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Forward Thinking Pest Control

Call Us At 877.507.0698
Forward Thinking Pest Control

EHS Pest Control

EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project

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Potentially Deadly Tick-borne Virus Detected on Cape Cod

20 Apr 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

BARNSTABLE – A new, and potentially deadly deer tick virus has been found across Cape Cod.

A spring study by Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass-Amherst conducted surveillance for Powassan virus at six locations on Cape Cod.

The virus was detected in Falmouth, Brewster, Orleans and Truro.

Powassan is a rare disease that is transmitted by the bite of a black legged tick, which is also known as a deer tick.

Since the beginning of 2013 the Massahcusetts Department of Public Health has received just nine reported cases of the virus in the state, occurring in Barnstable, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk Counties.

The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension’s Deer Tick Program Coordinator and Entomologist Larry Dapsis said Powassan is a lot like the West Nile virus.

“A lot of people may be exposed to the virus and not get sick at all,” Dapsis said. “In the rare instances where this thing takes another pathway into your body, into your nervous system, then it can be quite serious.”

Some may become severely ill with meningitis or encephalitis. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties and seizures.

About 10 percent of people infected with this severe form of the virus die and survivors may have long-term health problems.

There is no specific treatment for the virus other than supportive care, rest and ingesting fluids to prevent dehydration.

Dapsis presented the results of the study to county officials Wednesday.

The first discovered case of the virus was found in Powassan, Ontario in 1958.

“For years, most of the cases were in the upper-central Midwest,” Dapsis said.

About 10 to 12 years ago the virus started popping up in the Northeastern part of the country, mainly in Eastern New York in the Hudson Valley area.

“So it got our attention. I was kind of looking over my shoulder wondering when is this going to get here,” Dapsis said. “Well, it’s here.” Dapsis said the usual precautions that are advised to prevent the normal tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease, will also help protect against Powassan.

Some of the actions that should be taken include tick checks, placing clothing in the dryer for twenty minutes and the routine use of EPA registered repellents.

For exposed skin, deet-based products, or alternatives like picaridin are recommended.

“Our three point mantra is protect yourself, protect your yard and protect your pets,” Dapsis said. “The top of my list for personal protection is daily tick checks and the use of Permethrin-treated clothing and footwear – hands down the most effective tool in the box.”

Ticks can also be tested for the presence of Powassan in addition to all of the other major pathogens at the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass-Amherst.

If you want to get rid of ticks safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: Capecod.com

EHS Pest Services is Blessed - Norwood, MA

01 Mar 2016

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Dr. Robert M. Corrigan likes you to call him Bobby. A pioneer in pest management for almost 4 decades and still as humble and nurturing as ever. How can you not have a huge ego? Well, he doesn't.

He inspired our team along with colleagues from MIT, Harvard University, The City of Boston and Xcluder brand's Global Material Technologies.

My mind is swimming with the possibilities of the future of pest management and pest elimination and prevention without pesticides.

The Wildflower Project Down To The Bare Essentials

04 Dec 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

There isn't a whole heck of a lot to see these days in our "Garden". But there's still important stuff happening. Since we began this project in April, the soil has gone from a medium brown to a deep, rich black. That will be helped along with composting. Nothing will be wasted. Even orange peels. Everything will eventually get chopped up and spread along the bank, and this coming Spring things will really come alive.

View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project

Pollinator Factoid: Native Bee Biology

There is an astonishing diversity of native bees across the USA. About 4,000 species have been identified and catalogued, ranging in length from less than one eighth of an inch to more than one inch. They vary in color from dark brown or black to metallic green or blue, and may have stripes of red, white, orange, or yellow. Many common names reflect the way they build nests: plasterer bees, leafcutter bees, mason bees, wool carder bees, digger bees, and carpenter bees.

Others are named after particular traits, such as cuckoo bees that lay eggs in the nests of other bee species (like the cuckoo bird), sweat bees that like to drink salty perspiration, or bumble bees, who got their name from the loud humming noise they make while flying. Since most don’t fit the stereotyped image of a bee (black-and-yellow-striped, living in a hive, and apt to sting) they are easily overlooked. Out of sight, out of mind they gently get on with foraging, and in doing so provide the vital ecosystem service of pollination. (xerces.org)

The Wildflower Project

25 Nov 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Giving Everything Back To The Earth




The main task at hand with the wildflower garden is pulling everything up, piling it, and chopping it into little bits so that it will all compost back into the soil.



In this shot you can see several piles.



And in this one you can see it got a little smaller as it gets chopped into bits. This process will take some time, but there's plenty. Several months, I guess. But seeing the soil getting as rich as it is now it pretty cool. There's a very noticeable difference. And the sparrows and finches really appreciate the fact that all the seeds are really concentrated now. They hang out inside the piles feasting.


