Showing posts with label Strathroy Ontario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Strathroy Ontario. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Carpenter Ant Pest Control


One of the most common questions people have is “How do I kill ants?” Over 12,000 of ant species exist and can sometimes be unsightly. Pest control is needed to keep them from getting into our food and damaging our homes. Carpenter and Fire ants can cause the most damage to your home, and they are considered the most destructive ants in Canada. Before attempting to kill ants on your own, contact a pest control specialist to determine what kind of ants are infesting the area since each species has it’s own method of survival. Take a look at this video on carpenter ants in action. Better the log than our home! Feel free to e-mail us for more info on bugs and pest extermination.
We Service 

London Ontario, Strathroy, Ingersoll, Dorchester, Exeter, Lucan, Goderich, Grandbend, and Bayfield Ontario

Bed bugs bite into housing budget – London Free Press

Bed bug infestations that have skin crawling across North America haven’t spared London, where the city-run public housing agency’s pest-control budget has increased 10-fold.
bed bug bite
Bed Bug Bite
Now that’s a pricey pest.
“It’s ballooned,” Derek Grater, acting chief executive of the London & Middlesex Housing Corp., said of the pest-fighting costs. “It’s all bed bugs.”
In recent years, the housing body — which provides subsidized public housing in London and Middlesex County — spent about $20,000 a year fighting pests.
Now? The tab has hit $200,000, almost all of it going to pay exterminators to battle bed bugs.
And Grater says he’d like to add $186,000 to hire two people to handle the infestations, though he expects that will be delayed at least a year.
“It’s really increased our workload tremendously,” he said. “We’re trying to re-organize the staff we do have to better handle the issue.”
The problem appears to have spread far beyond public housing in London.
Sawyer Pest Control owner Ryan Sawyer says about 40% of his business is bed-bug related — early in his 14-year career, he never dealt with them — and the calls come from everywhere. SEE MORE
We are locally owned and operated, servicing 

London Ontario, Strathroy, Ingersoll, Dorchester, Exeter, Lucan, Goderich, Grandbend, and Bayfield Ontario

Christmas tree cultivation | Pest Control London Ontario

pest control london ontarioChristmas tree cultivation is an agricultural, forestry, and horticultural occupation which involves growing pine, spruce, and fir trees specifically for use as Christmas trees.
The first Christmas tree farm was established in 1901, but most consumers continued to obtain their trees from forests until the 1930s and 1940s. Christmas tree farming was once seen only as a viable alternative for low-quality farmland, but that perception has changed within the agriculture industry. For optimum yield and quality, land should be flat or gently rolling and relatively free of debris and undergrowth.
A wide variety of pine and fir species are grown as Christmas trees, although a handful of varieties stand out in popularity. In the United States, Douglas-fir, Scots Pine and Fraser Fir all sell well. Nordmann Fir and Norway Spruce sell well in the United Kingdom, the latter being popular throughout Europe. Like all conifers, Christmas trees are vulnerable to a range of pests.
The final stage of cultivation, harvesting, is carried out in a number of ways; one of the more popular methods is the pick-your-own tree farm, where customers are allowed to roam the farm, select their tree, and cut it down themselves. Other farmers cultivate potted trees, with balled roots, which can be replanted after Christmas and used again the following year[edit]History
The practice of cultivating evergreens specifically to sell as Christmas trees dates back to 1901, when a 25,000 tree Norway Spruce farm was sown near Trenton, New Jersey.[1] The commercial market for Christmas trees had started fifty years earlier when a farmer from the Catskill Mountains brought trees into New York City to sell.[2] Despite these pioneering efforts, most people still obtained wild-grown Christmas trees from forests into the 1930s and 1940s.[3] More trees were grown in plantations after World War II, and by the 1950s farmers were shearing and pruning trees to meet customer demands. The Christmas tree market burgeoned through the 1960s and 1970s, but from the late 1980s onward prices and the market for natural Christmas trees declined. In the early 21st century, nearly 98 percent of all natural (non-artificial) Christmas trees sold worldwide were grown on tree farms.[4]

