FORD’S HOMETOWN SERVICES professional technicians are constantly striving to improve your service by using the latest technology available. We proudly use products from Prentiss Incorporated, which contain a patented blend of botanical oils that effectively targets a broad spectrum of pests… not people or pets. Lowest environmental and mammalian toxicity and proven performance characterize Prentiss‘ botanical products. Using this new technology we can effectively manage virtually any pest with an unprecedented margin of safety.
Unlike other pesticides, the molecular structure in Prentiss Botanicals plant oil active ingredients targets and blocks receptor sites for a key neurotransmitter called octopamine, which is only found in invertebrates, such as insects. Since mammals do not have receptors for octopamine, Prentiss‘s plant oils have no adverse effect on them. These plant oils are classified as “Generally Regarded As Safe” (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are approved as food additives. These plant essential oils, such as thyme oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, wintergreen oil and others, are used to add flavor and aroma to many food, beverage and cosmetic products such as non-alcoholic beverages, cakes, candy sweeteners, gum, and lipstick.
Our certified professional technicians will conduct a thorough inspection of your home or business, identify the problem pests and provide a written report. In order for our service to be most effective and guarantee your complete satisfaction, we may suggest that certain corrective actions be taken. These measures might include eliminating food sources, removing clutter, or trimming outdoor vegetation near the structure. Our knowledgeable technicians will gladly point out conditions favorable to insect pests.
I ran across this great idea from the National Pest Management Association to keep the kids busy and may also help you find conditions that are drawing insect to your home.
IPM Scavenger Hunt
By Missy Henriksen- National Pest Management Association
School’s out! Hooray! When my kids were younger, summer was a time for “camp mom.” I loved coming up with creative adventures and explorations. I often themed our weeks together…Heritage Week where we explored our Scandinavian ancestors, made delicacies from Norway and Sweden, and read books by authors from “the motherland”…Colonial Week offered candle and butter making, games from the early days, and even an attempt at learning to sew (epic fail!). Of course, any themes focused on the outdoors were always a big success!
I was reminded of my days as the chief creator of fun when Jim Fredericks, one of my colleagues and our staff entomologist, published an IPM Scavenger Hunt for Kids. IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, is a common sense approach to pest control that starts with the removal of food, water, and shelter that pests find attractive on your property.
Why not liven up a summer afternoon by taking your kids on an IPM Scavenger Hunt!?! Not only will they have a great time learning about bugs but they will learn how to locate potential pest problems on your property. The adventure can offer teachable moments about the difference between bugs and the pests they become when they enter your home and things children can do to help keep your home pest free!
Here are a few ideas of things to look for to get you started….
- Ant nests
- Termite mud tubes (Hope you don’t find any of those!)
- Carpenter ant frass (Look for sawdust like wood shavings with insects parts)
- Carpenter bee holes (Look for perfectly round ½ diameter holes in wood)
- Wasp nests (Stay away!)
- Cracks in foundation walls (Spider entry points!)
- Holes in screens (Don’t invite the mosquitoes!)
- Gaps underneath doors (If you can slide a piece of paper under the front door, a spider can crawl through!)
- Holes larger than a dime (Just big enough to let mice inside!)
- Leaky rain gutters (Water pooling by your home welcomes a host of pests)
- Leaky Pipes (Cockroaches love these!)
- Firewood piled less than 20 feet from the structure (Keep it back to keep rodents and termites at bay)
- Outdoor trashcans with no lids (Find secure lids or else nuisance wildlife will thank you for easy access!)
- Tree limbs overhanging the house (Branches that come close to your home offer a pest highway indoors)
Carpenter Ants are attracted to wood damaged by water.
Carpenter Ants are nocturnal and quite often go undetected.
Many times Carpenter Ant nests & damages are revealed during renovations, and home repairs .
King & Queen Carpenter Ants have wings: smaller black worker Ants do not.
In the North East there are nine different species of Carpenter Ants, all of which are capable of wood infestation.
Annually Carpenter Ants cause an estimated ½Billion dollars worth of damage.
Carpenter Ants can be black or combination of red and black or red and brown. Workers vary in size and can range from ¼ to ½ inch and the queens range from ½ to 5/8ths. These ants are an important part of recycling and composting wood in their natural setting, but are destructive and unsettling when they invade our homes and businesses. Most carpenter ant queens start a nest in decayed or water-damaged wood that is softened by fungus. Normally, we find a major nest containing thousands of ants and smaller satellite colonies containing fewer ants. These satellite colonies can be found anywhere. The presence of winged ants (a swarming) indicates a mature colony close by.
Our Pest Management Professionals are experts in eradicating carpenter ants. They will ask questions to try to deduce where the ants may have set up the primary nest. Their questions may include: Have you had any water leaks or water problems in general? How many ants do you see and in what area do you see the most? Do you see ants every spring or do you see any with wings? Our professional will also look for conducive conditions such as mulch up against the foundation, excessive leaf litter, woodpiles and scrap wood, bushes and trees which touch the home and any earth-to-wood contact. If ants are seen, the technician may put carpenter ant bait down. The ants will pick up this “food” and head back to the nest to feed the queen and the young. These clues will hopefully lead to where the problem is and the discovery of where the nesting sites are. Are you beeing bugged? Contact us at FORDSHOMETOWN.COM or 1-800-649-9992.
