture, etc.), for the most part, are regulated in that only licensed professionals perform these applications. They also have a financial incentive to use less of the product. This being said, HW plans to work alongside regulators, local environmental groups, and industry professionals to place a focus on better informing residential users of better management practices, such as knowledge development, limiting the size of the managed area, and lastly, alternative landscapes and native species selection.
Right now, invasive species are infesting and destroying trees across New England. Asian long-horned beetles, emerald ash borers and winter moths are three of our state’s biggest culprits. The winter moth has already caused 16,596 acres of complete defoliation across the state and is showing no signs of slowing. This munching moth was introduced to the Massachusetts ecosystem about 20 years ago, causing the most damage in Gloucester and Rockport, but has also killed trees throughout the state’s eastern area. Their defoliation has been sighted in other New England states and they have recently been reported in central Massachusetts. To combat the issue, an entomologist has begun to release thousands of cyzenis albicans, a fly which only feeds on winter moth caterpillars. These flies will remain only as long as the winter moth larva, as the winter moth is their only food source, and they pose no risk of damage to our forests. In the meantime, insecticides are available if you see winter moths on your property. A Noon Turf Care specialist can prescribe the right combination of mulching, insecticide and horticultural oils to eliminate these harmful creatures from your trees.
For the first time since its arrival in Massachusetts, the emerald ash borer has been discovered at the Arnold Arboretum, a popular state park and nature preserve. This unique metallic-green Asian beetle burrows beneath the bark of ash trees, impeding their circulatory system to cause the tree’s death within three to five years. On their own, these small insects cannot travel very far, and therefore do not pose much risk to our landscape. However, the cutting and distribution of firewood has exacerbated their reach. Put simply, humans are the reason that these invasive critters are spreading and causing so much damage, putting three percent of Massachusetts’ trees at risk. The emerald ash borer has already destroyed millions of trees across roughly half of the United States, costing the country billions of dollars to replace them and deal with the infestation. Since eradicating the emerald ash borer is not an option, we are asking residents to avoid moving any ash products. Buy local firewood, instead of leaving and entering a slightly different ecosystem and potentially contaminating a new area with these tree killers. We can all do our part in containing this beetle’s radius of damage by safely removing dead or infested trees and using only local firewood.
Noon Turf Care was recently featured in Landscape Management talking about our new approach to lawn tech compensation. We changed focus from compensation based on volume of lawns treated to one that results in more personal interaction with our customers. Now, lawn technicians have a dedicated route they are assigned to for the year. As a result, we’ve seen customer retention increase 7% — and expect it to only continue to rise.
You can read the full article at Landscape Management.
The Cape Cod Bays are facing challenges with the mass amounts of nitrogen in the water leading to murky bay beds and seaweed covered shorelines. There have been many discussions about the best route to eliminate vast nitrogen counts in the water. So far the most popular suggestion has been aquaculture and shellfish cultivation. Scientists conducted a study and found that because shellfish are filter feeders, they take up some of the nitrogen. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was one of the first groups to conduct research on this matter with their 4.6 – acre oyster farm in Popponesset Bay. For them having an oyster farm isn’t only ecologically beneficial but has economic potential too.
Noon Turf Care owner Chris Noon was featured on Spreecast chat with Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Needleman. Click here to read more!
What do Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, Franklin, and Norfolk all have in common? In addition to being a part of the old Bay State, these communities have been named the top 5 safest cities in Massachusetts.
Safewise, a home security comparison tool, has compiled a list based on independent research as well as the most recent FBI Crime Report. In order to be considered for a spot on this elite list, a city must have been home to over 10,000 people as of 2012. The number of violent and property crimes were identified, and the chance of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 was then calculated. With such safe neighborhoods to boast for, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is the third most populated state in the country!