Cultivation

Land and climate

pest control london ontario
This Christmas tree farm in southern Virginia is situated in a gently rolling valley.
Christmas tree farms are best located on relatively level land which is free of obstructions. In the past, Christmas tree farmers established their plantations on less desirable agricultural plots or “wastelands of agriculture”.[5] However, emphasis in modern Christmas tree farming has shifted toward the production of higher-quality trees, increasing land quality expectations as well.[5] Indeed, some species of tree, such as the Fraser Fir, are unable to grow on low-quality, marginal farmland.[6] Flat or gently rolling land is preferred to that with steep slopes and inclines, which is prone to erosion and fluctuations in fertility. Noticeable obstructions, such as rocks, fences or significant underbrush, are also undesirable.[5]
pest control london ontario
This Christmas tree farm in Iowa is located on flat ground and has well-mowed rows between the trees.
Like all crops and plants, Christmas trees require a specific set of nutrients to thrive.[7] There are 16 elements crucial for growth; of those, three are obtained through air and water: hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Nitrogen,phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, copper, chlorine, manganese, molybdenum, iron, and zinc are obtained from the soil. If the necessary elements are not available in the local soil, nutritious fertilizers are used.[7] Other important soil considerations include pH and drainage.[8] Certain types of soil are preferable, depending on the type of tree. Pine trees are usually better adapted to a sandy or sandy loam soil,[9] while White Spruce trees and fir trees, such as the Douglas-fir, prefer fine-texture loams and clay loam soils.[9] Some trees grow well in all types of soil, but in any case, the land must be well-drained for a Christmas tree farm to have a chance of thriving.[9]
The weather, as with other agricultural endeavors, plays a key outcome in the yield of a Christmas tree farm. Severe cold in the winter and extreme hot and dry conditions during and after harvest can cause irreparable damage to the crop.[10] Early snow can make both harvesting and shipping trees difficult or impossible.[10]

Labor and equipment

Christmas tree farming is a labor-intensive process. Depending on the quality of the land, bulldozing may need to be undertaken prior to planting, in order to remove obstacles such as large trees or rocks.[11] If the volume of undergrowth requires it, the soil may be tilled; tilling can help remove any debris remaining after tree or weed removal. Both woody plants and herbaceous weeds must be controlled prior to planting; this is most often done by application of a chemical herbicide.[11] In addition, some types of fertilizers must be introduced into the soil prior to planting.[11] The work done before planting tree seedlings plays an important role in the overall success of a Christmas tree crop.[10]
After the trees are in the ground, work on the crop continues. Animal pests (especially insects) and diseases must be monitored and controlled, and weed growth must also be minimized. Many species of pine and fir require pruning and shearing two to four years after planting to maintain the classic Christmas tree shape.[10] Late or omitted pruning can result in trees that are unmarketable due to large gaps in needle coverage. Some species of pine, such as the Scots Pine, are susceptible to dormant season “yellowing”, which is generally countered with a green dye or paint.[10][12]
The outlay of money on equipment varies greatly. Some items commonly found on Christmas tree farms are insecticide sprayers, tractors, and shaper sheers.[13] Mechanized planters, at a cost of about US$4,000, are not essential but a work-saving luxury for farmers.[13] Farmers can purchase seedlings, the lifeblood of a Christmas tree farm, from nurseries. One farmer in Oregon purchased seedlings for between US$200–300 per 1,000 plants. The farmer, a wholesaler, sold his final products for about $20 each; after the cost of the trees and other expenses, a profit of $2–3 per tree.[13]