Ford’s Hometown Services will be closed on Monday May 27th for the Memorial Day Holiday. We hope all of our friends and customers have a happy & safe weekend.
Black Bear Spotted in Leicester
The attached photos show a black bear that was spotted in the back yard of a residence on Auburn Street in Cherry Valley near the Auburn/Leicester town line. The resident notified Leicester Police who stayed on scene until Environmental Police arrived. The bear stayed in the area for some time and then returned to a wooded area. The Leicester Police are reminding area residents that these are wild animals and that residents should not approach any bear that they might observe. Go to a safe location if you see a bear. Below are a few tips from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife website on what residents can do around their homes to deter encounters with bears:
1. Do NOT Feed Bears — Keep the “wild” in “wildlife”. Bears which become accustomed to humans and dependent on human-associated foods are likely to cause property damage and become a nuisance. Sometimes it places the bear in jeopardy of being destroyed because it is no longer afraid of people.
2. Take down birdfeeders before April 1 and put them back up in late November or early December. In mild winters, some bears may be active year-round. Do not leave pet food outside at any time of year.
3. Secure Trash in Closed Containers in a Garage or Other Outbuilding —Put trash barrels out the morning of trash pick up, not the previous evening. Businesses and campgrounds in bear country should consider using bear-proof dumpsters.
4. Beekeepers — Use temporary or permanent electric fences to safeguard hives. Electric fences are most effective when put up before the first damage occurs.
5. Protect Orchards and Crops — Temporary electric fencing may be used to protect corn and other crops. Seven-strand slanted non-electric fences have been used to keep bears out of orchards. Contact local bear hunters to for the early September bear season to hunt the fields.
6. Protect Livestock — Whenever possible, pen livestock in or near the barn at night, especially pregnant females and those with small young.
The preceding information was taken from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife website which can be located at:
This website contains additional information that the public will find useful should they have any questions or concerns pertaining to black bears.
If you see a bear and have any concerns, please contact the Leicester Police Department immediately.
Photo credit: Leicester Police Department (and yes it does appear that the bear is waving to the officer taking the photo)
Leicester PD Update
13 hours ago
Monsanto is hosting a “Bee Summit.” Bayer AG is breaking ground on a “Bee Care Center.” And Sygenta AG is funding grants for research into the accelerating demise of honeybees in the United States, where the insects pollinate fruits and vegetables that make up roughly a quarter of the American diet.
The agrichemical companies are taking these initiatives at a time when their best-selling pesticides are under fire from environmental and food activists who say the chemicals are killing off millions of bees. The companies say their pesticides are not the problem, but critics say science shows the opposite.
Die-offs of bee populations have accelerated over the last few years to a rate the U.S. government calls unsustainable. Honeybees pollinate plants that produce roughly 25 percent of the foods Americans consume, including apples, almonds, watermelons and beans, according to government reports.
Scientists, consumer groups, beekeepers and others blame the devastating rate of bee deaths on the growing use of pesticides sold by agrichemical companies to boost yields of staple crops such as corn. Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and other agrichemical companies say other factors such as mites are killing the bees.
“This is a difficult, high stakes battle,” said Peter Jenkins, a lawyer with the Center for Food Safety, which sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March on behalf of a group of U.S. beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups over what they say is a lack of sound regulation of the pesticides in question.
“They may have a lot of money. But… we’re going to win,” Jenkins said.
The uproar worries officials at Bayer and Syngenta, who make the pesticides, as well as Monsanto, DuPont and other companies who used them as coatings for the seed they sell.
“Everybody is concerned by it,” said Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley in an interview.
Monsanto plans to host a summit in June for experts from around the country to analyze the issue and discuss potential solutions. Bayer is breaking ground on a facility in North Carolina to study bee health.
The European Union said this month it would ban the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” used for corn and other crops as well as on home lawns and gardens. Similar constraints in the United States could cost manufacturers millions of dollars in sales.
“We are concerned… that the science sometimes gets trumped by the politics,” said Dave Fischer, an ecotoxicologist at Bayer CropScience who is meeting with bee keepers and studying the bee deaths. He said critics “are searching for a culprit.”
The companies point to a vicious insect mite as one of many factors harming the bees.
Corn seed treatments But environmental scientists say evidence increasingly points to pesticides coating corn seeds as the problem, not mites. In recent years, U.S. corn seed suppliers have offered more corn seed pre-treated with types of neonic insecticides so that as the plant grows it repels harmful pests.
A study published last year by scientists at Purdue University in Indiana found evidence that planting the coated corn generates dust that contains very high levels of the neonics that can move beyond the fields where the seeds are planted. The researchers said they found the poison in the soil as well and in pollen collected by bees as food. The neonics were present on dead bees collected for study
The Bug Club is a great chance to get up close and personal with a variety of insects, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals from around the world. Create a birthday party or event that neither your guests nor the birthday child will ever forget! It is a truly unique experience that is both fun and educational, making it perfect for a birthday party, Girl or Boy Scout Camp, Library or a classroom experience .Have the party at your place or ours. Call for more details 1-800-649-9992 and ask for Donna at ext.# 116.