View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project

Pollinator Factoid: Most people do not realize that there were no honey bees in America before European settlers brought hives from Europe. These resourceful animals promptly managed to escape from domestication. As they had done for millennia in Europe and Asia, honey bees formed swarms and set up nests in hollow trees. Native pollinators, especially bees other than honey bees, have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s vastly altered landscapes, they continue to do the women’s share of pollination, especially when it comes to native plants.

The Wildflower Garden

19 Nov 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Winter Is A Season Of Recovery And Preparation

The quote by American author Paul Theroux, who is coincidentally from Medford, MA, is pretty fitting. Not that our Wildflower Garden looks much likes it's recovering from or preparing for anything. But with it looking so brown and barren, it feels more hopeful and optimistic to think that way. And the truth is that it will come back even stronger than last year and this is all part of the process.





It's actually kind of cool to see the jute mesh mat again that we put down to keep the barren ground from eroding. What a difference it is now.

I'll be trying to get all this material chopped up as much as possible to mulch, compost and re-seed our garden for the Spring.

View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project help our pollinators Pollinator Factoid: Many insects such as flies and wasps mimic true bees. True bees have two sets of wings. Flies have only two wings. Wasps although they look like are only closely related to bees. Next time you see a pollinator in your garden check to see if it is a bee.


Here is a web site that can help you: Is it or isn't it a bee?

The Fall Harvest Is Nearly Complete

12 Nov 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

By this time next week, everything will be neatly cut and laid out flatly, to make it's way back to the Earth over the Winter. There are so many seeds in there too, it will no doubt spawn a new generation on it's own. But we'll overseed anyway, and maybe even compost on top of the old debris. This should provide a solid foundation for an incredible Wildflower Garden V2.

After not seeing a pollinator this week, I was real happy to see this guy. But the gray cold had obviously gotten the best of him and he was practically in suspended animation. Still, it was good luck to get one in the update this week.

This last patch is still hanging strong, and that's where I found our bumblebee.

The best shot of a flower was this one. Barely a quarter inch in size, or as Johnny Pest would say, 5 millimeters, it just provided a cool shot. It's tough to find anything left to shoot, but our garden never disappoints.

View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project

Pollinator Factoid:

Bee nesting habits vary greatly. For example:

  • Mason bees construct nests from mud.
  •  Leaf cutter bees use a "wrapper" of leaves, resin and sand.
  • Carder bees harvest plant fibers.

Most bees excavate their nest tunnels in sunny patches of bare ground, while others seek out abandoned beetle burrows in dead tree trunks or branches. The majority of bees are solitary, but a few, like sweat bees, bumblebees, and honeybees, are social, living in colonies that consist of a queen, her worker bee daughters and a few males, the drones.

The Persistence of the Pollinator

05 Nov 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

You can start to see big patches of harvested stalks now as we chip away at it. There are really no blossoms left now in the main section. With just a small patch of flowers left over by the driveway entrance (below), it's amazing to still see pollinators all over it.






With a full pollen basket (corbicula) even now. View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project.

The Fall Harvest Begins

30 Oct 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Our garden is looking quite brown by now and it's time to start cleaning it up. But there are still a few flowers and the pollinators are taking full advantage.


This guy was warming in the sun early yesterday morning. He couldn't even move yet.



Occasionally you find a nice bright flower in the garden still.



And other visitors like this crab spider.


And this guy, who was feasting once the sun got nice and warm. But my favorite is this one... Look at all the pollen all over this guy's legs and face.

You'll start seeing a lot of this, as the garden starts getting cleaning out. But here's to looking forward to Spring. Next year's garden is going to be epic.

View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project

Pollinator Factoid:

When Planting a Pollinator Garden, it helps to choose plants that flower at different times of the year to provide nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season.

Old Man Winter Is Showing His Face

22 Oct 2015

Posted by John D. Stellberger

You can tell just from the pano that our wildflower garden has changed significantly in a week. Sunday's frost started the process of hibernation, and many of the flowers still there have begun to wilt. But there are still plenty of pollinators around.





And many flowers escaped unharmed.







Many flowers look kind of sad, but there's still a kind of beauty in the change.







This is just about the exact same spot last week on the left, and now on the right.




View the entire history of The Wildflower Project on it's blog at: EHS Pleasant Street Wildflower Project

Pollinator Factoid:

  • For migratory pollinators, such as bats, hummingbirds, and the monarch butterfly, the identification and protection of nectar corridors is important (Allen-Wardell et al., 1998). If nectar is unavailable anywhere along their migratory route at the time of migration, it could result in the death of part of the population (Buchmann and Nabhan, 1996). Nectar sources near areas where pesticides are sprayed may be tainted or, where herbicides are used, eliminated
  • At least 3 bat, 5 birds, and 24 butterfly, skipper and moth, one beetle and one fly species in the United States that are federally listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, are pollinators. It is unknown how many of the listed plants require pollinators. More on endangered pollinators.

These are just a few of the important facts regarding pollinators and pesticides, and more will follow. Remember, YOU really do make a difference out there, and your work at EHS genuinely is important to the planet.


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