Trees

pest control london ontario
Fraser Fir (cone and foliage pictured) is a popular species of Christmas tree in both the United States and Great Britain.
The best-selling species in the North American market are Scots Pine, Douglas-fir, Noble Fir, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Virginia Pine, and Eastern White Pine, although other types of trees are also grown and sold.[4][14] In Alabama, for example, types of trees grown for use as Christmas trees include Eastern White Pine, Redcedar, Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, and Arizona Cypress.[15] In Florida, the Sand Pine and Spruce Pine are among the 20,000 grown in the state each year.[16]
pest control london ontario
Norway Spruce is a popular Christmas tree species in Europe.
In Great Britain, Nordmann Fir is a popular species, largely due to its needle-holding qualities.[17][18] Other popular trees in Britain are Norway Spruce, Serbian Spruce, and Scots Pine, the last of which is slightly rarer;[18] it has sharp needles which do not shed easily.[17]
In the U.S. Pacific Northwest, a major Christmas tree growing region, Douglas-fir has always been the primary species grown.[19] A full one-half of all trees produced in the Pacific Northwest are Douglas-fir.[19] Douglas-firs typically take five to seven years before they are mature enough to sell as Christmas trees.[19] Also common in the region are Noble Fir, a tree which commands a higher price than Douglas-fir, and Grand Fir, which accounts for about 10 percent of the annual harvest in the Northwest.[19] Other species collectively account for only 3–5 percent of the total Northwest harvest.[19]
In North America, Fraser Fir, grown in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, has been called the “Cadillac of Christmas Trees” as well as the “most popular and most valuable of Christmas tree species”.[20] In the southern United States, Virginia Pine is a popular Christmas tree species.[21] In Canada, White Pine, White Spruce, Scots Pine, Blue Spruce and Fraser Fir are commonly cultivated.[22] In the province of Ontario, Scots Pine has always dominated both the domestic and export markets.[22] Other regions of the world also have different favorites when it comes to natural Christmas trees, and Christmas tree farms reflect these; In Europe, Norway Spruce is popular.[21]

Pests, disease and weeds

Main article: Christmas tree pests and weeds
pest control london ontario
An adult Balsam woolly adelgid, a major pest in the Christmas tree industry
Many of the conifer species cultivated face infestations and death from such pests as the Balsam woolly adelgid, other adelgids and aphids. Invasive insect species, such as the pine shoot beetle and the gypsy moth, also threaten Christmas tree crops.[23] Christmas trees are also vulnerable to fungal pathogens, resulting in such illnesses as root rot, and, in California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia sudden oak death.[24] Douglas-fir trees are especially vulnerable to infections from plant pathogens such as R. pseudotsugaeand Rhabdocline weiriiR. weirii affects only Douglas-fir trees.[25][26] The pathogen often makes Douglas-fir trees unsaleable as Christmas trees and heavily affects the Christmas tree farming industry.[25]
Mammals such as deer, gophers and ground squirrels are also threats to Christmas tree crops, due to the damage they cause to roots and buds. Certain species of birds are also considered pests, including the Pine Grosbeak, which feeds on conifer buds,[27] usually affecting Scots Pine but also affecting Eastern White Pine and Red Pine, as well as spruce trees.[28] Herbaceous weeds, as well as woody plants, also compete with Christmas tree crops for water and nutrients, necessitating control methods including mowing, chemical herbicide use, and tilling.

Quality

USDA Christmas Tree Grades[29]
GradeRequirements[30]
U.S. PremiumFresh, clean, healthy, heavy density, one minor defect allowed[31]
U.S. No. 1Fresh, fairly clean, healthy, medium density, two minor defects allowed[32]
U.S. No. 2Fresh, fairly clean, healthy, light density,
three minor defects allowed[33]
Christmas tree quality grades have been in place since 1965 in Ontario, Canada, and were included under the provincial Farm Products Grades and Sales Act.[22] While the grades in Ontario are law, in the United States the grading system is not mandated. In fact, it is common for U.S. growers to develop their own grading systems.[34] The grading systems established by individual jurisdictions are often in the spirit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) grading scheme, even if they are not entirely based upon them.[35] The Department of Agriculture’s United States Standards for Grades of Christmas Trees took effect on October 30, 1989, covering “sheared or unsheared trees of the coniferous species which are normally marketed as Christmas trees”.[29]

Harvest

See also: Christmas tree production
pest control london ontario
Customers, armed with a saw, at a typical “choose-and-cut” Christmas tree farm
Christmas trees can be harvested and marketed in different ways. Some operations are known as “choose-and-cut” or pick-your-own farms, which allow customers to walk through the planted land, select their Christmas tree and cut down themselves.[8] Wholesale operations are more labor-intensive because they usually require the farmer to complete tasks such as baling, cutting, moving the trees to a roadside pick-up, and loading the harvest. In addition, this work must be completed during a very short period in November.[8] Growers also harvest trees by digging and balling the root and selling the trees as nursery stock or as live, reusable Christmas trees. This last option allows trees to be harvested earlier than the usual six to ten year period required to grow a mature Christmas tree.[8]
pest control london ontario
Customers haul their own purchases off-site at choose-and-cut farms.
Larger farms began using helicopters to move tree harvests during the 1980s.[3] One 1,200-acre (490 ha) farm in Oregon lacked road access, so it began using helicopters to move up to 200,000 Christmas trees per year.[36] Helicopters reduce the amount of time between harvesting and market, cutting it from up to two weeks down to as little as three days.[36]
Not all natural Christmas trees harvested are grown on plantations. In British Columbia, Canada, for example, most of the 900,000 trees harvested for use as Christmas trees came from native pine and fir stands.[37] The British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Ranges allows any resident of the province to cut a Christmas tree for free from Crown Lands, provided the individual receive prior permission in writing from a Forest Officer.[38] In the United States, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management offer permits for individual tree cutting on government land, mostly within the National Forest system.[39]

Farmers

The people who operate Christmas tree farms range from full-time growers to part-time farmers. One farmer in Minnesota, who began planting Christmas trees in 1967, gave his trees away for free from his modest 1-acre (4,000 m2) farm for ten years before establishing a tree farming business.[40] Other farmers started growing Christmas trees as a supplemental income for retirement or college funds,[41][42] or they worked farms that were not originally established as Christmas tree farms.[43][44]
Various national growers’ associations have been founded in Christmas tree producing nations. In the United Kingdom, the British Christmas Tree Growers Association is a trade association open to membership from Christmas tree farmers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[45] The National Christmas Tree Association serves a similar function in the United States.[46]

Environmental effect

In the United States, the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) promotes the environmental benefits of live Christmas trees over the competing artificial alternative.[47] The NCTA stated that every acre of Christmas trees in production produced the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people; with 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) in production in the U.S. alone, that amounts to oxygen for 9 million people per day.[47] The NCTA also stated that the farms help to stabilize the soil, protect water supplies and provide wildlife habitat.[47] In addition, the industry points to the reduction of carbon dioxide through Christmas tree farming.[48] An independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, conducted by a firm of experts in sustainable development, states that a natural tree will generate 3.1 kg of greenhouse gases whereas the artificial tree will produce 8.1 kg per year.[49]
A 1998 report from the Michigan State University Agricultural Experiment Station predicted increasing environmental concerns about tree production and use as one possible reason people may favor artificial trees in the future. The report cited the use of fertilizers and pesticides and increasing concerns regarding tree disposal as the chief elements in its prediction.[50] Critics of tree farming have raised the concerns highlighted in the 1998 report, as well as other issues, such as the effect that large-scale tree farming operations have on biodiversity.[48] Pesticide use on Christmas tree farms is one of the main concerns of environmentalists;[48][51] fir trees are vulnerable to a wide array of pests and diseases which requires the use of pesticides and other chemicals including the widely-used herbicide glyphosate (brand name Roundup).[48] Glyphosate

Fun for Bugs! What’s that Bug?







The Weirdest Insects in the World



There are over a million described species of insects, and even more that haven’t been studied. A little research indicates they are all strange in different ways. It was not easy to pick a dozen for this list, but these are all pretty weird.
The Longest Insect.
pest control london ontario
The Borneo walking stick (Phobaeticus kirbyi) can grow to up to 32 centimeters long, with another 14 centimeters if you measure the legs stretched out! But you might not see one, even if you are in Borneo and looking for them, since they closely resemble the slender tree branches they live on.
The Biggest.
pest control london ontario
(image source: KVUE)
Goliath beetles (Goliathus) are the largest insects in terms of bulk and weight. They can reach over 4 inches long, which doesn’t sound like much, til you look at the picture. The beetles are native to the African tropics, where they subsist on tree sap and fruit. Goliath beetles can be kept as pets, just feed them dog food (but don’t expect them to come when called).
Strongest animal on earth.
pest control london ontario
The Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) is a species of rhinoceros beetle that lives in South America. It can grow to over 6 inches in length (counting its horns), but its claim to fame is its strength. The Hercules beetle can support 850 times its own weight on its shell! This beetles eats only vegetation and is not aggressive, except to other Hercules beetles, when males fight each other over females.
Weird Lifecycle.
pest control london ontario
(Image credit: Hans Pohl)
The twisted-wing parasite (Strepsiptera) is an order of insects who display a gruesome lifestyle. The larval stage parasite will climb a flower and wait for an insect pollinator (bee or wasp) to come along. They climb aboard the bee, burrow into its body, and change into a second-stage larva. They feed off the blood and organs of the host. An adult male parasite will emerge from the host and search for a mate -a process that takes such little time that he never develops a mouth. The adult female remains in the host’s body for the rest of her life, never growing legs or wings. She mates by pushing only her reproductive organs outside of the bee’s body! Her offspring will emerge and look for new hosts.
pest control london ontario
The gruesome behavior or the male African bat bug (Afrocimex constrictus) is directed at other bat bugs. Instead of copulating via the female’s sex organs, he will stab her abdomen to release sperm directly into her bloodstream. So the females have evolved paragenitals, a “spongy reservoir of immune cells” as a defense against these tactics. But since male bat bugs are not particular when it comes to mating, some male bat bugs have also developed paragenitals to defend themselves against sexual attack!
Bizarre Body Parts.
pest control london ontario
Seed Beetles have rough sex, too, but in the conventional manner. What is very unconventional is the male seed beetle’s penis (shown in above picture). He can do some damage with that thing. So female seed beetles have developed thicker, more padded reproductive canals over time as self-defense against their paramour.
Trap and Torture.
pest control london ontario
Tree ants (Allomerus decemarticulatus) in the Amazon contruct elaborate traps for other insects they feed upon. They build these traps from tree fibers reinforced with fungus. When an unsuspecting insect encounters the trap, the ants emerge from hiding underneath and pull the prey’s legs to immobilize them, almost like a torture rack. Then they dismember the victim and carry the parts off to the colony. This method of “drawing and quartering” allows the ants to dine on insects much larger than themselves.
Unstoppable Swarmers.
pest control london ontario
(image credit: Mehmet Karatay)
Driver ants (Dorylus) or siafu are the masters of the swarm. Dorylus includes several species of army ants, primarily found in Africa. Colonies can contain 20 million ants! When the column is on the march looking for food, people can avoid them just by stepping aside. But there have been cases where invalids have been killed (by asphyxiation) when a column of ants marches through the house. They have been known to kill and eat animals up to the size of small zebras. The soldiers of the colony flank the column. Their bite is so strong and persistant that they are sometimes used to suture wounds; just apply an ant while you hold the wound together and let it bite, then rip the body off. It should hold for a few days. Male driver ants are so much larger than the rest of the colony that they appear to be a different species. Males lead a solitary life until sexual maturity, when they approach the colony for mating. When a male is detected, the workers of the colony tear off his wings and take him to be mated with their queen. You can watch this process on videoREAD MORE